By: Kelsey Miller, @kelseymiller300
My junior year was the end of my nearly perfect workout schedule and decent diet. Class, appointments, homework, meetings, events, networking, mixers AND keeping up with a social life?? After two and a half years, I finally broke down. My motivation was lost among my appointments, as well as my self-confidence, and I wasn’t sure how to get it back. I re-evaluated what I did this year and took action.
I hired an online trainer and hit the ground running. Here are a few tips I learned from my trainer, and over the years, of how to eat right and be active while on a busy schedule. I’m not perfect, but I’m learning that’s OK.
Take advantage of meal plans if you have one. Don’t have one? Get one. It’s convenient, quick and worth the investment. The salad bar (complete with legumes, HELLO), grilled chicken and fish are great options. The ‘wok’ at Nelson is my personal favorite. Load it with chicken, veggies and spoon your own rice in later for portion control of carbs. Wean yourself off the sauces, and load on spices and hot sauces instead. Hot sauces are packed with sodium, but curb your appetite. Ask to have them cook it in olive oil…they don’t offer it, but they will do it upon request. Be persistent.
Always plan ahead. Plan your meals ahead of time. Go to the grocery store and invest in Tupperware. You will need it. Pack carrots, slice peppers, chop celery for whenever you need them. You will never go wrong with veggies. This will keep you from making last-minute dinner decisions to go out to eat. My go-to was a pack of low sodium Starkist tuna packets…10 for $10 at Kroger; seventy calories, zero carbs, low sodium and fat and 17 grams of protein can’t be beat.
Plan your workout times ahead. Get to know the gym and know what exactly you will do. Do cardio twice a week and throw in some weights for the rest. Your body will thank you.
Make goals. When you set realistic goals, you won’t stray. Make group goals with friends. A solid support system will make a big difference. I know no one likes this, but taking before pictures was a reality check for me to see where I wanted to be versus where I was.
Don’t be afraid to eat. If I learned anything from an online trainer, it’s eating like there’s no tomorrow if you’re working out regularly. Don’t feel guilty eating carbs and fats, just watch your sodium and sugar intake.
Start HIIT training ASAP. Not a big cardio person? You aren’t alone. Unfortunately, we all need it. Look up HIIT training exercises where you incorporate cardio in your strength training. Run 400 meters and do 25 push ups four times, or sets of 30 jump squats followed by 50 weighted lunges with no breaks. Twelve to 15 minutes of this cardio is more effective than 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill (and it’s more fun).
Be selfish. This is the toughest. You want to say yes to everything, but you can’t. I think of my body as a pet in a weird sort of way. You have to exercise your pet and feed it right in order to keep it healthy. Why wouldn’t you do that for your body? Set aside an hour and a half to two hours a day three to four times a week. Don’t put your health on the back burner.
If you’re ready to make changes to your lifestyle or college is weighing you down, remember to be selfish. If you aren’t feeling confident, simple changes to your diet and a little exercise will go a long way. With that being said, you should always enjoy the journey and never put yourself down. If you have any questions about online training, exercise or diet tips, feel free to email me anytime at email@example.com.