Any Advice on Successful Weight Loss for a Busy Mom?

Updated on May 30, 2010
B.B. asks from Tyler, TX
24 answers

I have 2 children. My youngest is 5. I weigh the same now that I weighed when I was pregnant with him. I haven't gained or lossed any weight so I maintain my weight really well. I don't want to be "skinny", I just want to be healthier and lighter so I will have the energy to keep up with them. Diabetes and high blood pressure run rampid in my family and if I don't take care of myself now than I am doomed! I'm only in my 20's so I'm hoping this will be easier than if I were older. A healthy diet and fitness are important to me and I want to be a good example for them.
I go to an excercise class but I am adding pounds, not shedding. I know it is muscle but I would really like to trim my belly fat in the process and so far I have had no luck. With school being out I won't be able to go as much bc there is no childcare. I don't think I can take another summer in this heat being my size. I realize there are far more obese people out there but I know what they are going through. I don't like to wear shorts bc they make me look frumpy and they don't hide anything. So I just suffer the heat in my jeans.
Can anyone politely recommend a healthy way to lose weight? I have never tried diet pills so I'm not familiar with their consequences but I am thinking of trying them. This is totally unlike me but I am ready for a change.
Also I am 5'6", weigh 190 lbs, wear a size 17 in juiors or 14/16 in womens/ extra large. I don't think the numbers are important, its really just how I feel. I feel unhealty at this point.
Can anyone recomend a healthy weight for my age and height? I know what the BMI recomends and it is ridiculous! I weighed that in college before I had kids and looking back in old photos I look very annorexic. I definitely do not want to drop that much weight, maybe something in between.

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So What Happened?

I am chosing to go the old fashioned route, even though it may take me forever! I know in the long run it will keep my weight off instead of having it return after a trial of diet pills. I am trying to excercise regularly with my wii fit plus, and I am cooking more meals at home that are healthier, less sugary, and I'm using smaller portions. I am trying to snack on fruits and veggies to maintain a balanced diet. I am eating breakfast now! Never did that before! I would like to get back to the gym class I was taking but with the kids at home durring the summer that is not an option right now. The gym I go to is a new facility our church added this year and the childcare was cancelled because there were not enough people using it. Infact my son was the only one. This fall both my kids will be in school so that won't be an issue. I just need to keep myself motivated until then.

Thank you for all your advice and helpful tips. You have really made me stop and think how dangerous my situatuion could have gottten with my desire to be skinny quick. I knew diet pills were not the way for me but sometimes it takes hearing it from someone else to really grasp what I knew all along. Thank you ladies!

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answers from San Francisco on

I found out I'm wheat and dairy intolerant so cut them out of my diet and promptly lost 8-10lbs. I actually didn't need to so it's ironic but struck me that anyone struggling to lose weight could try it. Forces you to eat mainly protein and vegetables. When I see dairy or wheat, I just say no. Sucks at times but doable.



answers from Denver on

It's tough! Like we dont' have enough to do... good for you for getting to an exercise class. Diet pills are not they way to go as they don't work long term and are NOT healthy at all. Slimgenics is a program that focuses on healthy eating habits - and that's what is key. Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

A doctor I worked with told me the healthiest weight loss prgram is Weight Watchers. She said she would reccomend that program over anything else. You basically learn healthy eating habits, as well as portion control, and there are no restrictions for what you eat. If you have a craving you can have what you want, but the plan also includes exercise. She said the program is more of a life change then the others. I tried it and had some success on it (i lost 40 lbs), but I didn't stay with it, which was totally my fault. It was easy to follow, and most people I recommened it to automatically said no because you have to count points. to me it was easy, I know what I eat so after a few weeks it was like second nature. Good luck!
(Oh and I forgot to tell you, I didn't really ever go to the mettings or weigh in's or anything. I went long enough to get all the tools you need then I quit going, and I did it on my own. It just worked better for me.)

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answers from Dallas on

Hi there,
I was in your shoes a few months ago. Wanted to get "healthier" Gym is not my problem - I LOVE going to the gym and use one with child care, so my boys go there with me and love the break in their day.
Anyways, no weight loss and I figured it was what I was eating.
I stumbled on this free web site called that allows you to do a variety of things including calculate your BMI and track what you eat and what you burn working out and you can set daily caloric goals based on how much you want to loose per week/month. They even let you track how much H2O you are getting and if you take a daily vitamin. There are forums if you want to participate. They offer support to you and allow you to connect with others like you in your area.
I like it because 1. it is FREE and 2. offers support and 3. no special food or gimics 4. online and easy to access anywhere.
Best of luck. (oh, I have dropped 10 lbs in one month just working out and watching my food intake!! I know that isn't your goal, so I also have increased the weights I use in my SET classes twice and can last through a 60 min cycle class!!)

