Weight Loss for Busy Women: 10 Smart Tips (2021)


Nagina Abdullah


March 5, 2021

Featured image - weight loss for busy women

How do you lose weight if you have *no* time to spare?

Look: Losing weight doesn’t have to be time-consuming. With the right strategies and foods, you pretty much melt it off. (I should know. I lost 40 pounds in 9 months while I was working as a busy executive and had two small kids at home.)

Want to learn more? Read on about weight loss for busy women.  

Can you lose weight despite a busy schedule? Yes, you just need the right strategies and foods. Get the free Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet with the sweet spice that helps you increase metabolism and stop your sugar cravings (bonus: a fat-burning recipe).

How to lose weight with a busy lifestyle 

Let me guess:

You want to lose weight to feel great whether you’re wearing fitted clothes at work or lounging by the pool in a bikini. 

But… you have NO time to lose weight. 

You’re wondering:

“How can I lose belly fat on a busy schedule?”

Believe me, I’ve been there.

I was a busy management consultant in New York and I had just given birth to my second child. 

Think I had any time to take care of myself? 

At the same time, I noticed how sluggish I had become. I wasn’t performing at my best. And I never had any energy to spend time with my family. 

Whatever diet I tried, my weight always bounced back. 

But I knew things had to change if I wanted to feel my most confident self and perform at my best. 

After years of research and trial and error, I finally had a breakthrough, which led me to lose 40 pounds in 9 months. 

What’s more, I had so much more energy. Instead of telling my kids that I was too tired to play with them, we started doing all these fun activities together, such as hiking, swimming, and playing on the beach. I even started a side business that grew into a 6-figure business (this business)!

hiking with family
Family hike!

The best part? I’ve kept that weight off for years. (Without depriving myself.)

And I’ve helped hundreds of women achieve their dream weight and body. 

The thing is:

If you’re overweight or obese, your weight affects your overall health. (Including diabetes, high blood pressure, heartburn, and more.

But weight loss is not just about your weight.

An unhealthy lifestyle can harm your career because you perform worse and your insecurities keep you back. 

And excess weight impacts your brain functioning. Why? Because the blood flow to your brain slows down. And as research shows, eating the right foods improves your mood and creativity and lowers the risk of depression by 25-35%

Case in point: Many of my students have done things they’ve dreamed of for years, but never had the energy to do. They’ve started side businesses, written books, enrolled in PhD programs, gotten promoted, and so forth thanks to changing the foods they eat. 

However, something I often hear is this:

“Why would this work for me when nothing else has?” 

Well. What few people will tell you is that weight loss for busy women doesn’t come down to how much you deprive yourself or how much you exercise. 

It comes down to implementing a system that works with your existing, busy lifestyle. 

And that’s exactly what these steps will help you with. 

10 ways to lose weight for busy women

Before we dive in, there’s something you should know.

While these strategies are part of a system to help you lose weight, however busy your life might be, you won’t come far if you’re just using one-off tips.

You DO need a system. Otherwise, you get tiny results instead of transformative results. Making tiny shifts one-by-one takes a LONG time, but when you follow a system that’s practical and easy to transition into, you get the best changes. 

1. Use a system that works for your lifestyle

There’s a HUGE mistake people make.

They use a basic weight loss system or diet. But that system isn’t designed for their specific situation.

The thing is: You can’t use a generic system.

You don’t have a lot of extra time and so you probably have a lifestyle that doesn’t work well with most weight loss plans. 

For example, you want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine or chocolate cake now and again. And you can’t spend hours on cooking or exercising.

That’s why step #1 is to use a system that works for YOU.

Take our program Slim Down Transformation. It’s designed for busy women physicians, entrepreneurs, and executives in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who want to lose 20-60 pounds without a lot of exercise (I’ve had clients who haven’t made a single squat or push up and have lost 40 pounds and more!).

Next: Why diets are the worst.  

2. Diets make you sluggish. Do this instead! 

You might think you need diets to lose weight. But that’s a myth. 

In fact, restrictive diets actually make it all worse. 

Dieting affects your metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight. (As I explain in step 3 in this article on how to boost your metabolism.)

Plus, being hungry all the time will impact your energy levels. With a busy schedule, you just can’t afford to feel tired all the time!

The thing is:

You CAN enjoy tasty foods even if you’re losing weight. In fact, that’s how you keep your weight off in the long term. You don’t feel cravings all the time and so you also reduce your intake of unhealthy, processed foods. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have any sugar at all. You can. You just need to balance it and eat the right amount. 

For example, with metabolism-boosting foods and our Fat Burning Food Framework inside Slim Down Transformation, your fat melts off even when you’re doing nothing at all or relaxing, like watching Netflix with your spouse. 

fat burning food framework

3. Debloat yourself and become more energized 

Did you know that water is a powerful weight loss drink?

It’s true. 

Water helps you lose weight and improve your productivity.

Research shows that drinking 2 ¼ cups of water every day increases the metabolic rate by 30%. (The recommended daily amount of water is 6-8 glasses.)

My favorite is infused water, so infusing your water with something as simple as lemon, and/or add on other infusions like mint or cucumber. It makes water so much more enjoyable to drink (and so, you drink more of it). Plus, it helps you keep energized and debloated — without any extra effort or time. 

4. Set up a quick exercise routine (instead of spending hours at the gym)

Let’s be real:

You have little time. Spending hours at the gym every week is not an option. 

That’s also what many of my clients say.

Not to mention that some just don’t like it.

Take my student Tree, who said she didn’t want to do one sit-up. 

