Staying fit and losing weight when you’re crazy busy can seem like fitting a square peg in a round hole.
But the good news is, it can be done! But don’t just take our word for it. To prove it’s possible, we’ve tracked down some of the most powerful, innovative and creative people in the health-food industry to find out how they make diet, exercise and holistic well-being part of their hectic everyday life—and how you can, too.
Read on to discover new, easy ways to keep those stubborn pounds flying off:
Sip Your Nutrients
“It’s hard to remember a time when juicing and blending weren’t a part of my daily routine. I start every morning with a freshly cracked young Thai coconut on my balcony overlooking the Hudson River and I experiment with other produce-based drinks throughout the day. I gravitate towards recipes heavy on leafy greens because I like knowing that I’m getting as many nutrients as possible per sip. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with turmeric, one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatories. I’ve had success adding it to juice, smoothie and hot blend recipes.” — Eric Helms, founder and CEO of Juice Generation
For more creative drink ideas, check out these 20 Best Weight-Loss Foods for Protein Shakes.
Look at Health Holistically
“I live by the “whole health” approach. Through combining nutrition, physical activity and meditation, I can be at my peak performance. I like to balance a healthy combination of proteins, fiber, fruits and vegetables. I fight off temptation by enjoying small portions of treats and enjoy mountain bike riding and hiking.” — Lizanne Falsetto, founder of thinkThin
Wear Swim Trunks
“I swim or run three days a week and train with weights three days a week. Afterward, I stop into a Juice Generation to pick up a Protein Buzz—it’s the best part of my routine.” — Eric Helms, founder and CEO of Juice Generation
Get Into Fights
“I go to a mixed martial art gym two to three times a week, where I train in boxing and Muay Thai. The class includes jumping rope, combinations of punches and kicks with a partner, high-intensity interval training and stretches. Recently, I’ve started sparring with partners, which forces you to develop quickness in your lower body and core to avoid strikes. The alternative is a punch in the face.” — Vincent Kitirattragarn, founder of Dang Foods
Speaking of effective fitness routines, be sure to try some of these Best Weight Loss Exercises in The World!
Work Out Before Work
“I like to get to the gym first thing in the morning. It helps me clear my head. If I’m good, I’ll meditate for ten to twenty minutes afterward.” — Brian Rudolph Co-Founder of Banza, a chickpea-based pasta alternative
“I squeeze in a 30 minutes exercise DVR ‘class’ in the morning before my kids wake up.” — Poorvi Patodia, CEO and founder of Biena Foods
For more ways to lose weight before noon, check out these 6 Morning Rituals That Will Change Your Life.
Cut the Crap
“If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t buy it. I read labels all the time.” — Jeannine Sacco, co-founder of Grainful
And speaking of junk food, be sure you stay away from these 20 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet!
“When traveling for work I bring a jump rope with me. It’s a good substitute for running, and you can do it in a hotel room.” — Vincent Kitirattragarn founder of Dang Foods
“I spend a lot of time on the road. I’ve done so many seven-day gym trials it’s outrageous. I also like to jump rope while traveling, since you can use one just about anywhere.” — Brian Rudolph, co-founder of Banza, a chickpea-based pasta alternative
Fun fact: Banza made our list of the 9 Best Pastas for Weight Loss. Check out the story to discover our other healthy noodle picks!
Never Miss a Power Hour
“I stay fit by going to a spin class called ‘The Power Hour,’ with my girlfriends. I love it! It’s so much fun working out together. We start out with a lot of chatter and about 10 minutes in, nobody’s talking anymore.” — Angie Bastian, Co-Founder of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP
Whether or not you hit the cycle studio, be sure to refuel after your workout with some of these 9 Best Carbs for Weight Loss.
Strike a Pose
“Before a trade show starts or a long day packed with meetings, I do a power pose with a pen in my mouth. Research shows that power posing alters body chemistry and how others perceive you. The pen in my mouth forces me to smile, also improving my mood and outlook.” — Vincent Kitirattragarn, founder of Dang Foods
Prioritize Your Health
“A founder’s work is never done, and it’s so easy to sacrifice your workout or morning meditation in favor of checking off another to-do item. But cutting back on self-care just increases the already high odds of burning out, and neglecting your mental or physical health is one of the worst long-term leadership strategies for successfully building a business.” — Carmel Hagen, founder of Sweet Revenge, an organic alternative to refined sugar made from coconut flower nectar
Skip the Gym
“Between my crazy work schedule and making time for my family and two kids, I almost never have time to go to the gym, so I’ve thought a lot about how to work fitness into my life. For example, while at the local playground with my kids on the weekends, I run laps around the soccer field. Sometimes they’ll come and play in the middle of the field while I’m doing laps, or they’ll try to follow me during the run.” — Poorvi Patodia, CEO and founder of Biena Foods
To find out how to get the most out of your fitness routine, check out these tips to Make Your Workout 500% More Effective!
Do Handstands —Seriously!
“I do handstands to avoid getting sleepy in the afternoon. The blood that was pooling in my legs rushes back to my upper body, giving me another energy boost. Call it body hacking or whatever you want, but it works!” — Vincent Kitirattragarn, founder of Dang Foods
“One of the great ironies of problem solving is that our brain does its best work when we’re totally unplugged. My business would look so different without the ‘a-ha!’ moments that emerged during my ‘sweat meditations’—runs, spins, boot camps or yoga classes—that require so much focused energy, I have no choice but to pass creative problem-solving control to my subconscious. It’s like the super-smart business partner that only shows up when I’m out of town.” — Carmel Hagen, Founder of Sweet Revenge, an organic alternative to refined sugar made from coconut flower nectar.
