Fit pro Sara Dean is one of our go-to experts on all things healthy moms. She’s given us tips on losing belly fat and today she’s sharing 10 tips to lose 10 pounds. Seeing as I’ve got 10+ pounds to go in the weight-loss department myself, I’ll be checking myself to make sure I’m implementing these as well!
10 Hot Mama Tips to Lose 10 Pounds
I’m a fitness professional and mom-to-be who has been helping moms lose weight for the last nine years. In that time, I have been able to really narrow down what works (and toss out a ton of stuff that does NOT work) in order to help moms lose fat, get lean and look and feel their very best.
I hate to see moms waste their time trying out the latest, greatest weight-loss gimmicks. It’s unbelievable how much junk is out there—not to mention how much money we spend thinking the junk will work for us. It makes me crazy. So I’m going to give it to you straight! THIS IS WHAT WORKS. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it works—and it’s not that hard. If you do it right and do it well, you will have an awesome body that will serve you well for the rest of your life. It will be so worth it! Oh, and you’ll be hot.
1. Divorce your cardio. Seriously, break up with the elliptical. Those 45-minute steady state cardio sessions are not helping you lose fat. High intensity intervals (which can be done on the elliptical, by the way) are about nine times more effective in burning fat, especially belly fat. You can also do these workouts in a fraction of the time. For examples of these kinds of workouts, download free ebooks here and refer to the workouts in the Top 5 Myths of Female Fat Loss.
2. Lift heavy. You must strength train to lose weight. It is more important than your beloved cardio. And you must lift more than 3- to 5-pound dumbbells to get any benefit from your strength training sessions. You should always choose weight that you can perform no more than 10 to 12 reps with. Increase your weight any time you can perform sets of 12 reps with decent form. This is how you build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass burns fat round the clock. It is a beautiful thing. (P.S.: you will not bulk up using weights that allow you to perform 10 to 12 reps. I swear on my grandmother’s grave.)
3. Drink more water. Even slight dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent. Why would you do that to yourself? Water also helps you flush bloat and water retention. Drink half your body weight in ounces every day (ie: a 150 pound woman should drink 75 ounces.) My clients who lose the most weight are really on top of their water intake. These same clients notice that any time their water consumption stalls, so does their weight loss. Drink up!
4. Go green. Eat your veggies—yes, the non-green ones, too! The more you can fill up on veggies, the less room you’ll have for junk. Also, veggies are very nutrient dense, meaning you can eat a ton of them for very few calories and lots of fullness (satiety). There are also a ton of ways to be creative with veggies and substitute them for some of your highest calorie foods.
5. Good-bye grains. Get rid of all grains, even your double-fiber whole wheat. Whole wheat really is not your friend. In fact, recent research shows that two pieces of whole-wheat toast raise your blood sugar (hello, belly fat) more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar does. For the most part, whole-wheat products are the same processed junk as your white-bread products—with a bit more fiber. Yes, I said it. Don’t hate the messenger.
The only grains that have actual nutritional value are sprouted grains (ie: Ezekiel sprouted bread). But even sprouted grains are not needed by our bodies. Our dependence on grains is a habit and a bad one at that. Because of the refinement process, grains are more likely to make you sick than provide you with fuel. And by sick I mean cause disease (diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysfunction) not just the little ol’ flu. The more you can reduce grains, the more you will have room for whole foods that will fuel you and help you shed weight and bloat.
As far as carbs go—if your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, you are getting enough carbs. I promise you. In fact, I know marathoners who live on grain-free diets and get all their carbs from vegetables. This fuels them for 26-mile runs. The whole idea that your plate should be 50 percent full of carbs is BUNK.
6. Get Yer Zzzs. Sleeping is a really important part of restoring your body every day. While you sleep, your hormones do wonderful things that allow you to recover from the day you just experienced and prepare you to function optimally the next day. If you don’t sleep enough or don’t sleep well, your hormone levels will be out of whack, especially your cortisol. If your cortisol levels stay high day and night from stress, you will really struggle to lose weight. I know it’s not easy for moms to control a night’s sleep in many cases. However, note the sleeping habits of your kids, and do your best to work around that to get the most uninterrupted sleep possible.
7. Use natural diuretics. Now don’t go crazy on me here. No need to send me hate mail for advocating the use of diuretics. Natural diuretics are foods and drinks that help you shed water and bloat. They are not like pill diuretics that deplete you of every bit of water from within and take with them tons of vitamins and minerals. Foods that are natural diuretics are cucumbers, celery, lettuces, asparagus, cabbage, fennel, beets, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, dandelion tea and green tea. These things are good for you and have the additional benefit of helping you shed water weight.
8. See ya salt. Minimize processed foods that have tons of salt and cause bloat—particularly in prepackaged foods, canned soups and pre-made Asian dishes (or anything drenched in soy sauce). I recently stopped eating pho (awesome Vietnamese soup) because it gave me such a complex. I would have it for dinner and wake up 3 pounds heavier with swollen eyes (aka “pho face”). The salty broth plus soy sauce would keep me bloated for days. Not worth it. Sea salt sprinkled on your freshly prepared food is completely fine.
9. Protein. Protein and veggies are your best friends when it comes to foods for fat loss. We already covered veggies, so on to protein. You should have protein with every meal and snack. You should have a significant source of protein for breakfast (eggs, a Hot Mama Protein Shake, nuts/nut butters, meats). This will help regulate your blood sugar from the moment you start your day. Throughout the day, have protein every time you eat. Finish your day with a dinner high in protein so that you’ll be less likely to have sugar cravings in the evening. Also, the more protein you have with dinner, the less room you’ll have for carbs, which you REALLY do not want sitting in you when you go to bed. Protein helps you build lean muscle, which in turn helps you burn fat. It also fills you up like crazy. It is ESSENTIAL for weight loss.
10. Commit to the process. Being “good” for one day and then eating junk the next will get you no where fast. Set aside a significant block of time to make a committed effort toward your goal. Maybe it’s a month or two months. Change will not happen overnight, but if you are committed, you can see dramatic change in a manner of weeks. The SuperMom Workout Program is based on these 10 principles and gets moms amazing results in just five weeks. If you need a structured program to help you in your effort, this is a great starting place.
I hope you took notes on this. Perhaps you want to print this out and post it somewhere to stay mindful of these habits. These 10 tips, used together, will give you amazing results. You have my word.
A big thanks to Sara for sharing her expertise! Healthy ideas any mom can implement, although I’m not sure I can give up the grains… —Erin
Sara Dean is the founder of Fit Healthy Moms, an international online community. Sara’s passion is helping moms lose baby weight and burn baby belly fat. Sara launched Fit Healthy Moms to provide moms with the necessary information about postpartum weight-loss. Moms all over the world are currently using her downloadable postpartum weight loss program, 6 Week Pregnancy Weight Loss and SuperMomWorkouts.