If you’ve been carrying that extra “baby weight” for months (or years!) and you’re starting to doubt you’ll ever return to a healthier weight, don’t despair. With a little time, self-care and motivation, you can drop those nagging pounds and feel fabulous. Here are eight tips to help you look (and feel) your best:
1. Intention As a first step toward weight-loss success, holistic health practitioner and author of Enlightened Eating, Caroline Dupont, tells moms to forget about losing weight and focus on becoming healthy. “When we are healthy the body naturally comes to its best weight.” Getting fit and healthy involves not only eating well and exercising, but also getting enough sleep, spending time outdoors and “generally being good to yourself.”
2. Emotions Rummaging in the fridge late at night? Sitting in front of the TV with a box of cookies? According to Dupont, “Most of our food choices are driven by emotions. This is why we find ourselves indulging in foods that give us short-term satisfaction but ultimately leave us feeling tired and depleted.” So, instead of running to the pantry, “take care of your emotions in direct and honest ways,” such as through healthy physical activity, art, music, journaling or counselling.
3. Eat your veggies Making better food choices helps you get the nutrients you need throughout the day to feel your best both physically and emotionally. Dupont suggests aiming for as much as “seventy-five percent of food intake to come from vegetables and fruit.” Carrots and celery sticks are great on-the-go choices, of course, and consider whipping up a green smoothie for breakfast or a snack — spinach is surprisingly easy to disguise. Remember, kids usually eat what mom eats, so prepare extra!
4. Snacking is good According to registered nutritionist Lori Kennedy, moms should be eating every three to four hours “to keep their blood sugar stable throughout the day and avoid sugar cravings; in the absence of food cravings it’s easier to make healthy choices.” She suggests keeping snacks in your purse, car and in your desk at work, and be sure to include snacks high in lean protein — such as adding hummus to your carrots and celery sticks.
5. Your schedule doesn’t lie Never underestimate the importance of planning. As Kennedy says, “Your schedule doesn’t lie. If you want to lose weight and it’s a priority, but workout and meal-prep time are nowhere to be found in your schedule, then it isn’t really a priority.” So, take out your calendars and schedule in workouts, grocery shopping and meal and snack preparation.
6. Treat yourself Moms like to eat treats, too. Kennedy suggests “allotting 100 calories a day for treats. You’ll avoid the on-and-off diet mentality and stay motivated and on track because you’ve built in a treat.” And we don’t mean your child’s half-eaten cookie. Enjoy something all your own and savour it.
7. Get Moving Rev up your metabolism by exercising regularly. Fitness instructor and founder of Everfit, Catherine Cameron, is a big proponent of walking. “If you’ve got a stroller and a good pair of running shoes, you’re good to go. Walking improves muscle tone in your lower body and uses up calories.” Cameron suggests making fitness a “family affair” by “eating dinner early and heading outdoors, going for a bike ride, walk, trip to the park, game of Frisbee – exercise adds up, so fit it in whenever you can!”
8. It’s all about the attitude You know the saying: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Work those flattering summer fashion trends, such as tunics and maxi dresses, and enjoy the wonderful effects of a healthy lifestyle.