Moms are busy so we need simple! The three main pillars of Living Room Workout Club are convenient, efficient, and effective because that’s what busy moms need. If you are finally serious about losing the baby weight, I’ve got 5 steps to get you there and none of them are magic pills, powders or wraps.
- Create a calorie deficit without cutting out whole macronutrient categories.
- Focus on lifting weights and cardio intervals.
- Add more general movement to your day.
- Do the work on your mindset too! (This step is often forgotten)
- Give yourself time. Embrace the process.
Create a calorie deficit without cutting out whole macronutrient categories.
Ultimately, no matter what “diet” you chose, fat loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out. No matter how you do it, 1 lb of fat = 3,500 calorie deficit. Could you create that deficit by cutting carbs out completely, but you would feel like sh*t. Heck you could create the deficit by eating nothing but ice cream and chocolate all day, but you would for sure feel like sh*t. In both scenarios, you would be missing valuable nutrients. You NEED carbs, protein and fat. Your body needs vitamins and minerals from veggies and you can’t be the mom you want to be if you feel like sh*t. Instead do it safely and sustainably.
You NEED protein. You NEED fat. You NEED vitamins and minerals from veggies. You can’t be the mom you want to be if you feel like sh*t.
Determine your daily calorie goals with slow sustainable weight loss in mind (0.5 – 1.5 pounds per week is safe, healthy and attainable). (Click here to read about how. I highly recommend reading the whole post but if not, scroll down to Stage 3). Eat mostly balanced meals made of “healthy” whole foods. Know what’s in your foods; read the nutrition facts. Cut out filler calories (there is too much sugar in so many things), so you can save room for the things you love. LINK TO LAST BLOG POST Focus on how foods make you feel AFTER you eat them not during.
Focus on lifting weights and cardio intervals.
Steady state cardio takes a lot of time for not a lot of results. Give or take depending on your body (numbers based on 150 lb person), when you spend 45 minutes walking on the treadmill you might burn 160 calories. Running at 5.5 mph on the treadmill burns 230 calories. In the context of calorie deficits mentioned above that’s not even enough to lose 0.5 pounds per week, IF you do it every day. That’s a lot of time spent for not a lot of results!
Interval based cardio can burn the same amount (if not more), in less time, AND kick in that after burn effect that will keep your metabolism fired up for hours after! Bottom line more calories burned all day long with less time workout out. Who wouldn’t want that!?!
Here’s how you do it: Warm up at low intensity for 5 minutes, then alternate between 90s high intensity and 90s low intensity for 10-20 minutes, finally cool down at low intensity for 5 minutes. Shoot for 1-3 days of this type of efficient cardio per week.
High intensity and low intensity will mean something different for everyone depending on where you are in your fitness journey. In general, high intensity is anything that gets your heart rate up over 75% of your max; you should be breathing hard enough that you can only get out 1 or 2 words at a time. (An elevated heart rate means a larger stress is being placed on your muscles. The repair period after the stress is what keeps your metabolism firing all day long.) Low intensity, on the other hand, is a slower, “conversation” pace. The combinations of high/low intensity exercises are endless: jog/walk, sprint/jog, sprints on a bike, alternating all out and slow laps in a pool or even my Naptime Cardio routine. Over time try to increase the intensity and duration of your high intensity intervals.
Weight (or Resistance) Training
The other piece of the puzzle, is strength training, preferably using heavy weights. Let me just nip it in the bud right here, because I know what you are thinking. “But I don’t want to get bulky.” You won’t! Putting on lean muscle is what gives you that toned look we all strive for. Nobody wants to look “skinny fat.” Also, by increasing muscle mass you increase your resting metabolic rate. That means you burn more calories doing anything and everything. Even just sitting here reading this blog post. Bonus!! There are also many other benefits of lifting weights.
Here’s how you do it: When strength training, it is important to use EVERY movement pattern. Using movement patterns to design your workout is the most efficient way to make sure you are training your whole body the right way. If a pattern is missing in a workout, you are failing to train your entire body and when a pattern is consistently missing from your workouts, you are setting yourself up for muscle imbalances and inevitably injury. This plug and play template will walk you through putting together your own workouts or you can start with some full body workouts I put together: one with dumbbells or one using resistance bands.
When you are super short on time, you can combine the strength training and cardio interval into these 15 minute HIIT workouts that I call Muscle Makers. These are the ultimate in convenience, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy running long and steady do not give it up. I’m just trying to inform you on the most efficient methods. I still run steady state regularly because I enjoy it, but my main training consists of intervals and weights. If you enjoy running or walking with other moms check out Moms Run This Town to find a chapter near you. We have on here in West Cobb and there are a few others in the area…and all around the world.
Add more general movement to your day.
Every little bit counts. Plain and simple, the more you move the more calories you burn. There is even a scientific name for it: NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Adding extra movement to your day can have a major impact on your overall health and weight loss.
The list is endless, but you can find some great mom friendly ideas here.
Do the work on your mindset too! This step is often forgotten.
First and foremost:
- Do not use food as a reward for exercise.
- Do not use exercise as a punishment for “poor” eating.
Create consistent healthy habits with both nutrition and exercise. You will notice they do work together in a positive way. When you eat well, you will feel better, have more energy for your workout and your workouts will become more effective. Then you will be more likely to continue to eat well because you FEEL good. Keep it positive mama.
Proper mindset is vital for long term success, but this requires work too. You need to take the time to reflect, ask yourself some tough questions and be brutally honest with yourself. You need to take the time to figure out what’s working and what’s not along the way. Take the time to learn your own strengths, weaknesses and internal motivators so you can create and love your new life. Understand that you have the control. This is a major component of both my online programs. You are STRONGER than you think.
Give yourself time. Embrace the process.
I know, I know, you want results and you want them now! The reality of the situation is it takes time. You must go into this process knowing that. If you expect your body back in just a few weeks, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m sure you’ve all seen the cliché it takes 9 months to make a baby, it should take at least that long to get your body back. On top of that, your life is completely different; you are responsible for a whole new life. Your body is completely different; your abs and pelvic floor will take time to heal (even if you are doing everything right).
Give yourself time, embrace the process and believe you will be stronger for it in the end. I firmly believe we have a harder job “getting fit” in new motherhood but when we figure it out we are so much better for it!
It’s all the work you put in on the way to reaching your goal that will transform you into a stronger version of yourself.
Not to mention, putting in this work now will prepare you for the next time around if you are planning for more little ones.
It takes courage, it takes works, it takes time, but you can do it.
A special note for breastfeeding mamas trying to lose weight:
Wait until you are done breastfeeding to completely access your progress. The prolactin (aka. breastfeeding hormone) decreases your estrogen levels, mimicking many of the symptoms of menopause, including the weight gain. Womp, womp. The good news is, it’s temporary (until the aforementioned menopause, ain’t it great being a woman?). So, for now, enjoy the extra snuggles and bonding time and work on developing the healthy habit mentioned above. You don’t have to wait on those. Well, aside from being cleared for exercise by your doctor 🙂