So you are a mum and you want your pre baby body back right?
Your unhappy with how you look and want to get back to your old self?
Maybe you’re lacking energy, feeling sluggish and want to get fit again?
You’re thinking it was hard enough staying in shape before you had your little bundle of joy, let alone getting back in shape when you have this little human to look after 24/7.
It’s tough for some mums to get back into shape after having children sometimes really tough. Yes you have the kids to deal with now, but your body has also been through a dramatic change. This has left your hormones a little out of whack, you still get weird cravings you never had before and you feel like you’ve been pushed to the brink and back again.
But we don’t want to let you in fall into the trap! The trap of slowly gaining more and more weight, year after year and never getting back to feeling and looking fantastic post bub.
Just because you’re now a mum, doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel amazing too!
So the purpose of this article is to provide you with seven simple steps that you can take and apply straight away so you can begin to see the baby weight fall off to reveal your pre baby body once again.
Step #1 Start training with weights again
One of the single best things a new mum can do after having a bub is to return to or start training with weights.
Resistance training will allow you to:
- Become stronger
- Improve core strength
- Increase metabolism
- Build lean muscle mass
- Burn Body fat
- Improve insulin sensitivity (carb tolerance)
- Improve regulation of other hormones
- Sleep better
- Have more energy
- Eat more and loose body fat
How to use it:
Weight training should make up the bulk of your weekly exercise regime. You should aim to train with weights ideally 3-4 days per week using large compound (multi-joint) movements like squats, deadlifts, rows and presses.
If training time is limited save the calf raises and tricep kick backs for the bikini models and focus on the most bang for buck movements for best results.
If you are unsure or haven’t trained with weights before I would highly recommend hiring a coach to guide you along the way.
Step #2 Ditch the cardio and opt for High Intensity Interval Training
Maybe going for a run or walk worked for you when you where younger to keep the weight off, but that just won’t cut it anymore.
Its time to ditch the long cardio sessions like RPM, body step, Zumba, running, cycling etc. and opt for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) once or twice per week.
Excessive cardio training has negative long-term side effects in regards to maintaining a lean, defined physique.
Too much cardio often leads to:
- Chronic elevation of Cortisol
- Break down of muscle tissue and inhibition of building muscle tissue
- Decreased metabolic rate
- Eat four meals per day
- Have 150g of meat (raw weight) with each meal
- Have vegetables with all meals
- Add a healthy fat source to first 2 meals (coconut oil, avocado, nuts etc)
- Add a piece of fruit to the third meal
- Add starchy carbs to the last meal
Mums generally have enough stress as it is trying to fit everything in. So further raising your stress hormone (cortisol) with long cardio sessions will leave you losing muscle tissue and lowering your metabolic rate, which is bad news for long term health.
How to use it:
Start doing short but intense HIIT sessions. This is where you will complete short bouts of work interspersed with periods or rest.
An example of this could be done using an exercise bike:
30 seconds as fast as possible
60 seconds active recovery (slow pedaling)
Repeat 6 to 12 times
In week one start with 6 repeats and build by one extra sprint every week.
I would recommend starting with an exercise mode like the exercise bike, as it will reduce chances of injury.
You could use a similar protocol with beach sprints, or with different tools and exercises in the gym.
Step #3 Eat a healthy source of protein with every meal
This tip is as simple as it sounds.
Eat a source of protein with every meal you eat. This means that you either have a source of meat or eggs with every meal.
For portion sizes aim for a piece of meat the same size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
Breakfast is where most mums will struggle with this step. Sometimes the thought of eating meat for breakfast can scare people but trust me it is the single best thing you can do to improve not only your physique but your mood, motivation and energy levels too.
How to use it:
Plan out your meals the day before you have to eat them. Don’t leave anything to chance. Make the time at night to prepare your 3 or 4 meals for the following day.
If you don’t think you can stomach meat at breakfast time, I urge you to try it for one week and see how you go. Start with a white meat like chicken or turkey, as it can be a little easier to get the ball rolling.
If not you can have eggs in the morning instead.
If you can’t eat meat or eggs I would suggest having a protein smoothie with some healthy fats added like avocado, coconut oil or a nut butter of choice.
See the video below for more information
Step #4 Eat your carbs at night
You have probably heard the old myth:
“you have to eat all your carbohydrates before 5pm or else they will be stored as fat” right?
This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Carbohydrates are fantastic and shouldn’t be feared but definitely should be moderated for best results.
