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Fitness plans for busy moms that get it done in a short amount of time are key to losing weight this year. You can exercise and eat well as a busy mama with the right, specialized program! As a certified Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, mom of three boys, and creator of The Postpartum Cure, I know how DIFFICULT fitness and health are for moms. The struggle is real when it comes to just finding any ounce of extra energy to do a squat or two. Add in the extra energy to cook healthier meals or force yourself to eat carrots, and a fitness plan can quickly become your worst enemy.
Don’t let your mom’s fitness plan become your worst enemy! Here is what to look for in a fitness plan for busy moms, as well as the top programs to consider for weight loss this year!
First, a mom’s fitness plan needs to take into account the lack of time and energy. Any fitness plan calling for over 30 minutes of exercise and meal prepping 25 small meals EVERY week is going to be stressful. This is because babies and small children have no mercy. The minute you embark on your exciting, rigorous new plan, someone will get sick. Then you will get sick. Or worse, someone will start wetting the bed nightly and waking up, or refusing to sleep past 4 am. The sabotage instantly starts the minute a busy mama finds the smallest ounce of motivation to start getting healthy and working out! So, when looking for a fitness program, some key things to consider are:
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- Length of workouts and types of workouts
- Meal planning and diet commitment
- Diet restrictions and rules
- Accountability and encouragement
- Duration of the plan (2 weeks, 3 months etc.)
The key to a successful fitness plan for busy mamas is a plan that is flexible, and efficient and offers accountability and support.
A plan that is too rigid with dietary restrictions and guidelines can cause lots of stress and anxiety. A plan that involves too long of workouts can make it impossible to ever accomplish one workout. A plan that lasts only 2 weeks doesn’t allow for much time to fully change habits. Here’s what you want in a fitness plan to ensure you are successful in every way possible:
- Dietary guidelines and calorie control. This is the KEY to weight loss
- Nourishing with whole foods in a variety of food types. Not restricting one type of food.
- Accountability and support groups for questions, concerns, recipe ideas and more
- Short and intense workouts to maximize time
A Successful Fitness Plan Holds Us Accountable for How Much We Are Eating
In the reality of life as a mom, a fitness plan needs to be simple and straightforward, as well as hold us accountable for how much we are eating. This is the key to weight loss: energy balance. If you are giving your body more energy than you are using, you will store the energy. If your body doesn’t have enough energy coming in, it is happy to use stored energy. Many are scared to eat too few calories while breastfeeding, for fear of losing milk supply. The truth is that those calories need to be nutrient-dense, and your body is happy to use fat. That is why it is there in the first place. Stored fat during pregnancy has one purpose, and that is for creating breast milk. If you know you have plenty of fat, your body will have no problem creating breast milk. Now, it may need a minute to switch to fat burning mode, which sometimes takes a few days, but it will. This is where nourishing your body is really important. Your body needs nutrients to function and work properly. If you are feeding your body lots of low-nutrient, processed foods, it won’t want to use fat as fuel. It will want to store nutrients because it thinks nutrients are scarce. If you need help or advice on the proper diet, my program is heavily focused on whole foods, nourishing your body and eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
Understanding How Exercise Burns Energy Appropriately
Another important aspect is understanding how to use exercise to burn energy. The ideal way is to burn a lot of calories, but that usually means spending a lot of time in inactivity. High-intensity workouts don’t burn as many calories as long walks or runs, but they do get as much done as possible in a little bit of time. Do not overestimate the calories you burn in 15 minutes of hard work. It may feel hard, but it doesn’t burn a lot of calories. You maybe burn 150 calories, whereas if you went walking or jogging for 30 minutes, you would burn more. BUT, high-intensity exercise is going to help you maintain muscle, which will keep your metabolism higher on a lower-calorie diet.
