7 Back to School Weight Loss Tips for Busy Moms

Article posted in: Lifestyle

Being busy can add on pounds, particularly if you’re a parent. And if your kids are getting ready to go back to school, you’re about to get a lot busier.

A Cornell University study of 50 working moms and dads found that more than half often turned to unhealthy eating options because they were so busy at work.

Throw a kid’s schedule into the mix—or more than one kid’s schedule—and you have a recipe for weight loss disaster.

Nutrisystem offers nutrition, hunger control, variety and most importantly for busy moms: convenience. With food delivered right to your home, it saves you time and effort.

Here is a back to school weight loss plan to keep your weight in check when you’re busy being a mom.

1. Track your food before you eat it.

Every morning from their first day back to school, just sit down with your kids’ calendar in front of you and identify the days when it’s going to be crazy busy. Like when you’re chauffeuring the entire swim team to the meet or bouncing between soccer and band practice. Those are the critical times when the drive-thru window starts calling to you.

If you have a meal planned—and maybe cooked ahead of time and have some ready to be microwaved—you can avoid the temptation of fast food. If you must grab some chicken, choose the rotisserie-roasted versions in your supermarket. Just remember to take off the skin, where the fat lives.

Nutrisystem also has a variety of convenient grab-and-go breakfast bars that will fill you up and save crucial time in the morning.

2. Buy convenience foods.

You can find conveniently pre-cut fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen, in your supermarket that you can grab in a pinch. Stock up on low fat, vegetable-based canned soups, prepared hummus, whole wheat pitas, natural peanut butter, bags of low-fat shredded cheese and whole wheat noodles. You can also get 90-second microwaveable brown rice, frozen veggies and canned fish like tuna and salmon.

3. Stock up on grab-and-go foods from Nutrisystem.

Nutrisystem’s perfectly portioned, deliciously satisfying on-the-go bars come in flavors like chocolate peanut butter and caramel. For even more fast and tasty options, there’s nothing more convenient than Nutrisystem meals that are nutritionally balanced and ready in minutes.

4. Batch cook.

If your weekends are as busy as your week, you can still cook ahead, particularly if you have a slow cooker (or two!). Batch cooking saves you time and energy. Throw in your ingredients for chili, pulled chicken or turkey, beef stew, tomato basil or lentil soup or your family’s other favorites and let the slow cooker do the work. At the same time, put a turkey or chicken in the oven to roast so you have plenty to eat for the week. You can even do make-ahead breakfasts for those crazy mornings. Cook oatmeal for the week (you can even do it overnight in the slow cooker) or keep a few hard-boiled eggs ready for either breakfast, lunch or a snack.

5. Build in an exercise program.

Schedule your workouts like they’re a doctor appointment and stick to them. Write them in your calendar and look at it every day. Seeing your exercise planned out for you will make you feel more in control when your daily schedule seems like chaos. Giving yourself a plan B in case plan A doesn’t work out also helps. Also, find an exercise buddy: Not only does having a partner keep you accountable, one study found that exercising with a friend also makes you happier.

6. Keep healthy foods within arm’s reach.

A study by researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Laboratory found that moms of at least two kids—the demographic at most risk for weight gain—who kept a bowl of fruit where they could reach it weighed an average of 13 pounds less than those who didn’t. Most of us are on the “see-food” diet anyway—we see food and we eat it. The lesson from the Cornell study is to keep the healthy food within sight, whether it’s on the kitchen counter or on a desk at work.

7. Learn to chill.

Like being busy, stress can add on pounds. The chemicals your body produces to help gear you up to deal with the enemy—which these days may just be a serious case of being overwhelmed—also trigger hunger for “comfort” foods high in fat and sugar.

Of course, conquering stress isn’t something you’re going to be able to do overnight, but it helps to plan. Write a list of the things that make you go “ahhh.” Maybe it’s time in nature, a little blessed silence in a noisy world, a news blackout, taking a few deep breaths, laughing, exercising, a girls’ night out or a big hug from someone you love. Have the list with you at all times and when stress hits, pull it out and pick something you think will help you get a break.