Health

Losing weight after pregnancy: How to find a routine that works for you

When you’re trying to lose weight after pregnancy, finding a routine that works for you is key. As a postpartum mum, routines rule your life, but so often it’s everyone else’s needs dictating what you do throughout the day.

Being intentional about how YOUR needs fit into the family routine will help you make time and prioritise what you need to do so you can lose the pregnancy weight.

Just like finding a weight loss meal plan that works for you, every family and mum will need to settle into their own pattern, depending on their situation and needs. In this article, we’ll talk more about the benefits of a routine, factors to consider, and tips to set up a daily routine that’s right for you.

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Losing weight after pregnancy isn’t easy for everyone

For some mums, the baby weight falls off pretty quickly. But for others, it sticks around for months and even years to come. If you’ve found losing weight after pregnancy challenging, know that you’re not alone! But it doesn’t mean you have to keep the weight on forever. We’ve covered a lot of different post-pregnancy weight loss topics in the past, like:

But today, let’s talk specifically about routines – for many mums, this is key to getting through the day-to-day of parenting AND setting themselves up for weight loss success.

The amazing benefits of a routine

As a new mum, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about routines.

“You’ve gotta get your baby/toddler/kid into a routine!”

In fact, you might be sick to death of hearing about them! But stick with us – it’s worth digging deeper because there’s another side to routines you might not have considered.

For many families, routines happen organically. Your kids need to eat, sleep, play, and bathe, and your family’s life will fall into routine and regularity. But what about YOUR routine as a mum? What about adding in some steps to take care of your needs, too? It’s worth thinking about because there are so many benefits to getting yourself into a good routine as well as your kids, like:

  • Better sleep
  • Planning healthy activities like exercise and cooking healthy meals
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Less reliance on coffee
  • Eating proper meals at the right time of day
  • Creating space in your life for fun stuff and family time
  • Working with your child’s sleeping/eating/school schedules
  • Finally losing the pregnancy weight because you’re consistently sticking to healthier habits

So, if you haven’t already, let’s look at how you can change up your family’s routine to make it more about you and your needs.

Factors to consider when planning your routine

When you’re looking to set up a new routine, it’s a good opportunity to take a step back, think about your goals, and assess what’s working for you and what’s not. Write down (with an actual pen and paper!) all the things you currently do each day. Then decide if there’s anything you can cut out. See what you can get someone else to do, whether it’s your kids, your partner, or some outside help.

Next, see if there are any activities you’d like to add to your list that’ll make your life easier or help you lose that pregnancy weight. Things like shopping twice a week for healthy foods, exercising once (or even twice) a day, and keeping on top of meal prepping, baking, and planning.

How to plan your routine

Draw up a daily planner. You might find one at the shops or just list out the day on a piece of paper in half-hour blocks. Then add in the things that have to happen at set times each day. For example:

  • Wake up
  • Wake the kids up
  • Make breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Get dressed and teeth brushed
  • Put the washing on
  • Hang the washing out or put it in the dryer
  • Take the kids to school or daycare
  • Pick up the kids
  • Homework
  • Showers or bath time
  • Pyjamas and teeth brushed
  • Kitchen clean up and dishwasher on
  • Kids to bed
  • Bedtime

Once you’ve done that, you’ll already have a routine for your family and you can actually see where all the time goes! Better still, you can see the gaps and opportunities in your day to fit in activities to help you lose that pregnancy weight and do stuff for yourself, not just your family. You might add things like…

  • 30-minute exercise class at the gym
  • Walk around the block
  • Reading a book
  • Extra meal prep to get ahead
  • Extra cleaning tasks
  • Shopping/errands
  • Catch up with friends/family

Once you’ve added everything to your day planner, you’ll see what needs to happen when. And you’ll be able to make little tweaks to help it all run more efficiently. For example, you might notice a little gap in between school drop-off and morning snack where it’s perfect for you to squeeze in some exercise or get a head start on dinner prep.

This is why new mums get NOTHING done

What about flexibility?

Some people hate the idea of routines. They feel like it takes away their freedom and flexibility. Just the thought of having to do the same things over and over again at a set time can feel a bit like Groundhog Day, right? But creating a routine doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. A routine can empower you to take control of your life and kick some serious goals. And if something happens to derail your plans, you can simply adjust your routine to accommodate without feeling like your whole day is ruined. For example:

  • A kid has to stay home sick? No problem. Fall back on the meals you prepped earlier and reschedule your exercise class to another day.
  • Your baby skips their morning nap? All good! Move their afternoon nap forward and go with the flow.
  • Need to go back to work and change things up? You’ll be able to see what needs to happen when, so you know what extra help to ask for, and when.

