What’s The Best Diet For Mum’s With Young Kids? This is a question I have asked myself many times. Most Monday’s actually!
I don’t know about you, but since I had Molly I’ve put on so much weight. I can quite confidently say that a lot of the weight gain came from having little time to exercise, snacking on sugary snacks, and picking at Molly’s leftovers. Oh, and don’t forget my million and one excuses! I’ve tried a variety of diets over the years but always ended up putting the weight back on. And more! So where was I going wrong?
This guest post from Neil from Neil Welsh NUTRITION offers some great tips for leading a healthier lifestyle. Neil is currently training to be a nutrition coach and wants to help mum’s with young kids learn how to eat healthily, lose weight, and feed the family healthy food they’ll enjoy. Check out his ideas below…
What’s The Best Diet For Mum’s With Young Kids?
The business of dieting can be a depressing industry. Each new big idea seems to have limited shelf life. Atkins came and went, then it was paleo, now intermittent fasting seems to be in the spotlight. Whilst some people seem to achieve amazing results on each of these diets they don’t work for everyone and there never seems to be any consensus on what really does works.
So how do we find a diet that will work for us? It comes down to three main things.
A diet must be:
The best diet for anyone is one that they can stick to. Forever. I can virtually guarantee that anyone could lose weight if they ate boiled chicken, broccoli and brown rice for 6 months but that does not tick any of the above boxes for most people.
For mums with young kids, the challenge is even greater. We may be impressed by the before and after photos of people who have stripped away fat in 90 days by eating carb free turkey madras, baked aubergine and quinoa salads whilst knocking out 5 gym sessions a week but for mums with young kids, that lifestyle is not so achievable. How do mums find something that works when their days are spent chasing children, working, and preparing food for kids that have more chance of spelling quinoa than eating the stuff?!
Here are some top tips to help find a diet and lifestyle that will help mums achieve their health goals.
- Eat in a way that fits your lifestyle. Any diet or lifestyle plan should not be a huge change to the way you currently eat and, for mums, this means it should work in a family environment. Cooking a paleo meal for yourself whilst preparing nuggets and chips is not an ideal scenario. Trying to fast all day may work for some people but chasing after kids on an empty tank does not appeal to me!
- Have realistic targets. Dropping weight fast can require lots of time and commitment. Probably more time than most mums with young kids have. Slow and steady weight loss is the key here. It’s not sexy but it works. Yes, great visual results can be achieved in short periods of time but weight dropped quickly can often be water and muscle, not fat and so the weight can be quickly regained. A six pack in 90 days may be incredibly stressful and will probably not be there in another 90 days. Changing the way you and your family eat for the rest of your lives is possible in 90 days… and will start you on the path to the body you want whilst improving your energy and mood in the process.
- Get the basics right. At the end of the day, weight loss/gain comes down to calories in vs calories out… but that is a bit like saying to play the guitar you just need to strum the strings. Strumming will get you a noise but to achieve long-lasting and satisfying results it needs to be a bit more sophisticated than that and that is the same for getting your diet right. Start with calories and build from there.
- Allow yourself variety and don’t ban anything. Any long-term success is going to need to allow you variety. Diets should not be restrictive, especially of things you really enjoy. They should allow snacks, alcohol, sugar, bread and anything else you enjoy but these have to be consumed consciously and with an understanding of how they fit into a healthy diet.
- Identify your bad habits. It is not just about what you do, but also what you don’t do. Know your weak spots. Understand your hedonic foods; those foods that as soon as the packet is opened the whole lot is eaten. Allow yourselves these but, again, understand and control them.
- Don’t live by the scale. I would love to say “don’t weigh yourself”, but I know that you will anyway. Many do. Even though we know it is not really reflective of our short-term progress the scales will still be stepped on. Understanding how our weight works can help to keep us psychologically on track. Weight loss is not linear, we can do everything right and weight will go up (temporarily), some times of the month our weight will naturally increase… and sometimes our calorie requirements can go up… which can be healthily met with chocolate!
- Aim for consistency, not perfection. We all have less than perfectly healthy days and that is fine. Accept that it is part of life, embrace it and then carry on your healthy living!
- Include a maintenance strategy. The best diet for anyone is an ever-evolving process. The basic structure will be the same but for best results, there should be a regular update of the calorie balance and a general lifestyle audit.
- Consider your whole lifestyle. What we eat can have a huge impact on our health, maybe even the biggest impact of all. There is a lot of truth to the old saying of “You are what you eat”. But we also need to consider other aspects of our lifestyle like how much water we drink, how much sleep we get, how active we are, how stressed we are, etc.
Small changes and can make a big difference!
When we think of diets, the first thing that comes into our heads is often one of those rigid systems which is promoted by an industry that often makes us feel ashamed about our bodies. Does this really promote good health? Diet and lifestyle should be enjoyable as well as being practical and achievable. This looks very different for different people. For mums with young kids, the challenges are unique; their priorities and time are often taken up by kids… from sunrise to sunset. The food that mums eat is often dictated by the rest of the family and their satisfaction and preferences come first. Small changes and can make a big difference in the long term. Start small and over time big changes to the health of a whole family can be achieved!
Neil has a little something for you! He has written an Ultimate Guide to Nutrition for mums with young kids. It contains more info on losing weight through getting your calorie balance right, eating in a way that fits your lifestyle and designing a diet that can work for you and your family for the long term. Click now to download Neil’s ULTIMATE guide to nutrition for mums with young kids.