In this post I’m going to be sharing 5 nutrition hacks for busy moms. But before we even get into that, it’s important that I tell you that having a good grasp on nutrition has not always come easily for me. I come from a family where my mother was always trying the next fad diet: the vegetable soup diet, the salad only diet, the fruit-only diet, etc. You name it, I probably tried it as a young teenager along with my mom. This post is to women break away from this mindset and dangerous fads.
My journey with nutrition as a busy mom
As I got older I became more and more curious about how fat loss and muscle gain actually worked. However, like many of you, I was always getting confused with all the conflicting information out there. I’d hear: “If you don’t have breakfast you won’t be able to lose weight”. Then five minutes later would find an article saying: “Skipping breakfast is the best thing you can do to lose weight”. As you can imagine this left me feeling lost and confused!
Things got a LOT more intense when I started competing in bodybuilding competitions. The eating regimen was much more strict than I had ever experienced. A rigid eating schedule with very little room for deviation, very little seasoning allowed, very limited flexibility, and, quite honestly…I knew that way of living had no long term sustainability.
After having my first child, I knew that a strict lifestyle was not going to be healthy nor sustainable. Most importantly, I didn’t want to live that way anymore. There had to be a better and easier way to stay in good shape without obsessing over every little bite of food I took.
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My mindset shift (and what led me to discover these nutrition hacks for busy moms!)
I wanted to have the freedom to go on a date night with my husband without guilt over eating ‘off-plan’. Plus I wanted to be able to share ice cream with my children without feeling guilty. And without feeling the need to try to overcompensate by spending hours on the treadmill.
Fast forward to several years and I have been able to transition from being on that very strict eating regimen as a former professional athlete to a more flexible approach to my nutrition. What’s more, even with doing this, I have still been able to maintain a physique I am happy with and confident in, and this is after having 2 babies by C-section within a 14-month span!
Now, I’m only 3lbs away from the weight I used to compete at. Back then, I was never able to maintain this level of “leanness” due to the extreme restrictions during preparation for a competition. The extremes were very drastic. I could never find my balanced (and sustainable) happy place as far as my nutrition and body shape went.
I won’t lie, I have made a lot of mistakes (haven’t we all?). Eventually though, I was able to find what worked best for me. When I found that happy spot, I started trying it out with my clients! The more I worked with moms from all different backgrounds, shapes, and walks of life, the more I realized that I had actually been able to create a very simple system that WORKS. I have filled my plan with tips and strategies that even the busiest moms can follow, not just me.
So today I am going to be sharing with you my 5 nutritional hacks for all you busy moms. Things that have allowed me to continue having a very similar physique to when I won the most prestigious bodybuilding competition in the world (The Olympia). And even better, I did it all after having 2 kids, having MUCH less time on my hands, and having a serious shift of priorities.
If I can do it, so can you!
Let’s dive into my top 5 nutrition hacks for busy moms
Tip 1: Find out how much you should be eating
One of the biggest struggles busy moms have when it comes to nailing their nutrition is figuring out how much they should be eating. At times they are being told they are eating too much, and other times they are told they are eating too little. So how much should you be eating?
There are many ways which you can use to find out this number. For the sake of simplicity today we are going to go over one that is super easy to do.
You begin by eating like you normally do and tracking everything you ingest (literally EVERYTHING!) using a food tracking app such as MyFitnessPal for two weeks, and also track your weight for the duration of the 2 weeks. At the end of the 14 days add all the calories you ate for those days and divide by 14, and that will be your average daily calorie intake.
It is also important to weigh yourself when you start this process, and again at the end of it. (and a few times in between)
If your body weight has not changed at all, then the average daily calorie intake number you got is your maintenance calories or the number of calories you need to maintain your weight.
In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means removing some calories from the maintenance amount. Understanding calorie deficit can be pretty overwhelming. If you’d like to dive more into this specific nutrition hacks for busy moms, read this post.
Tip 2: Find one thing you can stick with
The biggest issue I see as a coach (and, if I am being honest, something I have done in the past as well) is good ol’ diet hopping! (Yo-yo dieting…ahem!)
I have talked in a few blogs and social media posts about growing up in a household that was all about fad diets. My mom has tried every diet that has ever existed, and I’ve watched her results be short-lived…over and over again.
Low carb one month, vegetable soup diet the next week, fruit diet the week after, just to name a few!
Now that I am an expert in the field of nutrition and fitness for moms, I can see why nothing worked for her and why I see nothing working for so many busy moms in the long run. The problem is that most of these diet strategies are not sustainable at all.
So, before you start a new diet that makes you cut all the things you love out of the menu, it is important to ask yourself if you can see yourself following that regimen 3 months, 6 months, or even 1 year down the road. If the answer is no, then the diet might not be right for you.
Tip 3: Diet audit
Can you accomplish your fitness goals even if you DON’T track your calories? Absolutely.
In the same way, you can save money without having a budget.
However, it is important to understand that when you don’t do ANY tracking you’re, going in blind to the fat loss/toning up process.
So, what is a diet audit? Does it mean tracking calories forever?
Absolutely not! Although some people are very data-driven and like to keep a close eye on their numbers. You don’t need to feel like you have to do it all the time.
The next step towards your goals need to be a diet audit. This means tracking your caloric intake for some time (1-2 weeks). This helps you clearly see where the extra calories are coming from and where you can cut back.
Most people grossly underestimate how much they eat and how many calories different serving sizes have, so this is a very important step to bring more awareness and knowledge when it comes to your portion sizes.
Tip 4: Plan ahead
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
This is probably a saying you’ve heard plenty of times before. When it comes to achieving your goals and staying sane as a busy mom, planning is probably the most important thing you can do. This has worked time after time for me. Every client that I have worked with in my 15 years of experience said what helped them significantly was to plan ahead.
“Winging it” will put you in a position where you are go for food items that don’t align with your goals. Either because you’re not prepared or just too hungry. This leads to a feeling of failure, which then makes most people give up.
Ready for my last nutrition hack for busy moms? This one is actually my favorite, I’ve saved the best for last!
Tip 5: Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk goes very well with the previous point of planning ahead. If you plan your week, you can make one bulk meal that can be used for future meals as well. Or if you don’t want to eat food items that have been precooked for more than a few days, you can do this 2 times a week.
This will not only save you tons of time when you are trying to feed the whole fam. But it will also save TONS of money since you will not have as much food waste.
I love using our barbecue grill, crockpot, and an air fryer to cook things in bulk.
Budget tip: Buy vegetables that are in season as they are likely to be less expensive.
Feeling ready to dive in and do it RIGHT this time around? By reading this blog with my 5 Nutrition Hacks For Busy Moms, you’re already off to a good start.
But those are just some of the many things I’ve learned in my years of coaching and in my own experience. I’ve compiled even MORE tips that helped not only me, but thousands of busy moms around the world carve sexier abs in a handy PDF.
Click that button below for 11 tips that will stop the yo-yo dieting cycle and have you on the road to success. Plus there might be an extra bonus tip 😉, sent straight to your email. (Free preview: you’ll learn how you can lose weight, keep it off and rock the sexier abs you’ve been told are impossible to have after having kids!)
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