Be the best version of YOU for your family!*

Friday, 26 May 2017, By Kate Hanrahan

For many parents, time is a hard thing to come by. We constantly put our children first and seem to leave ourselves behind. This can often lead to us leaving our wellbeing last on the priority list. When I first became a mum, I put all of my exercise and healthy food choices on the back burner to ensure my daughter came first and my weight suffered as a result. I wasn't happy and it affected me as a mother.

By employing time management techniques and focusing on my eating habits, I was able to improve my confidence and improve myself to set a better example for my daughter. I now make sure that not only am I making correct choices for myself but I'm making correct choices for my daughter. I follow a few simple steps to make sure both myself and my daughter are living nutritious, active and all round healthier lives.

These are my tips to ensure successful weight loss and weight management:

1. Cook healthy meals for the whole family

Using VVT meals, I have been able to find a balance of foods that I enjoy eating which are also great for kids. This takes away from the added stress of cooking separate meals for yourself and your kids. It also allows you to make healthy choices for your children and set a good example that eating healthily doesn't mean it needs to be boring or tasteless. If you're fuelling your body with nutritious foods, it also means your fuelling your children's body with nutritious food.

2. Find time to exercise together

Finding time to get to the gym by yourself can be hard when you're a parent. You may need to find a babysitter or just stay at home because it may all seem too hard. Exercising doesn't always need to be in a gym setting. On the weekend go for a walk together as a family or go to the park and play a game together. Your children will appreciate you taking the time to get active and spending quality time with them. It will also set a great example for your children to lead an active lifestyle.

3. Prepare your food

From a personal perspective, I do food preparation on a Sunday night once my child has gone to bed. I make sure I have made my lunches for the week to ensure I stick to my macronutrients. This also makes it easier to track my food and I'm not snacking throughout the day because I am prepared. When preparing food for yourself, you can also prepare food for your children as well. Rather than making lunches each morning you can prepare all of the food on Sunday night and not have that added stress before school each morning to make their lunch for the day.

4. Eat healthy snacks with your children

When children get home from school they always seem to be starving. So, to ensure you don't pick up something on the way home or grab a packet of chips to fill both theirs and your stomachs, ensure you have healthy options for snack time. On Vision Virtual Training (VVT) there is a range of ideas for snacks that will be perfect for the whole family. This will keep your children full until dinner time and it also helps you make sure you aren't going straight to the chips for a snack.

5. Eat at places the family can enjoy but are aligned with your goals.

When families come together for special occasions, whether it be a birthday, public holidays or just a Sunday tradition, it can be stressful worrying about what food you'll eat. The easiest way I've found to combat these worries is looking at the menu ahead of time or finding a place that is trackable. Before I go out with my family I find something that I enjoy eating. This will be the first thing to go into my food diary for the day, and the rest of my day I can plan around this meal. The easiest items on the menu for most places is Steak, but this doesn't just mean eating steak whenever you go out. Almost any food can be found on VVT to be tracked from Thai food to Grill'd and anything in between. If you look at the menu, decide what you want and track accordingly family occasions won't be a hassle or something you dread.

Focusing on yourself is hard as a parent as your constantly making sure everyone is happy before you, but with a happy parent comes happy kids. If you are focusing on being the best you can be and fuelling your children with the most nutritious foods it will help to educate them on nutrition and healthy living. As the saying goes "monkey see, monkey do" so we need to be showing our children the values of healthy living.

Kate Hanrahan

Vision Personal Training Sylvania



*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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