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answers from Tyler on

I lost 55 lbs in my mid 40s by cutting out all starchy carbs & sweets 5 days a week; I let myself have some fun carbs the 6th day and didn't worry at all about day 7. Also, when you do exercise, push yourself to the limit for 60 seconds. This will keep your heart & metabolism up for a LONG time afterwards. Interval training works! Lastly, add some hand weights -- walking while carrying 2 lb. weights (moving your arms, not dangling) will make a huge difference in trimming your middle.

Hope that helps. I regained a bit during peri-menopause, but am still 35 lbs lighter than I was at 44.

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answers from Dallas on

My husband and I have had a lot of success with Weight Watchers. I don't go to meetings, just do the meal tracking online. I also use the app to track when I'm not on my computer. Once you get in the habit of eating better, then you really don't have to worry about tracking your points as diligently. If you add exercise in you will get results even quicker. Being a picky eater, I like the idea that I get to make choices about what I eat. My husband has lost 60 pounds this year and I have lost about 25. I never really pay attention to what they say about where you should way, I think that is a personal choice. Good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

Weight Watchers! I have been on it since November and have lost 26 pounds! Even lost during the holidays! It's slow going but it works and you can eat anything! Just watch the portion sizes and decide if you want to use that amount of points for that food. I go to the meetings because you learn so much from the other people and the leader. I go on Monday morning at 10 and Melissa is the best leader! You can do it online but you miss the accountablity and support. Please check it out!! You can find the meeting places and times on Good luck!

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answers from Rochester on

It sounds like your priorities are straight! :) I was always a 10/12 in regular sizes (your height) and now after kids am around 150 pounds (by definition on the higher end of healthy) but wear a size 4/6, so pounds are not as big of an indicator as how you feel. Scales can be very different, too.

For programs I do hear good things about Weight Watchers, since they are focused on enjoying food in moderation and general wellness rather than radical weight loss. I am not a group person, so I had a few things I did on my own that worked well for me (I had the added benefit of breastfeeding, so I was using more calories last year).

I kept a "health" journal. I could not write down everything I ate, but I would write down my weight most mornings (again, it worked for me), whatever activity I did, and overall how I ate. For example, "5/12/09 143 pounds. Walked with the kids last night ~ 1 mile. Did pretty well with food all day (5 fruits/veggies) but ate 3 spoons of ice cream out of hubby's pint. Used hand weights while we watched a movie." I would "reflect" on the day before while I ate my breakfast after writing my weight. That helped me focus on the coming day, try to stay positive, and it gives me a journal of sorts that I can look at and see the ups and downs, the days I felt sooooo good, and the days I blew it. I also took a modest "before" picture, printed it at home and pasted it in the back and deleted it. Every few months I would take my measurements again and a new dated picture.

Set a small weight or a small activity goal and go from there. I weigh close to my lowest college weight, but am several sizes smaller than I used to be. Kids change our bodies and we can't predict what they will do when we lose weight. I am nowhere near the "low" weight for my height, but have had so many people (including my doctor) comment indicating I should not lose any more. I hadn't really thought about it, I just felt really comfortable. If you are a planning person, divvy up your food options for each day and spread them out. Leave a little flexibility for the end of the day and squeeze in activity on lunch breaks if you have them or while doing something with your kids. I race at the park with my kids, crab walk, climb the equipment, etc. Find some parks with hiking trails and go to at least one a week if you can. Our weekends are a good time for us to do family activities. If you get your kids on board, you will be setting a great example, too. My 3 1/2 year old has his own 2 lb dumbbells and even my toddler asks to exercise now. He just tries to do squats and it is hilarious. I am working my way toward exercising when my husband is home (I just try to do a 20 to 30 minute DVD at home after work). Now that I know the workouts, I just mute them and he can keep doing what he is doing in the other room.

This is a good reminder to me that I felt so much better when I was exercising regularly and how we really have to work to maintain what we are doing. Again, whatever type of program works for you--having a few friends on board, a group, a notebook, try that. Setting a variety of areas to track that show other progress, like blood pressure or how far you are walking will help you see your progress even if your weight is changing more slowly. Some health magazines like Shape have online communities and really good articles and ideas. That was another treat I gave myself--a subscription! Good luck! :)

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answers from Hartford on

Here is my 2cents :) Make sure to eat breakfast! Oatmeal is quick and easy. I buy it plain and add my own goodies. Something about eating in the morning gets your metabolism going and helps you to burn calories through out the day. Best of Luck! One more thing... Screw the jeans. Get yourself some shorts. I am in the same boat as you and find if I use some self tanner on my legs I am way less self conscious, I think we all have our own healthy weight and shape and you will know when you get there.