Now when our goal is fat loss, generally a diet lower in carbohydrates will yield the best results.
So ideally we recommend mums start out by eating their carbohydrates at nighttime with dinner as apposed to with breakfast or during the day.
Our bodies are designed to burn body fat while we sleep at night. Now this fat burning can be continued into the morning IF we keep our breakfast free from carbohydrates.
This is why we recommend a breakfast high in proteins and healthy fats.
Now if we are overweight this generally means our bodies don’t use carbohydrates as efficiently as they should so they can tend to make us tired.
So skipping the carbs at lunch and opting for a higher protein and fat meal is recommended in most cases when starting out.
At night however is when we want to become a little more tired and relaxed to help us get to sleep at night. So this is why we add starchy carbohydrates to dinner.
How to use it:
Breakfast: Protein + fats + vegetables
Lunch: Protein + Fats + vegetables
Snack: Protein + piece of fruit
Dinner: Protein + starchy carbs + vegetables
Great starchy carb choices include: Sweet potato, white potato, pumpkin, brown rice, basmati rice and quinoa.
Step #5 Eat more (of the right stuff) to lose body fat, tone up and feel fantastic
Another issue we commonly see with mums and the ladies in general is they are sometimes drastically under eating with the belief that this will allow them to burn body fat.
Now it is true we need to burn more energy (calories) than we consume to lose body fat. But under eating long term is bad news for your metabolism as it will leave your basal metabolic rate (BMR) much lower meaning you have to eat less and less to maintain your weight.
Sounds fun right?
What we want to do is eat more of the nutritious good stuff and avoid the calorie dense junk. So this means we want to eat foods that are as nutrient dense as possible.
The Paleo way of eating is great for a new mum with the addition of rice as it is a great source of starchy carbs and delicious with dinner.
How to use it:
Step #6 Prioritize sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated aspects of feeling great, losing body fat and just generally being healthy.
Check out the quick video below for eight things you can start doing straight away to improve your sleep:
How to use it:
Choose one method of improving sleep from the video and start doing it straight away.
Step #7 Take daily action to reduce stress
We are 100 times more stressed than our grand parents were!
Just because you don't necessarily feel mentally of physically stressed out doesn't mean you aren't stresses out. We are all under increasing amounts of stress just due to the way life is in today’s day and age.
Causes of this stress include life stress, lack of sleep, toxicity, too higher sugar / too higher carb diets, unknown food sensitivities, going to long between meals, Wi-fi signals, email, phones, radiation, un-natural light during night hours and the list goes on.
We cannot escape these stressors completely but we can reduce them and help our body’s better cope with stress.
How to use it:
Here are 9 simple ways to begin reducing stress:
- Drink lots of water! Shoot for 37ml of every kg of body weight
- Add lemon or lime juice to your water
- Add pink salt to your meals to replenish sodium
- Ensure you get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep
- Eat a meal every 3 to 4 hours
- Avoid sugar, chemical additives, artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives
- Instead of watching TV at night try and relax with reading (not from a screen)
- Perform deep breathing or meditation exercises for 10 minutes ideally twice per day (Checkout the headspace app for an easy to do self guided meditation)
- Take walks in nature regularly
Now, I know 9 things can seem like a lot so that’s why we are going to focus on one at a time.
Start by ticking off any of the 9 things above you already are doing everyday. Thats fantastic keep doing them.
Now, pick the easiest one you aren’t doing but you can begin doing right now, not tomorrow, not on Monday but right now.
Simply do this new behavior everyday for the next week, only focusing on that one behavior and not worrying about all the other 8 things just yet.
Only move onto the next behavior once you have successfully done the first one 7/7 days of the week.
After 9 weeks, you will hopefully be now doing all the above stress reducing behaviors everyday as they will have become habits that are now apart of your day like having a shower and getting dressed ☺
So, I’ll admit the title of this article ‘Seven Simple Steps for mums to get their pre baby body back!’ tells a little lie.
These steps are simple to understand, but the implementation of these steps is the difficult part. Now I know that 90% of you mums reading this article will probably do nothing and put it in the too hard basket.
But I want you! To be in that top 10% that gets results and gets their body and life back to where they want it.
Start by picking one single thing on this list that you can start doing straight away and just start bloody doing it.
If everyone who reads this article introduces one new behavior that moves them closer to getting into better shape, being healthier and just generally being a happier person than I’ve done my job.
Enjoy the process!