“How to lose baby weight”
It’s a search that’s most new mommies have typed into Google the minute they tried on their pre-pregnancy clothes, only to discover they just don’t fit the way they used to.
Before I had Miles, I tried to be realistic. I vowed not to be too hard on myself; to take my time and remember that I had just grown a HUMAN. My body wouldn’t just snap back to what it once was!
But what I didn’t consider was that summer was just around the corner. Summer, with its jean shorts and clingy cotton dresses and dun dun dun SWIMSUITS. <insert scream here>
No matter how much weight you gain during your pregnancy, or how quickly that weight comes off, your body is still different after you have a baby. Your hips are wider. Your stomach is softer. Your boobs are bigger.
You tell yourself, “It took me 9 months to grow this baby…it will take me at least that long to get my body back.” But that thought doesn’t have much merit when you slip on a your favorite dress from the summer before and feel like a stuffed sausage.
I speak from experience, my friends. And because I’m right there with you, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a series dedicated to this very topic. I will share with you my meal plan, workout plan, my struggles and my triumphs as I try to firm up my post-baby body.
Now the truth is, I’m not trying to lose a ton of weight. But I am trying to get into a fitness routine and begin a healthy lifestyle, not just for myself, but to get my family on a healthy path and set a good example for Miles as he grows up. I’ve written a similar posts about this in the past, but now I want to start this first post off with some simple habits you can incorporate into your day-to-day routine to live a healthier lifestyle.
So here you are: 6 Habit Hacks for a Healthier You (try saying that 10 times fast):
1.) Plan ahead.
There are 2 ways I plan: 1.) My meals and 2.) My workouts
At the beginning of each week, I sit down and plan my meals for the week. I then write a grocery list and go shopping for those items. For me, it all has to happen at once…I have to plan and shop for the whole week or I’ll put it off, things will get busy, and before I know it, I’m ordering a pizza or eating ice cream for dinner (or both..cough cough).
I don’t plan my workouts a week in advance…my life isn’t nearly that predictable. But each night before bed or in the morning when I first wake up, I take a look at my to-do list for each day and schedule out a time for my workout. These days, my mommy brain has me running in a million different directions at once, so I use a list as a reference to keep me on track. And because I love crossing things off of my to-do list, I’m even more motivated to complete my workout!
2.) Do SOMETHING each day.
It is easy to fall into the “Not Good Enough” trap, meaning you think that unless you burn a bazillion calories, your workout isn’t good enough. Honestly, something is better than nothing, and while that sounds like an obvious statement, when you’re trying to lose weight it is a very challenging concept to grasp.
When I first started working out post-baby, I tried to jump right into Sean T’s T-25. And while I liked the workout, it challenged poor old out-of-shape me so much that I put it off each day until I stopped all together. I realized I needed to start small, establish a fitness routine, and then work up to the program. Now, I try to walk every day, either on the treadmill or outside, even if it’s just a short distance when I’m busy. And whenever I think that 250 calories isn’t a lot, I remind myself that it’s a hell of a lot more than what I burn sitting on the couch watching Awkward (My guilty pleasure…don’t judge), and that makes me feel better.
3.) Don’t let one misstep discourage you.
…which leads me to my next point. Just because you mess up, that doesn’t mean you have to give up. So you binge ate at Taco Bell on Saturday night…that doesn’t mean you have to eat like crap all day Sunday too, vowing to “start Monday.” The same goes for working out: Just because you missed a day (or a whole weekend of working out) doesn’t mean your efforts are a wash. Jump on the bike or head to the gym and start going. This is one of my biggest downfalls when I’m trying to be healthy!
4.) Less Carbs, More Veggies.
I plan to write a whole separate post dedicated to “Low-Carbing,” but for now I’ll tell you a simple trick to eating “health-ifying” your meals. Try to lower the amount of simple carbs in your diet, and I guarantee you’ll see a difference. That doesn’t mean you need to try to cut carbs out completely…that’s impossible, as there are carbs in EVERYTHING. But instead of eating a side of white rice for dinner, try a veggie instead. Instead of snacking on potato chips, try some carrots! And the simplest trick of all…try that burger without a bun!
5.) Use your baby/day-to-day surroundings.
I gave birth to a 10 lb, 1 oz beautiful baby boy. And that baby boy has gained about 8 lbs since he’s been born. Do you know what that means? I have an 18 lb weight at my disposal at all times. I bounce him up and down the hallways and do lunges. I do a few curls while holding his car seat. I tighten my abs when I rock him. My point? Use your baby and/or your surroundings to help you. Do push ups off the washer when you’re doing laundry. Do a few squats while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. Run up the stairs instead of walking. It sounds crazy, but every little bit helps!
6.) Re-evaluate your appetite.
Honestly, the power of habit is a force to be reckoned with. I find that so often, habit is to blame for my struggle in the “Healthy Lifestyle” game. I associate certain foods with one another (spaghetti with garlic bread vs. spaghetti and a salad), certain foods for meals (sandwiches for lunch vs. a chicken breast and veggies), and certain portion sizes (3 pieces of pizza vs. 2 pieces with a salad). If I just sit back and truly assess what my body needs vs. what my mind thinks I need, my diet would be so much healthier.
I’d love to hear from you. What is your biggest challenge in living a healthy lifestyle…one of the above? Or something different?Comments