Getting in shape despite having a crazy busy schedule is possible. We've seen it over and over on TV, magazines and online newspapers.
Hollywood actors can get in killer shape for a major role in less than 12 weeks (examples include the cast of 300 and the most recent Ben Affleck in Batman vs. Superman). They can also maintain that physique throughout the filming of a whole movie (like Dwayne Johnson on the last Fast and Furious).
On the other side of the spectrum, we see major CEOs like Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and even Warren Buffet being religious about their exercise routine. Twitter founder Dick Costolo even claims that strenuous exercise gave him the energy to run one of the most active websites on the planet .
How these extremely busy people manage to fit exercise and healthy eating around their lifestyle? If we observe different celebrities and CEOs, we can see that each one of them is following a varied diet or exercise regime. Despite those differences, there are three strategies that they all use never to let their health slip away from their hands.
1-They seek expert advice
Successful people know that it's pointless to figure out things on their own when someone has figured it out already. Investing in coaching and personal training is something that every celebrity does.
The real value of coaching lies not only in having tailor-made strategies but also in the accountability that it gives you. Nothing beats having a meeting with a human being to keep you accountable and true to your word.
If you're more likely to hit the couch with a beer in hand rather than going to the gym, you would highly benefit from having to face the commitment of a PT session. Canceling a meeting (especially when you paid in advance) often causes feelings of discomfort, shame, and regret, and makes it harder to forfeit it.
You might think that only very wealthy individuals can afford these types of services, and in fact, most pop celebs and CEOs pay a fortune on coaches. But the reality is that the cost of two PT sessions per week is easily affordable by the average professional in the UK and US (roughly 34,5$ an hour). With proper budgeting and a bit of research, you could afford similar treatments to what most celebs get for tens of thousands of dollars.
2-They set realistic expectations and align them with their lifestyle goals.
An actor preparing for a movie may have different goals and expectations than someone that is running an enterprise. When the first would have to prioritize his look, the other would put his health, energy, and mental performance first.
A common mistake most people make is not to align the expectations they have from dieting and training to what their real lifestyle goals are.
Losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time, and still have plenty of energy and focus is something hardly achievable. Being in a severe calorie deficit and going through strenuous workouts five times per week will make you very tired and mentally foggy. Actors know that. That's why they always prepare their physique a few months before they start filming a big movie. If their role requires them to be particularly lean, they will adjust their whole lifestyle to make sure they can achieve that goal.
CEOs usually don't use fitness solely to look good, as some actors do. What they are mainly interested in are the benefits of exercise and healthy eating regarding improving energy and mental performance.
Leaders know that a healthy, strong body is the key to being able to work long hours and staying sharp at all times. For those purposes, a less intense training regime and a more flexible approach to dieting work best. Surely most CEOs don't look as buff a Hugh Jackman in X-men, but maintaining a healthy and pain-free body allows them to withstand extreme levels of stress.
Before setting unrealistic goals for yourself, make sure to thoroughly scan your life and see how much time and energy are you willing to invest in your body. Three to five hours of exercise each week (this may include cycling, walking, or playing sports) are enough to experience most of its health benefits. To have a very lean and muscular physique much more than that may be required. You should also factor the time needed to prepare meals, and the lack of energy caused by the caloric deficit necessary to drop body fat.
If you want to look good for a special event (your wedding, for example) a quicker and more drastic approach may be optimal. Otherwise, it is always advisable to follow a slower and more sustainable plan to achieve any fitness goal.
3-They make it fun
Celebrities, CEOs, and pretty much everyone that exercises regularly know that it's essential to have fun. Running and weight training are trendy activities but are not the only available options. It's common to see many celebrities playing sports (think of Barack Obama playing basketball), boxing, or cycling.
Whatever activity you choose, make sure it's something enjoyable because fun increases compliance. The more fun you have, the more likely you'll be to do it again in the future.