Stay-at-Home Mom Workout Schedule (For busy moms with no time)

As a stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult to find the time and energy for exercise. After all, between the kids, the household chores, and all the other many tasks on your to-do list, it can feel overwhelming to try and fit in your own needs. So what is the best stay at home mom workout schedule?

The best stay-at-home mom workout schedule will include walking 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week combined with 2-3 days of strength training using weights, gym equipment, or resistance bands. Exercising with friends can be more fun, and they can hold you accountable.

As much as possible, try and have a set schedule so it becomes a habit and routine, shortening the time as needed around other priorities. Remember that ANY exercise is better than none.

But with the right plan in place, you’ll soon have an effective workout schedule that works around your daily routine.

Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned pro looking for some fresh ideas, this guide will provide tips on making time for exercise and finding workouts tailored specifically for busy moms like yourself. We’ll also discuss how to stick with your plan so that you maximize results while still having quality family time at home.

So don’t worry if fitting in a quick workout seems impossible – let’s get started!

Table of Contents:

How Do Stay-at-Home Moms Find Time for Exercise?

To make sure you get the most out of your workout, it’s important to prioritize physical activity and create a schedule that fits into your day. After all, as you know, the stay at home mom schedule is always changing, with multiple priorities, and a neverending to-do list.

DO make sure to take time for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it. You can’t tackle all your other priorities 100% if your own needs always get put on the back burner.

Here are some tips on how to make time for exercise:

Prioritizing Physical Activity: Making physical activity a priority is key when trying to fit in workouts. Start by setting realistic goals and expectations, such as committing to 30 minutes of exercise three times per week or working up to an hour every other day. This will help keep you motivated and accountable throughout the process.

Creating a Workout Schedule: Once you have established your goals, come up with a plan that works best for you and your family’s lifestyle. If mornings work better than evenings, try getting up early before everyone else wakes up or use lunch breaks or quiet times during the day when possible. You can also take advantage of quality time with family and friends by exercising together whenever possible.

Utilizing Lunch Breaks & Quiet Times: When creating your workout schedule, don’t forget about lunch breaks and quiet times during the day – these are great opportunities for quick workouts like walking around the block or doing some light stretching exercises at home. Additionally, allow yourself rest days so that you can recharge mentally and physically – this will help maximize results from each workout session.

Key Takeaway: Creating a workout schedule that fits into your day is key to staying motivated and getting the most out of physical activity. Prioritize exercise, set realistic goals, utilize lunch breaks & quiet times, and allow yourself rest days for maximum results.

What Are the Best Workout Routines for Busy Moms?

Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be difficult to find the time and energy for exercise when you’re juggling work, family, and other commitments. Finding the right workouts for your lifestyle can help make staying fit easier and more enjoyable.

Low-Impact Exercises for Busy Moms

Low-impact exercises are ideal for busy moms who want to stay in shape without putting too much strain on their bodies.

Walking or jogging around the neighborhood with a stroller is a great way to get some fresh air while getting your heart rate up.

If you have access to a pool, swimming laps is another low-impact activity that provides excellent cardiovascular benefits without stressing your joints. Yoga classes are also perfect for busy moms as they provide both physical and mental benefits in one session.

Quick Workouts to Fit into Your Day

If you’re short on time but still want to squeeze in some exercise during the day, there are plenty of quick workouts that can fit into even the busiest schedule.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating between short bursts of intense activity followed by brief periods of rest – making it possible to get an effective workout done in just 20 minutes or less.

Bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, and crunches don’t require any equipment so they can easily be done at home or even at work if you have access to a private office space.

Incorporating Fun Activities into Your Routine

Exercise doesn’t always have to feel like hard work – incorporating fun activities into your routine will help keep things interesting while providing all sorts of health benefits.

Dancing is a great cardio exercise that allows you to express yourself creatively while burning calories; join a local dance class or put together some moves from YouTube tutorials if classes aren’t available near you.

But even just a daily dance party with your kids can work!

Playing sports with friends or family members is another great way not only to stay active but also to spend quality time together; try joining an adult soccer league or pick up basketball games at your local park on weekends.

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Key Takeaway: Staying active doesn’t have to be a chore – incorporating fun activities such as walking, swimming, yoga classes, HIIT workouts and dancing into your routine can help keep things interesting while providing all sorts of health benefits.

Sticking to Your Plan

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

When it comes to sticking to a workout plan, setting realistic goals and expectations is key.

It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise. Start small by committing to just 10 minutes of physical activity each day and gradually increase the amount as you become more comfortable with your routine.

Don’t forget that consistency is key – even if it means doing something simple like taking a walk around the block or stretching for five minutes before bedtime.

Making Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine

The best way to make sure you stick with your workout plan is by making exercise part of your daily routine.

Schedule time for workouts in advance so that they don’t get pushed aside when other tasks arise throughout the day. If possible, try exercising at the same time every day so that it becomes second nature over time.

Additionally, find ways to incorporate physical activity into everyday activities such as walking or biking instead of driving whenever possible or taking breaks from work during lunchtime for a quick jog around the neighborhood.

Keeping Yourself Motivated and Accountable

Busy moms often struggle to find time to exercise, but it is important to prioritize physical activity for both physical and mental health.

One way to stay accountable is to set realistic goals and track progress. For example, a mom could commit to exercising three times a week for 30 minutes each session. She can then track her progress in a journal or on an app like MyFitnessPal – get the free version for iOS or Android by clicking those links.

Additionally, she can join an online community of other busy moms who are also trying to stay active.

This can provide motivation and support when it’s hard to stay on track. Finally, she can reward herself for reaching her goals with something special like a massage or new workout clothes. By setting achievable goals and rewarding herself for progress, busy moms can stay accountable and make exercise part of their regular routine.

Key Takeaway: Staying motivated and accountable when it comes to sticking with a workout plan is essential. Here are some tips: – Set realistic goals and expectations – Make exercise part of your daily routine – Incorporate physical activity into everyday activities – Schedule time for workouts in advance

Maximizing Results with Quality Time and Rest Days

Taking Advantage of Quality Time with Family and Friends to Exercise Together:

Taking advantage of quality time with family and friends is a great way to get in some exercise. You can go for walks together, have a dance party, or even play tag. It’s also an opportunity to talk about healthy habits while having fun. This type of activity not only helps you stay active but also strengthens your relationships with those around you.

