Flawlessly Fit(ish)

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle Without Sacrificing Hours of Time - for Moms!

Are you looking for easy ways to work towards a healthier lifestyle, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re on your way, but are ready to kick it up a notch without spending hours each week in the gym or meal prepping?

As a busy minister’s wife and mom of two, I know exactly what you’re going through. At this stage of life, it’s important to me to stay healthy and active, but I just don’t have hours and hours each week to dedicate to exercise or impeccably healthy recipes. That’s why I started Flawlessly Fit(ish) – to help other busy moms find simple and realistic ways to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into our already hectic schedules.

Okay, now with that out of the way, I’m super excited to share the top 7 secrets I discovered on my OWN path to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even with young children at home. Let’s start with #1.

Secret #1

Find activities to do together as a family.

Sometimes, you just don’t want to give up time as a family for gym time – especially if you work outside the home. Why not get the whole family involved?!

Make evening walks a part of your routine, or maybe pick up bike riding or hiking. For a list of 25+ fun (and cheap) ways to be active as a family, check out this post.

By modeling a healthy lifestyle for your family, they are more likely to carry those good habits into adulthood. If kids see mama and daddy enjoying exercise, they will see it as more of a positive thing than something to begrudge. Plus, I bet you can make some super magical memories together while doing this!

During your super busy seasons of life, doing these activities every night might not be realistic, so try for two to three times a week.

Secret #2

Drink 100oz of water every day.

Your body needs water – and a lot more of it than you might think.

Drinking plenty of water aids in regularity, can prevent or treat headaches and irritability, and ensures that you stay hydrated.

For a rough estimate of how much water your body needs every day, divide your weight by 2 and drink the result in ounces. For example, if I weighed 120lb, I need 60oz of water minimally each day. If drinking a large amount of water is new to you, start small and take baby steps to increase your daily intake.

Drinking plenty of water also ensures that your hunger cravings really are from hunger, and not thirst. As a bonus, all of that water will help you feel fuller longer.

Secret #3

No snacks after the kids' bedtime.

Once you put the kids to bed, close the kitchen. Eating (especially sugary snacks) so late in the day can really pack on the pounds because your body does not have the time to burn or use the calories before you go to sleep.

Continuing to sip on water is fine (just be careful that you don’t overdo it and have to spend most of the night getting up to go to the bathroom, haha).

I think of this secret as a modified fasting tip. At one point, it seemed like all my husband and I wanted to do all night after the girls were asleep was to snack. Maybe it was because we didn’t have to share with them! We got into such a habit that there were certain shows we felt had to be accompanied by a snack. Sounds kind of like an addiction if I put it that way, huh.

It might take a week or two to break your habit, but this tip will keep your metabolism burning at a higher rate and not leave you going to bed with those extra hundreds of calories you enjoyed mindlessly.

Secret #4

Prepare a monthly dinner menu.

By having a plan for dinner each (or at least, most) nights, you’ll be less tempted to get takeout or just go through a drive-thru while you’re running around town.

Look for recipes that go in the crockpot, Instant Pot, or that can be made ahead and/or frozen. Need a little more help? I’ve put together how I quickly plan a month’s worth of meals in under 30 minutes!

You’ll have to do a little planning on this one. I’ll share later on exactly how I’ve started to make our monthly menu, but it really isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Think about it, if you have 30 recipes (I count grilled cheeses as “recipes” on Wednesday nights, haha) that you really like, you’re only cooking them once a month! That’s a far cry from “always having the same thing.”

You can also calculate in leftover nights, easy/freezer meal nights, and nights that you plan to eat out.

Secret #5

Stand or walk in place instead of sitting when possible.

If there’s an activity that can be done while standing or walking in place, do it! Think phone calls, meetings, cooking dinner, folding laundry…you name it!

This is just another way to sneak those steps and calorie-burning activities into your daily life without taking up any more of your time.

One time, I easily got 500 steps in just by walking in place while I helped my daughters do some water coloring. Staying active as a busy mom takes a little creativity. What are some activities that you do every day that can be done standing?

Secret #6

Celebrate what your body can do with exercise; don't use it as punishment for food choices.

Mamas, be proud of what you can do physically! Don’t begrudge exercise, see it as an opportunity to continuously improve and be inspired by what you have already accomplished!

Find an activity that you look forward to and enjoy, such as group exercise classes, a low-impact workout at home, or my personal favorite, indoor cycling.

If every time you have a cookie you think “great, now I’m going to have to spend an hour on the treadmill to undo that,” it’s pretty obvious that you will grow to hate and have a negative relationship with exercise. Plus, that’s no way to live! Eat the cookie. Everything in moderation. We want to have realistic expectations of ourselves and our healthy lifestyles so that they are achievable and can be maintained long-term.

Secret #7

Set goals for yourself and imagine achieving them for motivation.

The ability to stay motivated and inspired to continue to work towards a healthier lifestyle is crucial to success. Think about what you are hoping to accomplish. What is the point of all this effort?

No one can want this for you. You have to decide for yourself that this is important for your own health and the health of your family!

Personally, I am working to build up my strength. I would love to be able to do the monkey bars at the park as easily as the kids seem to do it. I’ve got a long way to go, but thinking of being able to do things like that keeps me motivated.

Do you have a specific goal you’re working towards? If not, think about what you’d really like to be able to do (or say you have done). Start small and make it something achievable within the next 4-6 weeks and then work up from there!