In this post I share 68 tips to help you overcome your struggles to reach your weight loss and fitness goals.
As a busy mom of 3 under 5, I know firsthand how hard it can feel to find time to exercise and prepare healthy meals. But there is plenty you can do to reach your goals!
58 Weight Loss Tips For Busy Moms
Mom life is BUSY!
And sometimes it can feel like you have no time left in the day to take care of yourself after taking care of everyone else.
I want to share with you my top 58 tips to help reach your health and weight loss goals as a busy mom.
My goal is to help teach you to simplify your life to make your health and weight loss goals more accessible and attainable.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded by the latest and greatest weight loss plans, it can feel overwhelming and impossible to figure out what to do.
This is why I feel compelled to teach you how to keep it simple!
And remember, as a busy mom of three (under 5!), I know firsthand that motherhood is no walk in the park.
The best way to take care of others is to take care of yourself!
So, here my tips to help get you moving in right direction and make those weight loss and fitness goals a priority AND reality… even as a busy mom.
58 Tips For Busy Moms To Stay Fit and Healthy
1. Every Little Bit Counts
It is so easy to get caught up in the mindset that in order to see results, you must workout for hours a week.
While I do believe that higher intensity workouts are essential to losing weight and building muscle, squeezing in small bouts of exercise will also help you reach your weight loss goals.
Think of it as “extra credit” to you more structured workouts.
Not only will you burn extra calories, but 5-10 minute workouts can give you the mood and energy boost you need to tackle on your day.
2. Knock It Out Early
Our days are filled with a million commitments and obligations that popup and it’s very easy for something to interfere with your gym or workout time.
Knocking it out before the day gets away from you will help provide the energy, mental clarity and even give you the mood boosting satisfaction of crossing off one item on your to-do list.
3. Have a Plan To Avoid Wasting Precious Time
Finding time to workout is one thing.
Finding motivation to figure out what to do for a workout is another.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Once you have juggled your schedule to squeeze in a workout, make sure you have a game plan for what you will do to sweat.
4. Chose Intensity Over Duration
This is one element that sets apart those who see results quickly and those who don’t.
The results you see are not from how much time you spend exercising.
They come from HOW you spend that time exercising!
Amping up the intensity of your workouts is going to give you much better results than working out longer.
Fit moms don’t spend hours in the gym.
They workout hard and maximize every minute they have.
5. Focus On Making Time
Regular exercisers don’t have extra time to workout, they make time.
Most of us have unused chunks of time in our busy schedules to squeeze in a quick 15 minute calorie burning interval workout.
Take a few minutes to audit your schedule and see what can be rearranged to free up a few hours each week to exercise.
6. Break it Up
There are many times when squeezing in a 30-45 minute workout is impossible.
However, you can still reap the benefits of burning calories, toning muscle, boosting energy and reducing stress by breaking up your workouts into a few 10-15 minute sessions spread throughout the day.
Something is ALWAYS better than nothing, even if it is just a quick 4-minute Tabata workout.
7. Include Your Kids
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that my kids are often included in my workouts.
Kids learn more from what we do than what we say.
Including them in your workouts not only teaches them to live an active and healthy lifestyle but it is also a great way to bond with them.
8. Break a Sweat Anytime and Anywhere
You dont need a gym or even your house to burn calories.
Instead of using your lunch hour to zone out on Social Media, pack some tennis shoes and go for a walk or do a little office cubical circuit training.
Resistance bands are a cheap and excellent piece of equipment you can bring with you just about anywhere to help you lose weight and tone up.
9. Give Yourself a Little Grace
Kids are unpredictable and Mom life is even more unpredictable. As hard as we try to maintain routine, it is inevitable that something will always throw us for a loop.
Don’t beat yourself up for eating an extra slice of pizza or two bowls of your kids cereal at midnight (guilty as charged). It is all part of the journey and noone is perfect.
10. Chose Consistency Over Perfection
Consistency is the most important element to success.
Instead of throwing in the towel after a few bad days or weeks, pick up where you let off and keep going.
The only bad workout is the one that you didn’t do!
Us moms are excellent multitaskers.
This is truly a gift because sometimes squeezing in a little workout requires some creativity and multitasking.
If you have 10 minutes to kill while waiting to pick up your kids from school, do some squats in the parking lot or take a brisk walk up and down the street.
Try throwing in some squats while cooking dinner or giving the kids a bath.
Remember, something is ALWAYS better than nothing.
12. Build a Support System
Losing weight and staying fit as a busy mom requires a lot of support.
Without the proper support, being successful in those goals is almost impossible.
Share your goals with your spouse, family and friends so they can help keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.
Join a support group on Facebook with like minded people to encourage and motivate each other.
13. You Can’t Out Exercise a Poor Diet
Many have the mindset that they can exercise extra hard to burn off extra calories consumed.
Wouldn’t that be nice? I hate to break it to you but it doesn’t work that way.
Diet plays the biggest role in reaching your weight loss and fitness goals.
14. Watch The Mindless Munching
I am very guilty of nibbling off my kids plate or snacking while I’m cooking.
However, these calories add up quickly and can really sabotage your weight loss goals.
