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Spin spin sugar!

I wanted to pick a new activity to do so that I wouldn’t get bored of my current workout routine. I’ve dabbled in group cycling before and I’m always told it’s a great fat burner, so I thought why not!

If you’ve not tried spinning before, it’s basically an indoor group cycling class performed on stationary bikes. You all face the instructor who runs you through various exercises from sprints to standing hill climbs. You’re able to adjust the gears to mimic different road conditions and to vary how hard your workout is. The instructor will always play music to keep you going and thankfully the class I go to is always accompanied by an amazing playlist! The particular spinning class I go to can cater up to 10 people and there are a lot of new mums in the class, too. I like the size of the group but you can go to classes where there are over 20 or so cyclists – which could be a lot of fun.

I was also offered the option to pre-buy lessons for a saving and as another way to make sure I stick to these grand plans of mine, I took them up on the opportunity. I wouldn’t usually do this but I’m so glad I have as it’s made me attend and i’m loving it.

I’m lucky to have a wonderful instructor who explains absolutely everything so brilliantly and simply! Making sure the seat is set up correctly for your height is so important. Previously when I tried a class, I couldn’t have had my seat positioned right. I came away from aches in my back, wrists and knees! If you’ve not tried spinning before, I could recommend it. Just go at your own pace to start with and find a class whose music you enjoy – it makes such a difference!

Why I’m rejoining Weight Watchers

Right, enough is enough. Although I’ve been ok with my exercise and diet, this weight is just not shifting. So, I’m heading back to Weight Watchers!

I lost almost 50lbs with Weight Watchers before, so I know it works. I thought I’d be able to follow the plan and just use the online tools but I think I need the meeting experience – getting practical tips from the leader and members. Plus, getting weighed by someone else each week might be the push I need to be really healthy and lose some excess weight.

I’ll keep you posted!

Power Plates for Mums

In recent years you may have noticed a new machine taking up a corner in your gym, or overheard a conversion about Power Plate classes. Read on to find out what they are and whether they’re the answer for new mums to improve their fitness after having a baby.

A Power Plate is a vibrating machine built for one person to use at one time. You can squat on it, perform press ups on it, do ab crunches on it and even use it to massage aching muscles. This piece of machinery has become a staple in many gyms and there are even studios that specialise in offering Power Plate classes. The vibrations cause your muscles to automatically contract and relax.

Why Use it?
The Power Plate makes performing traditional exercises harder and promises to give users an all-boy workout in just 20-25 minutes. It is also meant to help improve strength, balance, flexibility, circulation, the appearance of cellulite and aid weight loss.

Power Plates for Mums
The Power Plate was first created to help astronauts regain their muscle strength and muscle memory after spending prolonged periods in zero gravity environments – and to so so quickly. With this is mind, it could provide new mums with a fast and effective form of exercise – ideal for anyone who has had a break from regular activity. There are also Power Plate studios that offer post-natal classes, focusing on movements to help mothers regain their fitness but are sensitive to the areas of the body that will need a little extra care while performing certain exercises. What’s more, you can even purchase plates for home use too!

After having my baby I was keen to get back into fitness but I struggled with when I would exercise and worried that I wouldn’t be able to work out efficiently in the time I did have (which wasn’t very much!). A friend of mine, who has had two babies, recommended my local Power Plates studio. I went along for a free trial and loved it instantly! The vibrations took a little while to get used to, but once I did I really enjoyed my 20 minute workout. I felt as though I was using the time I had to exercise as best as possible and I was able to take my little one along with me. It definitely helped me feel fitter, gain confidence in exercising again and lose some of the weight I had gained during pregnancy.

Mummy Diet Tips Made Easy

When you enter motherhood there’s a lot to get used to and the lack of time for yourself is one of those things. This can be especially frustrating if you’re keen to get your diet and fitness back on track and lose some post-baby weight. For that reason we bring you some top tips to make losing weight a little easier.