Allowing Yourself Rest Days to Recharge and Refocus:

It’s important to give yourself rest days so that your body has time to recover from workouts.

On these days, take the opportunity to do something relaxing like yoga or meditation which will help clear your mind and recharge your energy levels. Doing this regularly will help keep you motivated on the days when you are exercising more intensely.

When it comes time for a workout, make sure that you focus on form over speed or intensity level so that each movement is done correctly and safely.

If possible, try varying up your routine by doing different exercises each day as this will help keep things interesting and prevent boredom from setting in too quickly. Finally, don’t forget about stretching before and after every session; this helps reduce muscle soreness afterward as well as improve flexibility over time.

How Often Should a Stay-at-Home Mom Exercise?

Exercising regularly is important for everyone, including stay-at-home moms. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and keep the body healthy. But how often should a stay-at-home mom exercise?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. This could include activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling.

For stay-at-home moms who have a small amount of free time, this could be broken up into smaller chunks of 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day.

Strength training is also important for overall health and fitness.

Aim for two to three days per week of strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, and planks. These exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment or even with no equipment at all. And a cheap set of resistance bands like these on Amazon might be all you need.

Finally, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough rest and recovery time between workouts.

This will help ensure that your body has time to repair itself and prevent injury or burnout. Aim for at least one full day off from exercise each week and make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night.

Overall, stay-at-home moms should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week along with two to three days of strength training exercises. Make sure you’re also taking time off from exercise the next day after, and getting enough rest so that your body can recover properly between workouts.

But try and have a daily schedule where you do the same things, even if you have to shorten the amount of time you have available. If you have a routine, it becomes a habit. Then it naturally becomes part of your day and will be less likely to fall by the wayside.

At the end of the day, a great workout doesn’t have to take hours a day for you to see the benefits. And even a little time a couple days a week is better than not doing anything at all.

What is the Best Time of Day for a SAHM to Workout?

Finding time for exercise is important for stay-at-home moms.

Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mental and physical health, and provide a sense of accomplishment. The best time to exercise depends on the individual’s lifestyle and schedule.

For example, if mornings are less hectic in the household then that may be an ideal time to fit in a workout.

Alternatively, some moms may prefer working out after their children have gone to bed or during nap times throughout the day. Ultimately, it is important for stay-at-home moms to find what works best for them so they can prioritize their own health and well-being while still taking care of their family’s needs.

What is a Good 5-Day Workout Routine at Home?

Day 1: Start with a warm-up of jogging in place for 3 minutes. Then do bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks for 30 seconds each. Finish off with a cool down of stretching your arms, legs, and torso for 2 minutes.

Day 2: Begin with a 5-minute jog followed by burpees, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers for 30 seconds each. End the workout with some core exercises like crunches or sit-ups for 1 minute. Cool down again by stretching your muscles after this session.

Day 3: Warm up first by doing arm circles and leg swings to get the blood flowing before starting on an aerobic routine like running stairs or skipping rope for 10 minutes straight. Follow that up with dumbbells curls and shoulder presses to work out your upper body muscles then finish off with some abdominal crunches or planks to strengthen your core muscles.

Day 4: Start off today’s workout session by doing yoga poses such as sun salutations or warrior pose which will help you stretch out all parts of your body while also providing strength training benefits at the same time. Afterward, do some dynamic stretches like high knees or butt kicks to increase flexibility further before ending it all off with some light cardio activities such as walking around the block or riding a stationary bike indoors if you have one available at home.

Day 5: On this last day of working out at home focus on increasing muscular endurance through resistance band exercises like bicep curls, triceps extensions, and lateral raises which can be done without any equipment whatsoever. Once you are done make sure to end things properly by taking part in deep breathing exercises that will help relax both mind & body while also allowing them time to recover from these past few days worth of exercise routines.

What is a Good 7-day Workout Schedule?

Day 1: Start with a light warm-up of jogging or walking for 10 minutes. Follow this up with 30 minutes of strength training, focusing on major muscle groups like the chest, back, and legs. Finish off the day with 15 minutes of stretching exercises to help improve flexibility.

Day 2: Begin your workout session by doing 20 minutes of cardio such as running or cycling. After that, perform 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges. End the day with 10 minutes of core work including planks and crunches.

Day 3: Take it easy today by starting off with some yoga poses to relax your muscles and increase mobility in your joints. Then do 20 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) which will get your heart rate up quickly while burning calories efficiently. Finally, finish off the day with some light stretching to cool down properly after an intense workout session.

Day 4: Start out the morning by doing a quick 5-minute jog followed by 25 minutes of strength training targeting different muscle groups each time you exercise them (e.g., arms one day; legs another). Afterward, spend 10-15 mins performing dynamic stretches such as leg swings or arm circles to loosen up tight muscles before cooling down completely at the end of your session..

Day 5: Spend 45 mins on aerobic activities such as swimming, biking, or rowing machine workouts – all great options for getting an effective cardiovascular workout without putting too much strain on joints. Finish off this active rest day by spending 15 mins doing static stretches that target any areas feeling particularly tight from previous days’ workouts (e.g., calves & hamstrings).

Day 6: Do a combination circuit routine consisting of both resistance/strength exercises along with cardio intervals – alternate between sets for maximum efficiency. For example, start out w/push ups then move onto jumping jacks; repeat this pattern throughout the entire workout duration (~30 min total). Make sure you take breaks when needed & stretch afterward so that you don’t feel sore tomorrow.

Day 7: Give yourself a well-deserved break today – no need to overdo it. Instead, focus on recovery methods like foam rolling & massage therapy if available; alternatively, try taking an easy walk around the neighborhood or just relaxing at home watching tv/reading books, etc…

How Do Busy Moms Convince Themselves to Take the Time to Workout?

Busy moms often struggle to find the time to work out. With so many responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. However, taking the time to exercise is important for your physical and mental health.

To convince yourself to take the time to work out, start by setting realistic goals. Make sure you have a plan that fits into your schedule and is achievable. This will help you stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals.

