Losing weight as a mom can be a difficult task, and there's so much information available to you it can get confusing. After reading through 100's of articles, and using our own expertise, we choose 10 tips for effective weight loss you can start implementing today.
1. Eat Breakfast
It can be tempting to skip breakfast first thing in the morning, but studies have shown a healthy breakfast decreases overeating later in the day and provides energy to function efficiently. Skipping breakfast leads to exhaustion and higher overall calorie consumption, hurting your weight loss goals.
Some of our favorite breakfasts are eggs, greek yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, whole grain toast with almond butter, and nutritional bars.
2. Prepare Healthy Snacks To Munch On Throughout The Day
If you get caught hungry with no food around, it easy to grab whatever is closest and looks tasty. Impulse eating tends to be less nutritious and higher in calories. Keeping around small snack bags of healthy foods in your refrigerator, purse, car or diaper bag helps prepare you for when hunger strikes.
Some of our favorite snacks are apple slices, plain almonds, cut up veggies with hummus, greek yogurt, plain popcorn, hard boiled eggs and bananas.
3. Eat A Low Carbohydrate Dinner
Carbohydrates are your energy source and should be consumed early in the day. It's harder to burn off carbohydrates after dinner, and whatever you don't burn off will be stored for later as excess body fat. Try to consume your bread, rice, pasta at breakfast or lunch and aim for a protein and vegetable based dinner.
4. Don't Eat After Dinner
I know this is a tough one, but I'll repeat the same sentiment as above. Food is energy and you don't need energy late at night. Whatever you don't burn off, will be stored for later. Snacking after dinner will make it extremely difficult to lose weight, so try and stick to water or decaf coffee once you finish your meal.
5. Get Some Cardiovascular Exercise Every Day
This can seem pretty intimidating but it doesn't mean you need to spend hours slaving away in the gym. Even 15 minutes a day can make a big difference when trying to lose weight. The key is to get your heart rate up and keep your metabolism functioning at a high level. There are many equipment free cardiovascular workouts online you can try, or get outside and walk!
Here are some equipment free workouts under 20 minutes you can do at home!
6. Strength Train At Least 2x Per Week
Many women will avoid strength training because they don't want to "bulk up", or they don't know exactly what they should be doing. Strength training will make you stronger, leaner and help you burn more calories even when you're resting. I have found strength training is a key recipe for weight loss and keeping weight off. Below are 5 top moves you can do at home if you're not already strength training.
- Pushups. This exercise targets your chest, triceps and shoulders. You can start by using a wall, and then build up to you performing a pushup on your knees or toes on the ground. Aim for 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions
- Squats. This exercise targets your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Aim for 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- Lateral Arm Circles. This exercise targets your shoulders. Arm for 2 sets of 30 seconds.
- Sumo Squats. This exercise targets your inner thighs. Bring your feet wider than shoulder width and point your toes slightly outside. Aim for 2 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Core Work. We have included our favorite 5 minute core workout here.
7. Keep A Journal
Tracking your progress in an app or journal helps hold you accountable and keeps you on track. People tend to have "calorie amnesia" meaning they concisely eat more calories than they think they are. My clients have the most success with a weekly weigh-in, and writing down their daily exercise and using a calorie tracking app like myfitnesspal. Even if you don't want to write down everything you eat and drink, make some notes about your weight loss goals and what seems to be working best (or not working) as you you continue down the healthy path.
8. Drink More Water
Drinking water is the simplest way to stay full, keep your body functioning smoothly and aid in the weight loss journey. We sometimes confuse hunger for thirst, so make sure to drink a glass of water before every meal and keep a water bottle with you at all times. If you're not a fan of plain water try adding lemons, or drink naturally flavored seltzer water if you like the bubbles.
9. Eat At Home As Often As You Can
Restaurant and fast food almost always has higher sodium, sugar, fat and calories than meals prepared at home. Not to mention it will save you big bucks in the long run!
When you do eat out, check the menus ahead of time and look for the healthier option available. Since we know eating out is going to happen, we have included a list of the healthiest fast food items here.
10. Slow Weight Loss Stays Off Longer
It's temping to look for quick weight loss fads, but in reality that weight rarely stays off. We all know someone who last 20 pounds quickly on a liquid diet, but chances are they gained it all back and then some. Studies have shown weight loss of .5-1 pound a week is realistic, healthy and provides better long term results.
WELLNESS, MEDITATION, EXERCISE AND COMMUNITY FOR MOMS
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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.