The struggle is real! Poor eating habits, not enough time for exercise, eating the same boring meals on repeat…sound familiar? The teachers in the Lucky 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook Group are chatting up a storm and a hot topic is how to implement practical and heathy habits for busy teachers. This list is too good not share so without further adieu, here are their favorite tips and tricks!
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#1: “If you have coworkers that all have Fitbits then “friend” them and start a work week challenge. That kept me motivated.” -Tiffany H.
#2: “Drink half your weight in ounces of water.” -Julie R.
Invest in a cute water bottle HERE (trust me, it helps!)
#3: “Plan ahead! I bring my own lunch and healthy snacks so I don’t run to the candy jar or treats left in the staff room.” -Alice M.
#4: “Stay hydrated. Often, we confuse hunger with thirst and as teachers, it’s not always easy to remember to sip water throughout the day. If you think you’ll do better and drink more through a straw, buy yourself an actual water bottle versus just a regular bottle of water! (I hope that made sense!)” -Suzy M.
#5: “Meal prep on Sundays for the week. We eat salad or stir fry Monday-Thursday for dinner. I cook other healthy recipes Friday-Sunday. We go out twice a month for cheat meals. Healthy snacks and smaller meals throughout the day and reach for water when you’re hungry.” -Danielle N.
#6: “Water!!!! I always plan ahead pack my own lunch. Once you turn down staff room snacks everyone cheers you on! Let tree kids help you! My kids always ask if I need more water or they are asking what I’m eating!” -Shannon C.
#7: “We have an after school work out group. We meet four days a week for 30 minutes. We usually do a workout from YouTube or Beach body. It is great for accountability and it allows us time together as friends.” -Jessica F.
#8: “Plan ahead. Grocery shop on Sundays and stock up on healthy choices so there isn’t unhealthy stuff to grab-don’t make it an option. Also, my Instant Pot has been a life saver! This busy teacher doesn’t have time for time-consuming dinners. Throw it in the Instant Pot and dinner is served within 30 minutes!” -Jill O.
Grab your Instant Pot HERE
#9: “Make sure to ALWAYS have a healthy snack or two. I always eat a piece of fruit right after school so that by the time I get home I am not famished. I’m down 70 pounds and have kept it off about three years now!” -Carol L.
#10: “Measure, measure, and measure again. Portion sizes matter. Use a tracking app to give you an idea of a realistic intake of calories. Drink your water!” -Danielle K.
If you don’t already own a food scale, you may want to consider this option!
#11: “Treat your daily exercise like an appointment…set your phone alarm and leave on time. Go to the gym or take a yoga class.” -Mary A.
#12: “I drink half my body weight in water. Water helps you feel full so you take in less food. I always have on my Fitbit and walk at least 8000 steps while at work and finish at home. Also, T25 is a fantastic workout, and has modifications. Finding time to work out is hard, but 25 minutes is possible! Meal prep is another fantastic idea, again time consuming but worth it .” -Kelly B.
#13: “Joining a gym where I felt at home and was non judgmental was a HUGE plus for me. Finding time for myself after school was so important for my journey. I needed a safe place where I could just focus on myself! Make time for your fitness life and commit to it!” -Lauren T.
#14: “I food prep over the weekend …chicken, eggs, chop fruits/veggies, etc and pack too much in my lunch bag. This prevents me from eating the sugar in the faculty room . I also keep things in my freezer I can grab if I didn’t prep enough for the week. And I have a water bottle I love so I drink all day long.” -Sheri S.
#15: “I keep a case of water in the trunk of my car. When I leave for work in the morning, I put two bottles in my backpack and I put one in the car with me. I drink that first bottle on my way to work so that I start the day hydrated.” -Lisa H.
#16: “Set goals and when you achieve them, set new ones. Drink water!!! I say try and do something active 30 min each day. Then work up to more intense workouts. Get your family involved! Let your kids see you making healthy choices. Don’t eat after a certain time at night. Allow yourself some treats for special occasions to avoid having a huge breakdown!” -Heather S.
#17: “Sort your favorite snacks by serving size in baggies so it isn’t so easy to overeat. I also try to stay busy doing housework when I get home so I don’t sit and snack. Some days are definitely easier to keep moving than others.” -Katie S.
