Being a stay at home parent and free time are two things rarely heard in the same sentence. Between cleaning the house, taking care of the kiddies, and trying to keep some semblance of order in all that chaos, it can be challenging to squeeze in a workout and truly dedicate time to a weight loss strategy. However, even the busiest of moms can, and absolutely should, pay attention to her health, and we’re here to help you out. If you can’t wait to get your pre-pregnancy body back or go even further and be skinnier than you’ve ever been, there are several things that you can do. For tips and tricks on how to shed the weight, read on.
FIGURE OUT WHAT’S MAKING YOU CHUBBY
With all the running around, it’s almost strange to find yourself gaining weight instead of losing it, so the first thing you need to do is figure out what could be the cause. For new moms, small things that you generally barely notice are usually the culprit—constant snacking, eating only what the kids are eating, and sampling foods when you cook.
They sound like such small, insignificant bits, but they tend to add up, mainly because modern-day people generally know very little about how many calories there are in certain foods. For example, did you know that a single slice of certain fatty cheeses can have around 115 calories? It’s not much, but if you keep snacking on it, pinching a little here and there when no one’s looking, it adds up. Similarly, the food we feed our children is usually very rich because they need it to grow up healthy, but kids are constantly on the go, they burn calories quickly, and you can’t always eat what they’re having if you want a trim waist. Basically, what you need to do is simply become more aware—don’t eat something unless you know its nutritional value and refrain from “innocent” snacking.
PLAN AND COOK IN ADVANCE
This is a trick any parent could benefit from because not only does it help your family eat healthy, but it saves you a lot of time as well. If you want to make sure that the upcoming week is filled with delicious, nutritional meals, use your Sunday evening to cook huge meals that you can divide into plastic containers and keep in the fridge. That way you won’t have to slave away at the stove every day, and you can just take out a box from the refrigerator, heat up what’s inside it, and have something tasty to serve. Meal prep truly is the key to success.
QUICK AND EASY SHAKES
When you’re in a pinch and need to make something quick and healthy, rely on shakes. They are excellent meal replacements, and you don’t need much time to whip them up. Simply keep things like fruits, veggies, and chia seeds around, and mix them up with some water and quality casein protein powder in a blender to get a nice, nutritious shake. The protein powder in it will give the meal a good satiation effect so you won’t feel hungry, and it’s generally a low-calorie option that will aid your weight loss.
FIGURE OUT HEALTHIER SNACKS
While your kids can stick to cookies, you need something a little healthier to get you through the day. Things like baby carrots dipped hummus, Greek yogurt with berries, kale chips, mixed nuts, cherry tomatoes with mozzarella, and other low-calorie snacks can fill you up and tame those hunger pangs. These are all under 200 calories, so you don’t need to feel guilty for eating them.
EXERCISE WITH YOUR KIDS
Hey, your kids need to learn about the joys of physical activity, too. So, why not show them? Exercising with your kids or merely organizing games like tag where you get to chase around and build up a sweat will keep both of you healthy and it’s a great chance to bond and spend time together. Besides, if you start exercising and they see you do it, they’re bound to copy you because they’ll want to do what mom is doing. Embrace that, and have fun together.
SPACE OUT YOUR WORKOUTS
Can’t string together 30 minutes for your daily workout? No problem! Here’s what you can do: wear your workout clothes all day, and whenever you get ten, or even five minutes of free time—exercise. Jog in one spot, do jumping jacks, or skip rope. It doesn’t matter, just get moving and do a moderate to high-intensity activity that will get your blood pumping. Once you’re done, get back to what you were doing, and when you get a little free time again, just repeat.
FORGET ABOUT PERFECTION
Just because you caved in and ate three pieces of chocolate cake or didn’t exercise just the way you wanted to doesn’t mean you should give up. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you have to start all over again, and it doesn’t mean all your progress has been ruined. There will be days when five minutes of exercise will be all you can accomplish, and that’s okay. As long as you treat it as a temporary hiccup and get back to your plan the next day, small mistakes are really not a huge deal.
You don’t have to change your whole lifestyle to be healthy. Figure out ways to make the entire process work for you and your schedule, and don’t sweat over slow progress. Success will come, you just need to be patient.