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When I sold my chiropractic practice to work from home and be a stay at home mom, I found out fast that my new lifestyle made it easy to gain weight.
After all, when I “went to work” every day, I packed a healthy lunch, prepared dinner ahead and went to the gym. Basically I had my routine to keep off the pounds down to a science.
That all changed as a mommy who worked from home.
The gym membership got canceled to save money. Packing health lunches was a thing of the past since I ate when my daughter was napping, usually while standing at the kitchen cabinet.
And, preparing dinners ahead seemed like so much work when I was already exhausted from trying to balance paying work with the work of raising my daughter.
It seemed like I gained 20 pounds overnight and became very unhappy with my body.
That’s when I realized that if I was going to make it work as a stay at home mom, I had to find the balance, get healthy, and lose the weight.
So, for all of you moms out there, here’s a roundup of the top 4 diets that really do work for moms.
#1 – Keto
With the ketogenic diet, you eat low carb and high fat. Basically you cut out anything and everything that is high in carbohydrates because your body burns the sugar from these instead of burning your fat and helping you lose weight.
When you cut these out, your body goes into ketosis where is starts burning your fat to function, leading to fast weight loss, without cutting calories. In fact, with a ketogenic diet you could actually eat more calories than normal and still lose weight.
Other benefits of the diet include controlling your blood sugar, increased energy and even clearer skin.
Your diet will consist of approximately 70% fats, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrate and stay between 20 and 30 grams net carbs per day. The lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better your overall results will be.
To calculate net carbs, you take your total dietary carbohydrates and minus the total fiber.
Things you can’t eat:
- Grains – wheat, corn, cereal, rice, etc.
- Potatoes – yellow, red, sweet, yams, etc.
- Fruits – all fruits except berries
- Sugar – this includes honey, agave, syrup, etc.
Things you can eat:
- Meats – beef, chicken, seafood, etc.
- High Fat Dairy Only– eggs, hard cheeses, high fat cream, butter
- Vegetables – any vegetable that grows above ground like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.
- Leafy Greens – lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.
- Berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries
- Natural, Low-Carb Sweeteners – stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, etc.
- Fats – coconut oil, olive oil, high fat salad dressings, like Caesar and Blue Cheese, etc.
I’ve found this diet to be easy to do even with the kiddos at home because I can make their meal and just remove a few things that don’t work for me. And as a bonus, since I’m thinking about how it works for my diet, I’ve found that I’m making them healthier meals too!
#2 – Paleo
The idea behind the Paleo diet is to eat like a caveman or cavewoman J.
It’s a lot like the Keto diet with some important differences.
You follow the same list of foods you can and can’t eat above except that on Paleo, you can eat sweet potatoes and yams and other fruits, besides berries, in moderation. So, with Paleo you get more carbs than you would on Keto and therefore don’t go into ketosis.
While with Keto, you’re balancing the ration of protein to fats to carbs and staying below a net carb goal, with Paleo, you can eat any combination you want as long as you avoid eating grains, bad dairy, processed foods and sugars.
The key to Paleo is to make each meal with a moderate amount of meat, a good serving of vegetable and a small serving of fruit.
Since it’s less restrictive than Keto, many people find it easier to stick to.
#3 – Mediterranean
The Mediterranean Diet is a super healthy choice for your whole family and unlike Keto and Paleo it allows grains, like pastas and rice, as long as they are whole grains. The key to the Mediterranean Diet is portion control.
The rules to follow eating Mediterranean style are:
- Switch to lean meats – Swap out your red meat for skinless chicken, turkey and fish
- Choose good fats – Say goodbye to margarine and other hydrogenated oils and use olive oil, coconut oil and other healthy fats instead
- Eat the rainbow – Snack on veggies all day in a variety of colors — red bell peppers, green broccoli, orange sweet potatoes, yellow squash, and more.
- Expand you grain vocabulary – Try quinoa, barley and other whole grains for added fiber.
- Pick nuts and seeds – Throw away those bags of potato chips and pick up a handful of nuts or seeds for a quick snack. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seed are all tasty, healthy ways to curb your appetite.
- Enjoy a glass of wine – You’re allowed to drink alcohol but only in moderation.
- Savor your meal – Stop rushing and sit down at the dinner table as a family to eat more slowly and savor each bite.
A great bonus of the Mediterranean Diet is that not only do you lose weight and get healthier overall, you’re teaching your kids good eating habits that will last a lifetime.
#4 – The South Beach Diet
I consider this diet to be somewhere in between the Mediterranean Diet and the Ketogenic Diet as it’s more restrictive than the first but allows some whole grains unlike the second.
The theory behind the diet is that the sugary foods and other refined carbohydrates in your diets create blood sugar spikes — and subsequent crashes in energy levels that lead to overeating. By eating mainly vegetables, protein, and whole grains (and ditching the sugar and refined grains), you can stabilize your blood sugar and eliminate the urge to overeat, while at the same time triggering your body’s fat burning mechanisms.
The South Beach Diet has three phases, with the third being maintenance. Its focus is low carb, high protein, with carbs completely prohibited in the first phase but slowly introduced back into your diet after two weeks.
One good thing about South Beach is that for busy moms, South Beach foods are available both online and in stores.
Which One is Right for You?
The only person that can answer that question is you.
If you don’t mind cooking and have the time, the first 3 are great. If time and convenience are a factor, go with South Beach.
Each of the diets works great as long as you stick to them. And, remember 90% of a diet comes after the fact, when it’s time to keep off the weight you’ve lost.
Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be writing a post for the best ways to maintain your weight loss!
So, if you’re ready to lose weight, choose one of the diets above and get the body you want, fast.
Want to exercise but not sure if you have time? Check out our post on 10 Ways to Exercise with Your Kids.
And as always, I wish you a strong family, optimal health and smart incomes.