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I have yet to meet a subset of people who can multitask better than a mom. You know why?
It’s because we’ve got to get things done and have accepted that there is not enough time to leisurely do it all one by one. No, that’s not going to cut it when you work full time, have children and can barely make it to 9PM most nights. We need a plan that gets in a little exercise and dinner on the table.
Don’t give me the labor pains, just give me the baby.
This accurately sums up how I approach most things, including staying fit. I don’t have an hour to put in 5-7 miles and I certainly don’t have 1-2 hours to make the round trip to the gym and still put dinner on the table. If I’m going to work out, I also want results – I want to maximize my time and my effort.
As a mom, I want something that I have the ability to implement and keep as a consistent part of my routine. Motivation is great, but that’s not a given everyday. Routine is what happens everyday.
Consistency is Queen.
Over the course of this past year I have developed a system that requires minimal time and achieves maximum results. I am not a fitness trainer or nutritionist, I am a Fit Mom and this is what works for my lifestyle.
I am able to sustain this approach without feeling burnt out. In fact, it helps me relieve stress from the day in a quick and efficient fashion. It makes me feel good and even better, it makes me feel strong.
You’ll need two things: commitment and consistency.
The results don’t happen overnight and remember, that’s OK! You’ll get there and you’ll feel great doing so.
This system is built on consistent healthy eating and strength conditioning.
MACRO-NUTRIENTS USING MY FITNESSPAL
The first step I took was building myself a lifestyle diet based on the Macro Diet Plan by If It Fits Your Macros (IFFYM). This was a game changer for me.
Previously, I had a diet heavy in carbohydrates and very low in protein. I would try to eat healthy by sticking to 3 small meals a day but the only thing I think that did was increase my crankiness. Not good.
BUILDING YOUR PLAN
Start building your macro plan by using the free Macro Calculator. This is all you need to get started.
You’ll enter in your details and at the bottom you’ll select what you are looking to do:
- Lose fat/weight
- Build/define muscle
- Maintain weight
Once you hit the button to get your results, you’ll provide your name/email and it will take you onto the next page to set up your diet plan. Towards the bottom you will see a box that lays out the grams per day by protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These are your macros.
I signed up for MyFitnessPal which can be used via phone app or website. This app is free and allows you to input your goals by calorie and macro percentages (these may not align perfectly with your IIFYM results but you can get them pretty close).
I only use the app to measure my calorie and macro intake. I do not track my exercise because I put in the macros I need to achieve daily, regardless of additional exercise.
Now start tracking daily! Remember it’s all about consistency.
What gets measured, gets managed.
Tip: Buying an affordable food scale makes meal prep and tracking super convenient because you can weigh your selections by pounds, grams, ounces, etc.
I knew my routine had to be fast and efficient. At this point in my life, I did not see time for fitting in routine cardio.
As an former long distance runner, I knew that running alone would not create the body I wanted. My goal was to build and define muscle. I decided that I would fit in cardio as time allowed; a long run would be a bonus.
For more on the importance and benefits of heavy lifing for women, visit the SMART BODY PROJECT. The article by Justine Guest, What Really Happens When Women Lift Heavy?, is packed with helpful and motivational information to help you build an optimal routine for maximum results.
I set up two basic strength circuits that I could complete at home (and on travel) without weights, but could also add weight and modify the challenge as I progressed. I alternate between the two workouts 4-5 times a week. Mostly, I end up taking the weekends off, sometimes only Sunday, just depends on the flow of the week.
| Lunges x 10, Squats x 10, Abs x 20 – Repeat set 5 times
| Push-ups x 10, Chair dips x 5, Abs x 20 – Repeat set 5 times
Both workouts contain abs because I wanted to target my core. I incorporate several different types of ab exercises combined with weights to cover all areas. I highly suggest watching Fitness Blender’s 10 Minute Abs Workout and Standing Abs Exercises to get some ideas on different ab workouts to use.
Bonus Tip: A weighted hoola hoop is perfect to get in a little cardio core exercise while watching 10 minutes of TV.
STAY FIT + COOK DINNER = PRODUCTIVITY
Both workout sets can be done while I cook and cool a boxed macaroni and cheese dinner, so about 20 minutes. Just enough time before my son starts jumping on me. In the warmer weather, I am able to do them outside (even at the playground) while my son plays with just a few modifications.
If you’re a mom who’s short on time and needs something that fits seamlessly into your busy day, this is it. A lifestyle diet with circuit training that you can adjust and change to grow with your fitness level, strength and available equipment.
All you need is commitment + consistency. You’ve got this.
I’d love to hear your feedback! Is this an easy way to fit in exercise without increasing stress? What are your daily challenges that may prevent you from keeping a consistent exercise and/or meal routine? Leave me a note in the comments!
Related Post: 5 Fit Mom Habits that You Need to Destroy the Excuses
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