How to Lose Weight While Taking Care of Children

By Tiffany Raiford
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There’s no question that being a mom keeps you busy. Whether you’re caring for a newborn baby who needs your constant love and attention, toddlers who keep you on your toes from morning to night or teens that have schedules so busy you have to schedule time to eat in your calendar, losing weight while taking care of your kids can be challenging. There may not be room in your life for a gym membership or a two-hour personal training session every day, but having kids doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight and get fit; having kids means you have to find a creative way to get fit.

Step 1

Breastfeed your baby, advises WebMD. If you’re the mom to a new baby looking to lose weight while taking care of your new little one, your best bet is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding burns a significant number of calories each day. According to Shape Magazine, your body burns approximately 20 calories making one ounce of breastmilk and depending on how much your baby eats, you can burn up to 600 calories per day. Remember not to use breastfeeding as an excuse to eat a bunch of unhealthy foods to attain the extra calories your body needs to produce healthy breast milk. According to Shape, breastfeeding also releases hormones that help shrink your uterus, which can help you lose the pooch in your belly after giving birth.

Step 2

Exercise regularly to help lose weight while taking care of your children, according to Kids Health. Since you are a busy mom who has to find a way to keep your kids entertained and cared for while simultaneously exercising, try getting them involved in your exercise routine. For example, if you have small kids, load them into the stroller and take a brisk walk or jog around your neighborhood. If you have older kids, take them outside and play a game of tag, basketball, baseball, football or kickball with them. You can ride bikes, go swimming or even try your hand at roller-blading or roller-skating. They’ll think it’s fun and you’ll lose weight and get fit while spending quality time with your kids.

Step 3

Drink plenty of water, according to Melinda Johnson, registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, via WebMD. To know whether you are getting enough water each day, use the color of your urine and the frequency of your trips to the restroom as a guideline. If you are using the restroom approximately every three to four hours, you are getting enough to drink. Additionally, your urine should be more clear than yellow. When you are hydrated, your metabolism works faster, and you will not find that you are as hungry as when you are dehydrated.

Step 4

Eat the right type of foods, suggests Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD and author of the book, “The Flexitarian Diet,” as quoted by WebMD. As a mom, you may not have time – or the luxury – to sit down and eat healthy meals without being interrupted, which might have you turning to fast snacks and fast food, which are not good for your weight loss. Instead, try eating more vegetables than starches at dinner, not skipping meals and eating from your plate at the table only; do not pick at foods while you are cooking or snack on the go. Try a diet rich in vitamins and other nutrients, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. If you are watching your calorie intake, that’s fine -- just don’t go any lower than about 1,200 calories per day to maintain your health.