Another way busy moms can motivate themselves to work out is by finding an activity they enjoy. Whether it’s running, yoga, or strength training, find something that you look forward to doing each day. This will make it easier for you to stick with your routine and get the most out of your workouts.

But don’t underestimate the importance of exercising with our friends and SAHMs! These can be your accountability partners and you can collectively keep each other motivated.

Finally, don’t forget about the importance of rest days.

Taking a break from exercise can help you recharge and come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next workout session. Remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of everyone else in your life!

How Does an Out-of-Shape Mom Start an Exercise Routine?

Starting an exercise routine can be intimidating for anyone, especially for a mom who is out of shape. That’s even more true for new moms who may have suffered from postpartum depression and struggle with the motivation to do anything for themselves.

But with the right attitude and a few simple steps, it’s possible to get back into shape and start feeling better.

The first step is to set realistic goals.

It’s important to start small and build up gradually. For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, start with just 10 minutes of walking each day. As you become more comfortable with the routine, you can increase the duration or intensity of your workouts.

Next, find an activity that you enjoy doing.

This could be anything from walking or jogging to swimming or cycling. If you’re not sure what type of exercise is best for you, talk to your doctor or a fitness professional who can help you find something that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Finally, make sure to stay motivated by setting rewards for yourself when you reach certain milestones.

This could be something as simple as buying yourself a new pair of shoes when you reach your goal weight or taking yourself out for dinner after completing a certain number of workouts each week. Having something to look forward to will help keep you motivated and on track with your exercise routine.

By following these steps, an out-of-shape mom can start an exercise routine that will help her get back into shape and feel better about herself. With dedication and consistency, she’ll soon be able to see results and enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity!

What Are the Best Supplements for Busy Moms to Take to Help Support Their Fitness Goals?

Moms are busy people, and it can be hard to find the time to take care of their own health and fitness goals. Fortunately, there are a variety of supplements that can help busy moms support their fitness goals. From protein powders to multivitamins, these supplements can provide the extra boost needed to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle.

Protein Powder

Protein powder is an excellent supplement for busy moms who want to build muscle and burn fat.

Protein helps build muscle, repair tissue, and provide energy for workouts. Whey protein is a popular choice because it is quickly absorbed by the body and contains all nine essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins such as pea or hemp protein are also great options for those who prefer vegan or vegetarian diets.

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Multivitamins are another great supplement for busy moms who want to ensure they’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals they need each day.

Multivitamins provide a wide range of nutrients that may be lacking in the diet due to time constraints or picky eaters in the family. Look for multivitamins that contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene which can help protect against free radical damage caused by exercise or environmental stressors.

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Creatine is another supplement that can help busy moms reach their fitness goals faster.

Creatine helps increase strength and power during workouts by providing energy to muscles during intense exercise sessions. It also helps reduce fatigue so you can push yourself harder during workouts without feeling exhausted afterward.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Finally, omega-3 fatty acids are an important supplement for busy moms who want to support their overall health and wellness goals.

Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body which can help reduce joint pain associated with exercise or everyday activities like carrying children around all day long! They also help improve brain function which is important for multitasking moms who need to stay sharp throughout the day!

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Super Greens Powder

Moms are always looking for ways to stay healthy and energized.

Taking super green powder is a great way to do just that. Super green powder is a supplement made from a blend of nutrient-rich greens, fruits, and vegetables. It provides essential vitamins and minerals that can help moms stay healthy and energized throughout the day.

The most obvious benefit of taking a super green powder is the boost in energy it provides.

The combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants helps to increase energy levels naturally without the need for caffeine or other stimulants. This can be especially helpful for moms who are juggling multiple tasks throughout the day.

Super green powder also helps to support overall health by providing essential nutrients that may be lacking in a mom’s diet.

It contains high levels of fiber, which can help with digestion and weight management. Additionally, it contains antioxidants that can help protect against free radical damage and reduce inflammation in the body. Taking super green powder on a regular basis can help moms maintain their health and vitality over time.

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Of course, I have to add that always check with your doctor, PA, or NP before starting a new supplement regime; especially if you take any other medications regularly.


It’s important to remember that a stay-at-home mom workout schedule is not something you can just set and forget.

It takes dedication, discipline, and commitment to make it work. But with the right plan in place, you can find time for physical activity while still managing your busy schedule as a stay-at-home mom. With some trial and error, you’ll be able to find the best way to fit exercise into your daily routine so that you can maximize results without sacrificing quality time with family or rest days.

Being a SAHM can be incredibly rewarding despite the sacrifices it requires. But you can’t take care of everyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself! So finding balance is the key!

Are you a stay-at-home mom looking for ways to fit in some exercise and keep your family healthy?

With the right workout schedule, you can make sure that everyone is getting their daily dose of physical activity while also balancing other responsibilities. From low-impact activities like yoga and pilates to more intense options like running or weight training, there are plenty of great solutions out there.

Learn how to create an effective plan that works for your lifestyle today!

Of course, I have to add that while I am in shape, am a single-dad to 3 daughters, and ran a martial arts school for 8 years, I am not a nutritionist, personal trainer, or other fitness professional. Always check with your doctor, PA, or NP before starting a new exercise regime. 

Image by mirasidia from Pixabay

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

How Long Does Testosterone Therapy Take to Work?

As an older male, I was looking for something to boost my energy and libido. I decided to try testosterone shots, but wondered how long does it take for testosterone injections to work?

It took approximately 12 weeks to feel the full effects of testosterone replacement therapy injections. But after 6 weeks, there were noticeable improvements and there were minor increases each week in energy, libido (sex drive), muscle mass, and improved sleep which also benefits those same issues.

However, an increase in estrogen levels by week 6 also required a prescription to lower those levels as they were counteracting the increase in testosterone.

I chronicled my journey for the 1st 13 weeks of injections since that was what my doctor told me in terms of how long it would take to feel the effects. And I recap my results after 6 months as well.

And below you can see details of the effects, side effects, and how I felt each week.

At age 57 at the time of starting this writing, I had low testosterone levels. They were 350 the first time they took it and 250 the 2nd time (later in the day).

Testosterone naturally drops throughout the day. Any sex or masturbation can lower that number too. So ideally avoid those before getting your numbers tested.

