Ideas for stay at home mom?

I’ve had 3 kids over 6yrs, and was determined to get to pre-pregnancy weight after the third. I managed to do that a year ago after a lot of cutting back and exercise— but now I’m up 5lbs a year later. In the past I haven’t had trouble maintaining after losing the pregnancy weight, so this feels defeating.

I’m older now though (36yo). Admittedly Ive been eating too much too. I think I’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I eat when stressed, and especially when bored —being at home with the kids all day. I think about dessert and what treats I can eat all the time.

I exercise when the baby naps on a home exercise bike 3x week, but took a break in the summer when the kids were home. I think the majority gain happened then.

Ive gone through all the tricks: eat home cooked meals, portion control, lots of protein and less carbs, lots of water. I guess I know the standards for losing it, but Im unmotivated to go back there again.

Looking for Any other creative ideas to stop gaining or try losing it again—Even mental tricks or mantras to stop yourself from eating? Especially for a stay at home mom with young ones!

Replies

  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,259 Member
    5lbs is not a lot, a lot of people fluctuate that much in maintenance and don't blink an eye.

    It sounds like you know what works, eat less calories than you burn. In the summer, you burned less calories and probably didn't adjust your eating, so you gained (a wee bit). The solution would be to increase your burn (adding exercise or just being more active) or decrease your intake.

    There are plenty of strategies like eating home cooked, extra protein and water to feel fuller, etc. But the basic point is to eat less. You can still have your snacks, just eat less (or smarter) snacks.
  • jondspen
    jondspen Posts: 253 Member
    5 lbs could be water weight; probably isn't, but isn't forcing a new wardrobe. I would say it's good you're being proactive and deciding to get back to a schedule. I had kids, so I know how disruptive it can be. Some suggestions:

    (1) set aside 30-60 min of time a day for stretch, exercise, and cool down. On days you don't feel it...go light, but at least get up.
    (2) log your calories in, as well as your calories out
    (3) don't cheat on item 1, or item 2
    (4) pick up an old or new hobby to get your mind off the snacks. Gardening, sewing, learning a new language, music, meditation exercises...whatever you would like to be doing for fun and can either give you happiness, or at least put you into 'neutral' for a short time.
    (5) compromise with yourself and give in to eating, just make it more healthy (low calorie subs, smaller portions, whatever works for your situation).
  • EmmaCaz4
    EmmaCaz4 Posts: 113 Member
    Do you enjoy being on the bike or is there some other exercise that would motivate you more? E.g. weight training? HIIT? etc.

    Find something you really enjoy and want to do. Keep the crap out of the house or find alternatives, I've got a 3month old daughter and have recently been constantly wanting chocolate cake and custard, so I've been making chocolate protein brownies and having them with a tiny bit of custard and that's satisfied my cravings but I also train 5-6 days a week.

    Do what makes you feel good!
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    edited October 2018
    Sounds like you know WHAT to do. You just have to decide to do it. Eat treats in moderation. It helps me to have "rules" like maybe I can have a "sweet" (cake or something) twice a week, for example. Or find low calorie options that you can fit into your day, like a couple pieces of dark chocolate. I think being home all the time makes it harder, so if I was a stay at home mom I would try to get into a routine. When I was on mat leave I found things to do, like crafty stuff and just getting out of the house in general to go to the park, meet up with family/friends etc. It helps me to eat on somewhat of a schedule so I'm not just shoveling food into my face all day long.
  • lbryans929
    lbryans929 Posts: 42 Member
    Do you track your food? That really helps me.
  • MeteoraTitanium
    MeteoraTitanium Posts: 102 Member
    I know it's hard to fit a healthy eating/excersise lifestyle in when you're a full time mommy.
    I have 3 under 10 and just joined a gym as soon as the twins were in full time school. Yeah summer holidays got me too, up 7 lbs. :( just kept with it for 3 years and log everything, even the bad days!
  • ridiculous59
    ridiculous59 Posts: 2,816 Member
    I was a stay at home for ten years with three kids, so I know how hard it can be. I loved being home but some days felt that between preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, it seemed like most of my day was spent around food! I tried to watch my portions but what did the trick for me was exercise. I had an exercise bike. Three times a week I went to some kind of fitness class (there was childcare at the gym). My husband worked out of town quite a bit but when he was home I would walk in the evening for an hour as soon as the kids were in bed. Winter or summer (my cut off temperature in the winter was -25c). Every day I tried to do two out of three, either walk and fitness class, bike and fitness, or walk and bike. The thing I enjoyed the most was walking because I was just able to clear my head and have time to myself.

