Your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. — just enough time to get yourself and your kids out the door. You log 8 hours at work (including 5 minutes to scarf down your lunch), then you rush to get kids to practice and make sure homework’s done. Maybe you top off the day with a dinnertime swing past the local take away. Once you get the kids to bed, you step on the scale to see your weight slowly creeping upward as your energy level goes the opposite direction.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Some small changes you can sprinkle throughout your day will help you get to a healthy weight without throwing off your schedule. Even better? You’ll have the chance to show your kids that there’s always time to make healthy choices.
1. Plan out your meals.
This reason is the most appealing to me. I love saving time. Some people need to save more time than others. Everyone is different, and everyone’s needs are different. Identify where you need a time-saver, and plan your meals to save yourself the time you need. Its all about getting into a routine when the kids are back in school.
I’m not a morning person, at all. Breakfast used to always be the first thing to go if I woke up late or just took too long getting ready. So I learned that I needed to prep a breakfast ahead of time. The simple solution is to fill a lunch box with berries, porridge oats, another fruit if you wish and almond milk or skimmed milk. Trust me this is delicious if you leave it in the fridge over night and all you have to do the next morning is grab a spoon and you can have it on the go.
Try to cook a little extra the night before and put the contents into a lunch box. If you haven’t got a lot of lunchboxes lying around Aldi or Lidl sell them on the cheap.
If you planned ahead, you already know what’s for dinner, and you probably already have the ingredients for it. I’m on a mission to turn the classic “what’s for dinner?” question into “how can we prep for dinner?” and “will there be leftovers?”
2. Try to increase your water intake.
Drink 2 large glasses with breakfast, lunch and dinner at the minimum and more if you are thirsty or hungry. They will fill you up and you won’t eat so much. Save that glass of wine for dinner, or better when the kids have gone to bed at night.
3. Lead by example.
Are you frustrated that you kids won’t eat veggies? Well if they see food on your plate they will want it…. right? Your behavior right now will dictate how your child will eat for the rest of their lives so show them now how to stay lean and healthy by eating well in front of them. If YOU are picky about food THEY will be too.
4. Say NO to diets!
Diets are fads, they are marketing BS and you are smarter than that! Just eat real healthy food and count your calories and water intake. When I track my food I like to use MyFitness Pal or use a food diary. This allows me to see everything in black and white and allow me to see if there is anything I can improve on. I would suggest to follow the 80/20 rule as you are a human after all. The 80-20 principle for healthy eating is one of the easiest ways to reach and maintain a lean body. The simple plan requires that you eat a clean diet 80% of the time and then allow for a few more “fun foods”.
5. Avoid boredom eating
I am not a snacker, but most people are if you must snack choose veggies and lean protein. Some homemade dip and veggies are a great choice, or some low-fat cheese and an apple. Before you have that snack have a BIG glass of water, if you are still hungry after 5 minutes then have your snack.
6. Move your body.
Even if you are stuck in the house and can’t make it out to the gym or the park you can still burn some calories. Try to book a class in the local Flyefit Stilllorgan or in any of the other ones or if you want to get a specialised plan book a FREE CONSULTATION with a personal trainer (shame less plug www.shanewalshfitness.com)
7. Cook for yourself.
You are in a unique position where you can cook for yourself everyday, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if your kids are still on baby food start cooking breakfast and lunch for yourself. If you enjoy cooking, you will love this idea, if you are new to cooking look at it is practice. This will help you from grabbing a frozen meal full of chemicals, sodium and preservatives or skipping lunch and overeating at dinner. I make a big batch of something delicious at the beginning of the week and it feeds me for days.
It’s not just about you if you are a Stay at Home Mom or Dad, your kids will see your behaviour and imitate it. How would you feel if a Day Care provider was smoking a cigarette in front of your child? Well, eating an entire bag of chips or a candy bar in front of them is just as bad, maybe worse because there is no age requirement on food. Lead by example!
One more thing, don’t obsess about your weight in front of your kids, or at all for the matter!. If you beat yourself up your kids will do the same to themselves.
If you have any questions at all feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Instagram for more nutritional guidance.