The struggle to fit healthy habits into a busy mom's already packed schedule is real. We all know that we 'should' be doing these things to stay healthy and get fit, but actually doing them is easier said than done. Make getting healthy easier for yourself by choosing one or two easy health habits per week to focus on. Making drastic changes to your routine is difficult to stick with, so trick your mind into doing one thing at a time. Eventually, the results of your consistent health efforts will start showing up on the scale, clothes will fit better and you will feel more energetic.
Read on to get some healthy weight loss ideas to help you reach your goals and create the life that you really want.
All credit goes to Melissa L.
1. Eat Healthier Versions of your Favorite Meals
Create healthier versions of recipes you're already making often by choosing ingredients higher in protein, fiber, and vegetables. Or try sneaking veggies into your food so your kids won't notice they are eating them.Here are a few examples:
- Meatloaf - add lower sodium sauces, use finely grated carrots and onion to sneak in some extra flavor and veggies.
- Spaghetti Squash can be swapped in for pasta, or Chinese noodles in your fave recipes.
- High Fiber and protein pasta can be used in place of regular pasta. It is more filling but not as vegetable-like as spaghetti squash.
Pinterest has a ton of healthy meal boards you can get ideas from. Like this one: Healthy Meals
2. Plan Ahead
It is very difficult to eat healthy meals and snacks when there are no healthy options in the fridge to choose from! This is where meal planning and shopping lists come in handy. Your plan can be as simple as writing down what you would like to eat for supper each day of the week. Knowing what you will be cooking and when allows you to do prep work efficiently, which makes cooking supper so much easier. If you're busy, then you need to be scheduling time in your week for meal planning, grocery shopping and prep work.
Another important step in losing weight and getting fit is planning the type of workouts you'll do and when you will have rest days(or active rest days). This can be as simple as writing down which parts of your body you will be working on during the week on a calendar. Strength training, cardio, and rest days are easier to fit into your day when you schedule time for yourself to workout, just like you would for an appointment.
There are tons of planners out there to choose from. It might take you awhile to find one that fits into your life so don't be afraid to try a few out. Bullet journals are gaining popularity right now because they are customizable and you can create any pages that you need and get rid of what you don't need.
3. Build Muscle to Boost Metabolism and Fat Burning
Don't be shy! Get in the weight room and start lifting heavy things, your figure will thank you. Muscle plays an extremely important role in boosting metabolism, fat burning, and shaping your body. It is especially important for women to build muscle, increase bone density, and improve upper body strength.
Here are a few things that happen when you do weighted exercise:
- Helps with fat burning (during and up to 38 hours AFTER your workout)
- Boosts Resting Metabolic Rate because muscle is an active tissue and requires more energy to maintain than fat does.
- Increased bone density
- Better balance and coordination
- Improves heart health
- Boosts confidence
With so many different weight training methods out there, it is important to try a few styles to see what you enjoy doing. For some women, the achievement of getting stronger with each workout could be extremely motivating, while for others a quick, intense bodyweight circuit program might be better. When you're just starting out, ind your favorite workout style and enjoy it! You'll have plenty of time to research other workout styles later on.
4. Support your Body with Vitamins and Supplements
We've all heard it before, "there is no magic pill or potion for weight loss." What they neglect to mention though, is the fact that your body goes through stress when you begin working out and eating healthier. Although this stress is considered healthy, it can cause your body to use up certain vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes a lot faster than usual.
Healthy supplementation is vitally important to supporting your body's ability to work properly during periods of high stress(health and fitness, or just regular life stress). Weight loss is much easier to achieve when your body is not struggling to perform basic functions because it is starving for nutrients you may not be getting in your diet.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
We all talk about self-care and how important it is, but how many of us consistently practice self-care on a daily basis? With so many other responsibilities in life, we often neglect ourselves until the stress and emotional distress forces us to shut down. It is one of the biggest reasons people fall off-track with their health and weight loss goals.
ReachOut Australia defines self-care as "any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health."
Creating healthy mind, body and emotional self-care habits will help you enjoy your life, stay health and achieve your weight loss goals. Set aside some time to prioritize taking good care of yourself.
Here are a few ideas you can use to de-stress and recharge:
- Take a long bath using your favorite spa products(I love bath bombs and handmade body butters!)
- Take yourself out for coffee and read a book or magazine
- Turn your phone off for a couple of hours
- Take a hike in the woods
- Book a mani/pedi with a friend or have an at home spa day
- Take a nap
- Learn a new skill or do a hobby that you enjoy
- Snuggle your pets
- Create a daily routine for yourself so you can start your day off right
- Take a yoga class
- Use essential oils in your daily life to combat stress
I'm sure you get the idea! Weight loss is just one little part of your health and wellness. Weight gain is often a symptom of ongoing stress and mental clutter from a lack of self-care.