In my many years as a trainer, I have trained people who would run the traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday work life and who would constantly find multiple reasons as to why they couldn't stay on top of their training and nutrition goals. However, there are simple and small changes that can be made which can stop you from killing your fitness progress while at work.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
This is true in every aspect of life, especially in health and fitness. Most people tend to think that their diet is based on what their canteen or vending machine can produce for them, but that isn't the case. Your goals were chosen by YOU, so it's down to you to make sure you keep at it. Always prepare your meals the evening before. There isn't a job that I've come across that you cannot do this for. It really isn’t time consuming and you'll also find it much cheaper. If you use a cool bag, you'll notice that you always have your meals with you, so no more excuse to miss your targets.
Work meals and drinks
I know that a part of some people's jobs involves entertaining clients, which means discussing business over a good meal or by attending a local bar for a more relaxed atmosphere. In most cases, you will not be allowed to bring your own food or drink and that's a respectable rule, but also an enjoyable one. However, it isn’t because you can't eat what you would normally have that you cannot keep your goals in mind and stay on track. You're not always going to have exact measurements of what's on the menu, but you know that there is a difference between a salad and a McDonalds burger. So by all means enjoy yourself, but don't use the excuse of not being able to know exactly what's in your meal to fall off track. Stay mindful of what you're eating. When it comes to having a drink, one isn't going to hurt anyone, but I have said one, not two or three… If you do fancy a drink, I would advise you on clear spirits, like vodka, and diet soft drinks as apposed to full fat.
Don’t let yourself get hungry
A lot of offices and work places have improved their standards within the last few years by supplying fruits for their employees, but there's still that comfort ‘food attitude’ with colleagues bringing in cakes, biscuits and chocolates. It's hard to say no to those temptations, especially if you're in a calorie deficit. However, making sure that you're eating on a regular basis with satisfying meals will help keep hunger at bay and will also help you make better decisions when presented with such temptations.
Let's be honest, there's always at least that one person in everyone's work place that is known as lazy! It's normally quite well known, and if you don't know who it is then I'm guessing the lazy one is you! Don't be that person, be as hands on as possible. Remember the more active you are, the more calories you burn and the leaner you will become. So your hard work shouldn't stop at the gym. Stay focused and productive and let one hand wash the other by keeping that metabolism rolling and by keeping up the productive attitude. Get up for a walk every so often and lock yourself in the toilets if needed to perform a few squats and lunges.
Make time for the gym!
As a trainer, I hear various excuses as to why my clients can't train around their jobs, but all hear is simply EXCUSES! I hear them say “I don't always have time for the gym” to which I reply “Neither do I - that's why I make time”. With the boom of 24-hour gyms over the last few years, the excuses fall on deaf ears as it’s now down to your own time management. You need to dedicate time in your day to train as, in my opinion, it's the most important part of your day. Yes, you need your job, obviously it's important, but what's more important than your health? There's 24 hours in a day, you can train for 1 of them surely? It's only 4.17% of your day!
Involve your colleagues
The more the merrier. Even if you only have 15 minutes free at lunchtime, take the opportunity to work out. Involve your colleagues, it will make the workout funnier and one will be able to motivate the other.
Some of you may also have received comments from colleagues who don’t understand your lifestyle. Show these people what it's all about and invite them along so they can see what actually happens in the gym. They might actually like it.
The obstacles that people face depends on their job sector, but the points illustrated above seem to be generic issues in the work place. Most of them are down to self-control, but look at what works the best for you and concentrate on the positives.