Weight loss workouts: today is my first day of actively trying to lose weight. I know I kind of gave the impression I had started ages ago, but I guess I, like everyone else have problems following advice, even if it’s my own!
Right now, my life is very hectic: I’m juggling more now than I ever was internally and externally so going slow is realistic if I want to achieve and maintain weight loss. Currently, I’m trying to control my portion sizes, drink plenty of water and exercise for at least 10 minutes a day if nothing else. If I go in guns blazing I’ll burn myself out. There’s been a distinct pattern of that in my life! So how can I make the most of out of the few precious minutes I have to exercise? Is 10 minutes even enough for weight loss workouts?
Well, to answer this I took to asking fitness expert Polly Hale from The Fit Mum Formula for her advice on all things weight loss.
Can effective weight loss workouts be even 10 minutes long for busy mums?
An effective workout is about quality not quantity. In fact shorter,
intense workouts are much more effective than long ones for busy Mums because we don’t have time to go running for hours. High intensity training is the fastest way to burn fat and tone up, and you don’t need to leave the house or use equipment – bodyweight exercises like squats, push ups and burpees are perfect.
What are the best exercises at home to lose weight fast with young children present?
The benefit of short workouts is that they can be fitted in while babies nap, before school, or while their favourite TV programme is on. My kids even try and join in sometimes! But they also know that working out is important and they want a happy and healthy Mummy who has energy to play, so they don’t mind letting me have a little time to myself while they play. Bodyweight circuit style workouts are easy to plan. Choose which exercises you want to do, then do 45 seconds of each, pushing as hard as you can, followed by 15 seconds rest before moving onto the next exercise. 10 rounds of this (10 minutes total) plus a short warm up and cool down is a very effective workout. Do it at least every other day and you’ll definitely see results soon.
What is the best food to eat pre and post-workout?
It depends what time of day you workout. I wouldn’t exercise right after I’ve eaten a big meal, and a healthy snack or meal afterwards will help with recovery, but other than that it only really matters to competitive athletes. I like to workout first thing in the morning so have a coffee and small snack such as a protein shake or banana, then have breakfast afterwards, but if I was workout out later in the day I would have already eaten and wouldn’t bother with a snack right before. A good diet overall is more important – plenty of protein, enough fat, and some carbs depending on how active you are and how much weight you have to lose – generally the more active you are, and the less excess body fat you have to lose, the more carbs you will need.
How many days do you recommend to workout?
3-5 times is best for most people. But consistency is key. Better to
figure out a routine of 2-3 times a week that you can do for ever, than to attempt 6-7 days a week only to give up completely because you over did it and it put you off and made you lose motivation.
Would you recommend weight lifting or is cardio enough?
Definitely weights, though that doesn’t have to be actually lifting
weights in a gym; body weight is still weight lifting. Resistance
exercise creates strong muscles (though not in a bulky, manly way) that make you look toned, and muscles make your body burn more fat even when you’re resting. Walking daily is sufficient cardio. And many body weight exercises double up as cardio anyway when you do them at speed; things like burpees, jump squats, sprinting on the spot (rather than jogging), and mountain climbers are better at preserving muscle than traditional cardio like jogging or steady cycling.
What is a healthy diet mums can maintain on a budget?
Studies have shown healthy food is no more expensive than unhealthy food, it just takes a little bit of adjusting to buying things you might not normally buy. Frozen fruit, veg, meat and fish are all cheaper than fresh. Shopping seasonally is another way to reduce costs. Cheaper cuts of meat, and buying high fibre carbs like lentils and dried beans then soaking before using are cost effective ways to get these foods. Scan reduced isles for discounted food to freeze, and of course save money by not buying unhealthier treats like expensive cereal bars, alcohol, and getting take-away meals!
Polly via The Fit Mum Formula, offers a great weight loss programme. Her website is dedicated to helping mums in all areas of weight loss: from recipes to free resources and there is even a section where you can document your weight loss to help you stay on target. I tried it her 747 7 day weight loss challenge. So far, I’m only one day into the challenge but I’m really enjoying it. There are 4 exercises in the set that target different muscle groups. You do the set several times; the whole routine only takes 20 minutes.
Polly’s instructional video was a great aid, she breaks down the workout and even offers easier variations of the exercises for beginners. Each day you are given a menu that has been planned meaning all the hard work has been done for you! And because it’s only for 7 days, it’s much easier to stick to! I look forward to completing the challenge!
Pollyanna Hale helps busy and exhausted Mums get their body and body confidence back though online coaching that is done in your own home,
around your own schedule. You can pick up a free Quickstart Fatloss
guide at bit/ly/FREEfatlossguide