Go For Plant Power
“To me, the healthiest food is from the plant kingdom. Plant-based foods are at the bottom of the food chain, and I feel great reducing my exposure to so many of the environmentally concentrated chemicals and toxins that accumulate in animals higher in the food chain. Being plant-powered is a compassionate choice that’s great for the future of life on the planet and excellent for supporting optimal health.” — Andre Kroecher, co-founder of Daiya Foods, a dairy-free cheese alternative company
To discover more underrated foods that can help you lose weight, check out these 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss.
“Between running a startup and taking care of four young children at home, my life often feels like a three-ring circus! To keep up with it all, I eat a predominantly plant-based diet, take spin classes at 6 am, and squeeze in exercise two to three days per week in our home gym. I also find that music is a great antidote to stress. I’m a die-hard Springsteen fan and find so much of his music to be inspiring and full of hope, and many of his lyrics have buoyed my faith when things have gotten dicey at work.” — Andy Levitt, founder and CEO of The Purple Carrot, a vegan meal-delivery service
Play Like a Kid
“To maintain work/life balance, I combine yoga with CrossFit each week, along with something fun like kickball. I think it is incredibly important to play every single week. Laughing like a kid again and enjoying the activities that make me feel alive is essential. — Peter Spenuzza, CEO of Rise Bar
Go To Therapy
“My wife and I love to cook, and I find that to be incredibly therapeutic. I’m so focused on what I am cooking that I sort of forget just about everything else that’s swimming around my head.” — Andy Levitt, Founder & CEO of The Purple Carrot
For more fun and easy ways to shed weight, check out these 33 Lazy Ways to Flatten Your Belly—Fast.
“Drink water—and lots of it! Water is better than coffee or caffeine at helping you stay awake and at making you feel clean, clear, and alive.” —Leith Hill, owner of Ellary’s Greens, an organic restaurant in New York City
Walk It Out
“As other moms and entrepreneurs can attest, working out daily can be a challenge, but I always squeeze it in and try and make it fun. Whether it’s a speed walk in whatever city my business partner and I are visiting, or a 7-minute workout in a home office, we feel better and our work is better. Our minds are clearer.” – Suzie Miller, co-founder, Among Friends Baking Mixes
Play Catch Up
“I wear a watch that counts my steps, physical activity and heart rate. If I am below my goal for the day, I will jump rope or other things at the end of a day to get the levels where I want them to be” — Poorvi Patodia, CEO and founder of Biena Foods
“As my eye-rolling boys will attest, my response to most life issues is ‘fresh air, exercise, and good food.’ Fresh air means a daily fast-walking routine, whether it’s 80 degrees or 8 below. As for good food, I’ve never met a vegetable or whole grain I didn’t like. And exercise? A round of cartwheels is one of my favorite ways to cap off trade shows. Being upside down keeps me happy.” — Lizann Anderson, co-founder, Among Friends Baking Mixes
Aim for Moderation
“Eating is all about moderation. I love Texas BBQ, but I also eat lots of salad, lean meat and plant-based snacks. For me, exercise is a must. I work out with a group of guys every week who help me stay motivated. When I’m not at the gym, I’m chasing around my energetic young son at home. Both workouts keep me in shape and happy.” — Scott Jensen, CEO of Rhythm Superfoods
Meditate & Set Goals
“Before work every day I meditate, take a brief walk outside, identify my top three goals, visualize my life five years from now and write in a gratitude journal.” — Peter Spenuzza, CEO of Rise Bar
Put Family First
“I try to spend as much time with my family as possible. I love to travel and learn about new cultures and foods because this is what inspires my best ideas, not me when I’m behind a desk at work.” — Scott Jensen, CEO of Rhythm Superfoods
“Once a week, I eat nothing but vegan soup for a full day. This helps me keep my weekly calorie count in check so I don’t feel bad about indulging on the weekends. It’s also good for karmic energy. Each day a person eats vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds of CO2 and the life of one animal.” — Nicole Chaszar, founder of Splendid Spoon
For more tried and tested flat-belly tricks from fit folks, check out these 50 Best-Ever Weight-Loss Secrets From Thin People.
“I get lots of sleep—at least 8 hours a day. Not only is sleep the time when your body rejuvenates, it’s the time when your brain can unwind, relax, and help process all that has occurred during the day. Sleep is also essential for weight management. When you get enough sleep you’ll have enough energy to get through your day without overeating to compensate for the lack of energy. Extra calories are a poor substitute for the natural you’ll get from sleep.” —Leith Hill, Owner of Ellary’s Greens, an organic restaurant in New York City
Aim for Balance
“For me, it’s all about my quality of life. A big part of that is eating right. I consume lots of fruits, vegetables, proteins, some carbs (I love my family pasta night) and water. That, combined with brisk walking at least four times a week, leaves me feeling energized, both physically and mentally. Top it all off with a great support group of friends and family, and I’m able to maintain what I believe is a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.” —Matt Materazo, president of ADF Foods USA, the food company behind brands like Nate’s and PJ’s Organics
Not sure which proteins are best for your diet plan? Stock up on some of these 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss.
Stay on Your Feet
“I try to move constantly, or at least a lot. I have two kids and work long, erratic hours so a daily hour-long workout feels like a luxury. Instead of guilt-tripping myself about missing a workout I just keep moving throughout the day: I sit on an exercise ball, I have stand-up meetings with my team, I always take the stairs and I have daily dance-offs and yoga sessions with my kids. Every step really counts.” —Leith Hill, Owner of Ellary’s Greens, an organic restaurant in New York City