All parents deserve to get their “pre-children” bodies back, but many don’t. Statistics show that most women keep about five to 15 pounds of baby fat following each pregnancy. Although, figures are not readily available for dads, they also tend to gain weight alongside expecting moms. Here’s how to leave the pregnancy pounds to our scrapbooks and finally ditch the baby fat.
Break the Fast With Breakfast
You need to eat. The logic seems simple enough— and it is, as long as you make smart decisions about what you consume. Enjoy a healthy breakfast at the same time each morning. Research shows that those who successfully lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast at the same time every day. To aid in your weight loss while taking care of your health, include lean sources of protein that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, whole grains and fruits and vegetables in your morning meals.
Make sure to eat about every two to three hours. This offers a great opportunity to fit in nutrient-rich foods, including nuts, fruits and vegetables. Of course, eating small frequent meals takes planning; it is easy to lose track of the day with the many responsibilities that you have as a parent. Set a timer on your phone or computer, if necessary, and have healthy snacks with you wherever you go. Prepare the snacks ahead of time in plastic bags or Tupperware and toss them in your briefcase, backpack, purse or even diaper bag.
Watch Your Portions
Be aware of your portions. Pay attention to how many servings are in a bag or bottle and stick to one serving when eating. A trick that works for many people is to eat on salad plates and use portion-savvy utensils, such as teaspoons and chopsticks, to control the amount of food consumed. The more you pack on your plate— or your spoon— the more you are likely to eat.
Another tip to eating reasonable-sized portions is to always start a meal with a vegetable broth-based soup and/or a salad with a light dressing. This helps you fit more produce into your day and prompts you to fill up so you eat less high-calorie and high-fat foods during the meal. Studies show that you can slash 100 calories from your meal by beginning with one of these low-cal appetizers.
Also, consider using your hand to aid in determining a serving size.
- Fist = 1 cup (such as 1 serving of cereal)
- Handful = 1-2 ounces (such as 1 serving of nuts)
- Palm = 3 ounces (such as 1 serving of meat or fish)
- Thumb = 1 ounce (such as 1 serving of cheese)
- Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon (such as 1 serving of mayonnaise)
Break Up Your Exercise Routine and Stay Fit
Find time to exercise. Obviously, this tip sounds easier than it is in our time-crunched lives. The good news: Research shows that exercise does not have to be done all at once to assist in weight loss. You can exercise for 30 minutes in a single session or break up activity into three, ten-minute sessions to stay fit.
Try this, wake up ten minutes earlier and pop in a Pilates DVD. After lunch, power walk for ten minutes. Finish the day with 30 lunges followed by time jumping rope or playing basketball with the kids— aim for more than ten minutes. And there you go: You just accomplished an active day including a workout totaling 30 or more minutes! And just for kicks, before turning in at night, stretch or do yoga for ten minutes. What will you do tomorrow to stay fit?
For a weight-wise and filling morning meal, try baked corn tortilla frittatas made with skim milk and carrots. Along with being good for you and your waistline, this breakfast can be made ahead of time and popped in the microwave before savoring. Add in two slices of whole-wheat toast with half a tablespoon of a nutritious spread, like Country Crock Omega-plus. A banana and glass of skim milk complement the meal, for a total of 463 calories, 78 grams of carbs, 24 grams of protein, 7.5 grams of fat and 9.5 grams of fiber. This translates as 20 percent protein, 65 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent fat and 38 percent DV for fiber.
Egg-Beater Frittata Recipe (single serving)
- ¼ cup egg beaters
- 2 Tbsp. skim milk
- 1 handful shredded carrots (feel free to add other veggies)
- 1 handful crushed baked corn tortilla chips
- onion and garlic powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients and pour into muffin pan holes greased with spray canola or olive oil. Fill the holes half way and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until fluffy.