10 Hot Mama Tips to Lose 10 Pounds


Fit pro Sara Dean is one of our go-to experts on all things healthy moms. She’s given us tips on losing belly fat and today she’s sharing 10 tips to lose 10 pounds. Seeing as I’ve got 10+ pounds to go in the weight-loss department myself, I’ll be checking myself to make sure I’m implementing these as well!

10 Hot Mama Tips to Lose 10 Pounds

I’m a fitness professional and mom-to-be who has been helping moms lose weight for the last nine years. In that time, I have been able to really narrow down what works (and toss out a ton of stuff that does NOT work) in order to help moms lose fat, get lean and look and feel their very best.

I hate to see moms waste their time trying out the latest, greatest weight-loss gimmicks. It’s unbelievable how much junk is out there—not to mention how much money we spend thinking the junk will work for us. It makes me crazy. So I’m going to give it to you straight! THIS IS WHAT WORKS. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it works—and it’s not that hard. If you do it right and do it well, you will have an awesome body that will serve you well for the rest of your life. It will be so worth it! Oh, and you’ll be hot.

1. Divorce your cardio. Seriously, break up with the elliptical. Those 45-minute steady state cardio sessions are not helping you lose fat. High intensity intervals (which can be done on the elliptical, by the way) are about nine times more effective in burning fat, especially belly fat. You can also do these workouts in a fraction of the time. For examples of these kinds of workouts, download free ebooks here and refer to the workouts in the Top 5 Myths of Female Fat Loss.

2. Lift heavy. You must strength train to lose weight. It is more important than your beloved cardio. And you must lift more than 3- to 5-pound dumbbells to get any benefit from your strength training sessions. You should always choose weight that you can perform no more than 10 to 12 reps with. Increase your weight any time you can perform sets of 12 reps with decent form. This is how you build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass burns fat round the clock. It is a beautiful thing. (P.S.: you will not bulk up using weights that allow you to perform 10 to 12 reps.  I swear on my grandmother’s grave.)

3. Drink more water. Even slight dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent. Why would you do that to yourself? Water also helps you flush bloat and water retention. Drink half your body weight in ounces every day (ie: a 150 pound woman should drink 75 ounces.) My clients who lose the most weight are really on top of their water intake. These same clients notice that any time their water consumption stalls, so does their weight loss. Drink up!

4. Go green. Eat your veggies—yes, the non-green ones, too!  The more you can fill up on veggies, the less room you’ll have for junk. Also, veggies are very nutrient dense, meaning you can eat a ton of them for very few calories and lots of fullness (satiety). There are also a ton of ways to be creative with veggies and substitute them for some of your highest calorie foods.

5. Good-bye grains. Get rid of all grains, even your double-fiber whole wheat. Whole wheat really is not your friend. In fact, recent research shows that two pieces of whole-wheat toast raise your blood sugar (hello, belly fat) more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar does. For the most part, whole-wheat products are the same processed junk as your white-bread products—with a bit more fiber. Yes, I said it. Don’t hate the messenger.

The only grains that have actual nutritional value are sprouted grains (ie: Ezekiel sprouted bread). But even sprouted grains are not needed by our bodies. Our dependence on grains is a habit and a bad one at that. Because of the refinement process, grains are more likely to make you sick than provide you with fuel. And by sick I mean cause disease (diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid dysfunction) not just the little ol’ flu. The more you can reduce grains, the more you will have room for whole foods that will fuel you and help you shed weight and bloat.

As far as carbs go—if your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, you are getting enough carbs. I promise you. In fact, I know marathoners who live on grain-free diets and get all their carbs from vegetables. This fuels them for 26-mile runs. The whole idea that your plate should be 50 percent full of carbs is BUNK.

6. Get Yer Zzzs. Sleeping is a really important part of restoring your body every day. While you sleep, your hormones do wonderful things that allow you to recover from the day you just experienced and prepare you to function optimally the next day. If you don’t sleep enough or don’t sleep well, your hormone levels will be out of whack, especially your cortisol. If your cortisol levels stay high day and night from stress, you will really struggle to lose weight. I know it’s not easy for moms to control a night’s sleep in many cases. However, note the sleeping habits of your kids, and do your best to work around that to get the most uninterrupted sleep possible.