#18: “My husband and I worked together to make a lifestyle change. It’s so important to have that support and motivator!! He lost 85 and I lost 71 pounds. We have kept if off for over a year now.”
1. We walk A LOT!!
2. We only eat when we are hungry, limit sugars.
3. We eat protein at every meal
4. Eat/chew slowly!
5. Drink water!!
6. Use a FitBit
Grab yourself a FitBit today!
#19: “I started weight watchers the day after the Super Bowl and I’m down 18.6 lbs. I’m eating healthy but also drinking water. I didn’t make this idea up but I loved it. I never drank enough water…..just sipped on the same drink all day. I now carry this jug everywhere I go and finish the whole gallon usually before 3:00 and start drinking more when I get home. Water makes a huge difference in my energy level for sure!” -Holly F.
#20: “Variety! Don’t let your workout or your food get boring. Change it up so your body is always guessing. Every once in a while splurge (just a little) so you don’t feel like you are “missing out” on life. It’ll be easier to make it a life style change if you don’t give everything up that you love! My husband lost 130 lbs a few years ago and ate a piece of pizza every Sunday night!” -Lindsi S.
#21: “I joined a gym! I’m down 15 pounds in 6 weeks. I just had enough one day of feeling awful only going home to fall asleep on the couch. I joined a gym that does high intensity workouts. Two of my other co-workers go there, and we help keep each other accountable and motivated (gym buddies are a must). It’s such a stress reliever and only takes an hour out of my day, 4-5 days a week. It also helps me to put down teacher duties, because I have to leave work to go to the gym, just go there before I head home.” -Randi O.
#22: “Portion control! Stop eating before you feel full. Find an app to track it. I also eat every two to three hours to keep my metabolism working. Beware: a lot of the foods that you believe are healthy (100 calorie snacks) are not! I am down 25 pounds since January 21! It’s a journey but keep pushing through. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to have an off day every once in a while. Just don’t give up!” -Melissa A.
#23: “Eating 10 almonds instead of reaching for candy, crackers, cheese, or anything else. Eating fresh fruit curbs the desire to not eat chocolate and once you change that habit chocolate does not taste as good when you do try it again. Eating an apple about 3 PM will give you the same high as a caffeine soda BUT will not drop you rock bottom. It will keep your body happy until you get home for dinner.” -Kriss S.
#24: “Drink water! Pack healthy snacks to eat during the day. Don’t skip breakfast! When your students are at recess, walk the track or around the playground as they play.” -Kristi R.
#25: “Zoodles! Carbs are my weakness but another option that has helped me a ton are zoodles. All you need for these is a spiralizer and some zucchini!” -Meg T.
This is the spiralizer that I have!
#26: “Signing up for a race, challenge, bike ride (whatever you’re into) is so motivating! I recently ran the Disney Princess Fairy Tale Challenge and just signed up for my first full marathon in June. I teach full time and have two little kids, 2.5 and 5. When I commit to a training plan, it helps me stay more focused in all areas of life.” -Alicia P.
#27: “Plan ahead! Make more of the recipes you like and take a left overs of that meal for a few days. Lots and lots of water (with you favorite sugar free flavoring) I replaced much of my snacking with hydration. Make a pin board or just write down practical week night meals and then refer to it often. There are so many easy lowcarb/keto recipes out there (if you go that route). Once you get the hang of it, it’s really not so bad. It took me about a week and I have it down. Don’t put to much pressure on yourself. I’m trying to loose baby weight. I’m down 11 pounds in 4 weeks (with some “cheating” on my birthday, Easter, and when I was sick). I have around 15 more pounds to go — this is with keto. Find a plan that works for you.” -Jaclyn S.
We are loving these meal portion containers!
#28: “Find a teacher to support you. My friend and I started together, we both bring a healthy breakfast to school and eat it together in the morning before the craziness of the day starts.” -Alyssa C.
1. Try not to keep candy in the classroom
2. Set aside time in your schedule to workout just as you would anything else
3. I eat healthy during the week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) but on the weekends I allow myself to be a little more lenient.
