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Need to lose weight but don't have time. How do you/busy mums fit time in for exercise etc.?

(55 Posts)
foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 12:50:52

I am heavier now than I ever have been. I need to lose around 5kg. I can't fit into ANY of my work clothes sad, have gone up 2 sizes and urgently need to get back on track otherwise I will need to invest in a new work and casual wardrobe (seriously). At the moment, I have bought 2 pairs of work trousers to tide me over sad.

Here is my daily schedule - just looking for tips as to how you all fit it in. Am a mum of 2 kids (12, 13), am separated.

Wake up 6.30am-7.40am wake up, shower, get dressed for work, do breakfast for kids, make sure they are ready to go to school, leave house at 7.40.
7.40-9am commute to work (train)
9-5.30/630 (ish) work
5.30/6-7.30pm commute home
7.30pm-9pm sort out dinner, sit with kids if they have homework to do, basic catch up of washing, dishwashing, running around finding PE kit etc., might have to do 30 mins more work
9pm collapse in front of telly normally
10-11pm bed

Weekend on Saturday, ds has sport. He plays in a football league so that normally takes up most of Sat morning so say 8-1pm. If we are driving, we normally stop at mcD on the way home for lunch. Rest of weekend, I can get free time but normally spend a good few hours doing washing, putting clothes away, monitoring the kids doing homework. Also try and see a group of friends virtually every Sat from around 3pm-7pm otherwise I would be v bored and lonely!

Sunday I am so knackered, I normally try and do a family thing (so going out for a walk or going out for lunch) and then have a quiet afternoon/evening sorting out stuff for the next week.

I don't enjoy exercise so would rather get it out the way. Going to a gym is probably a no no. I have joined so many and I never go (I live where it's hard to park so the thought of coming back and driving round 30 mins looking for a parking space really puts me off).

Am also guilt tripped a bit as kids often say I don't spend enough time with them etc. am thinking exercise videos from home might be an idea?

CMOTDibbler Mon 02-Dec-13 12:56:18

If you want to lose weight, then you can do it by diet alone. Getting out and doing some exercise will do you good - even if its just a really brisk walk at lunchtime, but what will take the weight off is cutting calories.

Download MyFitnessPal onto your phone, set your target, and then log everything that goes in your mouth. It really does work, and will make you adjust your portions long term too

foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 12:59:42

hello CMOTsmile

I have myfitnesspal. My issue is that I can eat healthily during the day but then I am STARVING at night then tend to eat too much before I go to bed which I think really mucks up trying to lose weight sad. I also find that if I can fit in just some exercise it does help but I am v demotivated and probably need a kick up the backside!

I will try again with it. It worked the first time but I have been quite lazy lately (I also travel a bit for work which doesn't help as it's hotel meals all round argh!). No more trips now till Jan so I have no excuses any more!

namechange74 Mon 02-Dec-13 13:06:10

Weight loss is 80%+ diet so i agree with CMOTDibbler i would crack on with a diet. Have you tried the 5-2? it's fabulous if you can manage a couple of low calorie days (i found that easier than constantly dieting)
Gillian Michael's 30 day shred DVD could be a good place to start working out from home.
Good luck!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 02-Dec-13 13:09:37

What CMOTDibbler said. MFP is great.

You need to eat fewer calories than you use up each day - simples, and MFP will help you do that. I've lost 2 st this year, and do very little exercise, but am trying to do more walking.

Can you fit a quick walk into your diary a couple of lunchtimes a week, or 30 mins before bed?

Or depending on how you commute, could you park further from work, get of the bus or train a stop early and walk?

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 13:12:27

Foxinsocks, tell me what you eat during the day...and do you get a lunch break?

CMOTDibbler Mon 02-Dec-13 13:13:42

Try moving your meals around if thats an issue - I do best with a small breakfast, a large lunch, and then a small dinner (veg soup for instance). Sugar free jelly and low fat, low sugar yogurt fills a lot of holes!

I travel a lot for work too, and lost nearly 4 stone doing this. When you are away, use the time to go for a run or to the gym.

