Many of us struggle with our weight, especially once we’ve had children. After a tough day with the kids, it can be easy to hit the biscuit tin and open a bottle of wine once they’ve gone to bed, and we’ve all been guilty of having a secret snack in the kitchen just after we’ve told the kids that they’re not allowed anything to eat before dinner.
For most mum’s, time is also a big problem. When our children are young, they are with us all of the time. When your partner gets home, you’re so tired that the idea of going for a run or to the gym is too much to bear, and you can’t find time in the day to do much more than load the washing machine or clear the breakfast bowls. Then, when your children go to school, you might go back to working more hours. When you are tired, stressed out and short on time, you don’t want to cook healthy meals or exercise. You want to indulge in fast food and treats, and you can feel like you need a glass of wine to switch off and relax before bed.
All of this can easily have an adverse effect on your waistline. It starts as a few pounds here and there. You barely notice them until your jeans start to get a little tighter. Then, out of nowhere, you’ve had to replace most of your clothes, and you’re terrified of looking in the mirror.
When this happens, you might decide that it’s time to start making some changes. To lose some weight, to lead a healthier lifestyle and to set an excellent example for your kids. Not necessarily because you are bothered about how you look, or what others think of you. But, because you want to be healthy, happy and confident in your own skin.
Deciding to change is the first step. But, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many articles, apps, videos and books out there about losing weight and living a healthier life. Most of it contradictory or downright dangerous. It can be overwhelming, scary and a little upsetting. But, it doesn’t need to be. Here is a look at some simple things that you can do to lose a little weight and feel fantastic.
Break It Down
Getting on the scales to see that you’ve gained two stone can be upsetting. You might want to lose it as quickly as you can. But, chances are that it took you a long time to gain it. You didn’t overeat one day and wake up this way. It happened slowly, over a longer period. So, you should try to lose it the same way.
Setting yourself a big target is a fantastic idea. But, it can make it seem too difficult. Instead, set yourself smaller goals and celebrate when you hit them.
Don’t Obsess Over Weight
Obsessing over your weight make be depressing. It can take over your life, and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead, focus on your body as a whole. Your target doesn’t need to be about weight. You could have a target pair of jeans that you want to get into. Your other goals could be about losing an inch here and there, or being able to run up the stairs without getting out of breath. You never need to get on the scales if you don’t want to. This can be a much easier and healthier way to lose weight.
Burn More Calories
The key to losing weight and gaining fitness is burning off more calories than you eat. It’s a really simple equation when you write it down like that. But, it’s not always as easy to achieve. Especially when the foods that you love are packed with calories. If you want to eat them, you need to burn them.
A great way to start is by tracking what you are eating, and what you are burning. To give yourself a clearer idea of where you are and what you need to change. When you start tracking you might be surprised to find just how much you are eating, and how little you are burning. An activity tracker like a Fitbit can be a brilliant way to get a realistic view of how much you are moving on a normal day.
Avoid the Gym
When you are overweight, the idea of even walking into a gym can fill you with dread. So, don’t. Joining a gym and getting the help of the staff there can be a great idea that could really help you. But, if it makes you feel anxious and stressed out, don’t do it. You’ll eat more because you are stressed, you’ll avoid going, and your self-esteem will suffer. So, just don’t do it.
Once you are feeling better about yourself, you might feel ready, but don’t push yourself to do something that causes you distress. Instead, focus on walking more, and try some other exercises.
Try the Couch to 5K
Running is one of the best exercises for losing weight. Especially when you first get started. But, it’s hard. Especially if you are very unfit, or you’ve never run before. Many people try to go for a run around the park without any clear plan. They get tired, their legs hurt, and they stop. They assume that they can’t run, and they give up.
The couch to 5k program is designed for complete beginners. It takes you from couch potato, to someone that can run 5k, or for 30 minutes solid, in around nine weeks. In the first weeks, you’ll be running from 30 seconds to two minutes, with longer walking intervals between runs. The runs slowly get longer, and the walks shorter, until you are a runner.
Have a Go at Online Videos
Running is great, but over time your body will need more. Exercises like yoga and Pilates can strengthen and lengthen your muscles, helping to you develop a stronger core. You’ll find that you run faster and stronger and that you burn more calories with all of your movements.
YouTube is full of fantastic exercise videos that you can do from the safety of your own home. Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or an hour, there will be a video that can help you to get stronger, hit your targets and burn more calories. Online videos can also help to boost your confidence. You’ll feel yourself getting better at your workouts, and you’ll want to try more and more.
Give Up Bad Habits
Bad habits, like smoking, drinking too much and enjoying too many fizzy drinks can undo all of your hard work. Giving them up though can be tough. So, find alternatives like Aspire Coils or healthier sweeteners, to help you make the changes your body needs.
Find Tasty Healthy Recipes
One problem that so many of us have is that we don’t think that healthy meals will taste as good as a big greasy burger. But, they can. Look for great tasting healthy recipes, start buying low-fat products, and try substitutions, like using turkey mince instead of beef, or making bean burgers instead of meat. Try healthy fishcakes, turkey burgers and a good old-fashioned five bean chilli to get you started. Get into the habit of only having alcohol on two nights a week, and snacking on sweet fruits and smoothies.
Use this as a chance to experiment with different ingredients and flavours, and you’ll soon love healthy food.