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5 Genius Fitness Tips Every Full-Time Working Mom Must Try

5 Genius Fitness Tips Every Full-Time Working Mom Must Try

The sit-ups. The push-ups. The cardio. You’ve got so much exercising to do, but your life is packed full. You don’t have enough time to fit it all in.

From caring for the kids to keeping up with laundry and keeping the house clean, it seems virtually impossible to squeeze in a workout or prepare nutritious meals once you get home from your 9-5 job.

So, what happens? You get more behind every day. What’s worse is that every other working mom you know seems to have no problem working out on a regular basis. Are you the only full-time working mom who struggles to find the time to exercise?

Don’t believe it for a second.

If your biggest problem is not having enough time to exercise, you’re perfectly normal. Almost every working mom out there feels the same way.

Why Every Working Mom Feels Short On Time Most Of The Time

Working moms struggle with a lack of time more than most people do. From getting the kids ready for daycare or school to making sure they are safe and sound, every waking hour seems to be given to your children. It’s for good reason: they are your pride and joy.

You also have a house to maintain: laundry to be done, bathrooms to be cleaned, a kitchen to be maintained, a husband to tend to — everyone and everything demands your attention. It seems that you’re the only one that can maintain calm and order amongst the chaos.

What’s more is that you have a full-time job. No matter what your income stream looks like, it demands your time and attention. From taking care of your boss’s calendar to keeping order in the office, meeting deadlines, and organizing meetings, you are the heartbeat of your organization.

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So, how do you get it all done? Well, most working moms don’t all the time. Sometimes, the house stays dirty. Sometimes, the laundry piles up so high it looks like a miniature version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And sometimes, just sometimes, the chaos at work is too much.

Eventually, you start to play catchup with everything that’s befallen you. You might squeeze in an exercise session or two, but when those chaotic days come, you feel like quitting altogether.

Trust me, I get it. Overwhelm can set in and crush your spirit. You can only keep calm and order in your life for so long. And even as you struggle day by day, the temptation to give up your fitness dreams grows and grows.

And yet, some working moms seem to make a huge splash. They make time for exercise. They make time to prep nutritious meals. They make time to clean the house. They make time to do the laundry. They make time for their family. They have more energy. They lose the extra weight. They get fit.

How do these moms get it done? In one word: structure.

These working moms create a structure that puts them in full control of their weight loss goals.

Here’s how you can regain control of your schedule and turn things around.

1. You Must Prioritize Exercise

Ask yourself this question: Is exercise a top priority in my life?

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You might think it is because fitness is on your mind daily, but here’s a little secret: a should is totally different than a must. When something is not a priority, you will always make excuses not to do it.

Why should fitness be a priority? Because if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of your family?

Every day, we’re constantly bombarded with new-and-improved research that shows the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise. More energy. Less stress. A body geared for fighting off viruses. Now, don’t get me wrong, you’ll still have a sick day here and there, but not as often as you would if you weren’t active or eating healthy.

2. Specify The Reasons That Prompted Your Desire To Change

Here’s the thing about fitness: it will only work if you have the right mindset. You can have all the resources at your disposal, but without a compelling reason to exercise, you are likely to quit.

I’m not talking about having motivation or trying to pump yourself up on days you decide to work out. Motivation will only take you so far. Your reason is what will prevent you from veering off track or quitting altogether.

Your why will always keep you going.

Your why will help you develop discipline. You’ll be able to find the strength to exercise and eat healthy during times when it’s hard to do so.

An effective strategy is to keep a journal where you write your reasons for working out. Remember, your reasons are, well, your reasons. Don’t ever think that your reasons aren’t good enough. As a mother, you are a prime example for your family. Think about the impact on your husband and children when they see the dedication and drive you show for changing yourself.

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3. Think Family Fitness

Involve your children in your fitness routine. Why? Because it’s tough to find a babysitter to watch the kids for an hour or so, and just because you can’t find care for your children doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise. There are tons of ways you can include the kids in your fitness routine.

Some moms like to play games with their kids. They’ll race each other or play a game of tag. Invest in a children’s seat for your bike, or if your children are age-appropriate, buy them a bike of their own so they can join you on a bike ride.

Plus, there’s a new wave of what moms are calling “stroller fitness.” A lot of moms are walking or jogging with their kids in their strollers.

Don’t let your babies be an excuse for not exercising. Not only will you be active, but you can even form a strong bond with your kids just by having them around while you work out.

4. Know That Some Days Are Going To Be Easier Than Others

There are going to be days when you’re full of energy and feel like you can do extra. And then there are going to be days where you’re just happy to have put your workout clothes on. No matter what you feel on the difficult days, make sure that you at least try to get some activity in.

You might not be able to get in that full mile or strength train for 30 minutes. That’s fine. Each day is going to present its own unique obstacles. You might be fatigued. The kids might get sick. You might have to put in extra hours at work. Whatever the case, don’t give it the momentum that will make you give up.

