The principle of weight loss is simple – the amount of energy going into your body should be less than the amount of energy being utilised. In other words, the amount of energy you consume through food has to be less than the amount of energy your body uses. If you wanted to depict it as a Math equation, it would look like this:
Food Consumption – Energy Expenditure = Weight Loss/Weight Gain
Therefore, anything you do to increase your body’s expenditure will help you lose weight.
When you’re a Mum, finding time to exercise is tough, so you really need to make every movement count. If there’s a choice between the stairs and the escalator, take the stairs. If there’s a choice between a closer parking spot and one that’s further away, take the one that’s further away. Anything that makes you move more is good.
What else can you do?
To get my son to sleep, I need to rock him. Usually, I pace up and down the room with him in my arms until he falls asleep. Lately, I’ve been getting in some cardio by doing the following:
- Leg lifts (or are they called “knee lifts”?) – instead of just walking up and down the room, I do knee lifts. It’s sort of like marching and bringing your knee to waist height. Instead of just swinging your leg and dropping it, make the movement controlled. Perhaps that’s the benefit of having to carry the baby while you do this – you don’t want to jostle him too much so you need to control your movements. You can try marching with a wide stance or a narrow stance – you will find that it works slightly different muscles. Try to keep it up until your baby falls asleep – trust me, you’ll be tired before your baby falls asleep.
- Bouncing on the Fit ball* – do you remember those exercises you used to do on the fit ball when you were pregnant? You can do them again with your baby. While nursing my baby to sleep, I’ll bounce on the fit ball. Make sure you tighten your core muscles while you’re working out to maximise the benefits of this exercise. You can increase the intensity by holding yourself up in mid-air at the top of every bounce. You’ll start to feel the burn in your thighs after a while. The other benefit of this is that you’ll be involuntarily doing Kegel’s which is great for controlling that partial incontinence.
* You might already have a fit ball from your pregnancy but if you don’t and you decide to get one, make sure that you get one that is the right size for you. What’s the right size? When you are sitting on it, make sure your bottom sits higher than your knees (but obviously not too high).
As with all exercises, speak to your doctor to make sure they are appropriate for you.