4. Choose exercise that you ENJOY!!
5. Try it for 21 days so it might become a habit!
6. I like to portion out veggies and fruit into Tupperware for the week so I can grab and go. I’m not a big fan of heating up cooked chicken so I usually get my protein from leftovers/Greek yogurt! -Morgan Z.
#30: “Water app that does a notification to remind you to drink water. I have a scale that is connected to an app and it tracks many different things. I’m trying to talk my husband into getting me a Fitbit. Meal prep! Make sure to over pack good snacks so you don’t have a reason to hit up the vending machine or run to McDonald’s.” 😂 -Amber W.
I love this scale!!!
#31: “My go to breakfast is overnight oatmeal. I get TONS of recipes on Pinterest. This is a breakfast that keeps me full all the way until lunch.” -Emily D.
#32: “I did not think I was allergic or sensitive to any foods but I decided to do an elimination diet. Over the summer I ate only anti-inflammatory foods and then slowly introduced foods. Felt great energy and lost. Added foods in slowly. I’m good with dairy – no added weight and continued to digest easily. Turns out my sensitive to gluten. I didn’t realize I was bloated, sluggish and such….especially from any food source. I think any decisions I make I need to do based on what I know about my body. This helped me! And drink water!! Don’t reward with treats or find the food that feels like a treat but is good for you or at least ok.” -Bri M.
#33: “My two biggest tips would be this:
1. Find a gym or class that has a supportive environment! Support is vital to keeping weight off right after diet and exercise. You will need people who understand where you are and will encourage you.
2. My advice for food is eat as fresh as possible. Stay away from packaged and frozen food. Your refrigerator should be full to the brim…your pantry no so much.” -Princess N.
#34: “As hard as it is, I walk an hour after work plus a video workout. It is still hard! It’s been 8 years since I lost 40 pounds.” -Carmel W.
#35: “Cold water is a big thing for me! I have noticed I drink more when I have Ice rather than just cold water from the sink. Thank god for accessible ice machines in the kitchen! My Fitbit has also been a game changer. I love tracking steps, heart rate, water intake and food!” -Katie M.
#36: “Our family cooks all our lean meat for the week on Sunday and we put it in a big container in the fridge. That way, all five of us have a protein option to pack for lunch and then each of us adds fruits/veggies/salad of our choice. It’s also great to have on hand for the busy nights when I’m not home and the family can heat up something healthy or there is cooked meat to use for a meal (I’m not really very excited to cook after a long School day). We usually cook wild salmon, chicken breast, grass fed burgers, chicken sausage, and sometimes steak. It helps me to quickly pack a lunch and eat healthy at home rather grabbing processed stuff because I’m too tired.” -Rachel D.
#37: “Go vegan 🌱 best decision ever for both my body and the Earth. ♥️” -Sigrid U.
#38: “Try going for a 30 min walk when you wake up. I find this helps set my mood and energy level for the day. Figure out lunch options you can stock for yourself at school and do not waver. I mean we don’t have time to relax and enjoy a meal anyway, so why try. For me it’s a chobani Greek plain yogurt with whatever fresh berries were on sale that weekend, a V8, maybe a few Triscuits with hummus, and water. Sounds boring, but I’m just looking for clean protein and veggies to help me feel full. After school I want to guzzle Pinot Grigio and eat a pound of cheese and crackers, or maybe since I have teenage boys in the house Doritos and pizza rolls, but I try to go with maybe a hard boiled egg and a handful of almonds, maybe a cheese stick….I’m on weight watchers too, not very successfully but I keep trying. It’s so hard.” -Jenny C.
#39: “I would have to say my number one way to stay on track and that has helped me lose 80+ lbs in the last two years…..MEAL PREP (eating is 80-85% success of losing weight). My husband and I purchase meat once a month, we cook it all the up (I hate wasting time after work cooking meat) and we make it into our normal staples with WildTree products (taco, sloppy Joe, chicken quesadillas, chicken tacos, cheese burger salad). Then we create a calendar for the month, putting on it all the days we know we will be eating out or not home. Once that schedule is created we create weekly schedules. We purchase produce and dairy every two weeks and we average $25 per person weekly for food. I also drink half my body weight in oz of water and I try to have 40oz gone by the time I get to work.” -Tiffanie S.
