By Stephanie M. Cyr-Engro
About five week’s post-partum, I was determined to lose all 30 pounds of the weight I gained during pregnancy. For the most part, this was a successful mission, however, losing the last five pounds and getting the toned lean body I desired was not happening. My energy levels were low from sleepless nights and not eating throughout the day. When I did eat, I was not making healthy choices or consuming proper water amounts. My exercise routine consisted of weight training and cardio, which was a plus. Now I had to work on my eating habits, water intake and supplementation. All with a newborn and school.
So how do you incorporate clean eating and fitness with a busy schedule and a newborn baby? It’s all about planning…
- Set a goal: While setting goals you don’t want to go to the extreme. Start with a light amount of weight loss or smaller areas of the body you are looking to improve. Focusing on large goals that are not attainable in a short amount of time can lead to disappointment leading to the yo-yo effect. Making smaller goals will allow you to reach them in a small amount of time leading to increased confidence and motivation.
- Plan ahead: Planning ahead leaves little room for the “snack attack” or cravings to take over. Set a meal plan that works with your life style. Cooking for the week allows moms with busy schedules to still eat healthy and in necessary time frames to maintain your metabolism. It is recommended that you eat every 3-4 hours, with a balance of protein, complex carbs and vegetables for your main meals. Snacks should contain a half serving of protein along with a half serving of a healthy fat, fruit or vegetables.
Stock your fridge with cooked chicken, brown rice and sweet potatoes so you can just grab and go as needed. For vegetables, use frozen or fresh. Pop in microwave for four minutes or steam and place in containers. For fruit, always buy fresh, not canned. Canned fruits tend to have extra sugars and sweeteners which can lead to weight gain. Staying fresh, you get natural sugars and energy.
- Fitness: Plan a fitness schedule that works for you, is challenging and gets results. Incorporate weights and cardio. A lot of people make the mistake of putting all their energy into cardio. If this is you get out of that habit! The more muscle you build, the more fat the body burns and you’ll get better results.
As a new mother it’s hard to find time and making excuses seems to be the norm. However, it’s good early on, to set aside an hour or two for yourself each day. This may seem selfish and as though you are neglecting your child, but this is not the case. I learned myself that self-care is a necessity in motherhood. Being physically fit, makes you both emotionally and psychologically fit.
- Water consumption and supplementation: The human body needs water. If you’re not drinking water consistently throughout day, you’re dehydrating yourself and not allowing proper digestion. Drink water! Supplementation is also key to successful weight loss. More often than not, we do not consume all of the nutrients needed from food alone. Supplements can help aid in nutritional gaps, allowing the body to release fat instead of retaining it. After every workout, you should always have a protein shake to help allow the repair of muscles and growth.
Graduate of Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and mother of one child. I have competed in Miss Hawaiian Tropic Nationals, WBFF and Fitness Universe. Five and half months post baby I competed in Fitness Universe and won second place. I do not have a trainer nor am I a certified trainer/nutritionist. I write based off of life experience and what has and has not worked for myself over the past nine years.
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