1. Walk whenever possible
Walking is a great way to shift unwanted lbs and it’s a gentle way to reintroduce yourself to exercise. Use it as an excuse to check out local parks or simply to pick up a few bits and pieces from your local corner shop. Your walks needn’t be long but try and head out with you buggy everyday for a short walk. Some days your walk may be a quick 10 minutes and others you may walk for a good hour – mix it up and enjoy the fresh air. Plus, babies love the motion and often have a good nap during some time outside.

2. Incorporate a bit of exercise into everyday activities
Time is no longer a luxury for mums, so try to work in a little extra movement throughout your everyday pursuits. Challenge yourself to do 5 squats every time you make a bottle of milk, or to have a regular ‘disco’ hour with your little ones and dance around your living room. No matter how old, your baby or toddler will love dancing with their mummy and you’ll burn plenty of calories too. Find what works for you.

3. Invest in some good trainers
With all of the above in mind, a decent pair of trainers will make moving around a lot for comfortable and prevent any aches and pains. Treat yourself at the same time and go for a pair you really love.

4. Quick healthy meals
Keep your kitchen stocked with some really quick yet healthy meals you don’t need to think about too much. Here are some ideas…

• Soups that take just a few minutes in the microwave or on the hob
• Packs of mixed grains, Quinoa or brown rice that you could add a can of tuna too with some salad leaves
• Eggs – poach them, scramble them or make an omelette. Eat with some bread and, or salad.
• Fruit and vegetables (like carrot batons) you can nibble on throughout the day to keep hunger at bay
• Protein bars and shakes – there’s loads of them on the market and they really do keep you feeling ful if you’re peckish (and they’re good for you).
• Red split lentils – they’re really easy to cook and can be mixed with any meat, fish or root vegetable to make a tasty stew. They take around 20 minutes to cook, but once everything is in the pan you can leave these to simmer with little work from yourself.

Alternatively, experiment with some healthy dishes and then make them your ‘go-to meals’ when you’re pushed for time – batch cook your favourite recipes and keep some portions to enjoy in the freezer so you can heat them up anytime.

5. Get a blender
Blenders have dropped considerably in price in recent years and are a great way to get your 5-a-day. You could whip up a smoothie for breakfast or as a snack.

Here’s one to try…

• A few tablespoons of porridge oats
• A handful of blueberries and strawberries (frozen are great as they keep for ages and make the smoothie nice and cold)
• A few spinach leaves (you won’t notice the spinach in the taste but you’ll get all the goodness from it. Again, you can use frozen or freeze a fresh pack that you keep just for smoothies)
• A banana or ½ and avocado
• 250ml of almond milk (lower calories than your regular cow’s milk and gives the smoothie and creamy taste, but feel free to stick to your usual milk) or water.

Enjoy!

An A-Z of Diet Tips for New Mums

Need a little inspiration to kick start your post-baby weight loss journey? Check out our A-Z of tips, designed just for new mums!

A is for ‘action’ and there’s no time like the present to start making small changes to improve your health and fitness.

B is for ‘buggy’. Use it as your secret weight loss tool! Take your little one out for a walk as much as possible or head to a local buggy fit class.

C is for ‘cleaning’. Next time you’re cleaning up, think of the calories you could be burning – so give it some welly and stick some music on while you do it!

D is for ‘dumbbells. Find a few minutes here and there throughout your week to do a little resistance training – it’s just as important as stretching or cardio. Small dumbbells can be purchased pretty cheaply or you can use cans of food (like a tin of baked beans) instead.

E is for ‘energy’ and we appreciate that you might not always have the energy to get up and exercise or to prepare the healthiest of meals. If that happens, don’t beat yourself up. Take the time you need to relax and try again the following day.

F is for ‘five-a-day’ – are you getting yours? You’ll feel tons better for eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Set a good example to your little ones and aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day.

G is for ‘grains’. Add them to your diet to bulk out your meals – they’ll help you feel fuller for longer and there are lots of super quick ones available on the market that only take a few minutes to cook.

