It’s a discouraging fact for moms to face: most women who have given birth never return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
It’s easy to understand how this happens when moms are simply too busy to squeeze a workout into their hectic schedule. Your child’s needs come first and you may find yourself too pooped towards the end of the day to exercise.
However, with a little planning, it’s possible for even the busiest moms to sneak in ways of getting fit after childbirth. Here are some tips on weight loss for moms.
Walk or Run With a Stroller
There’s a reason why jogging strollers are a popular baby shower registry gift. They give a chance for busy parents to burn some calories while also taking the baby for a walk or run.
Jogging strollers are built to glide easily over bumpy surfaces versus a traditional stroller. They also make the ride more comfortable for your baby.
Keep in mind that physicians advise against taking a baby out in a jogging stroller until they’re at least eight months old. Their neck is still getting strong enough to support their head when they’re younger.
Work Out While You Wait
The luxury of having a solid half hour or hour to yourself devoted to exercise goes out the window when you become a mom. Let go of the idea that all physical activity must be done in so many minutes to be effective.
Instead, take advantage of daily moments where you can squeeze in bursts of exercise. When the baby is secure in their highchair and you’re waiting for their food to heat up, do several jumping jacks in the kitchen. Or squeeze in some squats while you brush your teeth at the end of the day.
They may seem like small actions, but they still contribute towards cardio health and working your muscles. When your kids are older and in school, you may find you have time again for a full workout.
Work Out With the Kids
Once your kids have learned to walk and run, you can squeeze in exercise by chasing them around the yard and playing simple physical games with them.
If your kids are older, consider taking up a physical activity you can share with them such as martial arts. Many schools offer classes both parents and children to take together, helping you get the heart pumping while spending quality time with your kids.
Bike riding, hiking, and roller skating are also fun activities to try out with your kids once they’re old enough.
If you’re trying to maintain a fitness routine when the kids are younger, then you may want to consider hiring a babysitter. Moms shouldn’t feel ashamed to hire help around the house to free up more time for themselves.
Resist Finishing Your Kids’ Meals
One of the sneaky ways weight can creep up is when moms finish their kids’ meals, particularly if their children are picky eaters. While this helps save food waste, it, unfortunately, creates mindless eating and putting food in our mouths when we’re not even hungry.
It’s important to stick to full, healthy meals regardless of how much food children leave behind to lose weight.
Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
Resist grabbing chips, cupcakes, and other calorie bombs by storing plenty of healthy snacks in case you get hungry in between meals. Eating healthy food sets a positive example for your kids as well.
Choose protein and fiber packed snacks low in sugar as these will satisfy you and help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Roasted chickpeas, nuts, cheese, jerky, peanut butter, and unsweetened oatmeal are all great options.
Get Enough Sleep
We know this one is tough, especially for new moms. How can anyone get enough sleep when there’s a newborn in the home?
But studies show there’s a connection between weight gain and sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep increases a hormone that causes food cravings. We also get hungry when we don’t sleep enough because our body is looking for an energy source.
This creates an unhealthy cycle where we may resort to coffee and other caffeine-fueled drinks to keep awake. If it’s possible to take advantage of your child’s nap time to grab a few zzzz’s yourself, then do so.
If your toddler or young child refuses to settle down at bedtime, it may be necessary to create a nighttime routine and enforce rules with them so you can get to sleep as well.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Cutting added sugar from your diet helps stabilize your blood sugar and energy levels, and it eliminates empty calories. Adding a teaspoon of the sweet stuff to your morning cup of Joe won’t do much harm, but pay attention to food labels. A lot of packaged and processed food including yogurt and ketchup can hide excess amounts of sugar.
This doesn’t mean you should eliminate desserts and other treats from your diet. You should, however, watch your portion sizes and how much sugar you’re consuming the rest of the day.
Swap soda and other sweetened beverages for water. Dehydration can make you feel hungry when what you really need is refreshment.
If drinking plain water is a turn-off, add sliced citrus fruit, cucumber, and mint to your water to create a mocktail. You can also get a water bottle with a built-in fruit infuser to give your water flavor.
Try Condensed Workouts
Not every workout routine is an hour long. Many fitness instructors have created 10, 15, and 20 minute long workouts for anyone pressed for time and space who still wants to get into shape. A search on YouTube will turn up several mini workouts that you can try.
Many online body transformation programs recognize that moms are pressed for time and stressed out. Here’s more information from a body transformation coach on how to lose weight after pregnancy.
Weight Loss For Moms Takes Time and Discipline
Above all, don’t get down on yourself if you can’t stick to these weight loss and exercise tips every day. Weight loss for moms takes time, patience, and discipline. Stick with it and over time you should see the pounds begin to drop away.
Here at Thrifty Momma Ramblings, we love helping moms make the most of their busy lives while saving money at the same time. Read our other health and fitness posts for more tips on maintaining a healthy weight.