I've been a SAHM since day one with my little guy, and considering the fact that I gained weight with both my babes (and to be real, never lost what I gained with Baby #1), I absolutely set myself up behind the 8-ball with my diet.
Keeping your weight at a healthy place is hard enough, but as a mama when you are working on keeping up calories to breastfeed, are staying up late nights to sleep train littles, or are busy just being a supermom at home all day, it becomes too easy to just open the fridge and grab a coke or a snack or a treat without thinking too much about it.
When you're at home with the littles and don't have a ton of time to either prep a separate meal for yourself or even sit and eat for more than 45 seconds at a time (most of the time I eat standing at the kitchen counter?!), it's not surprising that SAHMs find themselves snacking a lot throughout the day.
So here's my question, mamas: am I hungry, or am I just at home? Do I find myself snacking more throughout the day because I'm at home, or am I actually looking to fill myself up? This is a concept I have been dealing with ever since my metabolism betrayed me and I didn't return to my pre-pregnancy weight after having my first babe... and I work on it every single day.
I have a couple of things that I need to remember throughout the day to make sure that I'm eating when I'm HUNGRY and not just because I'm at HOME.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mama, you need to be eating breakfast. I need to be eating breakfast. Everyone should be eating breakfast. I swear there are WAY too many days where I have cracked a can of coke in the AM and called it good. That is, until about 30 minutes later and I'm feeling like I need a little something to fill me up. If I make it more of a point to eat something more filling from the get-go in the morning, I know that I won't feel the need to eat again until lunchtime (which is when you should be eating another meal).
Long story short, mama, meals matter. Having an actual meal, and taking your time to sit and eat it, will make your day a little less about finding something quick to grab and eat all day long. You won't find yourself scrounging around for something to curb the hunger beast.
Gosh, how many problems can be solved by drinking more water? Clearer skin? Drink water. Have a headache? Drink water. Car trouble? Drink water. Want world peace? Drink water. SAHM with a tendency to snack and fill up on soda? Drink. Water.
Keeping an icy water bottle by you throughout the day will help you to remember to drink. It will make your brain feel a little better about the fact that it's not a coke, or a bag of flaming hot cheetos.
I also love to add fruit to my water-- I'll mix it up between strawberries, oranges, lemons, or limes, and tons of ice. My water bottle also has these really handy little stickers that let me know when I should be drinking from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. That just takes the guesswork completely out of how much I should be drinking during my day.
Okay, I know I said that as a mama you have no time to prep, and I still think that's true, but you're gonna have to find the right time to fit it in. My prep time for meals is either on Sat/Sun while my husband is home to handle the littles, or after putting my babes to bed and I have a couple minutes to think about what we could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day.
Another thing that has completely changed the game for my prep game is creating a dinner menu at the beginning of the week (normally on Sunday), planning a grocery list for all the things on the dinner menu and anything I'll need for breakfast and lunches during the week, and then ordering the food online for grocery pickup. This takes the craziness out of shopping with my littles in the store (which I absolutely cannot handle for more than 10 minutes), and it keeps me from buying anything that I don't need for the meals for that week. That way I'm not buying random snacks or treats because I show up to the store hungry or to please the kids or forget to grab like 15 things because my kids are driving me nuts.
Speaking of groceries, I always think it's important to get your house stocked with good snacks that you're not going to feel like you're bloating up like a balloon because you cracked them open throughout your day. Snacking is totally normal, and when it's done in moderation with the right foods, it's not bad for you, mama!
Getting your hands on fresh fruit and veggies, washing them as soon as you get home, and keeping them in food-saver containers to keep them fresher for longer means that you're not going to be dragging your feet to grab some grapes from the fridge because you don't want to deal with rinsing them off... I know it sounds nuts, but when I don't have the time, I start to make all kinds of excuses for why a coke makes more sense. I also love to have greek yogurt, hummus, and sliced turkey which is great to grab when you need something quick. Having the right things in the fridge and pantry will make your snacking game a lot safer, you feel me, mama?