Well, as a busy mom of two, I’ve been working out on the regular basis for more than 2yrs.
And my own experience taught me that nothing ages us faster than the lack of regular, effective exercise.
Muscles melt away, bones get brittle, posture stoops, skin sags, flab hangs and joints creak. Fatigue becomes your constant companion. The more you put off exercising properly, the faster you decline. 🙁
I’ve met quite a few fabulous moms (either in reality or on the internet), they all ask me the same question: How can I get leaner (a.k.a. hotter:)? Even though they all weigh no more than 120lbs and there are really not too much room for “real” weight loss.
Do I have any secrets to that million $$$ question?
Well…let’s cut to the chase by using “flyingpig” as an example~~~She’s 5’2 and 120lbs at the most, and her fitness goal is to drop a few lbs and to get rid of the extra belly fat after baby.
At 120 lbs, your daily calorie maintenance can be assumed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500-1600 cals. Make sure you know how many calories you are consuming currently by starting a detailed food log. The problem with little women trying to lose weight is, to drop into an energetic deficit (required for weight loss) you have to eat so little. Compare your stats to someone who carries 190 lbs with a maintenance intake of roughly 3100 calories. They could drop 1000 calories and still be eating more food than your maintenance.
You drop your intake by 1000 calories and you’ll die! LOL~~~
So you’ve got small amounts of wiggle room.
To add to this issue, when you aren’t carrying around a lot of body fat, losing more body weight becomes a difficult task. Our bodies don’t like us to diet below a certain point. If they did, we probably wouldn’t be sitting here typing on these computers as the human race would have died off. Easy storage of fat is what kept us alive in the cold winters when all the meaty mammals ran for the equator. So we’ve got systems in place that fight us when we’re in shoes such as yours.
To add even more, when someone is dieting, their recoverability declines. Weight training, dieting, cardio…. these are all stresses placed on our bodies systemically. We need to recover from these stresses. When in an energy deficient state though, we need to be lot more economical in how and when we apply this stress due to the decline in recoverability.
As a general rule, you want to be very conservative when in your shoes with how much central nervous system (CNS) intensive work you do.
That said, my suggestion to flyingpig is : First, I’d create a 20% calorie deficit or so based on your current maintenance. This deficit will be a very individual thing. For some, they may be able to do it with nutrition solely. For others, some form of cardio is going to have to act as a ballast allowing you to eat “enough”.
Second, If I were you, I’d be doing 2-3 sessions of strength training per week focused on a mixture of primarily heavy weights (4-6 reps) and some moderate weights (10-15 reps). Believe it or not, this is going to give you the most mileage in terms of physique enhancement at this stage in the game.
If you find that you still aren’t meeting your goals, add more cardio in as necessary… but keep it sane. Absolutely no need for running 60+ minutes IMO!
If really necessary, throw in 1, 2 at the most sessions of HIIT on your strength training days will be even helpful as well.
Lastly, yet more importantly, don’t get sucked into the mindset where you believe there’s one right way to go about obtaining your goals. There’s not. Be consistent with your efforts and they’ll pay off. Many people become hesitant to act simply because they’re unsure if what they’re doing it ‘right’ or not. Doing something is better than nothing as long as you’re not hurting yourself.
Now that I’ve shared my little secrets to all of you fabulous moms, I’m looking forward to hearing your success along the journey ~~~! 🙂
My outfit in pix: lululemon + Nike
My daughter’s outfit in pix: Nike