Bear in mind that diet, supplements, exercise, and quality of sleep all affect how high your testosterone is. Although ironically, low testosterone can significantly disrupt your sleep.

But I had been seeing inconsistency with my erection (not sex drive) for years. I bet my struggles with occasional erectile dysfunction started around age 40 after a bad sinus infection that took a year to properly diagnose and treat.

Of course, there are some medical conditions that can cause ED; it’s not just getting older. When in doubt, always talk to your doctor.

I would often take a small amount of viagra to help. But I don’t like the flushing and dull headache that came with that. Plus sometimes the need comes up faster than that works. So that was why I sought out testosterone injections.

I wanted to look at not only erections but also other factors supposedly influenced by a higher testosterone level.

Week-by-week improvements

Week 1

  • Morning Wood –Fairly consistent if I got at least 5-6 hours of sleep
  • Weight – 204
  • Energy level – Normal
  • Erection firmness – 75%
  • Sleep quality – 60% (no trouble falling asleep, but waking up a few times during the night)
  • Testosterone levels – 350 (measured in the morning when they are at their highest)

Week 2

  • Morning Wood – Inconsistent (but so was my sleep and I was fighting off a cold)
  • Weight – 206
  • Energy level – Normal
  • Erection firmness – 80%
  • Sleep quality – 70%
  • Testosterone levels – 250 (measured in the afternoon when they start to wane)

Week 3

  • Morning Wood – Fairly consistent if I got at least 5-6 hours of sleep
  • Weight – 204
  • Energy level – Normal, but I felt a drop later in the week after the shot
  • Erection firmness – 70-80%
  • Sleep quality – 70%

Week 4

  • Morning Wood – Rock solid
  • Weight – 210
  • Energy level – Normal
  • Erection firmness – 80-100%
  • Sleep quality – 70%

Week 5

Note, for week 5, I was gone for spring break with my kids. So I got a 2nd smaller shot at the end of the previous week, and then basically skipped a week. So my next shot was technically my 5th full one but on the 6th week.

  • Morning Wood – Intermittent
  • Weight – 210
  • Energy level – Reduced
  • Erection firmness – 70-80%
  • Sleep quality – 80%

Week 6

I suspected that my estrogen levels (what they call Estradiol) were rising as I honestly felt better at week 3 than at week 6. At the 6 week mark, they automatically do a blood test anyway. Low and behold, I was right. My estrogen levels were elevated. They had warned me of this possibility.

They said that because the body was having the testosterone levels artificially raised, sometimes the body fights back by raising estrogen levels.

Luckily, they just prescribe a once-a-week pill to fight that. So 3 days after my 6th official shot, I took my first pill.

  • Morning Wood – Better
  • Weight – 210
  • Energy level – Flat
  • Erection firmness – 80-90%
  • Sleep quality – 80%
  • Testosterone levels – 636 (had been as low as 250, and the ideal is 827)
  • Estradiol (estrogen) levels – 47 (should be at or below 39)

So my results here are not from the day of the shot, but rather from Thursday (the shot was on Monday). I still want more, so we’ll see how I feel next week after the estrogen levels hopefully subside a little.

Week 7

  • Morning Wood – Good as long as I got at least 6 hours of sleep
  • Weight – 200
  • Energy level – Flat
  • Erection firmness – 80-90%
  • Sleep quality – 80%

Full disclosure; I did have sex once this week (first date, too), and was able to perform well. Maybe not 100%, but definitely better than before.

I did notice my man-boobs had shrunk some, probably due to the estrogen-blocker I had taken the week before.

Week 8

  • Morning Wood – Very strong as long as I got at least 6 hours of sleep
  • Weight – 198
  • Energy level – Good
  • Erection firmness – 90%
  • Sleep quality – 80%

Man-boobs are all but gone.

I also had sex once at the end of this week. As with the previous time, I was able to get and maintain an erection but not as fully as I would ultimately like.

So I am definitely happy with my results so far, but am hoping for more improvements.

Week 9

  • Morning Wood – Very strong as long as I got at least 6 hours of sleep
  • Weight – 200
  • Energy level – Good
  • Erection firmness – 90%
  • Sleep quality – 80%

Overall I’m still hoping for more improvements and my doctor indicated she thought my testosterone levels would eventually get to around 800. At their lowest (at least measured), they were 250, and the last check was 636.

At my age, it’s worth pointing out that my erections are less consistent later in the day or evening. And if I’ve had 2 or more alcoholic drinks in a relatively short period of time, that does have a negative impact too.

The irony is that an early afternoon coffee or energy drink does help with performance later in the day, but also can negatively impact sleep quality (which in turn can impact erections). So it’s a delicate balance.

At one point prior to discovering testosterone replacement therapy, I was taking a lot of supplements to try and boost my testosterone naturally.

Since I never got measured, I have no idea if those had a positive impact or not. But I am considering continuing to take the following in addition to continuing with my weekly shots.

These are all from Amazon, so click the link to see the current price on Amazon:

I did a LOT of research before ordering those products (I’ve used all of them for months, but had stopped re-ordering when I started the shots). They are all quality products, usually with thousands of excellent reviews.

Some of those have even been touted by Joe Rogan.

Week 10

  • Morning Wood – Weak the day I got the shot
  • Weight – 195
  • Energy level – Good
  • Erection firmness – 70%
  • Sleep quality – 80%

In general, I’ve found that the TRT shot hits a day or 2 after I get it, but by the day of my next shot, the effectiveness has worn off some.

Of course, sleep, water, diet, stress, and exercise impact it too. Allergies (which are bad right now) also impact it.

I’ve also noticed that if I take my estrogen blocker pill every 5-6 days instead of every 7 days, I see an improvement. But of course, never do anything that differs from what your doctor is telling you to do.

Week 11

  • Morning Wood – solid
  • Weight – 195
  • Energy level – Good
  • Erection firmness – 90%
  • Sleep quality – 85%

Week 12

    • Morning Wood – solid
    • Weight – 195
    • Energy levels – Good
    • Erection firmness – 90%
    • Sleep quality – 85%

I get my 3rd blood test next week, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results. Overall I’m happy but want more. I’m guessing my testosterone is still in the 600s and the 800s would be better. I also feel like my estrogen levels are probably still on the high side.

