The best way to lose baby weight

If it’s been a few months since you gave birth but the baby weight refuses to budge, don’t stress about it. Stressing about it is the worst thing you can do because stress leads to the body releasing cortisol, which leads to belly fat! So, to avoid this, I would try the following things to get rid of the weight gradually. If you are breastfeeding or you haven’t exercised for a while, check with your GP before you make any changes to your diet or exercise regime.

Don’t eat for two

This may be too late for you, if you have baby weight to shift but I find the most effective way of getting rid of baby weight is not to put on too much weight in the first place. Midwives are good at monitoring this nowadays, so you should be made aware that you don’t have to eat for two, like women were told a few decades ago. Make sure you eat enough, especially in the third trimester when you will need to eat more than usual, but the first 6 months, you should be able to eat like you used to do before you were pregnant (you will still need to cut out some things such as cream cheese and alcohol etc) in terms of portion size.

Take lots of walks

Walking is the best exercise you can do. You can do it with your baby and it gets you both out in the fresh air. Pushing the pram and lifting it up and down off the kerbs can help tone your arm muscles as well.

Eat plenty of these:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Brown bread
  • Wholemeal pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fish (all types especially oily)
  • Salads
  • Stir fries with fresh or frozen vegetables. (Make sure the sauce doesn’t contain too much sugar)
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Steak or lean mince beef
  • Raw food bars such as NAKD bars

Cut down on these:

  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Chocolate
  • Crisps
  • Salted or roasted nuts
  • Processed and ready meals
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Pies and pastries
  • Chips
  • Takeout

I know the things on the cut down list are the nicest things but if you want to shift the baby weight cutting down or avoiding some of these things, will make a huge difference. I would wait until you’ve finished breast feeding, but once you have finished, cutting out dairy and sugar will make the biggest difference. Especially if you do more walking and then gradually add in some HITT workout routines.

You need to remember that your body has been through a lot the past couple of years and your baby is the most important thing to focus on. Having said this, I know how horrible I feel when I’m carrying a few extra pounds so, as soon as you feel ready, try taking some of the advice in this post, making sure you’ve consulted your GP first and you should start to see some gradual changes.

If you want a little extra help with those pesky cravings, check out my crave curber program here (currently only 99 cents!)

Soul Revival – How to Reduce Stress

 

Everyone knows stress is bad for you, right? It causes disease; makes you feel bad and can even cause you to gain weight. A little bit of stress is good – it can give us the push we need to get things done, but if you have daily stress that is making you feel ill then you need to do something about it.

It isn’t only adults who can get stressed. Exam worries are a big concern for a lot of parents, so read on to find out how you can help yourself and your child to overcome stress…

One thing I do want to mention, for those of you trying to shift that baby weight, is that stress releases the hormone cortisol. This is the hormone that helped our cave women ancestors to run off when a meat-eating predator came after them. Nowadays, we feel the same stress when we haven’t completed the report the boss needs in ten minutes or one of our children is being bullied. In modern day situations, we don’t need to run away so unless we do something to combat the stress we are feeling, the cortisol causes our bodies to store fat on our mid-section. Stress is the enemy of a flat belly and weight loss. Combating stress may be all you need to make a start on shifting that belly fat as well as helping you feel happier and improving your health.

So, how can you start getting rid of stress?

1) Be alone for at least half an hour – if you have a busy household, tell them you need some time to recharge and  you’ll be much happier as a result. Use this time to do something you love – whether it’s reading a book on the sun lounger or soaking in a bubble bath with a glass of wine. Do it now! If your child is stressed, they may also want to spend some time alone, so let them take some time out if they need to and try not to fuss them too much as this can add to their stress.

2) Stroke a pet. If you own a pet then spend some time just stroking it; research has shown that stroking animals reduces blood pressure and lowers stress. If  you don’t have a pet then you can get the same effect by stroking some other soft material – strange I know! Why not give it a try and see – just make sure the neighbours aren’t watching when you decide to stroke your furry fireplace rug! This is the reason teddy bears are so comforting for children!

3) Go out for a walk – walking is one of the best ways you can reduce stress. It lowers blood pressure and clears your mind. If you live near some greenery, or a beach, then this is even better. It does the soul good to be out and about in nature. You should feel great when you come back home. Try to encourage your child to go outdoors too and get away from their digital technology, which research has shown can also add to stress.

4) Listen to some music. You can choose to listen to some of your favourite tunes or put on some instrumental or classical music, which has also been proven to reduce blood pressure and stress levels. Research has shown classical music can help to calm restless babies and some researchers believe it can help improve their IQ levels as well.

5) Have a massage – if you have some spare cash and want to treat yourself, then why not visit your local beauty parlour (just be careful that it is a legit establishment!) If you have a baby, why not enrol on a baby massage course. A lot of children’s centres in the UK run them and they are a nice way to relax and bond with your baby.

