Weight Loss for Moms: 5 Keys to Success

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

weight loss for moms

No matter who you are, what shape you're in, or how old you are, weight loss for moms is possible!

It doesn't matter if you’re a new mom trying to lose baby weight or your kids are older and you now have time to concentrate on yourself.

Or even if you're in the thick of work, life, and parenting, and your busy, hectic life has put your health and fitness on the backburner!

You just need a plan — the right structure and guidance that will make weight loss for moms easier than you think.

Don’t get discouraged if you’ve tried weight loss in the past and it didn't work — or it did work, only for you to regain the weight a few months later.

Ready to make a commitment to yourself and your health? Keep reading for the keys to weight loss for moms.

Start with these 5 simple strategies for weight loss for moms!

The 5 Key Components of Weight Loss for Moms

To begin your weight loss journey, there are five key components to keep in mind when you want to boost your chance of success.

Believe it or not, formal exercise isn’t the most important part of effective weight loss for moms.

Read on to learn more about each component, so you can make the lifestyle changes necessary to reach your goal weight and maintain it for life.

1. Have the Right Mindset

Many women make the mistake of beginning with diet and exercise to achieve weight loss.

But for diet and exercise to work, especially long term, having the right mindset is crucial.

Ask yourself why you truly want to lose weight.

Is it to be healthier so you can be there for your husband and children, set a good example for your kids, have more energy, prevent chronic diseases, or gain a boost of confidence?

Set a weight loss goal and visualize yourself with the body you desire.

Find ways to motivate yourself, such as buying new, smaller-sized clothes.

If times get tough, remember the reasons you desire weight loss as motivation to keep going and prioritize those desires over food cravings.

If depression or anxiety is getting the best of you, try stress-relieving strategies (such as massage, yoga, or tai chi), spend time with family and friends, talk with a therapist, or check in with your doctor about other depression/anxiety treatment options.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep might be more important than healthy eating and exercise when it comes to weight loss for moms.

Studies show that poor sleep leads to higher body mass index (BMI), more insulin resistance, and lower cognitive function.

Sleep helps your body burn fat by regulating these hormones associated with weight control:

  • The growth hormones needed to build muscle, repair tissues, and burn fat.
  • Insulin, which decreases at night to give your metabolism a boost and enhance fat loss.
  • Cortisol, a stress hormone that decreases when you sleep.

Insufficient sleep alters these and other hormones responsible for appetite control, metabolism, and your body’s ability to sufficiently burn fat.

In fact, studies show that sleep deprivation is associated with increased hunger and a 60% loss of lean muscle during periods of energy restriction for weight loss.

Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

If you’re a new mom, a full night’s rest might not always be possible, so take naps with your baby during the day if you can.

While your children come first, your health is important too.

Ask for help from friends or family when you need it to get in a few extra hours of sleep during the day.

To boost sleep quality, sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room.

Reduce stress as much as possible, as it can hinder fat loss and alter hormones responsible for appetite control.

To help you feel more relaxed and stabilize hormones, try:

  • Walking outdoors
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Massage

Take a few minutes to yourself whenever you have the chance.

3. Make Dietary Changes

Now it’s time to make dietary changes.

What you eat is more important than exercise, because if you eat too many calories you won’t achieve the results you desire — even with daily workouts.

Diet accounts for 80% of your weight loss results. Even if you don’t exercise, you can still lose a significant amount of weight by making dietary changes.

The good news is you don’t have to count calories, starve yourself, feel hungry, or follow severely restrictive eating plans to achieve your dream body.

Simply choose healthy foods you love, and cut back on foods that hinder weight and fat loss.

As a rule, aim to fill your plate with:

  • Half non-starchy vegetables
  • One-fourth protein foods
  • One-fourth fiber-rich starches

Add in healthy fats, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods (or plant milk equivalents) too!

Eat as many plant foods (or take fiber supplements) as you can, as they are rich in satiating fiber. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and high-fiber protein bars are examples.

To optimize weight loss and overall health, women need at least 25 grams of fiber every day.

Following a well-balanced meal plan can reduce cravings for junk foods. Stay away from:

  • Fried foods
  • Burgers
  • Processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, sausage, ham, etc.)
  • Chips
  • Baked goods
  • White bread
  • Sugary drinks
  • Other sweet treats
  • Pizza

Increasing your overall water intake and drinking water before meals can help too.

