Weight loss is often a major summer goal for those hoping to get swimsuit ready. But when you’re busy driving kids between activities, fixing meals, working, and attending to responsibilities, who has time to think about weight loss?
9 Tips for Fitting Weight Loss Into Your Busy Mom Life
Millions of moms undertake the challenge of weight loss and lose 10, 30, or even 50 pounds. After undergoing some body contouring to remove the excess skin from their quick weight loss, you wouldn’t even know they’d struggled with baby weight.
You can do the same. You have more time to focus on weight loss than you think. Follow these tried and true weight loss tips for busy moms.
Do Short, Intense Bursts of Exercise
In those rare, quiet moments when your kids are occupied or they haven’t yet come home from school, don’t pull out your phone and check social media. Instead, do a quick workout. It only takes 10 minutes to get your heart rate up and work your muscles with high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Do squats while filling the dishwasher, pull up a workout video on YouTube, run up and down the stairs while doing laundry, or do lunges from one end of your house to the other. Try to fit in at least three of these workouts per day, and you’ll be in line with the CDC’s recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
Track Calories on Your Phone
Scientists argue about the effectiveness of counting calories for weight loss, but they all agree that calories matter. Dozens of apps track calories for weight loss. Some of the best include:
Most of these apps also have a community where you can rally with other moms and read information on weight loss strategies to make the most of your goals.
Subscribe to a Gym with Child Care
If your only excuse for not exercising is the kids, take them with you. Gyms that offer childcare are a little more expensive, but they’re worth the investment. It will also give you a break from the littles, and give them an opportunity to play with kids their own ages.
Get More Steps
You can always get more steps in. For weight loss, it’s recommended that you get between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. In total, that’s the equivalent of walking about five miles.
You might think there’s no way you have time to walk that much, but there are ways to squeeze it in: circle the playground while your kids play, park in the spot furthest from the grocery store, or walk your kids home from school instead of driving them.
Track your steps using a pedometer or fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Garmin. If you carry your phone in your pocket every day, you can also count steps with apps like Apple Health or Stepz.
Plan Play Date Workouts
Meet with other moms aiming for more activity and weight loss, and make it a play date for your kids. While you do at-home exercises in the living room, the kids can play together in the family room. You can also meet in the park and have the company of other moms while you circle the park and your kids play.
Take a Meal Prep Day
One of the hardest things about weight loss is eating properly. On a less-busy day like Sunday, plan your meals for the rest of the week. Make healthy meals ahead of time, storing them in the fridge or freezer until you need them.
You might also pre-package healthy snacks so that when you have a craving, you’re more likely to reach for a container of sliced carrots and humus than a candy bar.
Drink Less Alcohol
For some moms, a glass of wine at the end of the day helps them relax, but it doesn’t help the waistline. By limiting your alcohol to just once a week, you’ll shed empty calories that can act against your dieting efforts.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Study after study shows the sheer importance of eating breakfast every morning. It’s tempting to skip it when you’re in a rush, but it’s key to jump starting your metabolism and helping you get through the day with your diet intact.
More importantly, eat a healthy breakfast. Grabbing a coffee and donut on the run will set you up for sugar cravings all day long, while scrambled eggs can help you make healthier choices at the remaining meal times.
Don’t Compare Yourself
Nobody has time to worry about the weight loss successes of other moms. Don’t sabotage your weight loss efforts by looking at what everyone else does. You never know what’s going on in another person’s life, and comparing yourself to them will only make you feel bad about yourself. Stay positive and think about your own personal potential rather than what others are doing.
Jenna is a freelance writer from Renton, WA who is particularly interested in travel, nature, and parenting. Follow her on Twitter.