Just keep going.

5. Don’t Go At It Alone

Try to find a community that will support you. Fitness and nutrition are more difficult if you have no one to fall back on. The important thing for this tip is to find a community that will 100% have your back. It could be your husband, a close friend, an online community, or another working mom. You can even seek the services of a life coach or fitness trainer.

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It’s important that your community understands your goals and desire for working out. Why? Because they are the ones that are going to keep you accountable. You will not achieve your fitness goals if you have a community that accepts every excuse you make. This is why I believe that the services of a life coach are a beneficial investment.

You want someone that will give you the kick in the pants you need to keep going. At the same time, you want someone that will be motivating and uplifting instead of critical and doubtful.

Create your community and you’ll increase your chances of making fitness a habit.

You Can Do This!

Moms, we need you! Not just to be alive, but to be involved and active in our lives. Your husband needs you. Your babies need you. Hell, the entire world needs you.

What would life be like without moms? What would life be like for your children without the warm and caring love of their mom? What would life be like for your husband without your intimate love and support for him and the family?

It is true that if you follow these tips, you will lose weight. But most importantly, if you follow these tips, you will create a mind and body that will give you the energy and strength you need to guide your family through the beautiful journey that is life.

So, when does your fitness routine start?

The choice is yours. Start now.

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Published on August 29, 2019

How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

Having a weight loss plateau is perfectly normal. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating though, and it feels like all your hard work has ground to a halt.

Instead of seeing a weight loss plateau as a roadblock, you need to see them as speed bumps that may get in the way from time to time but, can still be navigated.

This article will look at what causes these plateaus and how you can get through them the next time they may strike.

What Is a Weight Loss Plateau?

The basics of this plateau are that weight loss or fat loss has stalled after a period of progression. But what is the real reason this has happened and why does it occur when it does? Weight loss, or fat loss, has seemed to stall and the first thing to do is to recognize if this is a plateau.

If you weigh yourself daily, you know that there are fluctuations that occur each day. If you are weighing yourself every day, you want to at least be consistent with it. Your true weight will be first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You want to weigh yourself at the same time and also make sure your scale is calibrated properly. Even a floor that is not perfectly even can give you an inaccurate reading.

It’s important to do this first thing as your weight can fluctuate just over one day, with people often seeing variations of 3-5 pounds. Since there are these daily changes, you want to take a different approach and look at your weekly averages week after week. This will give you a better snapshot at your progress and if you’ve actually reached a plateau or not.

True weight loss happens over weeks and months and that’s why tracking is important. You should see a gradual decrease over this longer time period. Healthy and sustained weight loss will be around 1-2 pounds per week. It’s a linear path that will have small up and down spikes over the time period but should still move progressively downward.

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When you see that the weight isn’t gradually dropping the way it had been over the past weeks and months, that can be your sign you’ve hit a true weight loss plateau.

The Issues with the Scale

A scale gives you some data but doesn’t always show the whole picture. You will not get an idea of true body composition as a regular scale will not show a balance between lean muscle and body fat. You may have lost 5 pounds of body fat, but gained 5 pounds of muscle and the number on the scale would stay the same. That body compositional change, however, would show some great physical results.

The body fat loss would help you appear leaner and the lean muscle gain would also enhance your overall appearance. You could look significantly different while the number on the scale hasn’t changed.

The scale is also not going to reveal issues surrounding water retention or bloating along with the hormonal fluctuations that can cause these issues. You can still check the scale, but a better indicator of weight loss will be with a tape measure.

When you’ve lost body fat, you will notice your clothes fitting differently and tracking your body part measurements can be a great way to monitor results. If you are going the tape measure route, measure these main areas:

  • Hips
  • Right thigh – at the midrange point
  • Waist – just below your ribcage and above your belly button
  • Chest – measure under the armpits
  • Right bicep – unflexed
  • Right calf
  • Neck

You can take measurements on your right and left appendages, but this is a good base of measurement to track progress.

Why Is Your Weight Not Going Down?

This may be because you are doing too much and not getting enough calories at the same time. If you are overdoing it in the gym, it can be like taking a few steps backward. Your workouts shouldn’t be over 75 minutes (30-40 may be all you need) and you want some rest days throughout the week. If you’re working out every day and exhausting yourself, your body will go into that self-preservation mode, raising stress hormones and, again, making weight loss difficult.

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If you are involved in an adequate exercise program (3-4 days per week) and going for a reasonable amount of time, you may need to add in a little more physical activity if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau. This doesn’t have to be overly intense but some extra cardio may help. This can be another 5-10 minutes on to what you are normally doing, or one or two 20-minute walks added on to your weekly amount.