H is for ‘HIIT’ – high intensity interval training. Forget slogging away in the gym hours and instead think 15 minutes of giving it your all. Check out someone like Joe Wicks on YouTube and you’ll find 15-20 minute workouts that you can do in your living room. The idea being you work hard for say 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds. You may repeat three types of exercises in one circuit and then the the entire circuit five times. You’ll be surprised how tiring it is but best of all it’ll only take up 15 minutes of your day.

I is for Instagram – use it for inspiration on workout tips, healthy recipes and cool workout clothes. Why not set up your own account that covers your weight loss journey.

J is for ‘jogging’ – when the weather is on your side nip out for a job round the block and treat it as a little bit of ‘me-time’ if you’re able to leave the kids at home. If not, have a little jog with your buggy and baby. Why not eh!

K is for ‘keepy uppy’ – play kid games and silly challenges as a way to more move – think outside the box when it comes to exercise.

L is for ‘lentils’. These bad boys are seriously healthy, filling and can be great as a baby weaning food too. Try red-split lentils with a load of root vegetables and chicken. Yum yum yum.

M is for ‘motivation’ – you can do it you gorgeous mummies!

N is for ‘no’ and not to take ‘no’ for an answer.

O is for ‘options’. If the way you used to get fit and diet no longer works now you’re a mummy, spend some time thinking about what you can do and new ways to reach your goals. If there are particular things blocking you write them down and brainstorm some alternatives. If you’re stuck, do a little Google search and see what comes up.

P is for ‘patience’. Be patient with your after-baby health loss regime. Give your body time to heal and be kind to yourself on days where perhaps you’ll little one isn’t sleeping so well or you’re unwell. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.

Q is for ‘questions’. Need help or advice on getting fit. Don’t be afraid to seek it from a Dr or health visitor with some guidance on getting back in shape if you really are struggling to balance it all.

R is for ‘routine’. Work on a routine that works for you and your baby. If it’s too ambitious you may feel disappointed if you can’t meet it and don’t be afraid if you have to switch it up every so often to correspond with your baby needs. For example, if you’re little one naps in the morning, use it as a time to batch cook a healthy recipe or to do a 15 minute workout at home.

S is for ‘sleep’. Don’t be hard on yourself with your weight loss goals. Sleep deprivation really can take its toll on new mums and it’s more important to catch some zzz’s when you can. So, when you have the energy try the above (letter R) but if not, put your feet up.

T is for ‘time’. It’s very precious when you’re a new mum and if you can, why not call on a spouse, a friend or a family member to help out once (or more) a week. Whether that’s to give you time to workout, cook in peace or just to sleep.

U is for is for ‘uniform’. Get some workout clothes so you feel comfortable exercises or going for long walks. You’re move likely to do it if you have the right kit.

V is for ‘virtuous’ – which is what you’ll feel when you find an exercise routine that works for you and some healthy go-to meals!

W is for ‘walk’ – walk whenever and wherever you can. It’s simple yet effective.

X is for ‘x-factor’; make it fun, dance and sing your way to weight loss!

Y is for ‘yes!’ you can do it!

Z is for ‘zzzs’ we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – sleep when you can people!

How Adele and Kourtney Kardashian lost their baby weight

What do Adele and Kourtney Kardashian have in common? Amazing pre-baby bods! Join us as we take a quick peek into their pre-baby workout and healthy eating regimes.

How did Adele lose weight after having a baby?
Answer: Gym with a personal trainer and Pilates.

According to various articles, Adele took to the gym to shift her post-baby weight, hiring the expertise of personal trainer Pete Geracimo and going twice a week. She also, on the recommendation of Alan Carr, took up pilates too. She quit smoking on top of that, when it appeared to be affecting her voice 3 years ago and we must say that she looks as gorgeous as ever.

How much weight has Adele lost?
30lbs

How did Kourtney Kardashian lose weight after having a baby?
Answer: Hitting the gym and pairing up with sister Khloe for workouts

Petite mum of three, Kourtney Kardashian has recently lose a lot of weight and is looking super toned. She was determined to lose her “stubborn” post baby weight and paired up with sister Khloe Kardashian to hit the gym regularly for personal training sessions with Gunnar Peterson.

