Staying on your diet can be a challenge for anyone, but for a busy working mom the challenges can be especially tough. A busy lifestyle can make it impossible to get to the gym for a daily workout, prepare your meals ahead of time, or even to remember to pack your lunch for work each day. Being in a rush can make it difficult to stick to your diet when it’s so easy to grab something at the drivethrough. Here’s a collection of hints and tips from other busy women that will help you stay on your diet despite all the temptations.
Don’t try to ‘save time’ by eating on the run, or snacking at your desk while you work. No matter how rushed you are, take the time to eat like a civilized human being, to quote my mother. Set the table, put your food on a plate and have a meal. You’ll eat less and feel fuller – and not feel the urge to snack because you ‘haven’t eaten anything all day’.
Cook just what will be eaten. Ignore all those homemaker articles that suggest that you ‘cook for tomorrow’ to save time. Cook one portion per person at each meal. That way you’ll avoid the temptation to finish off the leftover – and teach your family healthy eating habits.
Get up early enough to eat breakfast at home. The morning rush to get ready may make it tempting to grab something on the way to work, or skip breakfast entirely. Don’t do it. You’ll end up eating up all that saved time – and a lot more calories – with midmorning trips to the snack machine, or fight off the blahs all morning long. Stock up on easy breakfast foods. A piece of fruit, a container of yogurt and a slice of toast are a healthy, balanced start for your day.
Most diets suggest that you drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. If the thought of drinking a half gallon of water makes you queasy, there are ways to make it more appealing. Stock up on flavored bottled water in the fridge at work and keep one icy cold on your desk. At home, float mint sprigs or lemon slices in a crystal pitcher. There’s no added calories, but oh what a difference in presentation and flavor!
Trying to lose baby weight can be frustrating. You want to take it off as quickly as possible – but your body may not be cooperative. Keep in mind that your body is designed to nourish a child for up to a year after you give birth. Putting it on a starvation diet will kick it into survival gear, making it even harder to lose the extra weight. Instead of fighting your body’s natural tendency to store up nutrition for the baby, eat healthy portions and increase your activity level. And if you’re breastfeeding, remember that your body needs up to 1000 more calories a day than usual. Don’t skimp – you’ll just convince your body that it’s starving.
Employ the buddy system for moral support. Making a pact with a friend to exercise together makes it easier to stick to your resolution. Instead of meeting with friends for lunch, challenge friends to a tennis game, or take a brisk walk in the park together.
Remember that a healthy, active lifestyle and a nutritious diet are the true keys to losing weight permanently. By choosing a diet that makes sense for your lifestyle, you’ll make it easier on yourself to lose weight, and keep it off for good.