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Losing Weight

Over 60% of women in this country are overweight, according to the 2007 estimates from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Just over one-third of overweight women are obese. The causes of being overweight and obesity include: genes, behaviors such as eating too many calories or not getting enough exercise, environment, and culture.

Top 8 Simple Weight-Loss Tips from Registered Dietician Diane Henderiks

  1. Give your refrigerator a makeover.
    Toss out the pound-packing foods and bring on the greens. Make sure you leave the junk food at the grocery store. Having it in your cupboard is just asking for trouble.
  2. Learn how to read labels --
    an educated consumer is a healthy consumer.
  3. Don't completely deprive yourself of sweet treats.
    This only leads to overindulgence -- treat yourself to small portions of the higher-calorie foods on occasion so you won't constantly be thinking about them.
  4. Avoid cooking with butter and oils.
    We're lucky that there are healthy alternatives like Pam and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter to choose from.
  5. Watch your portions --
    calories are still at the core of weight loss and weight gain. Keep your portions as big as the size of your fist.
  6. Exercise at least 30 minutes (cardiovascular and resistance training) 5-6 days a week. (Yes, taking a walk with your kids counts.)
  7. Stay hydrated with plenty of water.
    This will also make you feel full when you're having a nasty craving.
  8. Accept the fact that there are no quick fixes -- visualize success and take it one day at a time!

The health risks associated with being overweight or obese include: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancers, and problems becoming pregnant, according to the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Therefore, it is important for moms and their families to maintain healthy lifestyles.


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What Moms Can Do about Losing Weight

It's especially tough for moms to incorporate weight loss into their already packed schedules. Luckily, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak has tips to start shedding pounds by putting in just minutes each day:

Oh boy, do I know about tight schedules. One of my clients, actress Milla Jovovich, needed to drop big-time weight in no time (sound familiar?). I helped her lose 62 pounds the right way.

I know it's easier said than done, but my advice to moms is despite the time crunch, you have to make it a priority because, after all, you deserve it.

For my clients trying to lose weight, particularly baby weight, I put them on a circuit-training plan that incorporates upper and lower body, abs, and cardio into regular 5-day-a-week workouts.

The 5-Factor Diet plan is designed to be effective with only 25 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week. If you're having trouble squeezing in even 15 minutes a day, I encourage you to make use of the time you do have and incorporate as much movement as you can into your daily routine, like:

  • Take a 10-minute walk around the block. If you're in an urban area, why not incorporate it in your errands and walk down to the store and back?
  • Take your little one to the neighborhood playground. Rather than just sitting on the bench chatting with the other moms, get up and move your body for a chunk of time. (Maybe the other moms will even want to join you!)
  • Take the stairs more, park farther away, and drink plenty of water.

And when you do find time to squeeze in even 15 minutes of exercise, it helps if you tackle some super-effective exercises so you get as much benefit as possible from the workout. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Lunges are very effective for toning your legs and backside, and you can do them in your living room while your kid naps.
  • I'd also invest in a pair of dumbbells (start with 5 lb. weights, and increase the weight when you feel ready).
  • Make bicep curls, lateral raises, and tricep extensions a mainstay of your regular routine -- you'll feel stronger after just a few days.
  • Finally, moms always want to know how to tone their stomach area. For this, I'd say simple crunches on the stability ball will get you the most bang for your buck in the shortest amount of time (as long as you keep your body moving during the day, like I mentioned before).

Sometimes the best help for a mom is advice from other moms, so be sure to post what's been working well for you in momlogic's Zip Up Your Jeans community group.

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Connect With Other Moms about Losing Weight

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