Health + Fitness

Why Toning Up for Moms Is Hard To Do

For many, the idea of losing weight is simple. Eat less, exercise more, and end up with a calorie deficit at the end of every day. Essentially you need to be using up more calories than you consume every day. Simple, isn’t it? Initially, this will work, especially if you have a chunk of weight to lose. Fat deposits on your hips and thighs and chin will slowly disappear, and you will notice the number on the scales decreasing. This can give you a buzz and make you feel justified in forking out for your gym membership. However, what about those last few pounds? When we have just half a stone left to lose or when we want our bodies to tone up the old eat less, exercise more strategy becomes a little too basic. We need more specific and focused plans to help us lose the bingo wings and locate our abs once again. Take a look at why toning up is hard to do and what you can do about it.

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Exercise

If you managed to get away with just eating a healthier diet to shift the pounds, well done. However, now it’s time to venture back into the gym for toning up and utilize the equipment on offer to help you tone up. Eating green leafy vegetables and supping on a wheatgrass smoothie every day will not help you lose your wobbly thighs. You must begin using weights and core exercises to help you work specific muscle groups. Only when these muscle groups are worked in the correct way will you see your toning up efforts pay off.

 

Personal trainer

Consider hiring a personal trainer to help you formulate a bespoke exercise plan that addresses your goals. These professionals know exercises like the back of their hand and will help you with even the most nuanced of aims. If you want to lose an inch off your waist, they know the exercises to help you achieve this. If you want to lose your double chin, they can leave you with a sleeker profile in no time. Personal trainers will even help you with a nutrition plan, formulating meals and advising on calorie intake, as well as an exercise regime.


 

Local gym

Consider heading to your local gym and completing the free introductory session. Here, you will enjoy a tour of the equipment and the sorts of classes they might offer. It’s important to partake in a range of strength and cardio exercises. If you are forever working on your abs, you will achieve a strong core but your fitness levels might diminish. Instead, go for a mix of exercises. Perhaps a thirty minute run on the treadmill, followed by some bicep curls, followed by some kettle bell stretches may suffice. Toning up is not necessarily about losing weight, it’s about changing the shape of your body and exercise can help you achieve this.

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Photo by Li Sun from Pexels

Diet

If you still have a few pounds to lose, the chances are that you will still need to focus on your diet. While you may have gotten away with a cheat day or two when you had more weight to lose, now you might have to ban these luxuries altogether. A simple chocolate bar or piece of candy can send your sugar levels spiking and negate any exercise that you partake in.

Instead, you need to consider the sorts of foods that bloats and leave you feeling too full. Starchy carbs like potatoes, pasta and white bread are the main culprits. You need to banish these refined carbs and replace them with whole grain varieties. Wholemeal bread, whole grain cereals, brown rice and wholemeal or spinach pasta is ideal.

If you want to get more serious, you could eliminate these carbs from your diet entirely. Going for a more ketogenic way of eating in the short term can help you lose those last few pounds by entering a state of ketosis. This doesn’t mean starving yourself or eating any less. You simply change up what you are fueling your body with. Forget having potatoes or pasta with every meal and increase your allowance of vegetables, add a side salad, or enjoy some extra lean protein like eggs or fish. Removing the carb from your plate means you can replace it with something else that you like.

 

Sweet tooth

Ensure that you still enjoy the sweet stuff if you have a sweet tooth. The idea of banning everything will simply make you want it more. If you adore chocolate, consider the sort you will eat. Don’t opt for the sugar laden kids milk chocolate candy bar, and go for a raw vegan brownie instead. With more antioxidants and flax seed, these sweet kicks are still a treat, but have a better glycemic index score, meaning that they will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

When you are compiling your meals, make sure you eat a salad or portion of green leafy vegetables with every meal. This means loading up on iron rich spinach, antioxidant rich cabbage, broccoli and spring greens. You can go wild with salads, introducing nuts, fresh fruit and all sorts of dressings. You don’t always have to make do with the bog standard green salad. How about a fennel, pear and blue cheese salad instead.

 

Final thoughts

When we are trying to shift the last few pounds, we can become frustrated. When you see the number on the scales stagnating, we can become despondent, and we risk forgetting about the progress that we have made. Continue heading to the gym, and take a pal along for moral support. Enjoy changing up your exercise routine, partake in a spin class or two, and keep working on your fitness. With your diet, enjoy making new dishes, trying out new recipes and having fun in the kitchen. Those last few pounds will disappear, it might just take a little longer than you think. And with any luck, your body will tone up and you will lose your bingo wings and find your abs once again.

 

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL Working Moms and Co-Owner of Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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