Focus on the Big Wins: How to Improve Your Life Without Starving Yourself

I was in my first year of teaching and just starting getting to grips with the time consuming days of an everyday teacher.

Starting a new job was stressful and it was a lot of stuff to immerse myself in. I had always focused on my health because I knew of the benefits. Laser-like focus, everlasting energy and better able to handle stress to mention some.

Some of my co-workers were often talking about being exhausted, and not having enough time to work out. Teacher life equals little free time, energy crash after lunch and feeling exhausted at the end of the day were among the pain points they told me.

We have all probably been there. Having no healthy balance in your life, feeling sluggish and with no time to take care of yourself after work. You probably have some co-workers at work who are fit and healthy but you can´t understand how they do it. What is the magic food or supplement?

There is a lot of myths regarding fitness. You have to eat this and that, push weights daily, and bring a Tupperware with you wherever you go. This is added stress for many, especially for those already struggling and who don´t know where to start to create a more balanced and healthy life.

But the thing is that you can stick to a nutrition plan that is easy to follow. A more simplistic approach is more suitable for those working. Health and fitness should add to your life, not be your life.

By letting food quality be your focus and slowly eliminating unhealthy crap you can stop focusing on the gimmicks and nutrition hacks that won´t matter much in the long run.

Improving food quality is going to improve the amount of calories you eat automatically. This focus goes a long way in eating in a deficit, and thereby also losing fat.

When I and my fellow teachers were having lunch break this point became obvious. Many were eating 3 slices of bread with jam and others brought waffles, sandwiches or noodles. I was eating boiled eggs, broccoli and some carrots. All the options takes about the same effort to make but mine made me satiated and gave me a nice energy boost.

After convincing some of my colleagues to try focusing on real food they reported back after 1-2 weeks that they felt instantly better. More energy, focus and overall feeling of well-being. All in all more motivated and eager to make a difference in one more child´s life that day.

The point in this is that you don’t need to sacrifice a lot of time or effort to better your health. You do not even need a PHD in Sports Nutrition to understand what changes to make.

Focus on food quality, real food with 1-3 ingredients. If the food was around during the times we lived in caves and clubbed each other, then you can eat it.

Improving overall health and losing some fat at the same time does not need to include a lot of sacrifice and overhauling of your daily life. It can be really straight forward with focusing on two steps starting out:

  1. Cutting down on the refined and processed foods.
  2. Let real and natural food be the foundation of your diet.

To round this up we can look at a sample day of eating:

  • Breakfast: 3-4 whole eggs and any veggies on the side. Coffee, tea or water through the morning. 1 piece of fruit at breakfast or as a snack before lunch.
  • Lunch: A cup of cottage cheese or some fish/chicken/meat, salad or veggies on the side. 1 piece of fruit at lunch or as a snack before dinner.
  • Dinner: 10-12 oz fish/meat/chicken, veggies or salad, and one portion of rice or potatoes.

A healthy lifestyle does not need to be any advanced and you do not need to starve excessively, and have a mid morning energy crash. We want our diet to give us more energy and time for our personal life and let it enhance our ability to do our job.

What are the obstacles in your path to a more healthy diet?

Bio: Magnus Maråk is a teacher who is helping fellow teachers become more fit and get more done in less time. You can sign up for his free newsletter here 


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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