Weight Loss Tips for Busy Moms
The core of the science behind weight loss involves what you eat and how much you exercise. In other words, calories in vs. calories out. That’s a very black-and-white way of looking at it. Plenty of other things can influence your ability to lose weight. Especially for moms!
Research shows everything from the quality of your sleep to the health of your gut can influence how much weight you lose—and how fast.
By nature, women tend to have a lower metabolic rate than men, meaning your body uses fewer calories (units of energy) for normal body functions like breathing, thinking, and blood circulation. The excess calories are sorted as fat, which is why women tend to have a higher BMI than men.
Thankfully, there are tons of minor changes busy moms can make that will have a big impact on your overall effort to lose and maintain weight.
In this article, we’ll look at some top weight loss tips for parents who have zero time to themselves.
Quick Weight Loss Stats
- The average rate of achieved weight loss is 1.4 pounds per week for men and 1.1 pounds per week for women.
- Within 2 years, people regain more than half the weight they initially lose. Within 5 years, people tend to regain about 80% of the weight they initially lose.
- Almost 50% of the people in the U.S. are actively trying to lose weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- As the percentage of obesity grows globally, more people report trying to lose weight, according to research in Obesity Reviews.
Top Weight Loss Tips
Here are a few things to consider if you’re struggling with your schedule and weight loss.
Get Super Hydrated
Not only can drinking water boost your metabolism, it’s a natural appetite suppressant. It will help reduce your overall liquid intake and create less opportunity to make bad choices.
You’re less likely to reach for that soda if you’re full of water. Those types of beverages are packed with empty calories you don’t need.
Stop Eating the Kid’s Food
“Waste not, want not!” as our mothers would say, but the truth is, finishing the kids’ meals will only help to put on the pounds. If you habitually finish food the kiddos left behind, you’re essentially eating for two at every meal.
Even if it seems like small bites, you’d be surprised. Adding just ten extra calories to a meal results in a pound gained over a year.
Practice intuitive eating, which, ironically, kids are great at. That means stopping when you are full.
Cutting Back the Carbs
I know! It hurts. But everyone has heard how bad refined carbohydrates can be for you. Even if they are delicious. These heavily processed foods have removed most of the fiber and nutrients, leaving the final product a shadow of its former self.
Carbs can cause spikes in blood glucose levels, leading to hunger and overeating. This will contribute to difficulties in losing weight.
To avoid this scenario, limit your carb intake, which includes foods like:
- White bread
- Low fiber cereals
Instead makes smarter choices like brown rice, whole grain oats, quinoa, and barley.
Ditch Fad Diets
Chronic dieting is nothing more than a trap anyone can get caught in. Just ask Oprah!
This type of yo-yo-ing will hurt your self-esteem, leads to negative emotions, and, even worse, restrictive eating. All of this will cause an unhealthy relationship with food.
Fad diets are rarely based on any scientific evidence or principles of nutrition. Achieving long-term, sustainable weight loss requires creating healthy habits, not enforcing restrictions.
When trying to lose weight, protein is your best friend. It’s a sustaining nutrient that will keep you feeling fuller for longer. In addition, it curbs appetite and reduces cravings. Protein-containing foods include chicken, fish, red meat, dairy, eggs, and legumes.
Work Out with the Kids
Why wait until they’re napping or at school to get crackin’? When kids get up early, make that the time to work out.
This is a double bonus because while you’re working on losing weight, you’re also demonstrating to your children healthy habits. When they work out with you, they develop behaviors that will sustain them in the future. Show them how important it is to take care of yourself and make exercise a part of everyday life.
Working out with kids can mean anything. Put the kids in a stroller and walk around the block. Play tag with toddlers, or take the family for a hike. Practice yoga with kids or create a fun workout for the whole family.
It may not be the most relaxing, but you will surely burn calories.
Eat Your Breakfast
Never skimp on this meal. Breakfast is what helps you maintain focus for hours ahead. While mornings for busy moms can be hectic, even something as simple as oatmeal with berries, yogurt, or a hard-boiled egg, will kick your metabolism into gear.
In fact, the National Weight Control Registry shows that 78% of participants who have maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for over a year eat breakfast every day.
There are plenty of healthy breakfast ideas that don’t take long to make and will get you off to a healthy start.
The type of food you eat in the morning can also help to rein in hunger. For example, a protein-rich breakfast (think eggs and spinach) is an effective strategy to improve appetite control.
How much protein in the morning provides weight loss benefits?
A study in the Journal Nutrition revealed that 30–39 grams of protein per serving produced greater appetite control and reduced intake at lunch, compared to those who ate a low-protein breakfast or nothing at all.
Find a Weight-Loss Tribe
You’ve heard of the old parenting adage, the days are long, but the years are short. In other words, an obsession with baby Shark can drag on for eternity, but then you blink, and it’s prom.
It’s easy to lose time when you’re a busy mom. You get wrapped up in lunchtime, bath time, potty time, and storytime—it barely seems like there are enough hours in the day to work out.
That’s where having a tribe comes in. It’s about forming a network of accountability and being responsible to other people who keep you on track. That’s the key to weight loss. It is being able to remain accountable.
Some places to look are online fitness clubs or a mommy-and-me class. Start a walking group through social media or get together with local parents in the neighborhood. Some programs also have weigh-in centers, where you see the same people each week. In-person. Gasp!
Planning each dinner a few hours beforehand is hard if you’re constantly busy. That makes you more susceptible to making bad choices. This also makes it hard to carve out any time to cook and ensure the meal is healthy.
My sister cooks everything for the week on Sunday and lets her two kids help. She started to lose weight and continues the habit because it allows her to maintain the loss. This is where meal planning has made all the difference.
Take the time to batch-prepare at the beginning of the week and choose healthy foods you can mix and match for nutritious meals all week long. If you take a few hours at the beginning of the week, you prevent the headache of making healthy choices when busy.
Plus, the kids will love their impromptu chef lessons every weekend.
Lose the Parent Guilt
This is the essential weight loss tip for busy moms because it involves loving yourself. Get rid of the guilt, girl!
Parents have a zillion things on their plate, and being hard on yourself doesn’t have to be one of them. It will only serve to bring you down and make weight loss more challenging. Unfortunately, kids can also pick up on those bad vibes, which can affect their image. (wait… don’t feel guilty!)
Breaking a sweat isn’t selfish, and neither is scheduling out a few hours a week to prepare meals that are good for the entire family.
What Did We Learn?
Taking the time to prep meals, eat right, stay hydrated, and work out with the kids are all incredible ways to help busy moms stay on the right track. Protein is an excellent choice in the morning, especially since you shouldn’t be skipping breakfast.
Stop feeling guilty about what you’re not doing, and start focusing on what you can do about your health. Take the kids along for the ride, and keep it positive! They will mirror all the good habits you instill in them.
And that’s a total parenting win!