7. Use natural diuretics. Now don’t go crazy on me here. No need to send me hate mail for advocating the use of diuretics. Natural diuretics are foods and drinks that help you shed water and bloat. They are not like pill diuretics that deplete you of every bit of water from within and take with them tons of vitamins and minerals. Foods that are natural diuretics are cucumbers, celery, lettuces, asparagus, cabbage, fennel, beets, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, dandelion tea and green tea. These things are good for you and have the additional benefit of helping you shed water weight.

8. See ya salt. Minimize processed foods that have tons of salt and cause bloat—particularly in prepackaged foods, canned soups and pre-made Asian dishes (or anything drenched in soy sauce). I recently stopped eating pho (awesome Vietnamese soup) because it gave me such a complex. I would have it for dinner and wake up 3 pounds heavier with swollen eyes (aka “pho face”). The salty broth plus soy sauce would keep me bloated for days. Not worth it. Sea salt sprinkled on your freshly prepared food is completely fine.

9. Protein. Protein and veggies are your best friends when it comes to foods for fat loss. We already covered veggies, so on to protein. You should have protein with every meal and snack. You should have a significant source of protein for breakfast (eggs, a Hot Mama Protein Shake, nuts/nut butters, meats). This will help regulate your blood sugar from the moment you start your day. Throughout the day, have protein every time you eat. Finish your day with a dinner high in protein so that you’ll be less likely to have sugar cravings in the evening. Also, the more protein you have with dinner, the less room you’ll have for carbs, which you REALLY do not want sitting in you when you go to bed. Protein helps you build lean muscle, which in turn helps you burn fat. It also fills you up like crazy. It is ESSENTIAL for weight loss.

10. Commit to the process. Being “good” for one day and then eating junk the next will get you no where fast. Set aside a significant block of time to make a committed effort toward your goal. Maybe it’s a month or two months. Change will not happen overnight, but if you are committed, you can see dramatic change in a manner of weeks. The SuperMom Workout Program is based on these 10 principles and gets moms amazing results in just five weeks. If you need a structured program to help you in your effort, this is a great starting place.

I hope you took notes on this. Perhaps you want to print this out and post it somewhere to stay mindful of these habits. These 10 tips, used together, will give you amazing results. You have my word.

A big thanks to Sara for sharing her expertise! Healthy ideas any mom can implement, although I’m not sure I can give up the grains… —Erin

Sara Dean is the founder of Fit Healthy Moms, an international online community. Sara’s passion is helping moms lose baby weight and burn baby belly fat. Sara launched Fit Healthy Moms to provide moms with the necessary information about postpartum weight-loss. Moms all over the world are currently using her downloadable postpartum weight loss program, 6 Week Pregnancy Weight Loss and SuperMomWorkouts.

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


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  1. Atisheh says:

    All this for ten pounds? Honestly, it sounds a bit disordered…

  2. Ivori says:

    Number 2 says :you must lift more than 3- to 5-pound dumbbells to get any benefit from your strength training sessions. You should always choose weight that you can perform no more than 10 to 12 reps with.

    I can only do 8 reps with my 5 pound weights, so anything heavier than that, and I’m sure to sprain something.

  3. Ivori says:

    Number 4 : no grains ? Isn’t oatmeal a grain ?

  4. frozenn says:

    While I do agree with some of the points being made, I agree with others here that a couple of these do seem a bit too extreme. And all for what, 10 pounds?

    Most especially the no grain one. It’s hard for people to stick to no-grain diets for life, especially if it’s a staple where they live (like in Asia where I’m from)…Not to mention it isn’t uncommon for people on lower carb diets to just put back all the weight they lost when their will power doesn’t measure up over long periods of time. I’d rather eat a serving or two a day of wholemeal than to breakdown at the end of a week/month and stuff myself with worse junk.

