Juggling children and work rarely leaves time in the day for much else. But if you want to lose weight, then you’ll need to find a way to squeeze in workout sessions and healthy meals.
It may seem impossible, but here are seven tips that will help you along the way.
Tip 1: Make A Schedule
Chances are, you already have a lot of your life scheduled. It only makes sense that you add your workout routine to that schedule. It’s a way to show yourself that you’re serious about meeting your goals.
It’s also a great way to ensure that you don’t forget to exercise, which is very easy to do when you spend your days working and watching kids.
You should include a mix of personal workouts and group workouts on your schedule. A group workout would take place at a gym and should be viewed with the seriousness of an important appointment. Adding some variety to your workout schedule will keep it from becoming boring early on.
You don’t necessarily need to schedule weeks or months in advance. After all, you’re a busy mom and a lot can happen in a short period of time. Instead, take time each Sunday to schedule your exercise routines for the following week.
Tip 2: Find A Gym That Works For You
If your gym is thirty minutes away from the house and in the opposite direction of your job, then it’s unlikely you’re ever going to pay them a visit.
You will need to find a gym that is convenient for you, which usually means it is either close to your home or close to your job.
Having a gym located on the route to work means that you can stop by on your way to or from work. You could even pay them a visit during a lunch break.
Tip 3: Start Early In The Morning
You’re most likely already waking up early in the morning to get your kids ready for school and yourself ready for work.
Most experts agree that this morning time routine is the most important part of the day. It may seem difficult at first, but it’s the ideal time for a brief exercise session.
Even it only lasts for five minutes, it’s enough to put you in the right mindset for the rest of the day.
A similar idea applies to breakfast. Some experts believe that there is a link between eating breakfast and losing weight.
Unfortunately, that link has yet to be firmly established and documented. But what is understood is that eating a healthy breakfast helps you make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
A healthy and filling breakfast will make it so you are less likely to snack later or swing through the drive-thru at lunchtime.
You’ll also have more energy to help you through the morning rush. At any rate, it’s important that your breakfast isn’t composed of donuts and marshmallow cereals.
Tip 4: Keep Track Of Calories
If you sign up for a program like South Beach Diet, you can use their free app to track your calories and exercise for the day. Click the image to learn more and read our review.
Most people understand that weight loss requires burning more calories than you consume. Yet they still don’t make an effort to keep track of those two numbers.
You are far more likely to meet your weight loss goals if you know roughly how many calories you burn each day and how many you consume.
That way, if you realize that you’re the same weight in two weeks you can look back at your calorie intake and identify the problem.
Long gone are the days when you needed a pen and paper to keep track of your calories. There are plenty of apps that make it much easier today.
There are even apps that will tell you how many calories are in a particular food if you don’t have the nutritional information handy.
However you decide to keep track of your calories, it’s important that you track everything accurately and resist the urge to exaggerate.
Tip 5: Healthy Snacks On The Counter
Even if you’re trying to lose weight, there may still be a few unhealthy snacks in the kitchen. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a Debbie cake on occasion.
But the secret to limiting their intake is keeping them out of sight. Don’t leave the unhealthy snacks sitting on the counter for you and the family to be tempted by. I
nstead, leave apples, oranges, and other healthy snacks clearly visible while the sweets stay in the drawers and cabinets.
Tip 6: Don’t Skip Lunch
If you’re trying to lose weight, then surely it’s a good idea to skip meals. Actually, it does more harm than good. You’re advised to eat three full meals a day.
This includes a healthy lunch at the appropriate time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that skipping lunch is an easy way to cut back on calories and lose a few pounds.
Any time that you skip a meal you are increasing the likelihood that you’ll make poor eating choices later in the day. Missing lunch may not seem like a big deal at 1 pm, but then when 3 pm rolls around you are starving and want to eat whatever is easiest.
The foods that are easiest often come from fast food restaurants, vending machines, or potato chip bags, which are all places that you want to avoid.
Of course, it can be tough trying to fit in a healthy lunch when you’re a working mom. Lunch doesn’t need to be extravagant. Even a simple sandwich made with chicken or turkey is sufficient enough to get you through the mid-day slump.
Throw an apple in there or a salad on the side and you’re far less likely to visit McDonald’s four hours later.
Tip 7: Plan Meals Carefully
Planning your meals is just as important, if not more so, than planning your workout routine. If you’re following the first piece of advice and spend Sunday scheduling the next week’s exercise time, then you should take a few moments to plan your meals as well.
This includes planning each meal for every day of the following week.
Some people like to go the extra mile and prepare all of the food ahead of time. That can be nearly impossible in a house with kids and other adults.
But you should at least know what you will be cooking for each meal of the day. This will make it more likely that you stick to healthy foods and avoid the temptations of pizza and fast food chains.
If you need help keeping track of what you eat and planning your meals for the day, there are programs out there that can help.
Weight Watchers is one of my favorites (you can read our review here) for helping with meal planning and keeping track of diet and exercise. That said, there are plenty of great diets and health programs out there, so be sure to check out our Homepage for some reviews of our top-rated programs of the year.
Bottom Line: Don’t Give Up
Being a working mom is tough enough as it is. Trying to lose weight at the same time only makes things more difficult. But it is definitely worth it in the long run. You will look and feel better than ever before. Stick with your schedules, avoid temptation, and don’t give up even if progress is slow. Your future self will thank you.
Ben Corbin brings more than 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest information. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.