15. Stay Hydrated
Often times our bodies are not very good at distinguishing between thirst and hunger leaving us to reach for calorie dense foods when we are just hungry.
Shoot for 8, 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
16. Drink a Water Before Every Meal
This can help you fill up a little before you eat which will help you consume less calories.
17. Lighten Your Coffee
Your morning cup of Joe may be doing more harm than good to your waistline.
Simply cutting out 200-500 calories a day can help you lose a pound in a week.
Lightening up on the heavy creams and sugar in your daily coffee can have a huge impact on your reaching your weight loss goals.
18. Keep a Journal
Studies show that those who keep journals or track their progress are more successful and weight loss than those who don’t.
Keeping a journal will help keep you accountable.
19. Take Progress Pictures
It can be hard to see our progress from looking at ourselves in the mirror.
Taking progress pictures so you can have a side by side comparison can really help you stay motivated.
20. Think Positive
The body can achieve what the mind can conceive.
Do you encourage yourself with positivity or hold yourself back with fear and negativity.
Writing down your thoughts can have a huge impact on your health and fitness goals.
21. Reduce The Amount of Processed Foods Consumed
Processed foods are loaded with calories and can increase cravings.
As a matter of fact, food companies study the affects certain foods have on the brain to make them more addicting.
Generally speaking, the fewer the ingredients, the better the food for your body.
22. Avoid Having “Off Limits” Foods
Unless you have a food sensitivity or allergy, try to avoid having foods that are deemed “bad”.
This often leads to feelings of deprivation and failure when one eats the foods they had made “off limits”
23. Strive For Balance, Not Rigidity
Being too strict and rigid with your workout routine and meal plan can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment.
It is much harder to stick with something that feels like a burden rather than a lifestyle habit.
Being flexible in your routines has a greater chance of sustainability.
24. Eat Enough Protein
Protein is the building block of our muscles.
We want to maintain as much muscle mass as possible because it burns more calories at rest than fat.
Protein shakes are an excellent and tasty way to increase your protein intake.
25. Consider Taking Collagen Protein
Collagen protein is a special kind of protein that provides structure and support to our skin, joints, hair and nails.
As we age, we lose collagen and thus our skin develops more wrinkles, our joints become more achy and our hair and nails become more brittle.
Adding collagen can help reduce this aging process.
Who doesn’t want more luscious locks, less wrinkles and less aches and pains?
26. Find Movement You Love
The competition for the latest and greatest workout and weight loss program is fierce.
However, if you hate running, you are less likely to find motivation or make time for running.
Find something you love, you will have a better chance of sticking to it.
27. Find Motivation Outside of The scale
If you are looking for sustainable results, you must find a reason to live an active and healthy lifestyle outside of the number on the scale.
Do you want to have more energy to keep up with your kids?
Do you need to lower your stress, anxiety, blood pressure or cholesterol?
Exercise can help with all of these things.
Dig deeper and find motivation beyond appearance.
28. “Health” and “Weight” are Not Connected
Here is an unpopular truth.
You can love your body at any size but you can absolutely not be healthy at any size.
Exercising and being healthy has much more to do with how you feel than how you look.
29. Start Small
Many of us start off with high motivation and ambition to reach our goals.
However, life gets in the way and slowly but surely we start losing momentum.
Setting smaller goals leads to a greater chance of developing lifelong, healthy habits.
30. Avoid Over Training
I have seen it over and over.
Clients are ready to dive headfirst into their workout routine then over estimate their abilities and end up being miserably sore for a week.
Don’t jump out of the gate running 5 miles and lifting more weight than you ever have in your life.
Not only does this lead to feelings of frustration, but it can also cause injury.
Reaching your goals is a marathon, not a sprint. (I know you didn’t want to hear that but it’s true!)
31. Don’t Be Afraid To Lift Heavy Weights
If you are looking to lose weight and “tone” your body, you must lift weight that is challenging for you.
Women do not have the correct hormones to become “bulky”.
32. Stay Off Your Phone During Workouts!
I see it way too often.
Gym goers sitting in between workout sets scrolling through their phones.
Or casually walking on the treadmill while zoning out on social media.
Our phones are extremely distracting and really sabotage your results.
You are likely to get your workout done faster if you avoid distractions such as your phone.
33. Muscle DOES NOT Weigh More Than Fat!
A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat.
However, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat.
34. Take Active Rest Days
Your body needs rest to recover.
You can still stay active on rest days just choose less strenuous exercises like walking or gentile yoga.
33. Follow the 85/15 Rule
I stopped recommending the 80/20 rule because most clients underestimate the clean 80% and overestimate the indulgence 20%.
Instead I recommend shooting for 85/20 rule.
34. EDIT Your DIET
If you rearrange the letters in “diet”, you get “edit”
Avoid falling trap to strict dieting which can lead to feelings of deprivation, starvation and failure.
Instead, edit your diet by choosing healthier options such as fresh fruits and vegetables over processed foods.
35. Not All Calories Are Created Equal
36. Print A Progress Sheet
When teaching my little girls about chores, we use a chore chart.
Using stickers helps them to visually see their progress and they get so excited to see all the sticker line up.
