Staying on a regimen can be a challenge for anyone, but for a busy, working mom (like myself) the challenges can be especially tough! Some of the most used excuses for falling off course surround "time" or lack thereof. A busy lifestyle can make it impossible to get to the gym for a daily workout, prepare your meals ahead of time, or even to remember to pack your lunch for work each day. It also can make it difficult to stick to eating healthy because it's so easy and convenient to grab something at the drive-through. Here's a few tips to help busy women stay on course, despite all the challenges in the way.
1. Don't try to 'save time' by eating on the run, snacking while you work, or skipping meals all together. You’ll end up eating up all that saved time by potentially overeating later on. No matter how rushed you are, make the time to eat! You can keep a snack pack with you while you're on the go (Ziploc bag filled with a healthy snack of choice, like mixed nuts or boiled eggs), make smoothies to take with you for the day (this helped me tremendously!), or set alarms in your phone to remind you when it's time to eat. Ensuring you don't miss a meal will help you eat less in the long run and feel fuller for longer which keeps the urge to grab the first thing you see because you “haven't eaten anything all day" at bay.
2. Get creative with drinking water! It is recommended that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to aid in your weight loss efforts. However, if the thought of drinking a half gallon of water makes you queasy, there are ways to make it more appealing. You can try fruit-infused water by floating mint sprigs or lemon slices in a pitcher (or bottle) of water. Not only does this add ZERO calories, but it definitely makes a difference in presentation and flavor!
3. For my new moms, I know just how frustrating trying to lose baby weight can be (I lost my weight when my boys were 1 and 2 years old). You may want to take it off as quickly as possible, but your body may not be cooperative as your body is designed to nourish a child for up to a year after you give birth. Putting yourself on a very restricted diet will kick your body into survival mode, making it even harder to lose the extra weight. Instead of fighting your body's natural tendency to store up nutrition for the baby, eat healthy portions and increase your activity level. And if you're breastfeeding, remember that your body needs up to 1000 more calories a day than usual so focused on eating more nutrient dense foods.
4. Employ the buddy system for moral support and accountability or join online support groups. Making a pact with a family member or friend to exercise together. Not only does it make it easier to stick to your goals, but it makes the process more enjoyable! Instead of meeting with friends for brunch or dinner, challenge your friends to a game of bowling or take a brisk walk in the park together.
5. Speaking of employing the buddy system…make your kids a part of the process! You can try things such as, cooking dinner together, have a dance-off, or take them for a brisk walk/jog in the park. Incorporating my kids into my journey helped me to save on time & stay motivated. I was able to kill two birds with ONE stone – exercise/cook while spending quality time with my kids. An added bonus…my kids even started picking up my healthy habits!
A healthy, active lifestyle and a nutritious diet are the true keys to losing weight and keeping it off. By choosing a regimen that makes sense for your lifestyle, you'll make it easier on yourself to lose weight, and keep it off for good!