She didn’t, but she ended up losing 20 lbs. 

weight loss client tree

You can start without exercising. Once you have the other strategies in place, you can add on a quick 30-minute exercise routine twice a week. 

(Exercise is not just good for your health, but it also improves your productivity. Research suggests that people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who exercise have more brain cells than those who don’t.)

Inside Slim Down Transformation, we have simple and effective 15-30-minute exercise routines that work for busy schedules like yours. 

5. Save time in the kitchen. Here’s how. 

Something that keeps many of my students stuck is that if they want to lose weight and follow a diet, they feel they need to cook different things for themselves and their family.

I remember this was a huge obstacle for me too. I didn’t have time to spend 3+ hours in the kitchen to cook for both me and my family. (Who has?)

You don’t have to. That’s because the best weight loss plan doesn’t depend on diets. 

Instead, you can cook delicious, healthy food, which both you and your family can enjoy. 

Also, simplifying is the best way to be consistent. 

So you can eat the same breakfast every day and choose 1-2 lunches and dinners for the week. Then you can change week to week if you want more variety. In Slim Down Transformation, we provide you with all the recipes (vegetarian and vegan included). 

Can you lose weight despite a busy schedule? Yes, you just need the right strategies and foods. Get the free Sweet Spice Cheat Sheet with the sweet spice that helps you increase metabolism and stop your sugar cravings (bonus: a fat-burning recipe).

6. Over 40? This is how you need to change your weight-loss strategy 

Think it’s impossible to lose weight after you turn 40 or 50? 

It’s not true. Yes, your body and hormones change. And this changes the way you lose weight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight — you just need the right strategies. 

Most of my students inside Slim Down Transformation are 40+. The way we work with them is that we use tailored strategies for their age group. We then help them overcome any plateaus they might have. (If you want to learn more, I have an entire guide on how to lose weight if you’re over 40). 

For example, take my client Stephanie.

She’s in her 50s and works as a Director of Quality & Assurance at a big pharmaceutical company. As you can imagine, Stephanie has an extremely busy schedule. 

After joining my program, she lost 17 pounds. She also lost 3 inches off her waist and 3 inches off her hips and went from size 10 to size 4. 

What’s more, Stephanie, who prior to joining had high blood pressure and cholesterol and was diagnosed with prediabetes, saw her blood pressure return to normal and cholesterol drop by 20 pounds. She’s no longer diagnosed with prediabetes. 

And she even decided to pursue one of her long-term dreams, a PhD!

lose weight after 50

7. Avoid cravings with this foolproof strategy 

Do you get the famous afternoon slump? 

You know, when you can barely keep your eyes open and it’s so easy to reach for that quick energy in the form of chocolate or a donut or cupcake…

I used to feel the same way, I’d deprive myself with diets and then feel like I had to get sugar to keep going. I ended up stuffing myself full with cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. 

The thing is: 

Sugar makes you more tired when your blood sugar levels drop. Sugar also makes you sleep worse. And when you’re tired, you eat more sugar, so your sugar cravings become a vicious cycle. 

A great way to break this pattern is to switch from sugary snacks to sweet spices like cinnamon. These spices are sweet, but at the same time, they’re good for your health and will help you lose weight. You can start with simply adding cinnamon to your coffee or tea to get the sweet kick without the sugar crash.

8. Stop doing cardio (for weight loss)

Think you need to do cardio to lose weight? 

This isn’t true. Cardio won’t help you lose weight in the long term (even if it comes with lots of other health benefits). To lose weight, focus on strength training. 

A study by the American Council on Exercise shows that kettlebell exercises burn up to 20 calories a minute. You lose the same amount of calories if you’d run at a 6-minute mile pace. 

What’s more, weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle. And muscle burns more calories than other tissues. 

Building muscle increases your resting metabolism. In fact, research shows that you burn more calories during the hours after a weight training session compared to a cardio workout. 

Studies also show that weight training is especially important for older adults. 

This shift helps you use your time more effectively, on the things that actually help you get results. 

9. Do this to get enough sleep

Sleep is another key factor for your weight loss.

It’s true. Sleep deprivation leads to metabolic dysregulation, which is associated with weight gain and inflammation. 

That said, I know how hard it is to get enough sleep, especially if you have a busy job, a family, and other things going on in your life. 

But there are ways to improve your sleep and get more of it: 

10. Get help!

Finally, get help.

Weight loss is hard enough as it is and especially if you’re busy. 

I should know. I used to have this yo-yo cycle of losing and gaining weight — and it went on for years. First I’d lose a bit of weight when I switched to a new diet. But then boom, that weight and more would stick itself right back on. 

I know why in hindsight. The strategies I was using are part of it.

But the other part is that I didn’t have the support and accountability I would have needed. 

In fact, both support and accountability, especially peer support and accountability/support by a professional health coach, have been shown to help people lose weight. 

In my program Slim Down Transformation, we have a community of like-minded women. We also have personal weight loss coaching to keep our students going even when they feel unmotivated or tired. The best part? It’s designed for busy women who just don’t have the time to lose weight. 

Weight loss for busy women: Further resources

Want more tailored advice? Here are my guides on weight loss for busy professionals: 

Over to you!

There you have it. Now you know how to lose weight when you don’t have time. 

What it comes down to is finding a system that works for your lifestyle. Take consistent steps and get the support and accountability that you need. 

Enjoyed these tips on weight loss for busy women?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Want to book a 10-minute connect call to talk about your weight loss goals and challenges? Book a call to talk more and see if you would be a good fit for one of our programs.
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Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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