I’ve been a nurse for 16 years and in January, I started back working full time, which is three 12 hour shifts a week. Working outside the home can make macro tracking challenging amongst juggling all of the things. Today, I want to share practical tips from my own experience on how to stay on track with your nutrition that will set you up for success!
- Make Realistic Goals. As a working mom, you’ve got a lot to juggle: your family, your job, your home, and your health. There are seasons in your life that will be more difficult than others. Small kids’ needs are very unique. Teenagers’ needs are very unique. You need to give yourself grace. One thing you need to realize, regardless of your season, is that there are only 24 hours in a day and you need to sleep. What can you realistically prioritize in those remaining precious hours? For myself, I know that on the nights I work, less will get done. It’s extremely difficult for me to get to the gym and meal prep on working days, which means I have to be prepared for those days in advance. Ask yourself what is achievable on those work days and make goals for yourself that you know you can achieve. Personally, I will not set a goal for a workout on my work days, but I can set a goal to walk around the building during my breaks and lunch. If you have a sedentary job your goal might be to stand up and walk around for 10 minutes every hour. I know that I cannot make a big effort filled meal for my family on my workdays, but I can plan in advance meals that are grab and go/ easy to assemble for me and my family. I cannot have a diverse menu, but I can eat the same macro balanced meal several days in a row. I can input my meals in advance in MyFitnessPal. I can avoid the break room donuts. Spend some time writing down realistic, measurable goals that revolve less around the scale and more around consistency.
- I will hit 10K steps a day.
- I will drink 100oz of water a day.
- I will hit my macros within range 13/14 days.
- I will workout on the days I am not working.
- I can plan my meals the night before in MyFitnessPal.
- I will eat fruits and vegetables everyday.
- I will have quiet time for myself everyday.
Think about what you can do each and every day to take care of yourself. You will be more successful in your weight loss and health goals long term (which is always what we’re striving for) if you focus on making good daily choices. Those choices and your consistency add up tremendously over time.
- Make a plan and Prep Your Foods on Your Days Off. If you don’t have a plan, you will fail. There is always something in the break room; pizza, donuts, bagels, potlucks, etc, and when you don’t have a plan in place, temptation is just too easy to succumb to. Stay Fit Mom makes it so easy for us! Krista’s cookbooks are lifesavers! Our whole family loves them and uses them every single week. I highly recommend the new Meal Prep Cookbook for those of us that work out of the home. I make the individual serving sizes for both my husband and my teens! Tracy also creates a monthly meal plan for us that’s available to all Ninja Insiders in Guide 7. Utilize this service! Order all of your groceries in advance if you aren’t already. You can buy yourself so much more time in the long run if you put a little more effort in on the front end. At the end of my shift I know that I will be too tired to attempt to try and throw anything together. It will not happen unless I make a plan and I’m ahead of the game. Find a day of the week that works well for you. If you work Monday through Friday, a good time to do this might be Sunday afternoon. Below are a few of my favorite one pot and Crockpot meals. I like these meals because they are quick and cut back on dishes!
You can also check out our freezer meal recipes for some more make ahead meals.
Take quick snacks that are easy and readily available. Some of my favorites are:
- Fairlife Protein Drinks
- Beef or turkey sticks
- Plantain Chips
- Greek Yogurt Cups
- Fruits and Veggies
- Communicate Your Needs and Set boundaries. You cannot do it all yourself and if you try to do it all yourself, you will not only fail but end up bitter and possibly resentful. Your husband and family are likely anxious to help you, but may not know how. Write down lists for your husband and family members. Don’t expect them to know what you don’t explicitly communicate. Set firm boundaries and stick to them. This means you will have to say no to things, even good things, because doing too much will run you into the ground. You have to Put Your Oxygen Mask on First which means sticking to healthy boundaries that allows you to get adequate nutrition and rest.
- Rest and Hydrate. Take your water bottle with you and find times throughout the day to chug! You should be shooting for ½ your body weight in ounces plus 20 ounces for every hour of exercise. Read tips and tricks for hitting your water intake HERE. Sleep needs to take priority in your life. See Number 3 above and communicate this priority with those around you. You cannot serve your family well without proper rest. You should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Read Sleep and Fat Loss to learn more about just how important the role of sleep plays in your fat loss journey.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve working moms! We see you and we are inspired by you! If you’re a Stay Fit Mom working mom find your working mom tribe in the SFM Ninja group (Guide 2). There is nothing like leveraging the community to spur you on to success.
If you like this post you will also like Tracking Macros as a Shift Worker.