9 TIPS FOR MAKING TIME FOR FITNESS
“I’ll get back to the gym when work slows down.”
“I’ll stick to my meal plan as soon as I find time to go shopping.”
“I like the idea of a vegetarian diet, but meal planning overwhelms me.”
How many times have you told yourself something like this?
I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.
Whether it’s family, school, or work, we all have our excuses for not making time for fitness. But if health and living the good life is a top priority, treat it as such. And the reality is…you won’t ever magically find time, you have to make time.
To live a healthy lifestyle, you’re going to have to make time.
Do you want to be a half-baked vegan or vegetarian bodybuilder?
Real talk folks…how you spend your time simply breaks down to priorities. Your priorities dictate your actions. Your actions dictate our character.
I’m not asking you to choose between the gym and your family or job. But if health and fitness are important to you, the people in your life will understand, if they don’t, it’s selfish of them to want to hold you back from actualizing the best version of yourself you can be.
Without further ado, here are some tips on making time for vegetarian meal planning and workouts in your busy schedule…
1. Buy in Bulk
Few of us actually enjoy the costly and time-consuming task of grocery shopping.
According to family physician Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of the bestselling book, Eat to Live, “We are spending less than half as much of our incomes on food today than we did 40 years ago, but we spend three times as much on medical care. Instead of buying good-quality, healthful food, we eat ourselves into chronic diseases that cost a fortune to control with drugs, and the drugs don’t work very well and have side effects too.”
Carolyn Scott Hamilton, author of The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen, says, “Cook once and eat thrice is my motto. I cook up a big pot of beans and a bit pot of rice and use them throughout the week in different ways.”
Buy these vegetarian-friendly foods in bulk, whenever possible:
- Whole grains
- Nutritional yeast
- Veggie burger mix
- Beans and lentils
- Nuts and seeds
- Vegetable broth mix
- Instant hummus
2. Meal Planning Apps
If you’re like most people these days, you’re addicted to your smart phone. It’s time to put that device to work for you! Here are a few meal planning apps worth checking out:
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
3. Meal Planning Emails
Don’t have time to research meal ideas in cookbooks, or even online? Let the research come to you! Sign up for vegetarian newsletters like ours (sidebar on the right), or from your favorite sites to have vegan bodybuilding recipes delivered to your inbox.
If money is less of an issue than time, you could look into a meal planning service like Veggie Meal Maker, Go Meals Go or Food on the Table. Just make sure these services are designed by a legitimate nutritionist with vegetarian foods in mind, so you’re getting the nutrition you need without being ripped off.
4. Prep the Night Before
A good portion of a vegetarian’s time is spent with a knife and a cutting board. As you find yourself preparing more vegetarian meals, you’ll start to get a feel for what can be prepared in advance. Get a nice set of plastic containers and zip lock bags, and get to work the night before so that you can start the next day off right!
Foods to have on hand for quick meals
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Pre-Cooked Quinao (good source of protein)
- Broccoli (good source of protein)
- Pre-Cooked Beans (good source of protein)
5. Salads and Smoothies
Salads and protein-packed smoothies can be a vegetarian’s best friend. These are quick and easy options to keep you going throughout the day. And with all the vegan recipes you can find here and online, you can keep things new and fresh to add a little vibrancy to your meal plans.
6. Schedule Workouts
You didn’t miss your 9am business meeting or your 4pm parent-teacher conference, did you? The things that are really important to us we tend to schedule so that there’s no way we miss it. Same concept here. Make your dedication to fitness and your body a must!
Whether you keep track of your days on a paper desk calendar or on a smart phone app, schedule your workouts as you would anything else in your day. Instead of erasing your calendar entries after workouts, jot down how many reps you did and what your max weight was. Calendars are not only a good tool to keep you on schedule, but they also help you keep track of your progress by motivating you.
7. Interval Training
Most of us don’t have time for two hours a day in the gym anyway. Interval training is one of the best ways to shake-up your bodybuilding routine, maximize fat loss, and get your heart rate up.
With just 30-45 minutes a day, three times a week, you’ll achieve better results at a faster rate without taking as much time as traditional cardio. A recent University of Guelph study in Canada found that interval training done on alternate days for two weeks can increase a woman’s metabolism by 36%.
Figure competition coach, Terrance Stokes, offers the following recommendations for high intensity weight training:
- Use weights that only allow about 6-8 repetitions
- Choose compound exercises, plyometrics, or exercises that involve using your body weight
- Group the exercises together in a circuit type fashion with minimal rest between sets – repeat these circuits multiple times (10 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your conditioning)
8. Family Fitness
Living an active lifestyle is tough if you’re the only one doing it. Knock out two birds with one stone by making fitness a family affair. It’s time to make “family time” and “fitness time” synonymous.
Instead of plopping down on the couch to watch TV after dinner, suggest a family walk around the neighbourhood. Stay active on weekends by heading to the backyard or local park for a good ole’ fashioned ball game, coupled with quality time.
9. Twenty Minutes is Better
Yes, twenty minutes is better than nothing, and some days you feel on top of your game and you don’t feel like crushing a workout. While other days you simple don’t have the time for a sixty-minute session. No biggie.
Just take a moment to thank yourself for working out at all and honouring your body with good health. And remember, even your worst workouts help you stay on track and keep the momentum going forward, both physically and mentally.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to be in the gym to get a good workout. Turn “downtime” into workout time to take advantage of those spare moments that get away from us too quickly.
Do calf raises while standing in line, do lunges to get from one room of your house to another, and practice yoga poses during commercial breaks.
No matter where you are, you have one set of weights with you at all times: your own body weight. Technology can be a burden in our lives, but it can also help with meal planning in a pinch.
I probably don’t need to remind you, but life is never going to be less busy, but it is what you make of it. So plan ahead when you can, make the most of each present moment, and see the results you crave in your future.
More Meal Prep and Training Resources
If you got something out of this post, I think you’ll want to see what we have put together with our V3 Bodybuilding program.
For more tips on how to make fitness a lifestyle, watch this video – How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle in 2020: Fitness + Goal Setting Tips that Changed My Life!
Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.
V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice, providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.
A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.
The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”
To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – How to Make Fitness a Lifestyle