This does not mean that your 15-minute, hard workout entitles you to 500 extra calories, and I often advise mamas to not even think about their workouts as calorie burns to factor in because no one REALLY knows how many calories your body burned. If you find out the right balance of putting food in, since you know those calories, you can just do the workouts the best you can without calculating calories burned. Burning calories is actually something that is very dependent on the individual. It depends on your muscle mass, water content, weight, height and genetics. So, don’t worry about calorie burn, worry about calories in, and finding a number that enables you to lose weight and work out.
A Workout Plan With Care for Diastasis Recti
This is a big one for mom fitness programs. Even if you don’t have Diastasis Recti, your abs and pelvic floor have been through a lot. A plan that is friendly for your abs, or takes time to help you heal your abs and pelvic floor can do wonders for making you feel stronger in your workouts, and flattening your tummy! Sometimes working on your abs appropriately after babies leads to a flatter tummy, without losing any weight. This is because your muscles are encouraged to re-strengthen, you improve your mind-muscle connections and regain better posture (if your program helps you correctly). This is an important aspect of a mom fitness program that will help you ensure you are safely working your core and improving any incontinence issues that may be lingering after babies. In my program, I have a 3-week ab rehab and pelvic floor restore program I recommend doing before working out intensely if you are newly postpartum, or incorporating into your workout time if you are already working out.
A Program Needs To Have Home Workouts
Getting to the gym or creating a home gym is not feasible for many moms, so being able to jump into a workout in the yard, kitchen or living room is really important. Even when I had a gym membership, it wasn’t always feasible to get there because of schedules, kids getting sick and other things that pop up. Being able to get a quick and efficient workout in at home is really helpful. A program that has home workouts is going to really help if you have little ones who aren’t in school yet or a new baby. Even better, a program that incorporates kids into the workout can really make it fun. Myself, I personally don’t like working out with my kids. I can’t focus, so I use other forms of entertainment, or just wait til nap time. I also use lots of stroller time for fitness because I can run and walk. The stroller can be an awesome way to keep your little ones entertained and in one spot, so you can focus on working up a sweat. A great fitness program to look for is one that allows you to do this easily, and with 15-30 minutes workout options, so you can work with the time your kids will give you!
Go For A Program That Is a Lifestyle, Not Short and Fast
The reason you need your program to help you make a lifestyle change is because that is exactly what you need. Your body needs you to change your eating habits, so it can function at its best, you can feel your best, and ultimately you can be the best mama! Food is so much more than something that either makes you fat or skinny. Food is your fuel for emotions, mental health and physical health. Food is directly related to your mood and emotions. Dealing with feisty children, a fussy baby and lack of sleep is much easier if you are stable in your nutrients! Finding a program that helps you make changes and stick to those changes is so important!! A program that takes into account the reality of grocery shopping with kids, cooking for a family and incorporating family meals into your diet is KEY! (I have a specific video on this in my program, and how I use a ratio plan, so I can always eat what my family eats!). Your ultimate health success will be changing to a nutrient-dense diet slowly and surely over time, then learning to LOVE eating that way because of the way it makes you feel and look.
Finding the right fitness program as a mom can be so daunting with all the options out there today. A really good program forces you to do things on your own over time. Think of recipes, find more workouts and take responsibility for how much you are eating because that will inspire the most and long-lasting change. In my program, I encourage mamas to calculate their own caloric need because this is really important. YOU are responsible for your weight gain, and you need to take responsibility to lose it. What goes in your mouth is your choice, and that is the reality of the situation that NEEDS to be addressed with support, love and care! We have a private Facebook group for mamas in my program to help each other because taking responsibility is actually harder than it sounds! I give as much tools, information, meal plans, recipes and grocery lists as I can, but I can’t come to your house and make your food for you. A good fitness for moms gives them all the tools and resources they need to do the work themselves for the most impacting and long-lasting changes!
As the new year approaches, if you are motivated and ready to take action, I highly recommend my program to help you get there! My program also comes in an app, which makes it so easy to navigate. No downloading a bunch of PDFs to read through!
If you haven’t yet, check out all our courses, programs, challenges, & recipe book!
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