Being a busy mom is not easy. You hardly get time to sleep and relax so how can we expect you to maintain your diet? I wrote this post on my secrets to effective weight loss for moms that helped me lose a total of 23 pounds of baby weight!
When I returned to work after the birth of my second child, I barely had any spare time to focus on losing weight. I was a working mom trying to balance a full-time job, maintain a household, and raise my two kids. After a few months feeling pretty miserable about the state of my emotional and physical health, I decided to find effective ways to make weight loss easier.
Below are 10 weight loss tips that worked for me and that could benefit any busy stay at home mom or working mom who is trying to lose weight while maximizing their time.
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Quick Tips on Weight Loss for Moms
Here is a list of great weight loss tips for moms with little free time.
Tip 1: Maintain a food and exercise journal
This one might sound like an old weight loss tip, but I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial this practice is. When you write down everything you eat, you start realizing how many calories that seemingly harmless doughnut or glass of wine adds up to! It also makes it really easy to track your weight loss progress as you begin cutting back on food and upping your activity levels.
To make food tracking faster and easier, you could track your food intake, calories, goal weight, and exercise in an app on your phone. Some of my favorite weight loss tracking apps include:
Tip 2: Create a weight loss meal plan
We’ve all been there: you’re hungry and you don’t know what to eat so you grab whatever is easy and fast. Which sometimes translates to unhealthy and processed fast food.
For your best chances at healthy eating, take the guesswork out of what to eat. Plan your meals ahead and pick one day of the week where you prep and portion out your meals. This also helps you focus your grocery list when you go food shopping.
I do a lot of my meal prep on Sunday nights by seasoning my proteins, making a large salad, and preparing sheet pans of roasted veggies. I also always have frozen veggies on hand that I can quickly whip up as a side to any main dish.
I try to keep my diet plan basic so that there are also options I can give my kids. I’ll give them the proteins and veggies I prepared in advance with some spaghetti, rice, or potatoes.
If you’re super busy like I have been lately and don’t have time to meal prep for yourself, try a ready meal delivery service like Factor. Factor offers meals prepared by chefs and offer different meal plans for Keto, Paleo, and Plant-based. I’ve been using Factor for most of my lunch and dinner meals and I love it. They taste delicious and are already portion-controlled so it’s one less thing I have to worry about. Use my Factor referral link and get $90 off today!
Tip 3: Always keep healthy snacks on hand
It’s not always easy to find time to prepare a healthy meal or snack, so it can be helpful to stock up on weight loss friendly snacks that will provide you with the energy you need throughout the day without derailing your weight loss plan.
Some healthier options for snacks are:
- Roasted chickpeas
- Baby carrots and other pre-cut veggies
Try to have set snack times so you’re not munching distractedly all day. Even if nuts are healthy, the calories can add up if you’re eating them all day so portion control is key.
Tip 4: Throw away junk food in your house
It can be quite challenging to maintain a healthy diet when you always have junk food lying around the house. This weight loss tip probably goes without saying, but it’s important to keep only healthy low-calorie food and snacks in your cupboards and fridge to avoid temptation.
With kids in the house, it’s even more difficult because their kiddie snacks and desserts may be tempting to munch on. Try hiding them from view if needed; we’ve all been guilty of eating straight from a bag of Goldfish!
Try instead focusing on unprocessed, whole foods when buying food at the grocery store. Consuming whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will increase your intake of all the necessary vitamins and minerals you need in a day that may be left out entirely from processed foods. It will also help you avoid all of the excess fat and sugar you find in processed foods that lead to weight gain.
Tip 5: Increase your lean protein intake
If you find yourself getting hungry throughout the work day often, you might not be getting enough protein in your meals. Adequate protein is essential for weight loss, as it reduces your appetite and keeps you satiated longer.
Since the ideal amount of protein you need to consume depends on many factors, including your age, activity level, and overall health, it might be a good idea to see a nutritionist who can help you determine the right amount of protein for your diet.
Even if you don’t eat meat or dairy, you can find plenty of meatless and vegan options for protein add-ons to your meals and snacks. Some of my favorites include:
- Chia pudding
- Beans or lentils
You can find a great list of vegan and vegetarian protein options here.
Tip 6: Drink plenty of water
I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times before, but take this from my personal experience, increasing your water intake is crucial for weight loss. Drinking more water makes you feel full and can boost your metabolism.