We’ll see.

Week 13 – Cancer scare!

Unfortunately at this point, I had to temporarily stop TRT shots as my PSA levels were elevated.

What does that mean? I didn’t know either. My doctor explained that it is a measurement of my prostate and that it indicated the possibility of an enlarged prostate and which could mean cancer.

Now to be sure, TRT does not cause prostate cancer. After all, testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone.

So I was referred to a urologist who conducted their own test and also confirmed high levels. At that point, I was given the choice was waiting and being tested every few weeks for a couple of months (with the TRT shots on hold), or doing a prostate biopsy.

I opted for the biopsy as it could get me answers a lot quicker (very helpful I thought if it was cancer). Plus, since I now had a girlfriend, I didn’t want to give up the TRT shots indefinitely.

So I had the biopsy done the following week and then waited 1 more week for the results.

The biopsy itself is an outpatient procedure with no anesthesia needed. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world (basically felt like someone put a staple gun up my butt and fired 12 times).

Luckily the biopsy showed no cancer and I was approved (after 3 weeks off) to resume TRT.

I will also add that PSA numbers get elevated anytime you orgasm and none of the doctors I spoke to told me this (good old Google). But they did confirm it when I asked. (source)

And in all cases, the night before my blood tests after starting shots, I had been having sex. So now I wait to have sex (or masturbate) until after my blood draw so that it’s more accurate.

6 months after starting TRT

At this point, the 3-week break for the prostate scare aside, I’ve been doing TRT hormone therapy shots for almost 6 months. I started with 200mg shots which they eventually brought down to 140mg.

Now, after my most recent blood work (which the TRT office does every 3 weeks), they upped the amount of testosterone to 160mg.

Here are my current numbers:

Testing for Starting Level 6 Month Level
Testosterone 349 659
Estrogen (estradiol) 47 19 (normal range under 39)
PSA (prostate) 2.00 6.09 (ideally under 4)

So as you can see, so far my testosterone hormone levels have increased by 89% (and remember one test showed them as low as 250). But ideally, I would get my normal levels of testosterone up to around 800.

Estrogen levels (which block the effects of testosterone) have decreased by 60%, while my PSA levels have increased by 205%.

I will have follow-up checks with my urologist to keep an eye on my prostate and make sure my elevated numbers aren’t a sign of something more serious.

But for now, they do not appear to be.

Frequently Asked Common Questions

Where do they give you the TRT shots?

The TRT injection site is in the butt cheeks. They did the right cheek 1 week and the left cheek the next. This required undoing my belt and lowering my pants and underwear slightly. But I was not naked.

I assume they do the injections in the butt so they aren’t giving you needle marks in the arm.

Do TRT shots hurt?

Not any more than any other shot. It’s quick (1-2 seconds), and the needle was normal-sized.

Did you feel any side effects from TRT shots?

On my second shot, I did feel a little “off” the whole day.

But I was also fighting off a cold and it was a stressful week since my divorce was being finalized and I was shuttling 2 of my kids to multiple dental and doctor appointments.

But what I felt was a dull headache, not unlike allergy sinus headaches.

I did not feel that when I woke up the next morning. Overall, I did not feel much out of the ordinary the rest of the time, and my vitals were always good when they took them at the clinic.

How many TRT shots does it take to feel the effects?

I did not notice any noticeable changes after the first 2 shots, although I was fighting off a cold those weeks.

However, after the 3rd shot, I did begin to feel an increase in my libido and a much stronger desire to masturbate (like when I was a teenager).

By the end of the 3rd week though, I could feel my energy wane and my erections were less consistent. After the 4th shot, however, that shot up quite a bit.

I do definitely get the sense though that you need to be consistent with getting the shots every week in order to maintain the benefit. But overall, my sexual function, quality of life, and sex life have all dramatically improved and for me, outweigh the potential risks.

How much do TRT shots cost?

The place I went, Total Care Primary Care, had a monthly program for about $225/month which included all shots and a blood test every 6 weeks to monitor levels. This was the price of not using insurance.

When I asked about insurance, it sounded like it would be the same or higher, but I would have paid my co-pay per visit as opposed to $250 at the start of each month.

So I went for their monthly program price.

How do they do TRT shots if you are gone on vacation?

My clinic told me to always let them know if I was going to be gone for a week or more.

Now if you’re gone for 2 or more weeks it could be worth finding a clinic where you are going to get shots as otherwise, I would expect your testosterone levels to drop.

But for a 1-week vacation, my clinic had me get my normal shot at the start of the week and then come back on Friday for a smaller shot to make up for the missing week about to happen.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Probably these are obvious which is why you Googled it and found my article. But here are the most common symptoms of ED or low-T:

  • Low sex drive (less desire to have sex)
  • Erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection)
  • Depression
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor memory
  • Tire easily
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Lower muscle mass
  • Weight gain

Is TRT the same as getting anabolic steroids?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is not the same as taking anabolic steroids.

While steroids do use testosterone, the amount is different as is the end goal. TRT aims at treating the symptoms of low libido. By comparison, anabolic steroids contain significantly larger amounts of testosterone to build muscle fast and easily.

Of course, it should go without saying that you should never combine the two as it could result in dangerously high levels of testosterone.

When in doubt, talk to your doctor.

Does TRT affect your blood pressure?

My doctor checks my vitals with every shot (weekly). They check my blood pressure, oxygen levels (the finger clip device), temperature, and my weight.

I have never in my life had high blood pressure, and the TRT shots have not caused that to increase whatsoever.

However, TRT can increase estrogen (what they call estradiol) levels and increased estradiol can cause high blood pressure. Luckily, my doctor with their regular checks prescribed Anastrozole to keep my estradiol levels from increasing. Increased estradiol levels will also slow or stop the benefits of the TRT in the first place.


Can TRT cause heart disease or increase the risk of a heart attack?

The FDA states that TRT “may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.” However, most studies like this one, have found that “higher levels of T are not associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism”. (source)

That same study goes on to conclude:

“There is no credible evidence at this time that testosterone therapy increases cardiovascular risk, but there is substantial evidence that it does not.”

So talk to your medical provider. If you engage in other behaviors that affect heart health (smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet), you may want to change those before starting TRT.

