The Fit Mum Formula

We were lucky enough to interview Pollyanna Hale, a nutritionist and personal trainer with a fitness solution for busy mums. Pollyanna helps time poor Mums reach their fitness goals with easy recipe ideas and fitness support that fits around those hectic schedules. You can find Pollyanna at The Fit Mum Formula.

Tell us how did you come up with the idea for The Fit Mum Formula?
Bella was 7 months old and I had just published my first diet book Eat Drink and Be Slim. I was approached by another personal trainer, Angela, who was also a web designer so wanted to combine all our skills and create an online resource for Mums who can’t get to the gym and want to lose the baby weight and get their energy back. As a Mum to a baby at the time I knew only too well how few and far between mum-friendly classes were, so we went one step further and created a system that means Mums don’t even have to leave the house!
Could you tell us what it offers busy Mums?
The guidance and support from a Mum who fully understands the challenges of motherhood, while also having the experience and expertise of a qualified professional. There is no point in giving Mums complicated meal plans, new recipes to learn, and workouts that need gym equipment or require getting time out alone to go running. Our lives cannot accommodate that – we have families and homes and jobs that come first. Everything I do has to be fully compatible with a Mum’s own schedule. Workouts can be done whenever it suits you, and meals and flexible to fit with whatever you normally buy and cook.
There are always lots of diets circulating and confusing dietary advice. What are your thoughts on maintaining a healthy weight and feeling well?
Human brains like to put concepts into categories, which is why people like to follow a specific plan, such as Paleo, Vegan or Clean Eating. Unfortunately our bodies are not like that. We all have unique physiology, metabolisms, likes and dislikes and the way your body responds to food will not be the same as someone else. I help my Mums play detective and we figure out the way of eating that makes them feel amazing while still getting results in terms of their weight loss goals. There are some common ground rules which are also common sense – natural, whole foods will always trump processed junk. But aside from that each body is unique. You can’t get dogmatic about one particular way of eating.

Lots of ladies tell us lunch is kids ham from the fridge and a biscuit grabbed on the go! What’s your best advice for time poor meal planning?
Don’t make it complicated. Stock up on really quick and easy foods that can be on the plate in five minutes. Tinned tuna, eggs, bags of salad, whole ready to eat chickens and stir fry vegetable packs are some of my favourites. While elaborate meals and recipes are fine if you enjoy cooking and have time, there’s nothing wrong with an omelette or pot of cottage cheese and salad!
Do you have some words of advice for busy Mums who feel they don’t have time to exercise?
Here’s what Mums try and do. We try and get all the jobs done, all the washing and tidying etc. and think then we’ll exercise. Honestly the last time I got to the bottom of my to do list was 8 years ago before my first daughter was born! Have a think about what 30 minute slot would work best for you. Is it early morning before the school run (my time, I’m a lark though and though), or perhaps during the day when little one naps? Or even as soon as you get home from the school run while the kids play for a while, before you start cooking supper. Ignore the washing, it can wait. You are important too and the chores will all still get done afterwards!
Tiredness comes with the territory of being a parent. Do you have any energy boosting top tips?
Contrary to what people think, exercise is energizing, as it encourages your body to burn its own fat stores to give you energy – win win! Not skipping meals can really help, and I love green tea and even a regular builders’ brew for a gentle pick me up. The hours you sleep before midnight are worth more than after, so go to bed early and get up earlier if you need to. It’s more in keeping with our natural rhythms and your body will thank you for it.

Finally, what would be your biggest New Year health & Wellness tip?
If you’ve been on the fence about getting in shape then the best thing you can do is just take action now. Procrastination is stressful and most people get stuck in this place of knowing they need to do something but not doing it. Find a coach or support system to guide and keep you on track and give you unbiased advice. Stop worrying about the cost – a decent programme doesn’t have to be expensive. And investing in your own health and wellbeing will always pay off in the long run when you’re finally feeling and looking like your old self again.
You can get a FREE chapter of Pollyanna’s new book ‘The Fit Mum Formula – The Complete Diet & Lifestyle plan created especially for Mums’ – by clicking here

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