As a single mom, the effects of being overweight can be multiplied by the staggering responsibilities of parenthood. Busy single moms can experience the kind of fatigue that sleeping late, vacationing, and even quiet time alone just doesn’t eradicate. Many single parents have little or no time to exercise and resort to the most expedient methods to feed their kids. This sometimes leads to daily take-out diets, which are high in fats and low in nutritional value. Ultimately, we experience the dreaded weight gain. While there is no one pill or potion to regain our high school physique, we can take some easy steps to personalize a simple diet plan for weight loss.
First, start with a quick physical with your personal physician. He or she is familiar with your particular health situation and can alert you to any foods that may hinder your progress. Once you get the green light, start by assessing your personal situation. Writing down your weight loss goals will make them more concrete in your mind and you can also post them on the refrigerator as a reminder at meal times. Making them measurable will also provide more motivation in the form of short-term goals. For instance, a sample goal may be to reduce your waist measurement by 4 inches rather than to just achieve a tone stomach.
Next, identify your vices. If you surround yourself with unhealthy snacks, this will make it that much more difficult to reach your goals. Focus on healthy fruits and vegetables. A diet that minimizes empty calories such as high sugar sodas and alcohol, can help you relieve many of the symptoms that follow being overweight. As a busy single mom, you may experience restless sleep, muscle and joint pain, headaches and exhaustion. High caffeine beverages can also cause difficulty in concentration.
Keep your pantry stocked with healthy snacking alternatives. This way, you have a healthy option when faced with the golden Oreo temptation. Keep in mind that just a few simple substitutions can add up over time. Air popped popcorn and low sodium pretzels over movie popcorn with butter, saves clicks on the calorie counter. Almonds and walnuts cut the sugar over honey roasted peanuts. Whole grain cereal, pasta and crackers give you the much-needed fiber over the more highly refined white bread and starches.
Protein is Your Friend! Many women constantly struggle with losing tummy fat. Increasing your protein intake can help you to get a flat stomach fast. Eating protein early in the day also helps to prevent hunger and fatigue, which is important when living the single mom lifestyle. Eggs, non-processed cheeses, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and almonds are good choices. Meats without breading typically contain little to no carbohydrates which cause blood sugar spikes and more weight gain. Beware of many soy based “meats” and “chicken” nuggets as these often contain less protein. These protein options are important in your arsenal of foods that burn belly fat. Read your labels to be sure.
Remember that you don’t have to banish your favorite treats from the kitchen indefinitely. The kids won’t like that move, either. Once you have reached your own personal weight loss goals, gradually reintroduce your favorites into your diet one at a time. Indulge in moderate proportion and see how your body reacts. This way, you can identify which foods your body is most sensitive to in respect to weight gains and losses.
We can’t forget the importance of water. Water and protein go hand in hand. If you are dedicated to getting a tone stomach, don’t forget to stay hydrated. It is helpful to have a dedicated water bottle along with a chart so that you can track your water versus fat loss.