Drink at least 2 cups of water when you wake up each morning and before every meal.

Women need at least 11 cups of water daily, and breastfeeding moms require just over 16 cups of fluids every day.

Add ice or fruit chunks to water to make it more palatable, or drink coffee or unsweetened tea. If you’re breastfeeding, choose drinks without caffeine.

4. Increase Activities of Daily Living

The activity of daily living is NOT a formal exercise. It involves activities that keep your body moving throughout the day vs sitting down.

You might not always break a sweat with activities of daily living, but they boost your daily calorie expenditure nonetheless.

Studies show that sitting 8 hours or more daily is associated with a 62% increase in the risk of obesity compared with sitting fewer than 4 hours each day.

Even standing up vs. sitting helps your body burn additional calories.

Make it a point to sit down as little as possible by:

  • Use a standing computer desk instead of a traditional sitting desk
  • Take your dog (bring the kids too) for a 30-minute walk outdoors each morning
  • Do yard work or house chores daily
  • Go shopping
  • Take your kids to a museum or the zoo
  • Go swimming or practice sports with your kids
  • Take the stairs vs. the elevator or escalator
  • Play with your children at a park
  • Go bowling or mini-golfing with your family
  • Try water skiing in the summer or downhill skiing in the winter

Do what you can to get your body moving all throughout the day and boost weight and fat loss.

Aim to complete at least 30-45 minutes of active movement (in addition to formal exercise) to properly regulate hunger.

If you have a desk job, get up to walk around or climb stairs at least once every hour.

If you have a pedometer, set a goal of 7,000 steps to reach daily movement goals.

5. Adopt a Formal Exercise Program

The last step in your journey toward weight loss for moms is adding formal exercise to your weekly routine.

But remember, it’s only effective when the other weight loss elements are in place, as you can’t out-exercise poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and an inadequate mindset.

You can lose weight without formal exercise, but this step helps sculpt your body into one you're proud to show off.

The most effective fat-burning workouts include:

Interval Cardio Training

Interval cardio workouts burn the same number of calories as continuous aerobic exercise, but in less time.

To complete interval training:

  • Warm-up
  • Work out at a high intensity for 1-2 minutes
  • Reduce your intensity for 1-2 minutes
  • Alternate between high- and low-intensity exercise for at least 20 minutes
  • Cool-down

If you prefer exercising at a moderate intensity instead, that's OK!

Work up to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to achieve weight loss. Start with just 20-30 minutes a day most days of the week!

Choose jogging, walking uphill, rowing, biking, rope jumping, rollerblade skating, stair climbing, or using an elliptical machine.

Strength Training

Strength training also enhances weight loss and anti-aging in women.

It improves your body's overall shape, increases muscle definition, and gives your metabolism a boost — even when you're resting!

Weightlifting, using your body weight as resistance, or using a plyo box, resistance bands, or a medicine ball are effective ways to reap the health benefits of resistance training.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to reach your goal weight, lose inches, and tone up.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of formal exercise most days of the week in addition to 30-45 minutes of activities of daily living to successfully drop weight.

Remember if you've just had a baby, it takes time to transform your body so don't give up! Give yourself 6-12 months (post-baby) to achieve the fit body you've been striving for.

How Can I Stay Motivated Long-Term?

Even without formal exercise, you should still see excess weight and body fat melt off after completing steps 1-4.

But adding strength and cardio workouts gives you results you never thought possible.

Set a regular schedule to make time for each of the five components of weight loss for moms.

For example, walk for 30 minutes daily after you drop the kids off at school or on your lunch break at work.

Eat meals at the same time each day and schedule workouts whenever you have 20-45 minutes free.

Create a regular sleeping schedule for you and your children.

Set (and track the progress of) goals for healthy eating, activity, exercise, sleep, and mental wellness — including your mindset, attitude, mood, and stress/anxiety levels.

FM30X is the key to staying motivated and on track with weight loss and healthy weight maintenance long term.

Having accountability, health education, and personalized meal and exercise plans at your fingertips keeps you on track with a healthy lifestyle now and for a lifetime.

That’s why thousands of women have effectively lost weight and kept it off with FM30X.

Give FM30X a try today or sign up for the FREE Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart!

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Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on weight loss for moms.

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