Are TRT shots the only option for low-T?

No. Aside from shots, they can also do testosterone pellets (which get inserted under the skin), or pills.

My doctor talked to me about the pros and cons of each, and I opted for a weekly shot. I didn’t like the idea of the pellets because they have to make an incision and insert them into the skin. But the plus of that is you only have to go in about every 4 months.

There are also patches and creams.

But for me, I can pop into my doctor’s office weekly, no appointment needed, and I’m in and out in under 5 minutes. Quick, easy, and painless.

Does TRT cause a high red blood cell count?

Testosterone replacement therapy can sometimes cause an increase in red blood cells.

For me, this has not been an issue. When men have too many red blood cells it can make the blood thicker. To be fair, my red blood cell count has gone up and my blood has gotten a little thicker.

But my levels are still within the normal tolerance. If they get too high, my doctor might prescribe a blood thinner. But so far, 6 months in, that has not been necessary. (source)

Final thoughts

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the male equivalent of hormone replacement therapy that women sometimes get around menopause. And unfortunately, testosterone deficiency is more and more common among older men.

So am I glad I started the shots?

Absolutely! For older men like myself, prostate scare aside, I have the energy of a much younger man. In the prior 14 months, I’ve dropped 39 pounds, at least 15 pounds of which happened after the TRT shots started. So for me, there are a lot of benefits of testosterone therapy.

My erections aren’t perfect.

I also got my TRT doctor to prescribe generic Viagra (initially for the 3 weeks I wasn’t on TRT, but I still take a couple of 20mg capsules sometimes). But in the past, I wasn’t able to get an erection later in the day without Viagra.

And if I was drinking alcohol, it might not happen at all, even with Viagra.

So the TRT definitely allows me to get and maintain an erection for quite some time. It also seems to have the side effect of allowing me to delay orgasm so I can go longer.

I’m glad I started and I don’t plan to stop. For me, testosterone treatment was a very good idea. Curious? The first step is to talk to a doctor today and come up with a treatment plan!

Image by JR from Pixabay

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

How to Cure Sleep Apnea Naturally at Home Without CPAP

sleep apnea cures without a CPAP someone sleeping in a bed in front of a yellow wall, feet sticking out on the end Middle Class Dad

There’s nothing worse than getting a bad night’s sleep and for people suffering from sleep apnea, it’s even harder. While many sleep apnea sufferers rely on a CPAP machine to sleep better, I wondered how to cure sleep apnea naturally at home without CPAP.

Sleep Apnea Cures Without a CPAP include positional sleep therapy, losing weight, learning yogic breathing techniques, acupuncture, herbal remedies, giving up tobacco and alcohol, learning how to play a wind instrument and meditation.

Sleep apnea affects upwards of 4% of the population and impacts people of all ages.  As we age, sleep apnea starts to affect more and more of the population as much as 20% of those over age 60.

If you experience bouts of uneven breathing that disturbs your sleep during the night or get complaints regarding your frequent loud snoring or wake up with dry mouth or a sore throat, then you just might have sleep apnea.

According to Sleep Standards, inadequate oxygen your body receives can have adverse long-term effects on your health and well-being such as stroke, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

A CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) is most often used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It involves sleeping with a hose and mask or nosepiece to help you breathe better as you sleep.

The good news is you don’t have to suffer and there are alternatives to wearing a CPAP.

In this post, we’ll get into more about what sleep apnea is as well as treatment options. But we’ll also get into sleep apnea cures without a CPAP. That way you can sleep and breathe easier without being uncomfortably attached to a machine.

Co-authored with Adam Bown, sleep apnea expert over at

What is sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea?

Apnea is a Greek word which means “without breath”.

Sleep apnea simply means “sleeping without breathing”. It is a sleep disorder and it repeatedly interrupts sleep and breathing.

The main types of sleep apnea are:

  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • central sleep apnea
  • complex sleep apnea syndrome

Research data suggests that about half the population of people suffering from sleep apnea are overweight, therefore anyone can have sleep apnea.

But weight loss has been shown to have a positive impact on obstructive sleep apnea in studies done by the National Institutes of Health.

Can Sleep Apnea be cured naturally?

Officially there is not a cure for obsturctive sleep apnea.

What CPAP and other treatments can do is to help sufferers manage their symptoms so that the disruption to sleep is minimal.

It may take trying a number of different treatments to find ones that work best for you, and most likely it will be a combination of treatments that have the best effect rather than just one.

So here, we’re reviewing the most effective ways of managing sleep apnea symptoms using all-natural treatements and techniques.

13 Proven Sleep Apnea Cures Without a CPAP

1. Positional Sleeping Therapy

Your body position during sleep does have considerable effects on sleep apnea.

This therapy is consequently a behavioral strategy used to cure sleep apnea. It is recommended that you sleep on your side as opposed to your back if you have mild sleep apnea.

When sleeping on your back, pressure is exerted on your airway but sleeping on your side will ensure that your throat is open and this makes it easier to breathe.

Pillow height and setting your mattress at an incline are two other major ways to enhance sleep hygiene.

You want to raise your head level, so you can add a few books or blankets under your pillow. You can also add one or two extra pillows to raise your head level to help keep your airways open.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that (head of bed elevation) “significantly improves OSA severity without interfering in sleep architecture and therefore is a simple alternative treatment to (improve) OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).”

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2. The proven power of sleep hygiene

Proper sleep will go a long way in curing sleep apnea disorder.

Sleep hygiene is a phrase used to describe different practices and habits which make the list of sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

Also, make sure the bedroom isn’t too hot or too cold and that you avoid screen technology for as much as an hour before bedtime. Research from Harvard shows the blue light emitted by many electronic devices tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. The result is that melatonin is suppressed and the teenager doesn’t feel sleepy.

Beyond that, make sure to get an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed; not too much or little.

