ARTICLE: BUILDING A ROUTINE
I cannot emphasise the benefits enough of trying to build up some sort of routine with eating, training or both. This can obviously be difficult, particularly for those that would say they do not have a very routine lifestyle, but it is possible. I know because I have managed it despite doing shift work that changes week to week and often day to day. I have learnt, through trial and error, that there are a few tips and tricks you can apply to try to figure it out.
The key aspect is to break everything down into small chunks. Start by looking at exercise. Where can you definitely fit exercise into your week? Perhaps on the way home from work, maybe on your lunch break or even on a weekend morning. If you really look you should be able to find at least 1 or 2 half hour slots. Start with just 1 or 2 sessions and if this is working then try to fit in 1 or 2 more. You will be surprised at how you can manage it if you just break it down and try to fit in 1 session at a time, instead of trying to find 4 or 5 sessions all at once. Remember 4 sessions might be what you hope to fit in, but it might be a few weeks before you can find 4 time slots that work with your routine. The important thing is start with 1, build up a routine with it and then add more as you go!
The same applies for food planning or prepping. Break it into chunks. Perhaps start by looking at your snacks and simply swap a sweet treat for some fruit. Easy, simple and effective! Next look at your meals one at a time. Perhaps do some batch cooking at the weekend or simply plan to cook or buy a healthier breakfast. Fix one meal at a time and build this meal into your routine. That way it becomes just another part of your day.
Even for those that perhaps do not work 9am-5pm or just do not have a week that follows a strict routine it is still possible to implement the same rules. I never eat meals at the same time, my schedule can change daily and I work long and unsociable hours so my desire to cook during the week is zero. For this reason I do my food plan on a Friday, followed up by my food shop and then I do some batch cooking on a Sunday, a day where I normally do not have too much on. I have built this routine into my unscheduled week and because of it I easily manage my meals throughout the working week. This exact plan might not work for you, but I do think if you look at your week, you will find gaps where you can plan, schedule and take control of your goals.
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