Updated: Dec 26, 2018
How many times have you caught yourself saying "I want to be healthier; I just can't find the time to do it."???
If you're anything like me, a lot.
I've personally struggled with being overweight for most of my adult life.
But when I learned I was going to become a father, I started taking my own health far more seriously.
It's true that healthy habits aren't always the easiest to maintain when your constantly pressed for time; and lets face it, being a parent is exhausting.
Usually we're happy to settle for convenience rather than make the healthier choice.
But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way! It does takes a little more pre-planning than you might be used to, but hey, that's single dad life.
There are some simple strategies that you can use to facilitate the lifestyle changes necessary for a healthier mind and body. I've used many of them myself with great success.
These are some of my favorites.
Take vitamin supplements. Most people who eat an balanced diet don't need vitamin supplements at all; but lets be realistic... our diets aren't always as "balanced" as we might care to admit. Besides, being a single parent is exhausting and adding some B vitamins into the mix can really help you power through your day. Personally, I'm willing to try anything that can help me keep up with my daughter. B Vitamins have also been shown to help combat depression as well as fatigue, and can improve mental clarity and boost memory. It can also fortify your immune system.
Sign up for fresh produce delivery. The first step in eating healthier is to have healthy food on hand. Usually that means an extra trip to the grocery store, but it doesn't have to. These days there are dozens of services that will delivery fresh fruit, vegetables, and the rest of your groceries, straight to your door. I use Full Circle Farms, and I couldn't be happier with the service; but Hello Fresh a good one too in case Full Circle Farms doesn't service your area.
Plan to eat healthy. Making dietary changes isn't always easy. Sometimes a little coaching at the beginning of a new endeavor can help sustain the effort over the long-run and lead to lasting change. eMeals offers digital meal planning for busy families and individual that want to eat healthier but are short on time. Plus, they offer customized planning for paleo, vegan, low-carb, heart-healthy, and gluten-free diets; AND base their recommendations on whats actually available at specific grocery stores so there are no 'wild goose chases' for hard-to-find ingredients. Another good, albeit, slightly more expensive option is to sign up for meal kit deliveries. Green Chef will deliver everything you need for a healthy meal right to your doorstep; and also caters to individualized diets. Companies like MediFast even offer meals kits specifically formulated for weight loss.
Be more active. This is much easier said than done. But if you're serious about getting healthier, there's really no way around it. This one is also particularly difficult to do when you're busy with work and kids, but you shouldn't loose hope. There are ways of working around your busy schedule. Firstly, it helps to have some sort of fitness option that doesn't require you to leave the house. I like the Total Gym, but there are plenty of options available. You might also want to consider joining a gym. 24 Hour Fitness is good because it offers you the ability to workout at any time, thus eliminating most excuses. There's also Beachbody on Demand which is a great source for home-based workout routines that don't require any fancy equipment.
Get help. Losing weight isn't easy and sometimes it pays to get a little extra help. Weight loss programs offer you the opportunity to learn healthy habits in a supportive environment, but its not always easy to show up for weigh-ins when your raising children. Weight Watchers online is a good option if you're pressed for time.
Hack your body. Modern technology offers us the chance to get insights into our own bodies in ways like never before. I personally recommend getting a FitBit. It allows you to track your physical activity from day-to-day, plus gives you information on your sleep quality and length. Another great way to get inside information on your insides is with genetic testing. At-home lab testing kits can give shred light on things like weight management hormones and food sensitivity so that you can make better choices in your day-to-day life. EverlyWell offers at-home testing kits that are designed specifically for wellness applications. Their kits include Cardiovascular, Men's Health, and Sleep & Stress. Making healthier decisions becomes much easier when you have reliable information to go on.
Relax more. If only it were that simple, right? But the fact is that stress is a surprisingly powerful thing, and it can have ramifications on every other part of your life. Taking the time to slow down and relax can lower blood pressure, boost immunity, and actually slow the aging process. It makes weight loss easier too. There are a myriad of ways to unwind but my personal favorite is the time-honored massage. Sure, it's nice if you have time to get away long enough to take in a spa day, and if you happen to be that lucky Spa Finder will point you in the right direction, but there are a million products out there that will help you ease tension at home too. The Sharper Image has long been the leader in that realm, but there are a million other choices on Amazon too.