The beginning of the year is often a time for moms to set weight-loss goals. Whether they want to achieve New Year’s resolutions or prepare for a spring-break trip with the family, many people have thrown out the holiday treats* and are focused on losing those extra pounds.
While the first week or two might be easy, it’s hard to stay motivated after the shine of the new year wears off and life picks back up. If you’re struggling to carve out time for weight loss*, take a step back and try these six tactics.
Meal Prep Snacks and Lunches
You might not be able to meal prep for your entire family, but if you can plan your meals for the week ahead of time and cook as many as possible early on, it will be easier to stick to your diet. Consider setting aside Sunday evening for meal prep and decide what you want for at least breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day.
Along with making your list, Sunday can be spent executing it. Cut up fruit that won’t go bad, create salads for lunch, and season meat so it’s ready for cooking when you need it. The goal of meal prepping is to make healthy eating easy and convenient.
Opening a pre-made salad from the refrigerator is easier than cooking something unhealthy or going out for fast food. You will save time and eat better.
Getting your kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door on time is likely your main goal in the morning. Because of this, you may be skipping out on the most important meal of day in order to save time. Getting the proper nutrients first thing in the morning can help curb hunger and cravings later in the day.
For example, a protein heavy breakfast can help you control your appetite throughout the day. If your body is properly nourished, you won’t feel like the need to scarf down a glazed doughnut from the break room.
While it may seem daunting to find the time to eat a protein packed breakfast each morning, you can try to implement some quick and easy breakfasts into your week. Things like egg whites, oatmeal, or yogurt don’t require much prep time and are better than not eating breakfast at all.
Look for Simple Workouts Built Into the Day
Every mom wishes she could spend an hour at the gym each day (not counting the time it takes to go there and the showering and changing that comes afterward), but it’s a luxury most busy parents can’t afford. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier to turn your home into a gym for convenient workouts on your time.
Consider looking for online videos or digital personal trainers that lead you through short, 15-minute workouts in the morning or evening. You can do your workout before you shower for the day and even enjoy a little peace and quiet with a workout before the kids wake up.
If possible, try to look for ways to work out that align with your kids’ schedules, like dropping them off for soccer practice at the park and using that time to run a few laps while you’re there.
Track Your Caloric Intake On the Go
Smartphones have made it easier to track calories, even if you’re not eating at home. Instead of consulting bulky calorie books, apps can look up the food you’re eating and provide its nutritional information. Even if you’re out shopping at the store, you can often scan barcodes to get the exact nutritional information of certain products.
Other tools can help with the mental and emotional aspects of weight loss*. For example, the health app Lifesum encourages users to share their progress photos, check their measurements, and record how they feel during their weight-loss journey. This creates a community of cheerleaders to help moms who might be struggling emotionally to keep up.
Get More Sleep
According to Women’s Health, forty percent of Americans are getting only six hours of sleep or less per night. While most of us can feel the effects of sleep deprivation through crankiness and grogginess, some people may not be aware that not getting enough sleep can also cause weight gain.
As a parent, getting a full eight hours of sleep might be at the bottom of your priority list. But, if you’re hoping to lose* weight and are looking for another reason to hit the snooze button each morning, you might want to consider catching a few extra Z’s.
Getting a good night’s rest can help your body burn calories, even when you’re not being physically active. One study found that those who got the appropriate amount of sleep each night burned five percent more calories than those who did not get a full night of sleep. Additionally, those who were well rested burned 20 percent more calories after eating.
Find a Weight Loss Partner
One of the most challenging things about weight loss* is that you’re usually doing it all by yourself. This can make staying motivated very tough. However, if you can find someone to partner with you and stick to a diet or exercise routine together, you could find more success in your weight loss* goals.
Consider reaching out to another mom or parent in your neighborhood who you can meet up with after dinner for a quick walk. Or get one of your friends to commit to the same diet as you, so you can text or call each other when you need a little boost* or reminder to put down an unhealthy snack.
Having someone in your corner to help you meet your goals could be crucial to staying on track and not losing site of the finish line.
No dieter is perfect, and it’s OK for you to slip up every once in a while. But by using these six tools, you can successfully shed weight and look great in 2018.
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