So how much water should you be drinking per day? It depends on a number of factors including your activity level, overall health and diet, and your environment. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine generally recommends 11.5 cups per day for women. This includes fluids from beverages as well as water found in foods.
My tip is to always have a glass or container of water with you, whether you’re at your desk working or driving around. It’s much easier to meet your water intake goals when you always have a glass of water nearby.
Tip 7: Exercise 30 minutes a day
This weight loss tip is one that can be hard to follow if you have children and work full-time (especially if you have a sedentary job like mine). But it’s really important to find time every day to work out even with busy schedules. The best way for me was dropping off my children early at daycare, then heading straight to the gym for a 30-45 minute workout before my first work meeting of the day (I work from home).
Sometimes, I just go on YouTube and find a fun 20 minute workout to do during my lunch break to break up the monotony of the day and recharge my body. I highly recommend MadFit workouts on YouTube. The workouts are quick, easy and fun, and you can usually find any workout to serve your needs (ie. low impact, beginner, etc.)
Take a look at your own schedule and try to find time to exercise where you can fit it. Whether it’s a quick run outside before your kids wake up in the morning or a virtual Pilates class you join after your children’s bedtime, if you can stay consistent with your exercise routine, you will see and feel a difference in your body in just a few weeks.
Tip 8: Incorporate strength training with cardio into your weight loss program
I also recommend incorporating strength training and weights with cardio to get the best weight loss results in a short amount of time. While you’ll typically burn more calories in a cardio workout, weight training helps you keep burning calories long after the workout is over. One study found that those who incorporate both cardio and weights into their exercise program have better results in body compositions (lost fat and gained muscle) than those who did only one of the two.
I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to use all the gym machines I would need for my goals and come up with an exercise program that I could realistically stick to on my own. It was one of the best investments I ever made because I go to the gym knowing exactly what I’m going to work on and feel comfortable using the machines.
I try to go to the gym 4 times per week and this is my strength-training breakdown:
- Lower Body- Posterior (focusing on glutes, hamstrings and calves)
- Upper Body- Back and Biceps
- Lower Body- Front (focusing on quads and inner thighs)
- Upper Body- Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
I tailor my workouts according to the “day” it is, and make sure I get plenty of rest in between. I also try to add in some core and cardio into my workouts when I can. I’ve seen the best results for myself with this breakdown because it’s also easy for me to stick to it. My husband’s program is totally different than mine, focusing more on full-body workouts, and it’s worked great for him as well.
Find what works for you whether it’s group classes like Orange Theory or working with a personal trainer who can teach you the basics and tailor a weight training plan for you.
Tip 9: Enjoy weight loss success with your family and friends
This weight loss tip might seem a little cheesy, but I love sharing my weight loss success with my family and friends because it helps keep me motivated when other people also become invested in my weight loss goals.
For example, when I decided to go on a Whole 30 diet to reset my eating habits, I chose to do it with my best friend so we could hold each other accountable and share recipes. It was also way more fun that way, and made us more likely to complete the diet successfully.
You don’t have to share your weight loss goals with your whole family. Share your goals with 1 or 2 people that you feel comfortable with and encourage them to get involved. While you might not be able to coerce your spouse to diet with you (I certainly can’t!), they might be more than happy to help you prep healthy meals for the week.
Working moms might also find colleagues at work who are on the same weight loss journey. For example, I joined a “Step Challenge” with my colleagues so that we could motivate each other to increase our physical activity during the work day.
Tip 10: Be patient, consistent, and stay positive
Weight loss is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s important to remember that weight loss success won’t happen overnight, so you can’t expect results on your scale right away.
However, if you follow the weight loss tips outlined here and stay consistent with the new healthy habits you’re establishing, you will see noticeable changes in your body composition as well as weight over time. Those changes will keep you motivated to keep striving towards your weight loss goals.
Remember, weight loss is just one part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Try not to get too wrapped up in weight and rather focus on increasing your energy and feeling healthier every day.
Last Word on Weight Loss for Moms
So there you go, weight loss tips for busy moms to help you get on the right path to a healthier lifestyle and feel better overall! I hope they were helpful and that you found one or two weight loss tips that were new to you. Being a mom is challenging and overwhelming, but prioritizing your own health is important and will make you feel empowered and confident no matter what comes your way.
Best of luck in your weight loss journey, I’ll be rooting for you!
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