Creating a routine that works for you and your family will help you go with the flow more and live a happier, healthier life.

Routine ideas for a healthy mum and family

Looking for some ideas to fill up your day, entertain your kids, and kick those post-pregnancy weight loss goals? Check out the following ideas for what you might include in your routine at different parts of the day. Of course, these are just suggestions, so do what works for your family!

6am-9am: Start your day the right way

The time you start your day will probably depend a lot on your child, especially if they’re young. Many babies and toddlers wake through the night and are up at sunrise. If you’re not a morning person, you might struggle a bit with this, so try to prepare the night before to make your mornings as easy as possible. You might get breakfast foods ready, clothes out, and bags packed before you go to bed so you can start your day slowly (with a cup of tea or coffee in hand).

But if getting up at 4 or 5am is what works for you, your body, and your family’s schedule, go with that! Many mums find that early morning is a great time of day to fit in a workout, especially before the sun gets too hot. Afterwards, make sure you get a healthy breakfast into your body (and your kid!) so you’ve got the fuel you need to start the day. Check out our healthy breakfast recipes for ideas.

9am-11am: Mid-morning activities

As a mum, you might find that the time between breakfast and lunch (nap time!) can stretch on forever! Here are some ideas for activities (depending on the age of your child) you can do to help the time go faster:

  • Prepare healthy snacks for morning tea
  • Tidy up the home together
  • Play outdoors (water play is always a winner)
  • Visit a park
  • Go to the library
  • Head to playgroup
  • Go to a local gym (look for one with creche) and smash out an exercise session
  • Do the shopping

Keeping busy will help the time go fast and it’ll be naptime before you know it.

11am-1pm: Lunchtime routines

Lunchtime means you’ve made it halfway through the day (yay!). But if your kid’s tired because it’s nearly naptime, making proper food can be tricky. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have something prepped and ready to go, whether it’s healthy leftovers from the night before, a Healthy Mummy Smoothie, or something else.

After lunch, settle your little one down for a nap however you normally do, whether it’s with a breastfeed, bottle, singing, stories, or even just quietly lying next to them. If you’re tired, it’s totally okay to nap with your little one so you’re refreshed and ready for the afternoon. Or you might use this time to do a few chores, read a book, do some healthy baking, or order your next lot of groceries online.

1pm-4pm: Mid-afternoon

Somewhere between 1pm and 3pm, you might hit a low period with your energy levels, especially if you don’t take a nap with your little one. It’s the time when you’re most likely to snack on something unhealthy. But don’t do that! Stay on track with your goals to lose the pregnancy weight and find healthier ways to get through your afternoon, like:

  • Taking a nap
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting fresh air outside
  • Eating a healthy snack for afternoon tea
  • Keeping busy in the kitchen

4pm-7pm: Witching hour

The witching hour is real, trust us! Somewhere between 4pm and 7pm right when you’re trying to get dinner and the house sorted, your child will probably need you more than ever. Depending on their age, they might ask for constant cuddles, feeds, or one-on-one attention. So, how do you create a good routine that works with witching hour?

Witching hour can slow you down with dinner prep, but it’s definitely possible to get a healthy meal on the table while giving your little one(s) the attention they need. Allow for some extra time in your routine to prep your food earlier in the day, get some help, put your baby in a carrier, and/or involve the kids in your meal prep.

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7pm-10pm: Evening activities for a good night’s sleep

Sleep is so important for both mums and kids. Getting your kids into a good routine before bed improves your chances of a relaxing and restful night. The same thing goes for your routine at night, mumma! After dinner is over, try to avoid any stimulating activities (or drinks or foods!) that might keep you or your kids awake late into the night. Try to cut out screen time at least an hour before bed and instead, read a book.

Don’t stay up too late. This can be tricky, especially if night time is your only “me-time” or adult time away from the kids. But remember, if you stay up too late, you’re not getting extra time. You’re just borrowing energy from the next day, which can throw your whole routine (and healthy habits to lose pregnancy weight) off. Go to bed at a time that works for your body clock and ensures you’ll get enough sleep. For most mums, this will be somewhere between 9 and 11pm.

Get more tips for your routine

Check out these previous articles on the blog for more healthy routine inspiration:

Lose weight after pregnancy with The Healthy Mummy

Meal planning is a crucial part of your daily/weekly routine and will make your post-pregnancy weight loss so much easier. Get healthy meal plans, weight loss recipes, and support from The Healthy Mummy by joining our next 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

jodiehumphries
written by:

Jodie Humphries

Jodie is a beach-loving dog mum from the Mid North Coast of NSW now based in the Northern Beaches. She loves nothing more than to empower women to live a happier healthier lifestyle.