Fitness guru and mom of two, beautiful Tracey Mallett shares her expertise for that uphill battle of losing the baby weight.
New moms have so much going on...what is your advice on getting back into an exercise routine post-baby?
Step one: Write an action plan! After all, without a plan on paper there is no plan. Pick your days and "just do it." Saying you're going to exercise is not enough-especially now that you're a mom with an unpredictable schedule.
Step two: Research some local Mommy and Me classes or buy some good exercise DVD's. You may need to invest in some dumbbells for resistance training but they're well worth it to have on hand for easy accessibility.
Step three: Set a realistic goal! Without a goal, you have no way of measuring your success, and each little success (like a pound lost or a pair of pants that's too big) will be your biggest motivator. When you set your goals, try dividing them into mini stages. This makes them seem more manageable and attainable. I also suggest taking a photo of yourself today so that you can see the changes as you progress. When you're lean and mean, you'll be thrilled to whip out your "before" photo and see how far you've come.
Step four: Get support! You may feel embarrassed or silly sharing your goals with other people (especially those who never struggled with their weight), but you're more likely to stick with it if you're accountable to someone.
Step five: Lose the guilt! Sometimes a little break from your kids not only does you a world of good but is good for them, too. They will get to interact with others and you will feel better that you have moved your body and released some stress. This makes it better for everyone, which is why my kids say that "Mommy is much nicer after going to the gym."
What do you think is the biggest challenge for moms getting in shape post-baby?
Fatigue from lack of sleep and the feeling of being totally over-whelmed. Also, if you're breast feeding you really have little time by yourself and when you do find the time, exercise is the last option.
What are the best post-baby workouts?
Interval circuit training is the best for fast results (combining strength training type exercises with small bursts of cardio). Not only are you getting a cardio workout but you're building lean muscles mass which will increase your metabolism.
What are some ways moms can incorporate workouts into their daily routine with a new baby?
Stroller workouts: Every mom should invest in a good Baby Jogger to walk and run off the pounds.
Splitting up your workouts: This is why all my exercise DVD's are always in smaller sections between 6 and 20 minutes. This enables you to find pockets of time when the baby is occupying herself or taking naps.
Workouts at the park: In my book Super Fit Mama I call it "The Diaper Bag Workout" where you can pack an exercise band or ball and perform some exercises with other mommies on-the-go.
What kinds of things should breastfeeding mamas keep in mind for their meal decisions?
- Eat a balanced diet low in animal fats and avoid high-fat dairy products.
- Trim all visible fat off meats because dioxin (a chemical contaminant) accumulates in fat.
- Eat plenty of omega- 3 fatty acids found in good fats like Olive oil, nuts, wild salmon and flax seeds. The DHA found in these kinds of food is essential for good brain development.
- Eat lots of fruit and veggies as they contain valuable antioxidants and are high in fiber which will keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Peel non-organic waxed fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears, cucumbers, and peppers
- Eat organically grown food, when available, or locally grown produce to cut down on pesticide exposure.
- Avoid fish that may have high mercury or PCB levels, such as shark, King mackerel and farm-raised salmon
- Eat plenty of calcium rich foods such as low fat yogurt, milk and cottage cheese.
- If you are a vegetarian, consider taking a vitamin supplement containing vitamin B12, as a B12 deficiency can be detrimental to your baby's development. If you don't eat any dairy products, make sure you get enough calcium from other sources. Your doctor or midwife will probably advise you to continue taking your prenatal vitamin as long as you are lactating, especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
- Avoid nuts if your family has a history of nut allergies.
We're actually giving away three copies of Tracey's book, Super Fit Mama. But you better hurry, the giveaway ends tomorrow! Also, be sure to check out Part 2 of Tracey's interview in Pregnancy Buzz next week.
Did you find it hard to lose weight post-baby?