Losing weight after a baby can be hard. Scratch that! Weight loss is a struggle at any time for most people. After baby, you’re more tired and have less energy. I’ve put together 9 simple tips to improve weight loss that will hopefully help you lose weight and keep it off.
Disclaimer: Always ask a doctor before starting a diet or exercise program. This blog post is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical or health advice.
1. Find an exercise program that works right for you.
If you’re like me, I would walk into a big chain gym and feel completely lost. I would end up spending all my time on treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, etc. because those are the only machines I felt comfortable using. Of course, I’d never stick with it long and end up quitting a few weeks later. Had to love those annual contracts!!! $30 deducted every month for something I wasn’t even using.
I love that so many fitness programs have adopted a “Try Before You Buy” type of package now. This allows you to try the program out a few times before committing to a bigger investment. Most places have gotten away from requiring annual contracts, too, so there has never been a better time to find what works for you.
Here’s a quick list of some fitness programs or types of exercise to try: Yoga, Crossfit, Personal Training, 9Round, PureBarre, Boxing, Curves, Orangetheory, Kickboxing, Bootcamps, Rock Climbing, Krav Maga, Dance. There are always the traditional gym and limitless options for working out at home.
2. Find an accountability partner.
I love having a friend to keep me accountable. They don’t have to go with you every single time, but just having someone to encourage you through those times when you feel like giving up his huge. If you join a fitness program or gym, it’s great to try to build friendships there so they can also encourage you. The more people you have keep you accountable, the more likely you will be to stick with it.
3. Be Consistent!
I’ve found that once I get off the exercise or diet wagon, it’s so much harder to get back on. If I missed one day at the gym, it was easier for one day to become two days, three days, and so on. If I have a cheat on my diet all weekend, it’s harder to get back on it come Monday.
4. Kids can be a great help in your exercise journey.
Many families are so busy that finding time to exercise can be difficult. For older kids that play sports, practice the sport with them. Have them teach the family a new game they learned in gym class. Take a walk, bike ride, or run and let them tag along. If you have younger kids, walk or run while pushing the stroller. It doesn’t always just have to be around your neighborhood. I love walking around the local zoo and children’s museum.
5. Make small changes.
Don’t completely change your diet all at once. Small changes can usually be more beneficial to keeping with a diet for a longer period. Make small changes like: no more soda, cutting out fast food, portion control, cutting down on carbs. Keep track of calories in an app or in a notebook. Ease into your new exercise routine so your body can adjust to the new routine.
6. Try to workout for at least 30 minutes, 3 days a week.
Not having time is one of the biggest excuses people give for not working out. Setting aside 30 minutes, 3 days a week is not a huge time commitment and should be obtainable for most people. Set your alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier or utilize half of your lunch break to sneak your work out in to your day.
7. Drink more water.
We see this everywhere! Drink plenty of water. Well if you’re like me, it’s not easy. I can usually drink 2-3 glasses easily but then it goes downhill. Here are some tips that I have found to make things a little easier and reach the daily water intake goal:
• Infuse your water with fruit/vegetables/herbs (lemon, lime, cucumber, berries, mint, etc)
• Mark a big water bottle with small consumption goals to achieve throughout the day. For instance, have a certain number of ounces you have to hit every hour or every two hours.
• Reward yourself for hitting your goals.
8. Make it fun.
Exercising/dieting doesn’t have to be a miserable time. Here are some ways to make things fun:• Start a weight loss challenge with friends, family, co-workers, or other small group. Collect a small fee to join the challenge that can go towards a prize or two at the end. The prize(s) can be monetary, gift card to a health food store or clothing store, fitness equipment, or anything else your group would enjoy. One of the places I worked started a weight loss competition called “The Chub Club”. We had so much fun and all of us lost a lot of weight.
• Do you enjoy a particular fitness activity? Start a group for like-minded people to get together to participate together. Your group can walk, run, road bike, trail bike, roller blade, etc.
9. Get 8 hours or more of sleep each night.
Don’t we wish that this was as easy as it sounds. With busy schedules, parenting, stress, and countless other reasons, 8 hours of sleep can be impossible some or most nights. The goal is to make strides towards a better nights sleep. Have a million thoughts that run through your head as soon as you lay down? Find a way to wind down each night so that this doesn’t happen. Try things like shutting off the tv, read, or meditate (I love the Calm app!) 30-60 minutes before you go to bed.