| Fitness

Proven Ways to Get in Shape When You Have a Toddler

By Christopher Walker

The whining. The meltdowns. The destruction of your entire house — these are just some of the highlights of living with a toddler. Raising a little person is a full time job, and it can be extremely difficult for parents who also work outside the home. After you’ve survived the day, you likely want to get in bed with some comfort food, a Netflix show and simply veg away.


  • Diet Plan
  • Exercise Plan
  • Resources to Help You Exercise After Having a Baby
  • If that describes your daily lifestyle, you are not alone! Studies have found that lack of sleep, eating mindlessly and the constant stress of being new parents leads many of us to pack on the pounds. If you are not one of those parents who can stay in shape simply by running after your toddler, there are ways you can lose weight with diet and exercise.

    Disclaimer: We know that as parents of toddlers, you likely don’t have the time or desire to go to the gym, nor the budget to hire a personal trainer or sign up for healthy meal deliveries (diapers are expensive!). This is why, in this article, we will recommend easy, yet proven diet tips and at-home workouts for moms and dads.

    Whether you are a stay at home mom or one that has a 9-5 job, you can follow these tips at home, even when the baby naps, and do so with minimal equipment!

    dad with toddler

    Diet Plan

    Renata Trebing, founder and recipe developer of the healthy food blog, Nourish with Renata, shares these exclusive tips on the best weight loss diet after having a baby.

    “The key is to eat whole foods as much as possible, especially good sources of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats. Grilled lean meats, fresh fruit are all great ways to nourish your body. Also, the less processed foods you are consuming, the more nutrients you are giving your body to perform optimally for the most demanding job of all, motherhood.” — Renata Trebing


    Editor’s Note: While many dietitians and physicians recommend nuts as part of a healthy diet, we are passionate about foods that restore hormonal balance and the body’s natural self-healing capacity. Our philosophy is called the Thermo Diet. You’ll find links below to download our free beginner’s guide!

    We recommend the following diet based on Renata’s advice and the principles of the Thermo Diet, developed by UMZU Founder Christopher Walker. Based on the principles of thermogenesis, this diet focuses on restoring the body to its natural healthy condition — a homeostatic called Thermo. The goal of this diet is to increase body temperature and metabolism by eating a diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

    the thermo diet

    Note: You can find the Thermo 30 Roadmap HERE!

    When choosing foods, try to purchase local, organic and fresh produce and hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats. All the recommendations below are affordable and can be easily prepared in 15-20 minutes or less, while your baby is napping or practicing their tummy time.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends if you simply don’t have the time to cook. However, carving a few hours per week to meal plan while your significant other watches your toddler can help you to have meals ready when you need them.

    Breakfast Options

    Lunch Options

    Dinner Options

    Snack Options

    Exercise Plan

    toddler or baby

    Walk with your baby

    KJ Landis, CPT, CFI, author  of the Superior Self series and a nutrition educator, recommends that new parents walk with their baby, which is one of her favorite easy workouts for busy moms and dads.

    “Walking with a weight (like a baby or small child) adds weight and resistance to the walking workout, while still being gentle on the body. It helps tremendously in weight loss and bonding with my child on my chest,” explained Landis.

    There are many carriers that can suit the heavier weights of toddlers, which you can utilize to spend time outside and bond with your little one while losing an average of 238 calories per hour!

    Belly Breathing With Contractions

    The best workouts for moms should start with toning the stomach muscles, which have been deeply affected by pregnancy and the birth. This exercise is a great home workout that can be done with no equipment!

    1. Sit up and start breathing in and out deeply.
    2. When inhaling, fill up your stomach with air.
    3. When exhaling, suck in your abdominal muscles, imagining that you are closing an imaginary zipper all the way up to your chest.
    4. Start with reps for 5 minutes, and increase the time as you go along.

    Kneeling Pelvic Tilt

    Carrying around a toddler around can wreak havoc on your back, and this exercise will help you to strengthen your back while also toning your abs.

    1. Stand on all fours and have your toes touch the floor.
    2. Place your arms below your shoulders with palms touching the floor.
    3. Straighten your back.
    4. Inhale and tilt your pelvis to rotate your pubic bone while pulling forward your buttocks.
    5. Release after the count of five and start again.
    6. Start with 20 repetitions.

    Towel Pulse

    1. Lie down on your back and bend your knees.
    2. Roll up a towel and hold each end across your upper shins.
    3. As you pull the sides of the towel, squeeze your thighs together.
    4. Breathe in, and then out as you squeeze your abs and lift your shoulders off of the floor.
    5. Hold for five seconds and release.
    6. Start with 15 repetitions.


    You probably have songs such as “Three Little Monkeys” and “Wheels on the Bus” playing on rotation in your household, so why not host a dance party? This is a great way to exercise together with your toddler, and something the entire family can do together.

    If you choose faster songs that allow you to move more, you will raise your heartbeat, and may burn between 360-450 calories per hour. Dancing is great for improving muscle tone and strength, weight management, stronger bones and better flexibility.

    Resources to Help You Exercise After Having a Baby

    Stroller Strides®

    Stroller Strides® is a workout group for moms, customized to exercise with strollers or while their kids play nearby. Each class is 60-minutes long and is led by an instructor who focuses on strength training, cardio and restoring your core. In addition to toning your upper and lower body, you will get a chance to meet with other new moms, while your little ones have fun listening to songs and doing fun activities.

    Exercise Apps

    If you can’t afford an in-home personal trainer, but you do want some direction about the best ways to get fit, utilize an exercise app. You can workout out anytime, anywhere!


    This app promises to improve your fitness routine in just six weeks! It’s perfect for busy parents because they have exercises you can do even if you have only 5-15 minutes to spare! Personal trainers create specific trainings for individual needs — whether you want to lose weight or simply tone.


    Fitnet may have a competitive edge over other exercise apps because it connects you with real, certified coaches. A live coach will utilize both text and video to motivate you to reach your fitness goals. You will be able to work out to personalized fitness plans and have individual guidance for the best exercises for your needs. You will be able to share selfies with your coach to monitor your improvement towards your goals.

    You can access the app from your Apple Watch to monitor your real-time heart rate and your cardio zone while you are working out.


    Final Thoughts

    It’s important to remember that although having a toddler may take up all of your time, you need to focus on yourself as well. By eating right and being physically active, you will have the energy required to keep up with your toddler. Plus, your kids will grow up in a household where they will see that these things are important to live a long and healthy life!