• Joshua Li

Too busy to get lean? Here's your solution


If getting lean is your goal, it has to be up there with the top of your priorities. Getting lean doesn’t come around by coasting through a half arsed plan, it must have your full attention and involves preparation.

We have created 7 ways for you to reach your goal of being lean even if you are strapped for time.

1. Keep your food choices consistent every day

A lot of newbies don’t understand calories or macronutrients so the best thing to do is create a mapped-out plan and stick to it, Monday to Friday, taking away any guess work or calculating. If you know what the calories and macros are like for one particular diet plan you can stick to it so easily with no questions asked. If you want to change it up week to week we suggest switching the protein sources e.g. Salmon instead of Steak one week.

2. Batch cook or sign up to a meal plan

Pick two evenings per week to commit to cooking large batches of food in preparation for the following days. We suggest Sunday and Wednesday nights you commit to getting in the kitchen, getting the meat and veggies cooked and divided up in to your daily meals. There are also meal services out there that can take away this hard work for you and provide plans with all macros and calories laid out (see www.nutritionkitchenhk.com for our recommendation within HK.)

3. Use whey protein shakes

Don't time on your hands to prepare food or even sit down and eat it? Your best option is to have a protein shake. Easy to consume and helps hit your daily protein target, it will be a convenient addition to your diet plan.

4. Increase NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

NEAT includes everything from cleaning the house to walking to work. The calories you burn throughout the day will have a big effect on how lean you will be. The more active you are outside of training the more calories you burn…. the leaner you will be.

What can you do to increase NEAT?:

  • Walk or cycle to work instead of other modes of transport.

  • Take the stairs rather than the lift or escalators.

  • Take a stroll during breaks at work.

5. Prioritize compound movements

If you only have 45 mins to spare during your working day, the last thing you should be doing is going to the gym, performing 5 sets of bicep curls and 5 sets of rope tricep extension. With little time on your hands, focus on the bang for your buck compound movements (multi-joint exercises e.g. squat, deadlift etc). These compounds will be the most taxing exercises you could chose, resulting in a larger caloric output. Remember to log your sessions and improve on each session whether that is total amount of reps of weight lifted (progressive overload).

6. Fix you sleep

Busy and tired do not work well. As we all know, the better your sleep the more alert and productive you are the next day. In terms of getting lean, sleep is essential as a lack of it will increase the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn will bring about inflammation…. the more inflamed the individual the harder it is to lose body fat.

What can you do to sleep better?:

  • Supplement with melatonin and magnesium 30 minutes pre-bed.

  • Avoid caffeine from 2pm onwards.

  • Have some cards pre-bed (e.g. oats)

  • Do not use your phone or laptop 30 mins pre-bed (avoid blue light)

7. Hire a coach

Getting lean can sometimes be a complex thing to achieve, especially when you have a lot on your plate, you just need simple instructions to follow to stay on track. Having fully mapped out training and diet plans will keep you on course without thinking twice about how many sets and reps you should complete or how much protein you need per meal.

If you would like to find out more about how you could get lean even with your busy schedule, we would love to talk to you. All you have to is book in for a free consult here


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