It's usually hard to lose weight, but it can feel impossible when you have a busy schedule as a mom. How are you supposed to get in your workouts? How do you stick to healthy eating habits while juggling work, kids, errands, and other obligations? How are you supposed to find the time for anything else in life with all these commitments? If you’re trying to figure out how to lose weight with a busy schedule, this article is for you.
The answer is simple: You don't need more hours in the day; what you really need is a foolproof plan and mindset shift. Today, we will dive into ten simple ways to lose weight even if you feel like you have absolutely no time.
Schedule is King
There is a big difference between writing out your schedule and having a vague "idea" in the back of your head. Having your work schedule, appointments, errands, and other plans written out in a planner (or saved in your phone calendar) makes all the difference. It gives you some boundaries for activities that would otherwise take up your entire day if you let them (laundry, anyone?).
Pro tip: Make sure to write down a specific time for things like self-care, workouts, and healthy meal prep so that you actually fit them in!
Consider Boosting Your Morning Routine
If you're exhausted, talking about a morning routine might make your head spin. I totally get it, but hear me out because morning routines can be truly magical. In reality, taking the time to start your day on the right foot can make the chaos of each day seem a little more manageable. This equates to more healthy time for you and less stress- both recipes for easier weight loss!
Pro tip: Try to get up before your kids- even if it's just for five minutes to drink hot coffee in peace before the whirlwind morning begins.
Just Say No (aka Boundary Setting)
This is a great next topic after discussing morning routines. Because your first reaction to morning is probably that you don't have time (this used to be mine for sure!). But this is where you can take an honest look at your schedule and determine what doesn't need to be there. What isn’t essential? Where can you ask for help? How can you prioritize? You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) do it all!
Ditch the Dieting Guilt
Counting calories and starving yourself to lose weight are a thing of the past. There are much more enjoyable ways to give yourself the upper hand on nutrition for reaching your goal weight. And thankfully, the right nutrition doesn't take any extra time, just simply a change in some of your choices and perspective. I know that eating well can feel so confusing. When in doubt, simply reach for the purest options possible. That means keeping it as easy as choosing nutrient dense whole foods over processed foods with empty calories when you can.
Have a Plan When You're Out
Nothing derails making (mostly) good food choices like being starving on the go or not having a plan when attending an event or happy hour. When your blood sugar is low, you are much more likely to reach for that bag of chips at the check stand or eat a tray of cookies for dinner at a party (we've all been there!). Try to avoid these situations by always having healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts on hand. I like to keep a stash for myself (and forever snacking toddlers) of healthy go-tos in the car, my work desk, and purse.
Take Advantage of the Little Moments to Move
Think you need to spend hours at the gym to get fit and lose weight. No way! When it comes to juggling school pick ups, play dates, meals, work obligations and everything in between- the magic is found in the little moments when you can move your body and exercise. It's always better to do what you can rather than get stuck in the mentality of "why even try."
Pro tip: Do 10 squats before you get in the shower, have a dance party with your kiddos, do jumping jacks for 1 minute when you first wake up- these all count and they also add up to burn calories! From there, if you find a few extra minutes (5+) you can even try a few quick HIIT workouts each week, which were made for busy mamas like you! :)
Rest When You Can
Sleep is SO important for achieving your weight loss goals and staying healthy. It helps to keep your cortisol (aka stress hormone that can cause weight gain) levels where they should be. Trying to get enough sleep can seem like a sick joke with a baby, toddler, or young child. You probably need more of it but just don't know how. Simply do the best you can mama. And this means letting go of some of those neglected projects and maybe getting to bed at a decent hour a few times a week.
Pro tip: Take a few minutes to unwind so that the sleep that you do get is more restful. That means getting off your screens and enjoying a book, meditation, or stretching to get your body and mind ready for rest.
Take Time for You
While it may seem like self-care is the last thing you need when you're trying to lose weight, giving yourself grace and love is probably the best thing you can do in this entire process. Feeling constantly stressed and on edge will keep your hormones out of balance and make it hard for your body to find the balance it needs. Are you giving yourself the credit you deserve for what you accomplish each day? Are you asking for help when you need it? Are you taking time for yourself (even if it's five minutes in the bathroom)?
Pro tip: Self-care comes in many forms, and it can start with talking to yourself the way you'd talk to others: nicely! (Hint: this takes no extra time, just a change in your thinking!)
Find the Right Support
As moms, we tend to try to hold all of the weight of the world and our families on our shoulders. However, the stress of this can make you feel insane. Plus, it can make it impossible to lose weight. Finding a community to help you reach your health goals and cheer you on through motherhood is essential. This can mean finding a workout partner, fitness coach, or an awesome online community filled with moms just like you. Plus, don't be afraid to ask your kids or partner to help more- or hire that babysitter when you feel like you're losing yourself and need a reboot.
As you begin to make a game plan for your weight loss journey based on what we just discussed, don't forget the importance of starting small and simple. Nothing is more frustrating and demotivating than trying to do too much at once (moms are most guilty of this for sure!). So make one small change at a time and build from there. The gradual progress and wins you can celebrate now will lead to some major positive change down the road. Never underestimate the power of small steps toward your goals!
The Bottom Line: Balance
Life is too short and beautiful to stress about losing weight. You'll find when you make some of these simple changes in your day that they can have a significant impact on your weight. More importantly, they will help you navigate motherhood with more energy, clarity, and joy. Life with kids can be a challenge, but hopefully you can bask in the rewarding moments that make you proud to be a mom.
Setting yourself up for success ultimately comes down to your environment and mindset. What little tweaks can you make so that you can get up 10 minutes earlier or reach for that bowl of fruit? What positive thoughts can you instill in your mind to empower you to feel your best? Life is a balancing act, and motherhood can make this harder to achieve- but not impossible! So enjoy this season of life as best you can and make choices that make you feel good.
Which of these recommendations could make a difference for you? Which small change could you make today?