It’s no secret that having a baby changes EVERYTHING! Our bodies change, our relationships change and our schedules change. Add in older children, husbands and a myriad of other responsibilities and most of us can barely see straight, let alone prioritize our health. As moms, we put the family’s needs before our own. That puts our needs on the bottom of the list – if they make it on the list at all! Many women find themselves exhausted, frustrated and unable to recognize themselves anymore. They want to make a change, but feel too overwhelmed to start on their own.
Here’s the good news:
While putting yourself first (for once!) and focusing on your health can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Our partner, Melissa Shannon of Melissa Shannon Health and Wellness, has A PLAN for regaining your health and your confidence. Keep reading, moms! This is not your every day “eat less and lose weight” mantra.
Most of us have heard that if we want to lose weight we need to restrict our calories or cut out certain food groups. But the reality is, although you may see some results for a short while, it is not a lifestyle you can maintain long term. Achieving optimum health is so much more than moving more and eating less. If you are a busy mom who is looking to get in shape and stay that way, check out Melissa’s three tips that you can start incorporating into your life.
Eat MORE of the RIGHT foods.
Most women who are trying to lose weight are actually undereating. Crazy right? When we try to severely restrict our calories or eliminate certain groups of foods, it actually works against our efforts to lose weight. I advise women to track their macros instead of counting calories. So what’s a macro? Macro stands for macronutrients, which are our carbohydrates, fats and proteins. If you want to burn fat, it is essential that you are eating the right amount of the right macronutrients to fuel your body appropriately. Whole foods are the way to go!
Bonus: This is completely doable for breastfeeding mamas who want to shed some weight while also keeping up their supply.
Switch up your carb intake throughout the week.
Cycling your carbs simply means you are intentionally varying your carbohydrate intake from day to day. Carbs have gotten a bad rap over the last couple of decades and women are terrified of them. But we shouldn’t be! Not all carbs are created equally, and many of our most nutrient-rich foods are carbohydrates (think fruits and vegetables). A variation in carb intake helps to not only teach your body to use fat for fuel, but it ensures that you will have enough fuel to build lean, calorie-burning muscle. Low carb diets are very popular right now, and although they can initially help you lose fat, they are difficult to sustain long-term and can do some real damage to your metabolic rate, thyroid output and hormone levels.
Remember: Bagels and bananas are both carbs, but your body does different things with each of them. Eat the right carbs at the right times!
Intermittent fasting isn’t a fad or a diet, but an eating schedule. We’ve been told our whole lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that you need it to kick start your metabolism. But, there is very little research to support this. At all times, your body is in one of two states: fasted or fed. In the fed state (anytime your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make burning fat challenging. However, in a fasted state (8-12 hours after you’ve digested your last meal), your insulin levels are lower and better able to reach into your fat stores for fuel. We’ve long been told that we should be eating several small meals a day to lose fat, but that actually prevents you from ever reaching a fasted state, thus making it harder for your body to burn fat. Condensing your food intake into a smaller window throughout your day streamlines your morning, and what mom couldn’t use an easier morning?
Takeaway: Don’t let the term “fasting” scare you! People who fast intermittently are NOT starving. (They eat lots of yummy food!)
Melissa Shannon is a local wife, busy mom of three (including twins) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She holds a master’s degree in Counseling from Xavier University and is passionate about helping women achieve their health and wellness goals. She is also a Certified Coach with the FASTer Way To Fat Loss®, an online 6-week nutrition and exercise program. Her passion and goal is to equip and empower women with the tools they need to live a healthy, balanced, and most importantly, sustainable lifestyle. She feels that mothers can best take care of their families by taking care of themselves. Melissa runs FASTer Way To Fat Loss® rounds monthly with her next round starting on September 10th.
Get more information and register for Melissa’s next round here!