It's a fact: Moms are some of the busiest people on earth! Whether we're looking after our little ones, heading to work, or waking up in the middle of the night to dry some tears, we don't stop. We're on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And while we wouldn't change our "mom" status for anything in the world, it can be difficult to stay fit and healthy with such a demanding daily routine. Without even realizing it, we may find ourselves grabbing sugary snacks for a midday boost. We may even be so busy that we forget to eat at all—that's no good either!
Before long, our dreams of getting our 20-something body back may disappear, leaving us feeling trapped and unmotivated. Without a nutrition or exercise plan, many of us carry on this way without hope of change.
If this sounds familiar, don't worry! Our bodies can be lean and sexy with a minimum amount of exercise. As long as we eat well 80 percent of the time and continue to be active as much as possible, you can lose weight, build muscle, and feel much better.
Adding diet and exercise on top of a super-busy schedule just takes a little finesse. To get started, implement the following tips. They'll help you figure out how to make the most out of the small holes in your day.
Plan Your Meals
Trying to save time by eating fast food and ready-made meals is one of the biggest mistakes busy moms make. Although it may save you time and energy to run to Burger King instead of cooking a meal, you're actually jeopardizing your long-term health. Don't forget: Your health and well-being has a huge impact on your children, both now and later.
Although it's going to take time and energy, it's far better to spend half an hour preparing healthy, nutritious meals for the day ahead. If you have the time, you can also spend a few hours on one day preparing food for the whole week. Just freeze the portions you won't eat in the next couple of days.
Each meal you make and eat should include protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Each of these macronutrients is an important part of a healthy diet. Just make sure you keep an eye on those portion sizes!
If you're ever in a pinch and need a nutritious meal in a matter of minutes, Bodybuilding.com's B-Elite Fuel meals are great to keep stocked in your freezer. They're made with clean, whole-food ingredients, and each meal has up to 42 grams of protein, as well as plenty of complex carbohydrates and nutritious fats.
Be Open to Change
I know, this tip may seem to be at odds with the first one about planning, but hear me out. Being a busy mom generally means things don't always go as planned. No matter how well you've scheduled your week, it only takes one thing—like your child getting sick—for the whole thing to fall apart. That's why it's important to be open to a bit of spontaneity.
Think of health and fitness as an integral part of your lifestyle rather than a fad you adopt for 6 or 12 weeks at a time. So, if you get really busy, snatch whatever time you can for exercising, even if it's not the gym session you were planning. Having one workout or even a few workouts that don't go as planned will not ruin your fitness, and you can definitely still get in a good sweat session with a solid at-home workout.
This positive perspective will give you the freedom to adjust you life as needed and to forgive yourself when things don't go quite as you thought they would. Don't let the small hiccups interfere with your lifestyle. Find a way to make health happen.
Prioritize High-Intensity Training
Who says physique-improving exercise needs to be boring and time-consuming? Busy people often forgo the gym because they believe they need to spend 1-2 hours working out to see results.
The truth is, you don't have to exercise for very long at all to get the benefits. High-intensity interval training and metabolic conditioning workouts often combine weights and cardio, so you can get an effective workout in as little as 30 minutes per day.
These tough workouts are even possible to do at home! So, if you really can't make it to the gym and have a few dumbbells or a kettlebell lying around, you have all the equipment you need to get your heart racing and your fat burning.
Make Fitness About Family
Your family is already the most important thing in your life, so why not invite them on your fitness journey? Children love to run around and play outside. Take them with you while you jog with your dog around the park, or do a fun playground workout while they're busy just being kids. Really, the options are endless.
Not only will including your family in your exercise regimen improve your own fitness level, but you'll be instilling positive habits in your little ones that will serve them for their entire lifetime. What could be better than that?
Know Your "Why"
Following an exercise and diet plan without a compelling reason means you probably won't last for long. Before you begin exercising or eating better, get clear on why you'd like to get fit.
Are you exercising and eating healthy to feel good about yourself again? Are you doing it so you can play with your children and enjoy watching them grow up? Whatever you choose, make sure it's emotionally charged, because it'll be more likely to carry you through for the long term.
Once you know your why, keep it at the forefront of your mind, especially when things get tough. Stick with it and you'll see great things happen!