Many of us know essentially how to lose weight, but simply finding the time to implement those tried-and-tested weight-loss procedures can feel challenging in itself.

If a busy work schedule, new motherhood or anything else is leaving you with scarcely any free time, relax – you don’t always need too much of it anyway to shape up, as the following tips indicate.

Leave healthy food within easy reach at home   

You should rid your fridge and cabinets of sugary snacks, processed crackers, frozen treats and other similarly unhealthy food, as even the temptation of them can prove surprisingly perilous.

“When you’re busy and pressed for time, you’re more likely to reach for these over any healthier food in your kitchen, and that derails weight loss,” nutritionist Alissa Rumsey tells Women’s Health.

Add your workouts to your schedule

“If you write in the specifics for an exercise session, then you’re more likely to view it as another important appointment to keep,” Rumsey points out.

You could write those specifics into a traditional, paper-based diary or on your smartphone, such as on its default “notes” app or into a dedicated planner app.


fitness for mums Always have healthy snacks at close hand

That’s crucial because, when a craving does hit, you want the snack you instinctively grab to ideally be a nutritious one. It’s ultimately your decision what snacks of that description you stock up on, but you should make sure they are non-perishable and can be kept in your purse or office desk drawer.

“You want snacks with a combination of protein and healthy carbs, such as peanut butter squeeze packs, trail mix, Greek yoghurt, even whole-grain crackers,” Rumsey says.

Invite someone to join you for your workout sessions

Whether it’s a friend, lover or family member, someone who accompanies you on your get-fit journey could spur you on when your motivation starts flagging.

You don’t necessarily have to be joined at the hip all the time, though – especially in these socially-distanced times. Just knowing that you will meet up with someone you know at the gym can suffice.

Have your workout gear ready to grab

If you know that your exercise clothes and shoes are always left in the same, easily accessible spot, such as in your car or at your work desk, that will give you one less excuse to skip a workout. It’s even easy to buy fitness gear, like quality women’s tracksuits, online if you don’t have enough.

Engage in short but intense workouts

Trainer Nisha Obaidullah advocates doing this to shift fat. She tells Cosmopolitan that she would focus on three weekly weight-lifting sessions and complementing those with “oxygenation (cardio) type stuff, like a 25-minute walk or cycling outside in the fresh air.”

Build your lean muscle to lose more fat

Nisha describes lean muscle as “the ONLY substance in the body that burns fat, even when you’re not exercising.” Unfortunately, cardio, while great for the heart, isn’t as good for your body’s lean muscle, which you should aim to preserve and build by lifting weights.