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answers from Dallas on

There are some really great posts for you - only pay attention to the ones that are healthy (you DO NOT need a pill or some crazy restrictions). STick with the workouts and when you can't make it to the gym try just walking . . . walk your block, go to the high school track, a nearby park, etc and take the kids with you, they'll enjoy it too! I'll stick mine in a little wagon (they're 2 and 5) and we'll take off down the road (we are on a very secluded street). Anyway, start a diary of what you eat - and I mean everything from a tiny piece of candy and/or bit of your kids ice cream to a full dinner. You don't even have to write down how much, just start writing everything down. When you get into the swing of it start estimating the amount of food you are eating, then later start figuring out where you can substitue or cut back. Losing weight takes much more time than gaining weight so be patient and don't be hard on yourself - positive attitude and positive self-talk will create positive results! You can't do it! Start by ditching the jeans - who cares what others think - get some shorts/skorts or even a skirt, uncover those legs sister it is too hot in TX for jeans!

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answers from Dallas on

Weight Watchers - Love it!



answers from Dallas on

I used the six week body makeover two years ago to lose about 35 pounds and have kept it off. I would cook large batches of chicken and sloppy joes made with ground turkey, rice, steamed vegetables etc and keep them in the fridge so I could quickly heat up a meal that was just the right thing and right size whenever I was supposed to eat. Let me know if you have any questions. I am smaller now than I was in college but certainly not too thin and it is fun wearing a size I have never worn before.



answers from Dallas on

2 programs that are really great and will help you change your lifestyle are Naturally Slim & Weight Watchers. On either of these programs you can do them for the rest of your life and still eat the foods you love. Personally I like Naturally Slim better than Weight Watchers. I read some of the other posts - I think pills are a horrible way to lose weight. I've known several people who did it that way and the weight always came back and 2 of my friends actually have side effects that will never go away. HCG sounds absolutely crazy to me. If you starve yourself on 500 calories a day, you will lose muscle. Also - one poster said to stop eating meat. That is fine if you make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet from other non meat sources. Women typically need 54 grams of protein per day. Without enough protein you will lose muscle. I'm not talking about a ton of meat either - 3 ounces of chicken has 27 grams of protein (and Omega 6 fatty acids, which you also need). You sound like a smart woman who wants to be healthy and set a good example for your family - you do that by learning to have a healthy lifestyle that you can do for the rest of your life. All those fad diets don't work; if they did none of us would need them anymore.



answers from Dallas on

Watch calories, do lean cuisenes when you can and low calorie snacks, lots of water and plenty of salad.. and reward your self a time or two a week with something you love.. Good Luck



answers from Houston on

i am loving - its free!



answers from Sacramento on

Give Weight Watchers a try. I'm doing their online only program and lost 5 lbs. in my first two weeks without going hungry. Their site will show you the correct range for your height. What I like about the program is that you can eat anything -- so you don't feel deprived. You just learn correct portions and not to overdo it. You also learn to eat healthy foods (no buying pre-made meals ... you do the weighing/measuring) and to plan for eating out and make smart decisions. However, if you splurge and want a piece of pie, you just use some of the extra weekly points you have available. It's a really sensible program. You can earn extra points by exercising, too. Weight Watchers is more of a lifestyle change than diet.


answers from Dallas on

I feel your pain. I haven't read anybody's answers yet BUT let me tell you something! I work 3 jobs really. I work a full time mon-fri 8-5. I have a successful babysitting business and contract out babysitting. I work about 70-80 hrs a week and I am a single mom. I dont get much time to work on me. I have tried weight watcher, nutrisystem you name it but couldnt really follow it etc...

I am 5'4 I wear a 16/18 but I was 246.6 as of Saturday when I began the HCG DIET by Dr.Simeon (1950s). I am now 236.5!!!!! I have lost 10.1 pounds in 5 days and YES it is healthy for you on this diet to loose that much and you don't work out. They don't want you too. Here is the info I have sent some people that have now ordered the diet:

For the past few months (prob since Jan) I have looked into this diet. Read all about it etc... I went to a few different doctors and clinics in the area (yes there are a bunch!) But they were soooo expensive!

Most clinics ranged from $###-###-#### depending on whether you did the shots (most effective) drops or creams. Drops go under the tongue and the cream goes on the wrists. The drops also come in homeopathic but there is really no HCG in them.

