I've talked to many new moms & dads about losing weight and achieving a healthy body.
The common ( and completely understandable) obstacle that stands in their way is typically time.
More specifically, they feel it's next to impossible to find the time to learn how to exercise and eat right considering they have a full-time day job followed by a full-time nightly job of taking care of screaming kids.
I've scoured the internet looking for a solid article to send folks struggling with this, but most of them have stupid advice like:
"Take your kids on your 3 mile runs!"
Instead of sending people to silly and ineffective articles, I've decided to write my own.
The Truth About Losing Weight
Most people make working out and eating for weight loss harder than it needs to be. However, there is no approach to dropping weight that's "easy."
Every approach will require sacrifices, habit change, and willpower in times of stress and temptation.
I'm not going to tell you that balancing a job, kids, and fitness will be easy, rather I want to provide you with practical strategies that can help make things "less stressful."
Can you dig? - alright, let's get into it!
Start With a Plan
The biggest mistakes busy moms and dads make when beginning a diet and workout protocol is going in blind - they have no real plan for success.
There's more than one way to lose weight and maintain a healthy body, but all successful approaches have a few things in common:
1. They plan for progression - there are mechanisms and steps in place for making continued progress such as diet manipulation and workout phases.
2. Workouts are JUST tough enough - Your training sessions shouldn't leave you feeling exhausted and sick, however, if you don't feel any discomfort, you'll likely stay the same.
3. The diet plan ensures a calorie deficit - All weight loss comes down to energy balance. A well-structured diet is one that either directly or indirectly guarantees you are consistently eating few enough calories to lose weight.
Find a proven plan that you enjoy and stick with it.
Your life is already hectic - try to limit the amount of thinking and mental energy being used on workout and nutrition planning.
Don't Workout Every Day
Contrary to popular believe, MORE is not always BETTER. This is particularly the case with working out.
While there are programs out there properly designed for working out 5 times a week (like two of my favorite books, Bigger Leaner Stronger & Thinner Leaner Stronger), I've found that keeping your workout sessions to 2-3 times a week is the most sustainable and enjoyable approach.
If you're focusing on strength training (which you should be), then the days off will allow for adequate rest and recovery so you can continually make strength and muscle gains.
You'll also have dedicated workout days which will make scheduling and planning other life events much easier.
I created a free beginner's fitness plan that includes what I believe to be the most important exercise and nutritional tactics for losing weight and building muscle.
Plus, Include a free strength training workout plan for folks just getting started. Click the button below to get it for free!
Make Cooking Convenient
This is probably one of the hardest obstacles for busy parents to overcome.
It can be hard to plan out healthy meals when you have to cook for kids who think vegetables are "yucky."
I wish there was a quick-fix for this, but I haven't found or heard of one that is actually practical. Instead, here is my advice.
Go basic with your nutrition choices.
Sometimes you don't have time to cook or prep food, and a basic tuna sandwich will have to do.
One reason why I highly recommend tracking calories and macronutrients is that it allows for on-the-fly food choices.
Trying to eat exclusively clean foods is going to be hard, and what's worse is that simply eating healthy foods doesn't guarantee weight loss success.
Instead of guessing, take a few weeks to dial in your calories and portion sizes - You'll likely find that you've been overeating on many foods you thought were "healthy."
"Wait...200 calories for only TWO tablespoons of peanut butter?"
"Who the heck eats 3/4 a cup of Special K Cereal?!"
You'll be surprised how little food is in an actual serving size, but it will undoubtedly be the best skill you learn for losing and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.
Create a Morning Routine
I'm a big proponent of schedules. Along with a solid workout plan, I also recommend that you begin to incorporate a morning routine.
Morning routines are an excellent way to get productive work done in the morning before the hectic pre-work/school morning begins.
What's more is that it allows for a few small wins to start your day off right.
It doesn't have to be long either; a quick 15-30 minute routine will do. I typically do things like meditation, reading, and mobility in the morning while everyone else is asleep.
Make Fitness a Priority
This is the tip that no one wants to hear, but that is necessary for long-term success.
If you fail to make health and losing weight a priority, you'll never develop the grit and dedication needed to succeed in your endeavors.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Workout around you errands - If you are already going to be out grocery shopping, paying bills, etc., plan a 30-40 minute workout around those activities. This way you don't have to leave the house multiple times.
- Make sure everyone knows your schedule - Plan your workout in advance so that others know when you are and aren't available.
- Above all else, remember WHY you are doing this.
Life can get stressful and following through on a diet and workout plan will prove to be challenging at times.
Remembering why you have decided to lose weight and dedicate yourself to living a healthier life. It will prove to be a powerful re-motivator in times of stress.
Remember - You're working out because you love your kids and want to see them grow older.
You're working out so you can go on hikes, travel to soccer games, and walk around Disney World pain-free.
You're doing this for yourself, but mostly for them.
Eliminate the Busy Work
One of my goals in life is to bring weight loss success to anyone in any situation. No matter where you find yourself in life, I want to show you that change is possible.
This is why I offer online coaching.
Not everyone has the desire nor the time to spend hours researching the most effective workout and nutrition protocols for losing weight, and that's where I come in.
I provide clients (young and old) with a custom workout and diet protocol, so all they have to do is sit back and let nature take its course.
I am also available 24/7 for any questions or concerns they may have.
If you are interested in working with me, click here!