7) Have some chocolate – I don’t think I’ll have to persuade you to do this! Almost everyone I know loves chocolate. In moderation, chocolate can be good for you ; it releases the same chemicals into your bloodstream as you get when you first fall in love and dark chocolate even contains a small amount of anti-oxidants which combat ageing. Just don’t go overboard!

8)Do something nice for someone else – if you have time to do volunteer work, then this is a great way to reduce stress in your life. Some studies have found that doing good deeds for others can raise self-esteem and release feel-good chemicals into the bloodstream, which also reduces stress.

9) Go out with the girls – if you haven’t been out for some time, why not call up your girlfriends and arrange a night out. You’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine and I know I always have a great laugh when I’m out with my best buddies.

10) Play with your children . It is good to act like a child again, sometimes. I love playing on the games console with my children. If you don’t have any children, then do something you used to love doing as a child. Believe me, it works. You’ll feel younger and less stressed, so do it now!

I hope you have enjoyed reading  this article and I hope you enjoy following some of these tips.

Enjoy!

Tabata Training – What is it and Why Should You do it?

If you are a working mum, or have just had a baby, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re likely to be exhausted and struggling to balance your busy life and you most likely put yourself last after you’ve finished taking care of everyone else.

If you used to exercise, pre-children, you may think there are other more important things to do now and maybe you think it’s vain to bother about keeping in shape when you have other things you’d rather be doing with the little free time you do have.

If you want to stay healthy and look and feel younger for longer, you really do have to keep up a regular exercise routine.  Not having the time is no longer a reason now that there’s a new popular exercise program that has taken the world by storm. It’s called Tabata training.

You can get fitter, and maintain this fitness, by doing 4 minutes of intense exercise for only 2 or 3 sessions per week. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I have been doing tabata and some HITT(high intensity interval training) combined. Tabata is a type of HITT training but it is characterised by its 4-minute duration and aerobic activities.

HITT can be longer and contain a mix of aerobic and resistance exercises. I am a qualified fitness instructor and, when I first qualified, we were told that you couldn’t gain any significant benefits from any exercise routine that was shorter in duration than 30 minutes. I now know they were wrong as I’ve not only lost weight but I’m more toned and have more energy. All this and I’ve got more time for me too! It’s amazing!

So how does it work? The idea is that you do high-intensity activities for 20 seconds and then take a 10 second rest. It is important to take your rest, but believe me, if you do it right you’ll look forward to your rest breaks! The whole session should take 4 minutes and this amounts to about 8 rounds of activity and rest.

So, if you want to take regular exercise without spending hours in the gym, why not give it a go? 

As with any new exercise routine, make sure you consult a medical expert first, especially if you have any underlying medical issues or are pregnant. If you have just had a baby wait at least 12 weeks before starting any intensive exercise program and get permission from your GP first, just to be safe. 

You can find some tabata exercises on Youtube if you want to give it a go.

 

 

Ten tips to help you lose weight this summer

Does the sight of your bikini feel you with dread or delight? If it’s the former, this is for you – Enjoy!

  • Try drinking Green tea. A few cups per day will help speed up your metabolism and provide you with beneficial antioxidants in the process.
  • Drink some caffeine an hour before exercising. Research has shown that this helps the body start using up stored fat immediately. Usually, during exercise, the body uses its glucose stores first.
  • If you like to snack between meals, try filling up on celery, carrot and cucumber sticks dipped in low-fat salad cream or cottage cheese.
  • Try doing some cross-fit or HITT exercise. I swear by these short, high-intensity workouts. They halve your exercise time and deliver twice the benefits. Just make sure you have a medical check first – you need to be fit to do these kinds of workouts.
  • Try having some soup before your main course. Research has shown people tend to eat less when they start with soup. Just make sure it isn’t one of the creamed varieties!
  • Drink lots of water. As well as keeping you hydrated in the heat, it can reduce your appetite. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty.
  • If you enjoy savoury snacks, you can save calories by eating some of the low calorie crisps we have in the UK, such as quavers or Wotsits. If you live in America, I know how hard it is to find a small bag of crisps! Try scooping a handful of cheesy puffs into a freezer bag and eat these instead. Treat yourself, but keep the portions small.
  • Keep portion sizes of meals small. Use a smaller plate so it looks like you have a full plate. Make sure the biggest item on your plate is your portion of vegetables. A portion of meat is the size of your outstretched hand and your carbs should be the size of your clenched fist, as a guide.
  • Walk more. If you take the bus, get off two stops earlier or, if you use your car to drive somewhere local, walk instead. It’s a great fat-burning exercise if you pick up your pace.
  • Get enough sleep. It’s been proven that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. It could be for a variety of reasons, from metabolic changes to stress; either way, try to take as much time as you can to relax and make sure you get your eight hours sleep most nights.