Print a progress tracker and use stickers or simply just a circle on the days you workout.
This will help you feel proud of your progress but it will also help you find a schedule that works for you.
37. Find Different Ways To Measure Your Progress
Focus on improving physical strength rather than weight loss.
Do you want to be able to do 10 pushups?
How about run a 5k?
Working toward these types of goals is more motivating that working toward losing a specific number on the scale.
The results will come the more you work toward a physical goal.
38. Use Your Clothes To Track Progress
You can lose inches without losing weight.
If you take two 160 pound women, one may wear a size 6 and another wear a size 12.
The person who wears the size six likely has more muscles mass and less fat mass and therefor are physically smaller.
This is why the scale can be misleading.
39. Grab An Accountability Partner
Having the right support is extremely important in reaching your goals.
Grab a friend or join a community on Facebook of like minded women all working toward the same goals.
This will also help you seek tips and advice through others who understand firsthand the journey you are on.
40. Create a Fail-proof Environment
Avoid stocking your house with foods that tend to be your weakness.
Remember, out of sight, out of mind!
41. Do You Want to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Muscle burns more calories at rest that fat.
Building lean muscle is the best way to help give your metabolism a little boost.
42. Small Progress is Better Than No Progress
Reaching your weight loss and fitness goals can feel like eternity.
Focus on small progress to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Take it day by day and remember, small progress is better than no progress.
And one of the best ways to track your progress is to print out your progress tracker listed above.
43. Treat Yourself To Something New
Buy a new workout or pants, headphones, or some dumbbells or loop bands to keep you active at home.
Having something new can help keep you motivated.
44. Make a List of Motivational Quotes
Keep a list of some of your favorite quotes that inspire you to reach your goals.
Or make a list of positive affirmations such as “I love my body”, or “I want to feel better both mentally and physically.”
45. Make Yourself a Priority
The better we take care of ourselves, the better we can take care of others.
Mom burnout is a real thing and it is important that we take care of ourselves while taking care of others.
46. Never Skip More Than Two Days
I have a steadfast rule that I never go more than two days without a workout.
Even just 10-20 minutes has a huge impact on both reaching your goals as well as helping you stay consistent.
Going too many days in between workouts can make it hard to get back into a routine.
47. Choose Cheat Meals Wisely
I suggest opting for cheat “meals” instead of cheat “days”.
This allows for more flexibility throughout your weeks.
If you have a cheat meal, just eat moderately the rest of the week.
48. Don’t Count Daily Calories
It is the under or overconsumption of calories over an extended period of time that leads to weight loss or weight gain.
Instead of focusing on your calorie consumption daily, opt for calorie cycling and track your calories through the week.
I use an app on my phone called “Lose It” and this allows me to see if I am staying in my calorie range for the week.
If I see that I overate one day, I simply cut back another day to create balance.
49. Use Timers To Stand
If you have a desk job, make sure you are using a timer to remind yourself to get up and walk around or do some squats at your desk.
This is not only great for burning calories but it is also great for boosting mental clarity.
50. Use an Interval Timer
Interval timers are like little personal trainers in your pocket!
I use a “Gymboss” app on my phone. This will help keep you on track and avoid longer rest periods.
I love HIIT workouts with my time because the workouts are quick and very effective.
To learn more about my favorite quick, fat burning workouts, check out Tone in 10.
51. One More Rep, One More Minute
When you think you have nothing left to give, push yourself to do one extra rep or if you are doing cardio, do one extra minute.
It is these reps beyond what you think you can do that make you stronger both physically and mentally.
Always do one more rep!
52. There are 3500 Calories to a Pound of Fat
It takes a caloric deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat.
This can be easily achieved by just cutting out 500 calories a day.
This can be as simple as swamping high calorie coffee drinks for plain coffee or drinking water instead of soda or juice.
53. Think of Moving Your Body All Day
The more you move your body, the more calories you burn.
This doesnt mean just through exercise. We burn calories cleaning the house, folding laundry, playing with our kids.
The more you move throughout your day, the more calories you burn.
54. Treat Each Day as A Fresh Start
If you were unhappy about your progress the day prior, it’s okay!
Treat each day like a clean slate and remember that this is a journey, not a race.
55. Focus on Quality Sleep
Lack of sleep can have a direct impact on our appetite as well as our waistline.
Sleep allows our bodies to repair and recover from our workouts and activities.
Make sure you are prioritizing sleep.
56. Opt For Circuit Training
When we are pressed for time, circuit training is the best way to get the most out of your workout.
Circuit training involves performing different exercises back to back with smaller rest periods.
This helps boost your metabolism and shed weight faster.
57. Get Organized!
There are numerous studies to show a direct correlation between the clutter in our homes and the weight on our bodies.
Removing clutter and getting organized can drastically help you find more time for yourself and your workouts.
The 30 minutes you spend looking for things you need can be used much more effectively!
58. Reduce Stress
High levels of stress can cause our bodies to release more cortisol which can increase cravings.
There you have it!
These are a few small tricks and tips that can add up to huge results and make being a “fit mom” a reality instead of dream.
What tips and tricks do you use to stay active and healthy as a busy mama?
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.