- Don’t reach for the “s.” When you’re tired (as we moms often are), it’s easy to reach for quick foods that contain a lot of sugar (the “s” word) and fat. Sugars make us feel temporarily more energized so it’s often our first choice. Better snack ideas are ones that contain protein, which helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Hardboiled eggs, fat free cottage cheese, low fat string cheese, lean lunch meats, or a spoonful of peanut butter all make great quick snacks. Add some fresh fruit (or frozen berries) for a natural sugar boost. Need a little treat? One square of dark chocolate with a dab of peanut butter on it usually does the trick. The peanut butter slows the sugar’s absorption—the chocolate makes you feel happier.
- Eat before the kids do. If your children are small, don’t wait to eat until you feed them. Sometimes by the time our kids are fed and everything’s cleaned up, we are so famished that we will eat whatever is within our reach. And sometimes…we eat our kids’ leftovers and then our own dinners to boot. Eat first. Then feed the kids. Family dinner time will come as they grow older. Hunger=desperation. Desperation=fat.
- Trade off with other moms. Finding the time to exercise or getting to the gym can be really hard, especially if you’re frequently pulled off the treadmill to change a diaper. Try to “trade” time with a mom friend—she’ll watch yours while you exercise, then you’ll watch hers. The best part of getting some uninterrupted exercise time is not only the physical benefits, but the mental rewards, too. 30 minutes of cardio will boost your mood, empower you and help you connect with the woman you were before children.