Getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight is no easy task and, as with anyone seeking to get into shape, requires plenty of self-discipline and consistency – not so straightforward with them pesky kids about.
That said, getting away from those adorable-but-darned-needy littluns just isn’t always possible, and using a flexible gym membership will help you to save money and stop feeling guilty every time you’re unable to give yourself the workout you need. You’ll only pay for what you use, and there is no need to sign up for yearly contracts.
Aside from the smart gym membership tactics, here are 5 actions to get you back on track towards your ideal weight and figure:
1. Avoid processed food. Easy to say, harder to do. Eating right takes time and a commitment to good wholesome foods requires effort, but it’s something that the whole family can benefit from. Limit your salt and additive intake and you’ll feel all the better for it and have more energy throughout the day (even if much of it is expended on those deliciously healthy meals).
2. Lift weights. We have been indoctrinated to only do cardio to lose weight, while it’s just as efficient (or even more so) to do strength training. Calorie for calorie, cardio does burn more energy than weightlifting. However, when adding muscle mass to your frame your resting metabolic rate will increase as muscles require more energy than fat just to keep you going. And don’t worry, with normal weight training there is no risk of becoming “bulky”, only of getting a beautifully toned body.
3. Stay hydrated. This sounds extremely easy, but drinking enough water is harder than you would think. Make it a habit to always have a bottle of water readily available, at work, when out walking and at home. Aim for the recommended 8 glasses of water a day (approximately 2 litres). This will help stop you from snacking, and help you maintain plenty of energy and flexibility for your workouts.
4. Stay away from sugar. Tying in with Point 1 on refusing processed foods, avoid excess sugar. Soft drinks contain way more sugar than the recommended daily intake, and just having one a day can lead to all sorts of fitness problems. One of these is a spike in insulin, which is a leading factor in fat retention. There is a tendency for many processed products to have added sugar (sometimes for no apparent reason), so make the decision to cut that intake down and stick to it.
5. Consistency. Failure to remain consistent is the number one issue for any training regimen or diet. Create concrete habits for the goals you want to accomplish, make meals from fresh ingredients and, where possible, make going to the gym part of your
weekly schedule. Equally, if at any time you fall off the wagon, no need to beat yourself up about it. With a flexible gym membership, you won’t have lost out financially – but be prepared to get right back on that train as soon as you’re ready.
Contract free memberships are offered by many gyms all over the country (like Livingwell Leeds, Oasis sports Centre in London, Castlefield Y Club in Manchester and Clifton College Sports Centre in Bristol, to mention a few), so finding one that fits your needs is will be a simple and first step back to fitness.