How to Lose Weight as a New Parent
So, first of all, lets state the facts, kids are expensive and spare time is non existent. I mean, what did you do with all that time before parenthood? I am also very aware of the hardship you Mam's go through. Us blokes have it easy! Your bodies go through a million changes throughout pregnancy to start with, then you have to deal with the recovery of labor. You're all amazing!
We have had a guest blog from a real Mam, and touched on gym training as a new parent, but this one is for those of you that have no spare time, and maybe a gym membership isn't a luxury available to you right now. You might be stuck in a rut and need a fresh idea to get you goin again. Hopefully the tips we discuss help you toward your goal.
No Gym, No Problem
You want to lose some weight, so you check out the ten gyms near you because that's what you need to lose weight right...a gym? No, you don't. I train in a gym, I love it! I won't lie. But I work there too so it fits my lifestyle and helps toward my personal goal.
If it's just weight loss you're looking to achieve though, a gym membership shouldn't be the first thing you look for. Exercise helps us create that needed deficit to cause fat loss, and you can exercise anywhere. At home, outside in the garden, in the park, anywhere!
So what should I do I hear you ask? Anything you want really, as long as you're moving and your heart rate is up you'll be burning calories. It all depends on your time and ability. I use walking and short home workouts for people I work with. Because even in a time pressed world you can take your kids for a walk or find 10-20 minutes for some exercise, and you can involve your kid so they don't go wild.
If you find that's not enough or you can't fit it in, what else can you do? Every day daily activities! These are your secret weapon to weight loss. All day long you have the potential to be more active. Using the upstairs toilet instead of down. Walking to the shop instead of driving. Doing 20 squats waiting for the kettle to boil. Running up and down the stairs whilst the bath runs. Get creative! These small activities burn a few extra calories each time and these soon total up to hundreds of extra through a day.
How can I eat healthily, I have no time to cook!
To me, this is one of the biggest (and worst) excuses people use to enable themselves to have fatty foods. Pizza and chips in the oven takes 30-40 minutes. A fresh chicken breast in the oven takes 30 minutes and to prepare a salad takes 5 minutes. You can spend a lot of time cooking, but it isn't essential for eating healthily. Boiling or steaming some vegetables takes 10-20 minutes, cooking a stir fry takes around 30 minutes with preparation time included. Realistically, you can make healthy, fresh meals within 45 minutes max. But that means boring foods right? Wrong! There are hundreds of vegetables to try and thousands of seasonings to create new flavours. Breakfasts could be sugary cereals or pastries, but in the same time these take you could scramble some eggs or make porridge and add some blueberries. And lunches tend to be a huge downfall for most. Either eating fast food or under eating leading to binging on a night. Why not prepare extra food from the previous evenings meal and put it to one side ready for the next day? And I'm not talking about cold pizza!
You just need to be smart here, shop for what you intend to eat and don't buy the easy foods so you have to cook fresh. Within a week or two this will be normal for you and become a habit. Your body will thank you for it too!
Losing weight whilst training at home as a parent is easily achievable but what a lot of people struggle with is motivation to be more active and managing to stick to new ways of eating. So here are a few ways to help motivate you;
1- It's not for you, it's for your child. This is my biggest motivator at the minute. I want to be fit, strong and healthy to spend as many years on this planet as possible and be as active as I can with my son.
2- It's for all the naysayers, the people that think you'll never do it. Prove them all wrong.
3- Get a buddy, someone to go through the journey with you and be accountable to each other. This can really help you stick to a plan, especially if it's your spouse.
4- Get some help! If you can afford it, there are some great online Personal Training services that aren't too expensive. This can hold you accountable and if you pay for something you are more likely to stick with it. Do your research though as there are, unfortunately, plenty of bad online PT's too.
5- And finally, listen to some music. If it's on in the background or you are doing some planned exercise, music will make you move more and moving burns calories. It also helps entertain the kids.
One last note, remember, weight loss comes down to energy balance. The ONLY way to lose weight is be in a calorie deficit, there's no two ways about it.
As always, if you have any questions get in touch!