7 Tips for Losing Body Fat While Managing Your Time

A couple quick announcements before we get going:

October 1st is our One Year Anniversary!

CFC has made it a whole year and we couldn’t have done it without all our awesome members. Join us on Wednesday 10/1 from 4:30-8:30 PM for an Free Open WOD Day. Special birthday-themed workout, door prizes, punch, and pie will be provided. RSVP to the Facebook Event or send me an email!

November 1st is Rugged Maniac!

On 11/1 we’re closing the gym to take a team off to the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Course and Mud Run. There’s still time to register, use our discount code “CFCatonsville” for 25% off, and join us! The deadline is fast approaching, so go register.
Team Name: The Dirty Snatchers
Wave Time: 10:15 AM

Our New Nutrition Partner: Game Plan

CFC has partnered with Game Plan to get our members discounts on their supplement plans. Check out this post for more information.

On to the blog!


Today we’re talking about losing body fat on a budget. Not a money budget, but a time budget! Good health can seem time consuming and fat loss even more so. Endless cardio, long workouts, and complicated meal plans make bringing it all together seem impossible. I’m going to give you some tips and tricks for managing your time while maximizing your results.

1. Stop making excuses, start making plans

You need goals and you need to plan to achieve them. One of the biggest reasons people don’t get healthier is because they either don’t have a concrete goal or they don’t know how to get from where they are now to where they want to be. Don’t be that person. Set long, medium, and short term goals that you can track and check on periodically. If you have something you can measure, it makes it more likely that you will not only stick with your Plan, but also that you will accomplish what you want to accomplish. Setting goals are various lengths of time that all complement one another also lets you build towards a big thing by completing smaller things: it’s like Legos!

We have a whole article on doing this, so I’ll point you over there for more details

2. Pre-plan your meals

If you want to lose body fat, you’re going to need to eat right. Notice I didn’t say “stop eating” or “starve yourself” – you need to eat good, whole foods in the right proportions every day. Your goal should be to eat clean 85% of the time, with that 15% being left over for wiggle room and a cheat meal each week. Pick one day during the week and use that as your planning/prepping day. Make a plan for every single day in the coming week:

  • How many calories do you need per day? Check out this article for tips about half way down
  • How many meals will you eat and when?
  • What are you going to eat?
  • What do you need for each meal? Do you need to shop today?
  • How much can be prepped ahead of time?

And now stick to the plan! If you know every day what you are going to eat, it removes the justification for eating poorly, and makes you much less likely to indulge in the foods that are causing your fat gain.

3. Get a crock pot and/or pre-cook as much as possible

If you don’t have a crock pot (also called a slow cooker), and you can afford to get one, then go do it! They are seriously one of the best time-savers in the world. I could write a whole article about awesome stuff I’ve cooked in crock pots (but not today). Their biggest pro is that they are a “set it and forget it” method of cooking. Sure, it takes 4-8 hours to cook BUT you don’t have to watch it during that time. You can add in meat and veggies, plug it in, set the timer, and come back later to a finished meal ready to serve (or store for later). This frees up your time to do anything else you need to do, including preparing other food, exercising, shopping, etc.

A method I like is to do multiple crock pot recipes in one day and make 3-4 meals worth of food in each one. If you have one pot, you can set one meal to start cooking around 9 AM on high for 4 hours and it’ll be done by 1:00 PM. Then bag/Tupperware the finished meal, clean the pot in 10 minutes, set-up another meal, and let it cook from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM on high. Repeat the bagging and Tupperware-ing for Meal #2, and now you have 8ish meals for the coming week already done! In the same vein, you could traditionally cook all the meat, veggies, etc. for the week in one 3-4 hour cook-a-thon on your Planning Day.

With either method (or both, you crazy multitasker, you!) store the cooked food in single meal serving containers, and put them in the fridge, and BAM! You now have 1-2 meals per day for the entire coming week.

The goal here is to do as much of the preparatory work as possible in one 4 hour period on your planning day, to minimize the time it takes the rest of the week. With only one setup and one cleanup period while preparing all these meals, it cuts down on the time it takes to get food from cold to in your belly later on.

4. Plan your workouts

Your workouts need to be planned just like your meals.

  • How many days are you working out?
    • What is your daily split?
    • How much time do you have each day?
  • Are you doing cardio?
    • What kind?
    • How long?
  • Are you lifting weights?
    • How many exercises?
    • How many sets and reps?
    • How much rest?

For each day, figure out how much time you have to exercise and when. Pre-pack your gym bags for these days. You can either pack the night before or pack a bag that will last you a couple gym days with 2-4 pairs of shorts/pants, 2-4 shirts, and spare socks/underwear/sports bras. We all have “gym only” clothes, so you know you won’t need it around the house or office, and it doesn’t hurt to have it all ready to go.

Worried about smelly clothes mingling with clean ones? Keep a trash bag or Ziploc bag in your gym bag that you can put the dirty clothes into. Toss in two dryer sheets and voila! Your bag doesn’t reek and you’re prepared to work your butt off at a moment’s notice!

5. Break up the work into two smaller sessions

Okay, so you don’t have the time for all your workout in one session, but you do have two smaller timeslots you should use instead. Break up your workout in half, maybe doing strength training in the morning and cardio in the evening if that’s your daily plan. Whatever method works for you, use the time you have and don’t skimp on the work.

So you may be asking, “but what should I do in the first session? Isn’t cardio first the rule? Or is it strength?”

The answer is it doesn’t matter! Do whichever option fits into the time you have, and don’t overwork the same muscles day to day. Cardio or weight lifting first is entirely a matter of your preference and options.

6. Stick to a schedule, no matter what

This is a big one: once you make your schedule you need to stick to it! Eat when you’re supposed to eat and workout when you’re supposed to workout. Unless there is a serious emergency, you probably don’t need to skip meals, eat junk food, or miss your workouts. Be honest about whether or not you NEED to miss a part of your schedule, or maybe you’re just TIRED and don’t WANT to do what you know needs to be done.

Pro Tip: “I don’t want to” is the main excuse for why you’re not fit, trim, and flaunting a six pack.

Do the work. Don’t whine. Don’t complain. Be awesome.

7. Focus on your goal, and cut out what doesn’t move towards it

In Tip #1 I told you to make goals and pointed you towards a whole article about it. This tip goes along with that, but I want it to be the last thing you read. Ahem, here goes.

DON’T STOP WORKING TOWARDS YOUR GOALS!

Even when progress is slow, it’s still progress. Even, and especially, when you don’t want to workout, you need to get going. When you miss a meal, a workout, or a day just goes straight to Hell and nothing lines up, don’t give up. The next chance you have to get back to it, just do it.

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW.

Every time in the past when you tried to get in shape, you said you’d do it tomorrow, next week, or when you were ready. Have you ever actually made good on that? Today is the “tomorrow” and the “next week” that you talked about yesterday and last week and last month and last year! “Now” is the time when you are “ready to get in shape”.

Negative talk. Naysayers. Laziness. Excuses.

These are things that stop you from reaching your goals. Ignore them. Conquer them. Be freakin’ AWESOME!