Losing weight isn't as easy as it sounds. Burn more than you eat. OK, that sounds simple enough. I don't eat that much and I always seem on the go and "busy" with my work & kids..... so why do I keep gaining weight? I've been told that because of my lifestyle my body has gone into starvation mode....thus the following article also suggests and explains. I find the following article very interesting and applicable to my lifestyle so am going to try to apply some of the tips and suggestions as possible. Hopefully I can get back to a proper weight for my height. I have 6 months before seeing family I haven't seen before and be able to look healthy & feel good about the way I look as well as fit back into alot of my summer clothes that are too snug on me now.
MOMSense, September/October 2007
Weight-Loss Tips for Every Mom
Ways to win the battle of the bulge.
By Carrie Carter, M.D.
Q: Our MOPS group has moms of all ages who are raising active preschoolers. Yet we all struggle to lose weight. How can we win the battle of the bulge?
A: Same Problem—Unique Issues
There are unique weight-loss issues facing moms of different ages and stages.
A nursing mom needs to eat enough food to produce nutritious milk while trying to lose mommy "baby" fat. Don't be surprised if her body won't "give up" those last ten pounds of excess weight until after she stops breastfeeding. It's a built-in insurance policy that ensures Mom has enough body mass to continue making healthy milk for her baby.
A mom who is constantly caring for kids often doesn't take the time to meet her needs. Skipping meals can cause her body to go into "starvation mode," slow her metabolism and make her gain weight even when not eating more calories. Continual stress causes the repeated release of the hormone cortisol that makes her body deposit fat in her mid-abdomen/waist area. Even without eating more calories, her waist size may grow. How unfair!
An older mom faces the body's tendency to lose lean muscle mass and gain fat as each year passes.
But we can fight most of these issues and win the battle of the bulge!
Basic Weight Gain and Loss Principles
Weight loss takes time! Here are some basic principles to follow:
1. Something must change for you to lose weight. You must either burn more calories or take in fewer calories—or both.
2. Slow and steady weight loss is better (1-2 lbs. per week); weight loss that is fast usually doesn't last.
3. Eating 1200-1800 calories a day is the usual range needed for weight loss. Go to www.mypyramid.gov for a description of what a healthy diet looks like in that calorie range.
4. BMI chart (Body Mass Index) helps you select the weight range ideal for your body type and height. Go to the Web site: www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi. Look on the BMI table and find the weight for your height at a BMI of less than 25.
5. Eat frequent small meals and exercise to boost your metabolism.
6. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you'll burn even when sleeping!
Pick the Trio Right for You
While caring for a family, you're living "the crazy life." To reach a healthy weight, you need a plan that works with your lifestyle. Choose what works for you from the three-part combo: a nutrition plan, an exercise plan and a weight-loss plan.
1. Nutrition basics: Enter your age, weight and height on www.mypyramid.gov and receive a personalized printout to guide your servings, portion sizes and food choices. Avoid the biggest weight-loss mistake: Don't eliminate a major food group (such as carbs) from your diet.
Tips: Breakfast is your friend! It stokes your metabolism and is the best time to eat extra calories. Plan daily what you're going to eat and don't skip meals. Stock healthy snacks in the car if you're shuttling your kiddos from place to place.
2. Exercise: Choose fun, doable exercises—and then do them regularly. Examples: walking, dancing in the living room, working out on a treadmill or other machine or with your favorite video or DVD at home. Break up the sessions if that's the only way to fit them in. Ten minutes of exercise will clear most of the cortisol from your bloodstream. Build some muscle!
3. Weight-loss plans: Studies show most women lose more weight and keep it off if they have a specific plan and someone holds them accountable. For some, weekly meetings (weigh-in) work well, while others need help with portion size and find prepackaged food a better fit. Some like to use a meal replacement drink or bar for one to two meals and eat a sensible dinner.
In this limited space, I've provided a few weight-loss tips, but there's a wealth of additional information about nutrition, exercise and weight-loss plans. I recommend you read the weight-loss chapter with detailed major diet plans in my book, A Woman's Guide to Good Health (Spire/ Revell), and the nutrition and exercise chapters in the same book and in Mom's Health Matters (Zondervan). Both books are available in the MOPShop.
Remember, God loves you just as you are and wants to help you. No matter what your weight, you are a cherished woman in God's eyes and heart!
Dr. Carrie Carter is a mother and national speaker on health issues. She served as a pediatrician for more than 10 years in San Diego, California, and wrote A Woman's Guide to Good Health (Spire/Revell, 2006), available in the MOPShop at www.MOPShop.org.
Eating these amounts from each food group daily may help you gradually reach a healthier weight. This plan is a 1600 calorie food pattern. Click here for more information about weight loss diets.
This plan is based on average needs for a 34 year old female, 5 feet 0 inches tall, physically active less than 30 minutes a day, in the healthy weight range. Your calorie needs may be more or less than the average, so check your weight regularly. If you do not see gradual weight loss, adjust the amount you are eating.
grains - 5 ounces
veggies - 2 cups
fruits - 1.5 cups
milk - 3 cups
meat & beans - 5 ounces
1 Make Half Your Grains Whole
Aim for at least 3 ounces of whole grains a day
2 Vary Your Veggies
Aim for this much every week:
Dark Green Vegetables = 2 cups weekly
Orange Vegetables = 1 1/2 cups weekly
Dry Beans & Peas = 2 1/2 cups weekly
Starchy Vegetables = 2 1/2 cups weekly
Other Vegetables = 5 1/2 cups weekly
Oils & Discretionary Calories
Aim for 5 teaspoons of oils a day
Limit your extras (extra fats & sugars) to 130 Calories
Physical activity is also important for health. About 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days can help you manage your body weight and prevent gradual gain. About 60 to 90 minutes daily can help you maintain weight loss. If you are inactive, work up to these amounts gradually. Click here to find out if you should talk with a health care provider before starting or increasing physical activity. Click here for more information about physical activity and health.