How much weight has Kourtney Kardashian lost?
120lbs

Plus size sports clothes

Here’s a small directory of stores selling plus size sports clothes, to help you feel comfortable and supported while you workout – oh, and you’ll look pretty gorgeous too!

Simply Be
Simply Be has a great range of clothes from sizes 12-32 and their sports range is filled with classic pieces that will make you feel fab to workout in. The range features tops, leggings and more from brands such as Adidas, Ellesse and Nike.

Fabletics
Fabletics is home to gorgeous outfits to work out in. Although they’re at the higher end of the price scale, these pieces are excellent quality and figure hugging in the right places. Plus, when you browse their online range, you’ll also be recommended outfits based on your size, shape, favourite colours and what activity you’re interested in.

Fashion World
Fashion World has a wide and varied range with sizes from 8 – 32. This range is stylish, functional and well-worth a visit!

Curvissa
Comfortable and fashionable sportswear can be found at Curvissa, in sizes 14-32. You’ll find a wide range of plus-size sports gear to help you feel your best in the gym, out for a walk or whatever activity takes your fancy.

Evans
Evans is the well-known for providing a wide range of plus-size clothing and if you’re looking for larger sized sports clothes then Evans is worth a look. You’ll find sizes 14 – 32 ideal for workouts or relaxing.

Yours
Work-out in style with sportswear from Yours, the collection features items with a new moisture absorbent and fast drying ACTIVE range.

Taking Shape
This Australian brand is now available in the UK and offers plus-size sports clothes in fabulously bright and bold prints.

Instagram Inspiration – The Body Coach

Famous for his Lean in 15 recipe and exercise videos, Joe Wicks has taken the UK by storm. His method – healthy recipes and high intensity workouts that will only take you 15 minutes. He started posting 15 second videos on YouTube showcasing his speedy yet healthy recipes, and then moved onto 15 minute exercise demonstrations. This personal trainer has helped hundreds dramatically change their body shapes and his Instagram is well stocked with inspiration to help you lose weight healthily. Why not take a peak for yourself – search The Body Coach.

How Celeb Mums Lose their Post-Baby Weight

Ever wondered how those gorgeous celeb mums shift their post-baby weight? I’ve been pondering the same question, so here’s what I’ve found out about some of our most glamorous mummies and how they shifted the pounds after having a baby.

How did Beyonce lose her post-baby weight?
Answer: Healthy eating and dancing like a crazy!

In an interview with Shape magazine, Beyonce puts her post-baby weight loss down to healthy eating and dancing – a lot! Her motivation was an upcoming show (just 3 months after giving birth) and she was determined to look her best for it. While she achieved her goal, she did regret having such a short time frame in which to lose the weight and the pressure that came with it.

What we can learn from Beyonce?
Healthy eating is key and finding an activity that you can incorporate into your everyday routine is a great way to shift unwanted pounds.

How much weight did Beyonce gain during her pregnancy?
Beyonce gained 57lbs during her pregnancy and I’m sure you’ll agree that she looked beautiful before, during and after her pregnancy.

How did Kim Kardashian lose her post-baby weight?
Answer: Atkins diet and hitting the gym

Mum of two, Kim Kardashian, is on a mission to lose her post-baby weight after giving birth to her second child, Saint. She’s already proven to be more than capable of losing post-baby weight; after she shifted the pounds she gained when carrying her gorgeous baby girl North. This time round, she’s keeping fans in loop via social media and her app.

What can we learn from Kim Kardashian?
Keeping fit plays an important part in losing post-baby weight and using your social media accounts to declare your mission to lose weight, is a great incentive to stick to your plan. With all eyes watching (and thankfully we don’t have millions of followers like Kim, just our closest pals) it makes you feel more accountable.

How much weight did Kim Kardashian gain during her second pregnancy?
Kim Kardashian gained 52lbs while carrying her second child, Saint West.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll explore how Adele, Kourtney Kardashian, Davina McCall, Jessica Ennis and Holly Willoughby lose their post-baby weight.

5 Steps to Your Pre-Baby Body

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.

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