You also want to make sure you’re eating enough and getting into a bit of a calorie deficit[1] if weight loss has stalled. You need not count every calorie but it’s a good idea to take a few days to track your nutrition intake so you at least have a good idea where you’re at.

Many people do not understand how many calories they are taking in each day. Calorie counting is far from a perfect science but to get a rough ballpark figure, the average woman needs around 2000 calories a day to maintain. An average man will need around 2500 calories.[2] There are many factors that can alter this requirement but this is a good starting point.

If you’re not losing weight, you’ll want to reduce that amount by around 300 calories each day and see how this is going after a week or so. If there has been no change, you might need to drop another 200 calories. You don’t want this to go lower as not enough calories can have a negative effect on your metabolism and will lead to stalled weight loss.

Is 1000 Calories a Day Too Little?

In a word? Yes. Your body needs more than that just to carry out its basic functions of living – and that’s not including you getting up and moving around. Even if you were just to lie on the couch all day, your body will need at least 1200 to 1400 calories just to exist. If you are not giving your body sufficient calories, it goes into panic mode. Your metabolism will drop as your body needs to hold on to every precious calorie to sustain itself. When this happens you can kiss weight loss goodbye. The other problem is eventually you will snap because you are so hungry and will eat everything in sight.

When you flood calories into a body with a slowed metabolism, you can guess what they end up being stored as.

Keeping yourself fed with high-quality, and nutritious foods will allow your body to run optimally and provide you with energy to be active, burn body fat, and bust through those weight loss plateaus.

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What to Do When You Hit a Weight Loss Plateau

This is where it’s important to take a step back and have a look at what’s been going on in your life. Tracking your info can be helpful because it gives you some data to observe. You don’t have to be obsessive about it but recording your workouts, sleep, stress levels and understanding your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and basic metabolic rate (BMR) will help give you an indicator where the problems may arise.

If you’ve noticed you’ve been overly stressed with work and life lately, this may be the culprit. When your body experiences stress, it elevates stress hormones such as cortisol. When cortisol is constantly elevated, it can slow weight loss to a crawl. Stress hormones are released in the body as a way to preserve itself. The body will be more likely to hold on to body fat as it believes some sort of trauma is happening and it needs all the backup fuel it can get. At this point, your body is not interested in burning body fat, or building muscle – it’s interested in preserving things.

Higher stress may also lead to a lack of sleep which causes the same issues, and when you add these two together, they compound their negative effects. If you’re seeing this to be the case, it means you will have to slow things down a bit. Make getting extra sleep a priority and you may have to back off the workouts for a bit. Even better, taking some time off from the gym can be a great way to let your whole body, central nervous system, and immune system recover.

This could be a good time to focus on relaxing, meditation, or yoga. You also want to make sure you’re keeping your diet as clean as possible as eating things like refined sugar and carbs when stressed can easily lead to weight gain.

Listen to your body and give it a breather when needed. Doing this will allow it to come back stronger than before.

How to Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau

When you hit a plateau, it’s a sign that your body is becoming complacent. There is no longer enough stimulation to warrant a response from your body. If you remember back to high school biology, you’ll recall homeostasis. This is a state of balance and it’s the preferred state your body wants to be in. Your body is all about self-preservation and keeping things stable. This is an evolutionary response to conserve energy for those times when it may be more needed.

Your body will learn to do things as efficiently as possible and therefore, you will progress with weight loss, and muscle and strength gains for a while – but then it hits a wall. Your body has figured out how to efficiently manage what you’re throwing at it, and this means it’s time to switch things up.

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For workouts, you want to always keep your body guessing. The best workout is the one you haven’t done yet. Your body needs an ever-changing stimulus in order to get more results. The good news is this doesn’t have to be a drastic overhaul. If you’re exercising, you just want to make changes to your routine, exercise order, duration, or repetitions. At the very least, you want to do at least what you did last workout – plus a little more. If you ran for 30 minutes, go for 32 next time. If you did 10 repetitions of an exercise, go for 11 or 12.

You can change the order of the exercises you do, perform some cardio before strength training, add in some high-intensity intervals, or shorten your rest periods between sets. The main thing is to give a bit of a shock to your body in order for it to change.

Final Thoughts

Weight loss plateaus will happen, it’s just all about being prepared for when they strike. Getting an understanding of why they happen is important to progress past them. What’s also important is realizing how your body works, and what it needs in order for it to respond favourably to exercise and diet.

A weight-loss plateau can be overcome with changes in activity, addressing lifestyle issues, and keeping the diet as clean as possible. Recognizing when stress has overwhelmed you, sleep is being neglected, and you need a break will go a long way in helping combat weight loss plateaus.

You also need to be aware of consuming enough calories per day and the issues that come from not nourishing your body properly. Healthy weight loss is all about combining exercise, diet, rest, recovery, and an overall holistic approach for it to happen.

More About Healthy Weight Loss

Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

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