Being a parent is tough.
We're time poor, work long hours and constantly race around after our kids. Not the ideal scenario for when losing weight, right?
In this article, I reveal the top 5 mistakes parents make when trying to lose weight (and how to fix them).
Understanding Your Mistakes - Are They In Your Control?
As a parent, a lot of things can happen that you can't control.
For example, you're about to go for a lunchtime walk when the school rings letting you know little Jonny is in sick bay and needs to be picked up ASAP.
There goes your exercise plan.
The point is, there will be a lot of situations that you simply cannot control, and that's okay, but you must understand the mistakes you can control.
These are some of the mistakes I'll be talking about below.
You see, I'm a father myself.
Not only that, I've been coaching Mums and Dads for over a decade now.
I truly understand the struggles and the mistakes we make when losing weight and as a result, I've helped hundreds of mum's and dad's regain their health and take control of their life to live longer and fit their favourite pair of jeans again.
Just like Margie (mum of two) pictured here:
We helped Margie regain control of her health and make herself a priority again. We mapped out a routine that worked for Margie's hectic mummy lifestyle, not against it.
We identified where Margie was making mistakes and created a plan that helped her lose weight, for the last time.
Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Trying To Lose Weight (and how to fix them)
There's nothing more rewarding for me than seeing my clients transform their body and gain their confidence back.
It's like watching your child walk for the first time.
Seeing the smile on their face when they achieve something seriously awesome is a feeling you cannot describe.
It's the same feeling I get when my daughter (pictured below) smiles at the camera....
This is why I'm about to share with you the top 5 mistakes parents make when trying to lose weight, and how you can fix them to feel yourself again.
Let's get straight to it.
Mistake #1 - Seeking A Magical Solution Or Diet
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's no substitution for hard work. There's no magic solution or diet to weight loss success.
To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. That's the bottom line.
Whatever method you decide to use, it must be sustainable, manageable and realistic to your lifestyle.
Here's a few common forms of 'diets' that get thrown around:
Hell, I could go on for days.
Here's the thing, they all work.
BUT, the problem and biggest mistake people make is this:
None of these methods of weight loss are sustainable (except for 'flexible dieting').
Reason being, it's balanced and works WITH your lifestyle, not against it. Even then, the word dieting is loosely used because it's pretty much just 'healthy eating'. No diets, meal plans, shakes, pills, just good old fashion moderation and no guilt.
How To Fix It
The mistake in looking for a magical solution or diet is you're completely ignoring the underlying reason as to why you are where you are in the first place.
You must ask yourself these questions:
In my opinion, if you answered NO to any of those questions, you need to change something.
The solution is to understand there is no quick fix, and you must change your underlying behaviours and relationship with food and exercise.
You could even start by simply tracking your food for a week in an app like MyFitnessPal to gauge an idea of overall calorie intake.
This is a slower process, but the results are forever and you'll never have to go on a diet ever again.
Mistake #2 - Prioritise Everyone Else Before Yourself
I get it, you have a family to look after and this is completely understandable. You place your Family's needs above your own.
The younger your kids, the more dependant they are on you for your taxi service, your washing service and cooking skills. This doesn't even include homework, story time or looking for their misplaced school uniform. You feel pulled in every direction with no energy or time for yourself.
Here's where it becomes a problem because over time:
All of a sudden, you realise you've let yourself go and you can't keep up.
If you fail to look after yourself first, how can you continue to look after others?
I use the oxygen analogy with this one.
On an aeroplane in an emergency, you fit your oxygen mask first, before attending to others. It might sound selfish, but it's not, you're being selfless.
How To Fix It
Book and schedule a regular time block for yourself. This must be a non-negotiable time slot for you to block the world out, and have some 'you' time. Here are some examples:
How about finding a gym with a creche?
Whatever it is, it must be focussed on creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. If you can't hold yourself accountable, or struggle to build a plan, employ a personal trainer and they can do the thinking for you.
Mistake #3 - Listen To Too Many Celebrities
This relates to mistake #1.
Look, celebrities leverage their fame to make extra cash by promoting a diet or workout to get you hooked.
Realistically, nobody will ever look like Michelle Bridges because:
a) You don't weight train 6x per week (and be honest, you don't plan to either)
b) She's been weight training for 10+ years longer than you have
c) She isn't sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day
d) She will most likely have somebody who cooks for her
It sounds a little harsh but that's the reality.
Celebrities have the body they do, not by the magical product they sell, but by being in a calorie deficit over a period of time and leveraging their fame.
How To Fix It
It's totally cool to admire celebrities and what they do, but at the end of the day, they're human too just like us.
Understand they don't have a magic weight loss solution that's never been seen before and even so, most (if not all) aren't even qualified to give that advice.
Case in point - I've been at ridiculously low levels of body fat but there was no secret to how I did it. It was just plain hard work and consistency.
The point is, listening to unqualified celebrities for weight loss advice is not only dangerous, but it will leave you with warped expectations and disappointing results.
Mistake #4 - Unsupportive Partners
This is a touchy subject because it can work both ways. I've had clients who worked better without their partner knowing they were trying to lose weight, and others who didn't succeed until their family knew.
I believe this mistake is completely individualised and it's up to you to decide whether you need to involve your partner into your goals for support or not. We know involving more people into your support circle can dramatically increase your odds of success.
This is one of the reasons I created a community amongst our clients. We're stronger together.
Unsupportive partners can really make it difficult for you to succeed because they don't understand the thoughts that go through your mind. Common problems:
Are some of these a factor in your life?
How To Fix It
If you're seeking the support of your partner, you must be open with them from the beginning. Let them know you want to get healthier for x,y,z reasons and you'd appreciate their support.
More often than not, they'll be happy to hear it and will work with you to help you succeed.
Mistake #5 - Don't Prepare Or Plan Ahead
Often we live in a very 'reactive' mindset where we constantly react accordingly to our environment.
Here's a common scenario:
You finish work late and you know the family are at home waiting for food like it's feeding time at the zoo. In a nanosecond you've decided you can't be bothered cooking (reactive mindset) so on your way home you pick up a take-away and a bottle of wine to unwind. You arrive home with a feast and now your kids see you as a hero, which makes you happy too. You scoff the take-away, have a glass (or two) of wine and go to bed with a full belly knowing that choice probably wasn't the best. You wake up the next day feeling guilty saying "I shouldn't have eaten that".
Sound familiar? There's no preparation or plan to coincide with your health.
How To Fix It
Sit down with the family and create a weekly menu to stick on the fridge.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy and all it takes is 1 hour to plan ahead. Simply write a shopping list and you have a whole week's menu ready to rock. This makes your life a hell of a lot easier, healthier and happier.
Spend a Sunday afternoon preparing a few meals in advance to chuck in the freezer for the evenings you know you'll be home late. This doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming and all you need to do is decide which days will be your busiest.
Once you know this, you can prepare meals (or snacks) in advance so you're not making any poor choices that'll sabotage your goals.
Start small and start slow by picking one meal you'll prepare in advance from now on. Remember, it doesn't need to be complicated.
The best plan of action is the one you can adhere to, so I want you to make it as easy as possible for yourself.
If you're stuck, here are 7 ways to share healthy eating with your kids.
If you can relate to any of the mistakes above, start by fixing one mistake at a time.
Trying to fix them all at once will most likely lead to you feeling overwhelmed.
If you want to work with our team to transform your health and keep up with your kids, contact us here.