HeirToTheIronThrone Mon 02-Dec-13 13:15:44

If you can't park where you live, can you join a gym walking distance from where you work? For lunchtimes or a workout straight after work. And I second the walking - a brisk half hour every lunchtime, longer if you can. Cut out the McD's, for you at least! And whilst the football match is on, could you go for a jog maybe - if it's in a park say? Or if you have to stay and watch, constantly walk round the edge of the pitch - then you would be moving for 90 minutes and get a view of your DS playing from every angle smile

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 13:16:19

That's sort of where I was going cmot, getting to the end of a day and feeling starving screams to me that you aren't eating enough (and it may be enough nutrients, regardless of calories) through the day.

foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 13:34:41

thanks everyone

my lunch hour is not always at the same time and isn't always an hour

at the moment, I get the train then the bus. I can walk (30 mins) instead of the bus but probably need to get an earlier train otherwise I won't make it in time. I TRY this frequently but often don't leave the house in time to get the early train (argh!). What I could do is force myself to walk back to the train every day (at the end of the day). That would be 30 mins a day. I find the motivation very very hard as I like to get home asap to see the kids smile.

In terms of food, you are right, I am probably not eating enough during the day then eating rubbish at night (and on the weekend). I often have a soup for lunch and nothing for breakfast but then I am absolutely starving by the evening and because I'm cooking the kids a big evening meal (they also don't eat a big lunch at school) , I'm probably stuffing most of my calorie intake in the evening.

When I've had to lose weight before, I too found that having a far smaller evening meal did help (rather than the way I'm doing it now).

actually, the more I read this, the more I see this is about temptation. I am a total sucker for nice cheese and crisps and sweets grin

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 02-Dec-13 13:40:31

For me, it's boredom. I eat when I'm bored.

Having lunchtime at different times each day doesn't stop you walking, and 30 mins is plenty. (More is good, but 30 mins fine).

I do take your point about wanting to get home to see kids, they are quite young to be on their own for such a long time each day. how about the walk before bed?

Writing down what you eat each day, and when you eat it helps enormously. I'd say you absolutely MUST have breakfast - could you have something on the train? If you like to eat with the kids, then have a light lunch and a bigger evening meal.

Aim for about 1000 cals a day - I find this plenty, and MFP will help you work out what cals you've had, and how many you've used.

And try to increase your protein and reduce the carbs.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 13:42:34

Fox - always have breakfast - skipping it, for most people, is a fast track to over-eating the wrong stuff later, and the fact you don't feel like eating it indicates you are eating too much in the evening, you need to re-regulate your appetite so that you eat more naturally, as in, in tune with our natural body rhythms that fit in with daylight/activity levels etc.

Also try adding lean protein and good fat to breakfast and lunch - eggs, tuna, smoked fish, chicken, cheese. Snack on nuts/fruit (or both). Then have your evening meal with the dc's but without the carbs (especially if the carbs are white or processed) - ensure plenty of veg. These changes could make a big difference - you shouldn't feel deprived and hopefully won't get the urge to demolish everything in sight by the time you get home in the evening smile.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 13:48:51

Middleaged - i agree with everything you say, except for counting calories - and especially 1000 calories a day shock - far too low, not sustainable. It may work short term but the weight will come back and it won't do your health any favours at all.

The focus should be on good, nutritious food, not calories or even fat. 600 calories of pasta would not do very much at all for you nutrition-wise (and your body would still tell you are hungry shortly after it as one result), whereas 600 calories of say salmon, broccoli, lentils would be completely different. Avoid sugar and processed food and eat the best quality you can - mindfully , as slowly as you can. Your body will be more satisfied, function better and tell you so - and your body (not just weight, but skin, hair, concentration and energy levels) will gradually reflect this.

OrganixAddict Mon 02-Dec-13 13:51:12

I lost 9lb in 2 weeks. 5 days no / low carb, 2 days low GI and 20 mins exercise at home a day (squats, lunges etc).
Wasn't possible long term, but either low GI or 5-2 would be and the exercise (which made a real difference to my tone and muscle definition) wad easy to fit it.
Of course I.just returned to my usual ways but have at least kept the weight off. Think will repeat post xmas.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 02-Dec-13 13:55:37

The number of calories you need per day varies very much from person to person. I have a sedentary job, and find that 1000 cals is plenty for me.
A typical week day's intake would be something like bran flakes/porridge for breakfast, salad/soup for lunch, and a "normal" meal in the evening, trying to avoid potatoes, pasta, rice etc. It comes in at around 1000 most days - sometimes a bit over.
On the days I eat a bit more, I try to walk more.

So far it hasn't affected my health, skin, hair etc (I feel better than I've done for ages actually) but I've slowly but steadily lost weight over the last 12 months - just a couple of pounds off 2 stone, and aiming to get there by the end of this year.

I do take your point though about focussing on good, nutritious food, but 1000 cals a day has given me the kick start I needed. I needed to see results quickly (am a short term goal kind of girl) - longer term I'd do what you're advocating to try to keep the weight off.

pootlebug Mon 02-Dec-13 13:58:02

Agreed with the others that diet is the key to weight loss rather than exercise. For me, low carb is what works, but different things work for different people.

