Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Year Diet and Exercise Tips

The beginning of the school year usually wipes out my energy.  In preparing for school to start and getting into the swing of things, I usually allow myself a little more freedom when it comes to eating healthy and working out.  By the time school starts to settle down a bit and my routine gets established I try to get back into my normal diet and workout routine.

Here are a few of the ways I try to balance a (somewhat) healthy lifestyle during the craziness of the school year:

  • Pack lunch the night before - Thankfully, my school is kind of in the middle of nowhere and running out to grab food isn't much of an option.  I try to plan my lunch the night before, drinks and all, so it's ready for me to grab on the way out in the morning.  If I'm taking a frozen meal, I will just toss that in in the morning.
  • Cut back on the pop - This is one I'm really working on...  I'm trying to cut it down to one can a day.  I've found I more crave the carbonation over just the actual soda, so I've been trying to buy more sparkling flavored water to satisfy the craving.  I usually drink my pop in the morning for the caffeine and then (flavored) water the rest of the day.
  • Pack a snack - I'm really bad about eating breakfast, but I do pack a small snack to enjoy when my kids go to specials mid-morning.  I'm a huge fan of Special K Fruit Crisps because they taste a lot like Pop Tarts and they're only 100 calories per pack!  I also try to pack another small snack like this for the afternoon.  This is especially nice if I plan to go workout after school.
  • Schedule workouts - I try to put my workouts on my calendar so that I view them as appointments and not just something optional.  I find this particularly easy with my Monday night Zumba class since it's a regular thing.  I also star the days when I workout.  I somehow find it fulfilling to look back and see how many days I went to the gym.  Find a time that works for you and try to make it a habit.  It can be hard, but I find a feel a lot better when I make this a priority.  
  • Track things - I like using The Daily Plate on to track my calories and workouts when I feel like I need a little extra accountability.  I don't do this all the time, but usually every few months when I feel like I need to get back on track.  Usually a few weeks of tracking helps me get into good habits again.  
  • Plan dinner ahead - Since I only have to worry about feeding myself, making dinner is sometimes a hard thing to do after a long day of work.  When I first started living on my own I ate out waaaaaay too much which was not only expensive, but also not good for my waistline.  I try to plan potential meals out each week and then let myself choose from those meals each day.  It still allows me the freedom to eat what I'm feeling like, but I'm still sticking to a plan of sorts.  I throw together a lot of single serving salads for dinner, especially if I eat dinner before my workout.  I try to keep some variety on hand so that I do have a little freedom depending on what sounds good...  Some nights I have a real meal and other nights I may just eat a bag of veggies.  
So, there you go...  It's nothing earth shattering, but just kind of the plan I follow to stay on track with my diet and exercise during the school year.  I'm not super strict with myself, but I do try to make decent decisions.

Do you have any tips for maintaining a good diet and exercise routine during the school year?  I'd love to hear your tips and how to stay in shape during the busy school year!


  1. Last year was my first year as a teacher and I put on almost 20 lbs!!! It's crazy for me to think about because prior to last year I was always health obsessed. I worked out all the time and ate really healthy and only drank iced tea and water. Then I started teaching and all I wanted was coke all day long and I was soooo tired I could never get enough energy to work out.

    This year I am trying to change things, to find the old me. So far so good. I have like you added sparkling water into my diet which is SO good. I also give myself an occasional pop or coffee. Then I pack light healthy lunches like salads or fruit, cheese and crackers. Hopefully I wont gain another 20 lbs this year :)
    Good luck and thanks for the helpful hints

    A New Teacher's Journey

  2. For awhile, I brought in Special K (which I LOVE) and a half gallon of milk and would just have that every day for lunch. I didn't get sick of it too often, and when I did, I'd just bring something else for a day or two. It was cheap, healthy, and easy to remember every day!

    I also HAVE to have healthy snacks and drinks STOCKED and ready to eat- because if I don't, I will hit the vending machine. Low-cal popcorn is really filling, and I also like Cinnamon Life when I'm craving something sweet (I know it's not great for me, but it's got to be better than a candy bar!). If I have things here that don't need a lot of prep, I do so much better at eating healthy.

    I think it's also HUGE to find a friend to work out with! I used to go to Zumba with friends and I went so much more. My cousin's going to start going with me, and it helps me not just skip a night to know someone's meeting me there!

    Good luck! I'm trying to do a little better lately, but it's hard- especially at the beginning of the year!

  3. I love all these ideas! I need to get back into some of these habits, too. It is hard for me since I am a substitute, but I sure am trying! lol


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