Other good sleep hygiene practices include:

  • No more than 30 minutes of nap time each day – Short naps of up to 30 minutes can improve mental clarity. But naps do not make up for improper sleep the night before.
  • Exercise daily (but not right before bedtime) –  Just a few minutes each day of walking, bicycling or other aerobic exercises can have a big impact on sleep quality. Just avoid any strenuous exercise right before bedtime.
  • Get plenty of sunshine each day –  Vitamin D, which we get from the sun, is essential for our bodies.
  • No alcohol or tobacco within an hour of bedtime –  Alcohol, and tobacco are stimulants. Therefore you should avoid them right before bedtime as they can impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
  • Have a regular and relaxing bedtime routine – Warm showers, good conversation or your favorite book are great ways to slow down your body from a busy day and get relaxed as we prepare for sleep.
  • Avoid rich or acidic foods right before bedtime –  A big meal filled with rich, fried, fatty or acidic foods can induce heartburn or indigestion. Therefore to ensure it doesn’t disrupt our sleep, avoid these kinds of meals right before bedtime.

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3. Weight Loss

Excess weight is a major cause of diverse health issues, sleep apnea included.

While not all sufferers of sleep apnea are overweight, about 50% of those with it are. According to an extensive study by the National Institutes of Health, “Obesity is considered a major risk factor for the development and progression of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). The prevalence of OSA in obese or severely obese patients is nearly twice that of normal-weight adults.”

Carrying excess weight adds fatty deposits in and around your airways subsequently subjecting your breathing muscles to more pressure, especially when you sleep.

Losing weight is one of the very best of the sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

The good news is that doesn’t have to mean starving yourself, hours at the gym each day or giving up everything you love. Take a moment and review my Flat Belly After 40 Tips (click to see my article to check them all out) to see just how easy losing weight permanently could be.

4. Yoga Breathing Exercises

These simple breathing exercises will not only help to strengthen, calm and relax your body but also to improve your breathing (click to see my article which guides you step-by-step) at the same time.

The Pranayama technique is utilized to help improve your lung capacity and the amount of oxygen in your body as well.

Increased oxygen equates to less disruption and snoring. For the best results, try these breathing exercises each night for just a few minutes.

5. Herbal Treatments

These natural ingredients are readily available, safer, less invasive and healthier than the prevalent chemical or artificial sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

Lavender is a soothing herb you can spray on bedsheets, drink in the form of tea or use its oil on the skin.

Over the years, herbal teas have been used to ensure quality refreshing sleep.

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6. Acupuncture Therapy

According to a research study by the US National Library of Medicine, acupuncture has been shown to be one of the best sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

It works by stimulating the muscles of the upper airways, which usually collapse due to sleep apnea.

There is little to no pain associated with this process and if you are uncomfortable with needles you can request for acupressure instead. A licensed acupuncturist should be consulted for this therapy.

Find an acupuncturist near you through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

7. Lifestyle Changes (smoking & alcohol)

It goes without saying that smoking does more harm than good to your health.

It could lead to cancer or adversely affect your heart.

Smoking induces sleep apnea by causing inflammation and fluid retention in your chest, throat and upper airway.

While a little alcohol is not harmful, excess alcohol can cause the muscles of your throat to relax, consequently leading to sleep apnea.

Quitting your smoking and limiting alcohol can certainly help sleep apnea without CPAP.

The proven power of better air quality

It doesn’t do much good to talk about sleep apnea cures without a CPAP and breathing better without a quick mention of the huge benefits of HEPA air filters.

A HEPA Air Filter traps harmful particles like pollen, pet dander, pet hair, mold spores, dust mites & tobacco smoke. But it also traps allergens and other solid particles. If you suffer from allergies you may well see relief on that front too.

So check out all the benefits you could see from adding a HEPA Air Filter (click to see my article of top picks) in your house.

8. The best foods to improve sleep quality

The phrase, ‘you are what you eat’ is more than justified by the fact that your health is a reflection of what you eat.

Besides helping to maintain proper weight, some foods ensure that your airways are better kept open thereby allowing you to get proper sleep.

According to another recent study by the National Institutes of Health, the best foods to help improve sleep quality are:

  • Almonds & Walnuts
  • Turkey
  • Kiwi
  • Chamomile or Passionflower Tea
  • Cherry Juice
  • Seafood
  • White Rice

While you’re at it, you can also focus on foods to lower your cholesterol too (click to read my top ways). My article details my own journey in lowering my cholesterol without medication.

9. Hypnosis

Hypnosis is another surprising sleep apnea cures without a CPAP

This is a method that helps to improve your subconscious mind-body functions. Researcher & Professor Bjorn Rasch of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland has stated that “hypnosis can be a good thing for promoting sleep”.

Hypnotic self-help CDs for sleep apnea are used when you go to bed to ensure you have a restful sleep.

These CDs teach you methods to regulate your breathing pattern, breathe without blockages, improve your respiratory muscles and wake up with vigor.

Sleep expert Paul McKenna has been featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, CBS’s The Early Show, Rachael Ray and more talking about his groundbreaking techniques to help improve sleep.

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10. Meditation

Meditation is a technique that helps you to focus your thoughts on controlling your breathing.

This procedure helps prepare your mind for a peaceful sleep while also improving your breathing capacity. While some practitioners meditate for long periods of time, start with just 5-10 minutes before bedtime each night.

Find a quiet place & sit cross-legged. Focus on your breath, breathing in slowly through the nose & out through the mouth. Also, keep a strong and upright posture with the crown of your head pointing to the sky.

To dive deeper into how to meditate and the proven benefits it has, check out the Middle Class Dad Meditation post on Lifehack.

11. Playing a Wind Instrument

Believe it or not, the Didgeridoo, a wind instrument, has been proven to be one of the sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

The didgeridoo is a new and unconventional means of curing sleep apnea. A recent study published by the British Medical Journal shows that the symptoms of sleep apnea “improved significantly” from the use of the didgeridoo.

This method entails inhaling air via your nose while exhaling through your mouth with your tongue and cheeks.

The vibration of your lips produces the droning beat specific to the didgeridoo. Playing this instrument regularly helps treat sleep apnea and it’s terrible symptoms.

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12. Sleeping on the floor

In recent times, studies have shown that there’s a quantifiable improvement in sleep apnea when you resort to sleeping on the floor.

This is basically because there’s little deformation in your body since you’re sleeping on a straight and less cushioning surface, so your body structure is preserved to allow air to easily flow through your respiratory system. Read more here

Ideally, you can use a floor mattress to sleep. This will help aid your sleep apnea.