But would also recommend the Jilian Michaels Shred DVD. You can do it at home, it is only 20 mins or so per day. It isn't long enough to have a significant impact on weight loss, but it definitely makes a difference to how toned and energetic you feel. It's about a fiver on amazon.

youretoastmildred Mon 02-Dec-13 14:11:30

Can you get a bike to use instead of the 30 min walk? this will not burn a huge amount of calories but it will get your heart rate up which is good for you and makes you feel good, but won't take more time than the bus (or perhaps less)

I think you need to eat more during the day. Maybe less (or even nothing if you are that way inclined) in the evening (as long as you have honestly already eaten enough. eating no evening meal is not as silly as it sounds as you are already effectively fasting, but at the wrong time of the day, when you need to be doing things. I grew up eating huge dinner in the evening, tried to compensate by effectively cutting out other meals, was exhausted and depressed all day and overate in desperation at night. A feature of family life seems to be the obligatory big dinner - but you can fight it if you are well fed earlier!)

You can lose weight very fast low-carbing and I have heard on 5:2 as well (I have not tried that). I think the exercise is just icing on the cake, but if it helps to motivate you and improves your energy levels that will make it easier all round.

Do you have room to do an exercise DVD in the evening?
When you watch TV in the evening you could do some gentle crunches rather than a full on work out or just get some weights from Argos and do that
What sort of a building do you work in? You could maybe sneak 3 x 10 minutes for stairs based exercise (under cover of just using the stairs)

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 02-Dec-13 14:20:28

this time last year I was out running before work 3x weekly. I have fallen off the wagon, but will start again in January. you'd need to get to bed earlier though.

I hate running, but you can do it anytime and anywhere - e.g. you could run while your DS plays football - you could fit a 5k in between kick off and half-time.

hermioneweasley Mon 02-Dec-13 14:24:34

I am out of the house 7-7 but once to twice a week I get up early and go to the gym or do an exercise DVD plus DVD one evening a week. It's not much but better than nothing.

Agree, with this little exercise, it's about calorie controlling more than burning off extra.

foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 15:10:25

thanks for your ideas. What is 5-2?

JemimaMuddledUp Mon 02-Dec-13 15:17:29

I agree with those who have said that the best way to lose weight is through diet. However, exercise is good for you and will tone your wobbly bits.

I find that getting up really early to exercise works for me. I have 3 primary school aged DC, a DH who works long hours and I work 30hrs a week myself. The DC have lots of activities (Brownies, football, swimming, wind band, orchestra etc) after school so by the time we finish those I am too shattered to exercise. So I get up at 6am and do some exercise then - usually either a run or an exercise DVD. If I exercise for 30 mins first thing it is done for the day, and I am still ready to leave for work at 7.45am. Yes it is hard to get out of bed on cold, dark mornings, but it is worth it in the long run.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Mon 02-Dec-13 15:33:38

5-2 is a diet where you "fast" for two days out of seven and eat normally the other days. Fasting means eating very few calories 500-750 I think, but I'm not an expert and someone else will know the rules, or you could google it.
People have had very good results (apparently). It's all about reducing your overall calorie intake though.

youretoastmildred Mon 02-Dec-13 16:03:00

I think 6.30 is really early to get up (I know lots of people do, I do too, but it still goes against the grain, when I was a child I am sure 7.30 was the early side of normal) and it may be that you could do with more sleep too.
In which case: maybe ditch the TV two nights a week, get into bed as early as humanly possible with something relaxing to read or fall asleep over. If you still sleep to 6.30 next morning, you needed it, and it will help weight loss. If you wake early you can do some exercise - not necessarily go out, maybe just a DVD or some weights and lunges or some yoga. And a good big healthy breakfast (which for me is not low fat, but high-nutrient - so some eggs or full fat yoghurt or something - but you choose whatever goes with your eating plan, low carb is great for me and low fat is a disaster but some are the opposite)
Also - if you do decide to do 5:2 - going to bed early will help to avoid food on those days
Also drink lots of water. It helps, for some reason

CreamyCooler Mon 02-Dec-13 16:11:29

I used to be an evening scoffer And knew I had to sort that out to lose weight so actually increased what I ate during the day to avoid the starving/scoffing evening pattern. I went from size 18 to 12 without one bit of exercise other than normal housework/ walk to the shops type of stuff. I did it by low carbing once I had sorted the evenings out.

motherinferior Mon 02-Dec-13 16:15:44

Hey sweetie, cut yourself some slack. I will ponder, but just wanted to say that.


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