#40: “Get a Fitbit and walk 10,000 steps or more each day. Don’t sit when you teach walk around the room. Park far from building and walk through the parking lot. Use stairs. Have 5 minute fitness breaks in the classroom for transitions and join in. Carry lemon water everywhere you go. Prep lunches for the week on Sunday. Carry nuts, seeds, beef jerky in your car for a quick healthy snack. Switch white bread for whole grain. Eat on small salad plates for dinner. Avoid sugar and processed food. Place encouraging quotes and or Bible verses everywhere. But most of all tell yourself YOU are in control and deserve to be the best YOU you can be.” -Pamela M.
#41: “I cut out preservatives and sugar to try to avoid the constant bathroom trips. I was getting sick all the time, no one knew why. I did not do this to lose weight, yet I lost almost 15lbs. In 3 weeks and 25 in 2 months changing nothing else… and I felt amazing, no more getting sick! I eat natural as much as I can. Crock pot has been great this winter. Natural does not need to be difficult, start with making your own taco seasoning, get a bread machine, making bread is so easy in one and you control what goes in It. Avoid cereal…there is so much sugar and chemicals in it. These simple changes can really lead to weight loss and a happier tummy!” -Anna G.
#42: “Meal Prep!! I use a weekly calendar where I write out all of our family activities for the week. I plan our meals around those activities depending on how much time we have to cook. I plan out the dinners, make my grocery list based on those meals, grocery shop, then come home and clean/cut up all fruits/veggies for the week. I also plan out my breakfasts and school lunches for the week. I try to eat a lighter breakfast/lunch on days when I know that we are having a more caloric dinner. It is very time consuming, but has really helped me and I never get questions about ‘What’s for dinner’ because it’s on the calendar!” -Missy B.
#43: “I’m part of a lunch bunch group at school. There are 4-5 people per team. We make 1 meal that is either weight watchers or healthy. Divide into portion, throw it in Tupperware and hand out to group on Mondays. I have 4-5 different lunches for the week and I only had to make one meal. I get to eat food that I would not normally cook and I don’t have to plan lunch for the week.” -Holly B.
#44: “I’ve been making my own fruit water. It’s pretty and seems like a treat. It helps get more water in during the day. It will last a couple of days in the fridge.” -Vickie S.
#45: “I lost 60 lbs so far using weight watchers. The most important thing I have learned so far is to watch portion sizes and celebrate the non-scale victories! My scale hasn’t moved in a few months but I have made a lot of great steps forward to Continue being healthy.” -Tonya S.
#46: “Read this book! It was written by a teacher. I’ve lost 95 pounds. Size 24 to size 8. The book costs $15. There’s nothing else to buy, except the regular groceries and food you love. No meal prep except the regular meals you love to eat every day. No calorie counting. No points. No carb counting. All you count is time.” -Lyn H.
#47: “I’m in my fifties and cut gluten and most Dairy out of my diet about a month ago. I no longer have arthritis and inflammation pain, I have a ton of energy and my bloating is gone. I stay away from fast food, cook most of my meals at home or make healthy choices when we go out. I also only purchase organic for my home.” -Gretchen F.
#48: “Stay out of the teachers lounge!” 🙈 -Elizabeth F.
#49: “Check out Jessica Smith workouts on YouTube. She posts various 30 minute workouts of all types (cardio, Hiit, dance, walking, yoga…) that you can access for free! She’s very likable and demonstrates moves for different levels. I’ve invested in her DVDs so I can use them anywhere! Anyone can dedicate 30 minutes of their day to a fun workout!!! It’s over before you know it! Give her a try!!! You won’t regret it!!!” -Lisa E.
There ya go! 49 tips…aren’t teachers the best? I hope you found a tip or two that you can try out today! If you’d like to save these ideas, feel free to pin it to your Pinterest board here! Also, don’t forget to join our email list to receive EXCLUSIVE Monday freebies every week! You can also keep up with Lucky Little Learners on TPT by clicking on the green star to follow our store and be the first to be notified of special sales!