There are 3 different lengths, 23 days, 43 days and 63 days (usually only a clinic will do 63 days and not advised as your body can become immuned if used to long). Rule of thumb is a pound a day. SO if you are trying to loose 23 pounds the 23 day diet would work for you and so forth. The 43 avg weight loss is 35-50 depending on how well you follow the diet.

I personally go to a DO doctor and she just started doing the diet. But the Cream one which I have not read good things about. The HCG is barely there becuase it is mixed with so many other products and you are rubbing it in your wrists where is a injection goes right into you. Make sense? And she wanted $700 for a patient and a $1000 for non.

A was at the store about 2 months ago and saw a friend of mine's friend that I have met a few times and she was skinny! Last time I saw her she was prob my size around an 16/18. Well now she is a 7. I asked her how did she loose it and she told me HCG diet. So it just confirmed what I wanted to do. Her hairdresser has a doctor friend who would get you it but wanted $500... I just didn't want to pay that and he only did the 23 day one so she paid like $1500 to do it 3 times. You do 23 days on, 20 days off, 23 days on... etc.

Well a coworker at my new job was talking about how her pharmacists wife was doing it and she saw how much weight she lost. He told her where to get it online.... And get this the whole kit to do it for 43 days is only $90 plus shipping! Came with everything, needles, alchohol wipes the whole shabang.

So I ordered it on a Friday and received it on Wednesday Priority Mail. The company i went through is out of Arizona. Most place are out of the country and takes for ever and gets stuck at customs. The people that run it are great. There is discussion board, customer service line and facebook page. They answer all your questions immediately. I got the product fast and everything.

I researched them etc. Good reviews. The bottom line is if you follow it to a T (no makeup, no lotions, stick to the approved foods the whole time, you are suppose to buy like tom's all natural deodarent, toothpaste dial glycarin soaps etc) you will loose weight. I am doing it 43 days on, 30 days off and 43 days on. I should loose 70-100 pounds in the 4 months. YOU ALSO are suppose to NOT work out. You can lightly walk. If you work out and you can sweat out the HCG which isnt good.

The 23 day kit is only $50 at this place too. I found the recipe book guidelines and you name it! I am ready to loose! SO far I have lost 6.8 pounds in 2 days. Yes it's healthy to loose that amount on the HCG diet and it doesn't hang off of you. You tone on it since it burns an avg of 2,000 off your fat wall a day. It goes for the stomach and thighs first.

Let me know if you have any more questions
go to the top and click on the tab that says HCG Diet Manual to learn more and google Dr. Simeons HCG and his stuff. He started it all.

Also -
There are certain foods you have to eat and the 500 calories days (VLCD -very low calorie diet) last 41 of the 43 days. The first two days you gorge eat so you don't weigh till the 3rd day. I have not had any hunger yet. I drink hot tea regularly and fill up on water. To be honest I find myself stuffed where I cant finish a meal.

I am overweight as well I wear a 16/18 so if I can do it so can you! It just takes dedication. This is how I see it:

1. I paid money for it
2. Give myself 6 weeks I will be down 35-50 pounds and in 4 months 70-100 and then I have my life back. So giving up that soda and hamburger is worth it.

The list of foods is under that manual I sent you on the website. I also downloaded a recipe book with 101 recipes at:

Everywhere else the book cost like 20 bucks

HTH Let me know if you want to know anything else. Everyone around me is already seeing my difference and my stomach is getting flatter!




answers from Dallas on

B., I have information on a weight management product that will feed your body all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc and get rid of the unwanted fat. It helps with cravings, boost your energy and very safe and effective. Nothing to measure or weigh.

Let me know if you are interested and I will give you details.




answers from Los Angeles on

I would suggest working out including cardio and weights 4-5 times a week. In addition, you need to watch your portions. I did Jenny Craig, which can be a little expensive, after both my kids and I am thinner and in better shape now than I was before I had the kids. I see such a change in my body and the way I feel, that it is priceless so I thought the expense of doing Jenny Craig was well worth it. I agree the weights can be a little extreme on what they recommend and with my height, they recommend 110-125, I am about 128, which is perfect for me and very comfortable. Get to where you're comfortable and don't worry about the "recommended weights" as long as you're healthy


answers from Dallas on

I'm 5'7" and 170 seemed to be a very good weight for me....I have a lot of muscle from being in the military, but when I was 160 my cheeks and whatnot were sunken...I looked sick. lol. Exercising in little bursts is better than one full round session. I'd say you should get a Wii and Wii Fit..the kids can do it too. My nieces love exercising with me (4 & 6). It helped me feel better because of the various different things on there, and I could always challenge the kids with it. I haven't been able to do it isince December though, since I'm 8 months pregnant but I definantly plan on picking it up post-partum. I eat whatever I want, just not a full portion. Sounds hard, but I never felt like depriving myself. When I really wanted to jumpstart my weightloss (first started when I was training for Navy), I did 1000 cal. diet for about 1 week, then slowly upped it without exercise. It was hard, but helped get my body prepared. Drink alot of water or no cal drink to help flush out the stuff your body loses in the process. hang in there! you can do it!!