    I’m a strong believer in portion control and moderation, I don’t cut out large groups of foods from my diet. I even allow myself cheat meals now and then, it does wonders to keep me motivated to never give up. It’s what has worked well for me, and I’ve been able to shed weight and feel better about myself without having too many needless cravings.

    Anyway, that’s just my take on this article. Different things work for different people in the end, but I hate to see an article promoting extreme measures that might be too hard to follow. 🙂

  5. Erin says:

    Sorry if this came off as too hard-core for you gals! It was my intention to pass along new ideas for those who might be struggling to kick a few stubborn lbs. As always, take ideas home that work for you and toss those that don’t. As I said in the very last line, giving up grains would be impossible for me, so I hear ya! 🙂

    -FBM Erin

  6. Jacklyn says:

    I love these! I am a personal trainer and I am always looking for good tips/info to give my clients. These are are resonable and simply stated.

  7. Sara Dean says:

    As the author of the article, I’ll just clarify a few things. I don’t want folks to feel overwhelmed by this :).

    First, yes, this is a lot to bite off at one time. But if you make strides in a few of these areas over a month or two you would notice a big difference in your health and fitness! I always say it’s about PRACTICE, NOT PERFECTION. What is good for one person may not be reasonable for the next. And all change takes time. These are changes my weight loss clients make over 4 weeks to see significant results. You could implement them all at once for much faster results, but again, only if that’s reasonable for you/your lifestyle.

    As for reducing or eliminating grains, it is hard – very hard and a big lifestyle change. But if you follow the research on grains, specifically gluten, you’ll see that the link between disease and grains is overwhelming. You will see a ton of research coming out on this in coming months/years. I had to make this change for medical reasons and it wasn’t easy, but my health is in a much different place.
    If you do consume grains, they should be used as fuel and consumed at breakfast/lunch, so you can burn them. I DO NOT want people to eliminate carbs – they are absolutely necessary!!! You can get tons of carbs (all you need!) from vegetables and fruits. Again, this is a process to look at over time, for most people. And I’m the first to admit, in the second tri of my pregnancy I’ve greatly increased my grains, as I need fast calories at times. That is what is working for me now. Just like you, I have to do what I have to do on any given day :).

    Hope that helps! Sadly, there are no magic pills for weight loss. These are the steps I’ve seen real women take to have real and long term results.

  8. Lucy says:

    I think these tips are good ones, especially if you’re losing “the last 10 pounds.” Or if you’re stuck at a plateau. As far as the “good-bye grains” tip, I think it might be necessary to get the momentum going for weight loss (or to reduce body fat that is already in a healthy range). I don’t think it means that you can never eat grains again, since that’s just not sustainable, but why not give it up for a few weeks or months? In the end, you won’t miss it as much as you think.

  9. Lindsay says:

    I gave up grains a couple of months ago, and honestly it was just not a big deal. I think sometimes the thought of doing something can be worse than really doing it. I thought I’d be wanting to have a memorial service for my old way of eating and need to grieve the loss of bread in my diet, but I have found such awesome recipes out there on the internet that I just have not felt any pain with giving them up. I very occasionally have a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal when other grocery stocks in my house get low, but it’s rare. I even found a waffle recipe that uses flaxseeds and whey protein powder instead of flour and they are WAY better than regular waffles! TRY going grain-free and you might find it’s not so bad (Oh, and I’ve lost 15 pounds in the past couple of months, too)!

  10. Stuart says:

    Great list. 10 quick easy ways to boost your health. I will definitely pass these on to my clients. I’ve got a list of 18 other ways to make your life healthier at my blog: http://www.pinnacleexercisephysiology.com.au/blog/

  11. I know that I need to give up grains and dairy, I just wasn’t ready. I think these types of articles motivate me to move forward and make the change!

  12. Azure Ivy says:

    I love these tips and I’m interested in getting rid of grains in my diet, but how can vegetarians do this? My choice are already limited, can a person live happily with all beans, fruits and veggies?