Getting back in shape after having a baby is no small feat. If time to exercise and knowing what to eat was tricky pre-baby, post-baby can be even harder and more of a minefield. How do you fit it all in? Here are some steps that have helped me a little and I hope you find them useful.
1. Use nap and bedtimes to your advantage. When you’re little one is asleep, spend some of that time exercising and planning what healthy meals and snacks you can eat that day or week. Visit YouTube for at home workout ideas (no equipment necessary and can be done in any living room), or download some free apps for more workout ideas and recipe inspiration. Jot down, whether that’s on paper, on your phone or a tracking app, what healthy foods you could prepare that week. Plan just a day in advance or a full week if the mood takes you! You’re more likely to stay to plan and not pick if you already know what you’re going to eat throughout the day.
2. Include your family as much as possible, especially if it makes it easier for you to be active. Walking is a great and free first step to building your fitness and losing weight. Your little ones can join in too, whether that’s alongside you or in a buggy. Need a little motivation? There are lots of pedometers, tracking devices and free apps you can download to keep a record of your steps. Week on week, see if you can beat your own record. You could also sign up to a mummy and baby exercise class, there are lots of them out there. Alternatively, if it’s too difficult to be more active with your kids, why not ask other family members or friends to look after your children for just 30 minutes while you go for a walk, a class of some sort or do a fitness video at home. You can have a great workout in that time, and it’s not too long for anyone other than yourself to look after the kids!
3. Keep workouts short. You don’t need to spend hours in a gym to burn fat and feel fitter. 10 minutes of yoga everyday, or a 20 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) session will do wonders – turn to online videos, apps, DVDs or books for guidance of what to do.
4. Make online shopping your best friend. Time is precious, so why not buy your food online and keep your kitchen well stocked with healthy snacks and ingredients. Most online supermarkets also have recipe sections tailored to families and where you can simply add all the ingredients needed for the recipe straight to your basket.
5. One pot recipes and healthy finger foods are great for keeping on track with your eating. A one pot recipe allows you to add loads of vegetables to a dish, alongside your favourite meat, fish or pulses. Best of all though, you can leave the dish cooking while you tend to everything else! Alternatively fill your kitchen with healthy finger foods that can make tasty and quick lunches and snacks. Such as wholemeal pitta breads, carrots and houmous.
I’ve always struggled with my weight but before falling pregnant I had just lost the most weight ever. I was serial yo yo dieter and becoming increasingly unhappy with my weight gain. I was a little active but felt at a lost. At that time I joined a weight loss group. I had great success and got to my goal weight in time for my wedding. A few years later I fell pregnant and enjoyed eating for two!
Losing weight this time round is so different, because you don’t have the luxury to just go for a jog or to sleep through the night! These tips have helped me to lose 3 stone since giving birth and i’m still going (I gained 5 stone in total!).
Looking after a baby is challenging work and it’s no 9am to 5pm, you’re on call round the clock. It can already feel as though there are not enough hours in the day, but it is important to have some “me-time” and make sure you’re in fit, fighting shape for yourself and your family. Be sure to speak to your doctor before embarking on any weight loss or exercise regime. Best of luck.