    So for me, some semblance of portion control was required, but I think it was the exercise that had the most impact on keeping my weight in check.
  • 12Sarah2015
    12Sarah2015 Posts: 1,117 Member
    I have two young children. It is hard but I try to go for walks.
  • turtle759
    turtle759 Posts: 4 Member
    I am also a stay at home mom and have been going through the same thing with the lack of motivation to go through it again while being so tired all the time. I’m trying to re-lose the little bit that I put back on but it’s hard. I started tracking with mfp again to get back down the 5-8lbs gained and maintain so I don’t lose control. I have been so tired with the cold weather and still having a toddler that doesn’t sleep through the night. Tracking calories and making healthier, balanced choices is the best I can do for right now. :)
  • lowcarbmale
    lowcarbmale Posts: 145 Member
    edited October 2018
    Tracking calories definitely helps. Intermittent Fasting (16/8 or 18/6 ) might also be an idea if you already tried a lot of other things and just want to eat a little less in general. Especially when you are home most of the time it is important to make sure to not eat whenever you feel like it ( bored etc. like you mentioned) otherwise its really hard to control how much you eat. 16 / 8 would mean you pick 8 hours of the day you would like to eat in (12pm - 8pm or 11am to 7pm etc.) and the rest of the day you don't eat. It's kind of like a mind trick because you decide in advance when you are going to eat so you are tempted a lot less the rest of the day. There are plenty of threads about it on MFP. Best of luck to you.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Good for you for getting back into shape! You don't really need new 'creative' ideas. You just need to follow MFP protocol. Get a digital food scale and weigh & log all your food. Set up your stats in MFP, set goal for 0.5 per week and go from there. Read the sticky posts for details. Most people find it best to set a 5 lb range for maintenance, recognizing they will fluctuate within that range..
  • wenrob
    wenrob Posts: 125 Member
    I lost the majority of my weight as a SAHM with twin toddlers. One of my worst habits was eating whatever, whenever. I would say the biggest things that helped me were putting myself on a schedule and asking my husband to wrangle the kids for an hour so I could exercise. I think somewhere I got it in my head that because I was home I had to do it all by myself and felt like I couldn’t ask for help. Not true at all as it turns out. Doing that (and the exercise) went a long way in taking the pressure off myself and helped curb stress eating. Scheduling my meals made me stop and think. Was I hungry or was I bored? Lunch is at noon, it’s eleven, I can wait an hour. Nine years later I still eat on the same schedule 90% of the time.

    Catching it at 5lbs and wanting to nip it in the bud is a good sign that you know what you need to do. You just need to figure out how you want to do it and do it. Over the years I’ve had small gains and have stopped them in their tracks various ways. The easiest by far is going back to basics, counting, logging and hitting the scale.
  • StargazerB
    StargazerB Posts: 425 Member
    It's really hard not to eat when bored when you're at home all day. Is there some other activity you can go to when bored? Maybe get a book to read or a magazine. Find a hobby like drawing. Anything really to deter you from eating when bored.
    This probably sounds bad to some but I let my little guy watch TV when I work out. It keeps him distracted for the most part so I can get my workout in uninterrupted. This is harder to do when my school aged kids are home on breaks. And I limit screen time throughout the day but I plan for it at my workout time.
    I have also found that when losing weight and initially maintaining weight loss that I need accountability. Having either friends on here or irl that you check in with daily can be very beneficial.