By Heather Burdo

With spring right around the corner, many people are thinking about getting into shape for the summer. Getting into shape isn’t a one-size-fits-all weight loss program (even if social media makes you feel that way with all of your friends selling supplements and programs) Each person’s body responds differently. It’s important to do your research and not let anyone else decide for you.

Getting healthy is also a self-care routine that you can take part in every day. Every parent needs self-care to be the best version of themselves for their children. Exercise helps release endorphins that will make you feel good. Eating healthy can make you feel good as well, especially if you were used to eating processed and sugary food prior. You just have to choose what will work best for you and how you can stay consistent.

 

Set Realistic Goals For Yourself

This is the number one way to achieve success with any diet or workout regimen. Think about your goals carefully. Do you want to lose weight? Get toned? Or maybe just get stronger since you may be at your ideal weight? Everyone has different goals and it’s important to understand yours, along with “why” you want to get into shape.

After you come up with a goal, it’s time to think about how you can get there realistically without putting too much pressure on yourself. Think about how many times you can get to the gym per week and how much time you can spend there. If you can’t get to a gym, look into some online workouts. There are even free ones on YouTube. Next, talk with your doctor about any special diets that may be ideal for your specific goals and needs. If you want to do something basic to start out, try counting calories. There are useful apps like MyFitnessPal or other apps available. The goal is to burn more calories than you eat.

Set small goals. For example, let’s say you want to lose 30 lbs., don’t assume you can lose that all in 1-2 months. Instead, start with 5 lbs. Then set a goal for 10 lbs. Setting small goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and allow yourself to keep going since you are seeing results.

 

Exercise is Important, But …..

Exercise is no doubt something everyone should be doing. Whether or not someone is at their goal weight, exercise is vital even for heart health and to build strong muscles. However, it’s also important to remember that eating healthy and increasing your water intake is the top priority.

You can run on the treadmill all day long, lift heavy weights at the gym, or even chase your kiddos around consistently - but if you are still consuming unhealthy food or an excess of calories - you’re not going to see results that way, at least not the ones you want.

Try to track your calorie intake each day and your activity. You should always have a deficit of calories each day if you are trying to achieve weight loss.

 

How to Choose the Best Diet and Workout

There are endless diets and workouts online. Although you should seek guidance from your doctor, some people like to research on their own first. You can look through different diets and see which one fits your lifestyle most.  It all comes down to what you can stick to. For example - with a low carb diet - Could you restrict yourself from carbs? Many people on the keto diet don’t exceed 20 carbs per day. If that’s something that will make you miserable, then you should choose a different diet. Not everyone will see success with the same diet.

For the workouts, you have to do something that you won’t dread. Do you like dancing? Find workouts that involve dancing as it can burn an insane amount of calories. Love weights? Good, because lifting weights can tone your body while you’re losing inches. Maybe you like to go for walks and take it slow - that’s okay, too. The idea is to get moving so you can burn calories.

Tip: When you choose a diet, and if you don’t see results. It may not be your fault. If this happens to you, contact your doctor and see if they can run some tests. Hormones play a major factor when it comes to weight. If your hormones are off, it can lead to the inability to lose weight. Thyroid disease is a major hormone that can get thrown off after having children, but there are other hormones to consider as well. If you go to your doctor explaining the diet and workouts with no results after a period of time, they will know which tests to offer.

Do your research and think about what you can see yourself doing each day. Switch up the workouts each month if you have to. Also, no matter which diet you choose, find fun recipes with each. Don’t let yourself get bored and enjoy the journey of getting into shape. If you have had success with a diet and/or workout in the past, please share below. We’d love to hear.

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Heather is a freelance writer from New York. When she isn't writing about parenting, she is tending to her own two handsome boys. She enjoys all things related to motivation and mindset. All work aside, she enjoys activities outdoors and being with her family. 

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