answers from Dallas on

A healthy diet and exercise are the most effective ways - you have to change your lifestyle habits long terms. You cannot expect fast weight loss. If you are currently eating fairly well along with exercise, you should get your thyroid checked. I could not lose the last 10 lbs of baby fat even though I was eating healthy and exercising. It turns out that I was hypothyroid and gluten intolerant and had a dairy allergy. While "trying" a GF diet works for some folks, it can be really difficult to stick to, so I recommend testing first. You can get tested on your own at enterolab: If you are supersensitive like many of us are, even a small amount of gluten causes a pretty severe reaction and gluten is hidden in alot of things (processed foods, medications, shampoo, etc.) and there is always the risk of cross contamination unless you prepare *all* your own food in a totally GF environment. Many folks don't notice how much the gluten impacts them until they go GF and then inadvertently eat gluten - the reaction is often quite severe. Also, many folks don't realize that they just don't feel as well as they could. I felt better at 47 after being GF for 5 years and getting my thyroid properly treated than I had in my entire life.

Before I went on the GF/CF diet (after positive test results), I lost most of my belly fat - it turns out that my intestines were just constantly inflamed thus the protruding abdomen. If I eat gluten, my intestines swell to the point that I look 4 months pregnant. I am able to keep the belly fat off through regular exercise and a healthy diet (based on Whole foods and very low carb/sugar). The low carb/low sugar can be important for many of us as fungal overgrowth in the intestines also contributes to systemic inflammation/bloating. Looking at me now, most people will not believe that I ever had weight issues in the past - I am smaller now at age 49 than I was at 19.



answers from Amarillo on

Please don't do diet pills. Especially not at your young age. The last thing you want to do right now is completly jack up your metabolism. I am a registered nurse and a group fitness intructor. I seriously encourage you to do 2 things: join a gym and join Weight Watchers. A real gym will have nursery care for your kids. You can shop around for one that offers good childcare as well as group classes you are interested in and fit your schedule. And do NOT feel guilty about taking your kids. They will have a blast and you are doing something for your health, which ultimately benefits them. I teach cycling and have seen people drop healthy amounts of weight doing my class. I know some people are intimidated at first, but after a couple of times your butt really won't hurt anymore I promise! Plus there are padded gel seats you can buy at Academy and take with you. Try out all the different instructors to find which one you like best. Classes like Zumba or Body Pump are really great as well. If you find a class you love, you are more likely to go and the key to any weight loss is sticking with it.

And Weight Watchers is just a fabulous program. I love that it's not prepackaged crappy chemical filled food like Jenny Craig. And it works too...look at Jennifer Hudson! Good luck and stay with it!!

PS~ GOOD LORD!! I just read some of the other posts. PLEASE DO NOT do the Hcg thing!! I know about 10 people who are on that right now and you know what....every single one of them is on it for the 2nd or 3rd time because ALL the weight came back! Of course if you restrict your calories to 500 a day you will lose weight. But your are starving your body as well! There is a HEALTHY way to do this without having to steal from your bones and heart to do it.


answers from Dallas on

Getting out and walking for thirty minutes everyday will help you feel better about yourself and help you lose weight gradually. If you're not shedding pounds then I would look at your diet.

Are you eating frozen ready made foods on regular basis? What about fast food? If you do eat fast food on a regular you should stop completely. Also cutting out sodas will help as well even if it's only diet. Eating whole foods (foods that you prepare yourself, nothing premade) is a much healthier choice than pre-made meals like frozen dinners and the like.

A great way to lose weight and be healthier is to limit your meat intake! I know it is so taboo in texas to be a vegetarian, but just making one or two dinners a week meat-free can help you manage your weight. Try eating nothing but fruits, veggies and grains during the day and only having a small portion of meat with your dinner.

I know it's really hot outside because I live in Texas too! Try walking in the early morning or in the evening after dinner. If you exercise at a time when it's comfortable and pleasing to you, you will be more likely to stick with!


answers from Dallas on

I absolutely can make a recommendation with a plan that is healthy AND you will feel like a million dollars while on it. Go check this out and then let me know if I can answer questions. My husband was on this for several months and felt very satisfied..........and his mood delightful the whole time!

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