Being a single parent is difficult. You have to do tasks by yourself, which will take up more of your time. Additionally, this can prevent you from providing the best care for your children. This is crucial since Healthline’s article on childhood obesity states that children are at a greater risk of developing obesity due to factors like lack of exercise and consumption of fast food. As a single parent, you’ll need to do your best to prevent this, as obesity may lead to other concerns like asthma and diabetes. One way to do so is to maintain a healthy weight to ensure you’re at an optimal state to take care of your children. Here are a few ways to do so:
Squeeze in some exercise
As a single parent, it will be hard to find time to exercise because of your responsibilities. However, it is crucial to do this to burn extra calories. Verywell Family’s guide for single parents suggests including your children in your fitness routine, so you can still take care of them. Bring them with you on a walk or jog, or have them ride their bicycle. You may also opt to exercise by playing a sport they can participate in, such as soccer or basketball. Involving your children in your fitness allows you to get much-needed exercise for healthy weight maintenance while keeping an eye on them.
Choose healthier food options
Aside from exercise, a healthier diet will prevent you from gaining extra calories. If you’re too busy to think of recipes and cook meals, subscribe to a diet plan. WeightWatchers suggests that weight loss programs are often personalized to fit your needs while allowing you to enjoy the food you love. Additionally, consume healthier snacks. Instead of eating chips all the time, cut up vegetables like carrots and dip them in hummus. Have some trail mix, yogurt, and protein bars in stock so you’re not tempted to order fast food. Your children also benefit from this since they’ll be eating healthier food if it’s available at home.
Get enough sleep
People overlook the value of sleep when it comes to their weight. Our post ‘Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep’ informs that adults who get less than 7 hours of sleep have a 41% higher risk of obesity. Lack of sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise and leptin levels to fall, resulting in feelings of hunger. As such, get 8 hours of sleep or more. If this is difficult since you have to put your kids to sleep first, encourage them to go to bed through fun activities. Read a book together or play a short game before bed, so they’re enticed to sleep, and you get enough rest.
Keep yourself hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated is key to maintaining a healthy weight. The CDC reminds us that water has no calories, so it helps manage weight. Plus, it can suppress your appetite, preventing you from consuming more food that leads to weight gain. Lastly, water is a better substitute for high-calorie drinks like soda or sweet tea. Keep a jug of water with you at all times, so you remember to drink water. If it helps, add some sliced fruit like lemons and strawberries to your water, so you’re motivated to hydrate.
Keeping healthy as a single parent can be challenging but not impossible. Remember to exercise, eat healthily, drink water, and get enough sleep to maintain a healthy weight. If you liked this article, read our other work here at Come From The Heart.