How To Lose Weight As A Busy Mum
Losing weight is a challenge at the best of times, but when you have kids and a job, it can be extra challenging. This is often because you end up eating convenience foods or takeaways for ease or struggle to fit in exercise.
This article will explore ways you can still lose weight while working around your family commitments.
Many mums don’t have time to exercise, but it will help you burn calories and lose weight, so you should try and incorporate it into your routine.
There are ways to do this whilst still having your kids, such as walking to school or the shops instead of taking the car, having a dance party with them, playing ball or even a specialist exercise class for mums and babies where the pushchair is incorporated into the fitness class.
However, it is important to take time for yourself too, so if you have someone willing to watch the children for an hour or two a week or attend school or nursery, then make time to exercise.
Go for a swim or a yoga class, which is good for both mind and body and will help you reach your weight loss goals faster. Whilst exercise is not 100% needed to lose weight (if you are in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight regardless), it will help you do it faster, tone up, and feel better as it releases feel-good hormones.
In addition, it’s great for your heart and leads to longevity of health.
Healthy eating can be challenging for a young family as time restraints can cause issues. It is worth thinking about pre-planning your menus, as choice often causes us to pick the easiest option, which in the case of food can often be a takeaway or ready meals.
To lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit; the bigger the deficit, the faster you lose weight, as your body will have to burn fat for energy. However, 1-2lbs weight loss a week is considered a safe and sustainable rate to lose, so you should be aiming for this.
By mapping out a weekly menu in advance and buying only the items needed for that, you will be less tempted to cheat. In addition, you will save money at the supermarket, which is a bonus!
If you are on the go, weight loss shakes could also be a good option. Shakes like these are nutritionally balanced (meaning you are likely getting more nutrients than you normally would), and they are very filling. Weight loss shakes from Shake That Weight come in a huge range of flavours, are low in calories and are high in protein, so are the perfect addition to any weight loss regime for a busy mum.
For some people, using shakes as part of a calorie-controlled diet is enough to help them lose weight; for others, they find it simpler to replace all of their meals with meal replacements, as this means they don’t have to face the demon of conventional foods altogether (which could potentially trigger them to eat more.) You have to find the best option for you as an individual, but either way, they are a great help in your weight loss journey.
Supplements can help with weight loss; there are many herbal options out there before exploring prescription options.
They come in different forms, from pills to teas. You should research and consult your doctor before taking any supplement, as even herbal supplements can impact medication effectiveness.
Some examples would be:
- Chitosan – Derived from shellfish, this substance blocks some of the fat you eat from being absorbed by the body. If you generally eat a low-fat diet, it may not be the right supplement for you, but if you are doing a low-carb, high-fat plan, it could be a good addition.
- Green Tea – Thought to help curb appetite and is available in tea form.
Mindset is very important when it comes to weight loss; it is essentially what will keep you going on the inevitable tough days where you feel like giving up.
To use a good mindset to your advantage when trying to lose weight, there are a few steps you can follow.
Firstly, think thin. Have you ever noticed that people often comment that you look thin when you feel thin? This is often because you hold yourself differently and have better posture, which makes you appear thinner.
As soon as you start healthy eating, you will likely find it easier to think thin, as your goal is in progress.
Use techniques like visualisation and meditation to help you ‘see yourself’ as you would like to be, and if you have old photos of yourself where you would like to get back to, use these for motivation, putting them in places where you can see them regularly (or that may deter you from eating unnecessarily like on the fridge.)
Having support is very helpful when trying to lose weight. Support can come in many forms. It may be that your partner is supportive and takes care of the kids after work for an hour so you can fit in a yoga session, or perhaps your extended family babysit from time to time to go for a gym workout.
However, there are other support modes if you are struggling to lose weight and it is impacting your mental or physical health.
If you have tried to lose weight and are still struggling, your first port of call is your GP. They can advise you of what options are available on the NHS.
Often, they will start with things like a diet plan, and if you manage to lose some weight yourself, you may then be a candidate for further intervention. There are many options for help, from medication (such as Orlistat) to gastric surgeries such as a band or bypass, designed to make the space in your stomach smaller, allowing you only to eat small portions.
Surgery should always be the last resort regarding weight loss, as there can be complications and downtime whilst healing, and a gastric bypass is also irreversible.
There are also other less invasive options, such as the gastric balloon, which is swallowed and inflated via a tube. Eventually, the balloon will naturally pass through your system, but when it is inflated in your stomach, it will make you feel full much faster.
Having support from your family, GP and nutritionist can be invaluable if you are struggling with weight loss on your own.
While losing weight is a struggle for everyone, it’s more challenging if you have little time to spare as a busy mum. By planning and having the support of relevant people such as family and doctors, there is no reason why you cannot succeed!