13. Sleep Apnea Surgery

It’s not only alternative treatments that help with sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

Several surgeries exist to combat the problem of sleep apnea.

UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), was developed 25 years ago and has become the most commonly performed surgery for sleep apnea. The procedure removes excess tissue from the soft palate & pharynx. A tonsillectomy is typically performed at the same time.

You might want to consult with your doctor in order to decide which procedure would be best for you.

While certainly necessary in some cases, it would certainly be one of the last sleep apnea cures without a CPAP I would try.

What happens if you have sleep apnea and don’t use CPAP?

There are lots of reasons a sleep apnea sufferer might want to temporarily stop using their CPAP.

Those include:

  • Going on vacation (and not wanting to bring it)
  • Camping
  • Having a cold and being too congested
  • Just wanting a night off from wearing it

But for someone new to using CPAP, you might be really concerned about what happens with your obstructive sleep apnea if you don’t use CPAP 1 or more nights.

Unlike some medical devices, however, CPAP’s benefits can linger even without immediate use.

CPAP works by reducing the swelling in the airways in the nose and throat. If you’ve been using a CPAP for a while, those areas have probably gone way down in swelling. So the good news is they won’t immediately swell back up just from a temporary stopping of the CPAP treatment.

In fact, it will most likely take several days before your obstructive sleep apnea causes the swelling to return fully.

Has anyone ever died from sleep apnea?

Yes is the short answer. In fact, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) is probably the most famous example of someone to officially die from obstructive sleep apnea.

Now that being said, it’s unclear if she was currently seeking treatment at the time of her death or what other risk factors may have been at play given her history drug abuse.

Buy beyond Fisher, people with severe sleep apnea have 3 times the risk of dying compared to people without sleep apnea, according to an extensive study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

In fact, their study ran for 18 years and looked at 1,522 people.

They found that 19% of the people in the study who had severe obstructive sleep apnea died during the 18 years compared to only 4% of study participants who did not have any sleep apnea.

So if you have or suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself and your family to get properly diagnosed and come up with a treatment plan with your doctor.

Can sleep apnea go away by itself?

No is the short answer.

Sleep apnea is considered a chronic condition that does not naturally just go away by itself. That being said, aside from some of these natural treatments and remedies, for kids with sleep apnea, ask your doctor about both a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

Both of those relatively minor procedures have been shown to dramatically reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea and greatly improve the quality of sleep.

Once kids go through puberty, and also adults, the options for treatment increase.

The jaw advancement surgery is a procedure that is considered the most successful, as it has a fantastic 80% success rate.

It does involve surgery where the jawbones are broken, moved, and then held in place with screws. It also changes the look of your face. So it’s not a procedure for everyone or to go into without significant consideration.

But if you’re looking for a permanent solution to obstructive sleep apnea without the use of CPAP, talk to your doctor about this procedure.

Can CPAP cure sleep apnea?

CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”.

It is a type of therapy that applies mild air pressure to a person’s upper airway to keep their airway open in order to ensure that they breathe normally while sleeping. This is achieved with the aid of a pump and a mask.

Most people who use a CPAP machine do find fast relief from the symptoms of sleep apnea, but it is not a cure.

A cure would mean eliminating the issue. Instead, CPAP users continue to wear the mask nightly to help ensure proper sleep. Most CPAP users do report an increase in energy and alertness during the day.

Side effects are usually minor but can include headaches, nasal congestion, sore eyes, and bloating in the abdomen. Most people become accustomed to CPAP machines in anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Over 50% of patients using a CPAP continue treatment ongoing.

If you’re not using CPAP therapy yet but you want to try it, consult your health-care provider to know if it’s a good treatment option for you. Moreover, a CPAP machine also requires a prescription to buy. Your health-care provider can help you choose the CPAP machine and mask most suited for your specific situation.

However, many people find it difficult to cope with CPAP.

Some of the issues with the CPAP method of treatment are:

  • CPAP machines are loud
  • The masks can irritate the skin
  • They require a significant amount of maintenance
  • Patients often find it uncomfortable sleeping with CPAP

Final Thoughts

In this post, we reviewed the challenges of sleep apnea and specifically sleep apnea cures without a CPAP.

After a hard day’s work, sound sleep is required in order to regain lost strength but this becomes an uphill task when you have to battle with sleep apnea.

It is therefore up to you to decide on the best methods to use in order to take charge of your life.

Any tips, suggestions or questions on sleep apnea cures without a CPAP? Feel free to comment here, email me or reach out to Adam directly at his website below.

About the co-author of this post.

Adam Bown is a researcher of Mattress and Sleep products and a sleep apnea expert. He publishes all his research on He is a family man and loves to pass time with his wife and son. In addition, he also loves to travel, hang out with positive people when he finds the time!

Of course I have to add that neither Adam nor I are doctors or health practitioners. Like all the posts on Middle Class Dad, the opinions here are based on our own experience, observations, and research. If you need a medical professional you should seek out one in your area.

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

27 Amazing Flat Belly After 40 Tips (that really work!)

flat belly after 40 a think woman with her shirt partially lifted up in jeans that are several sizes too large Middle Class Dad

I think you’ll agree with me when I tell you that as you get older, it gets harder and harder to keep those extra pounds off and get or keep a flat belly after 40.

To get a flatter, leaner, belly as we get older, do less cardio & more high-intensity weight lifting, track goals weekly, reduce the quantity of food you eat & avoid low-fat foods, sodas & artificial sweeteners and drink at least 1/2 gallon of water daily.

But there are a LOT more tips to get into to help shrink your belly fat.

I eat healthily, exercise regularly, and still struggle to be the weight I’d like to be. So I decided to dig in and figure out exactly what I need to do to slim down and tone my belly

So in this post, we’re diving deep into exactly what aspects of diet, nutrition, and exercise will work best to help us achieve a flat belly after 40.

Being over 40 and a martial artist who trains throughout the week, I can attest that it is challenging to lose belly fat as we age. So, these are my best tips!

Does metabolism slow at 40?

In our twenties, we can seemingly eat and drink whatever we want and many of us stay rail-thin. But once 30 rolls around those same exercises and dietary habits just don’t seem to work as well anymore.

Metabolism is simply the rate at which your body burns calories, and it’s a common scapegoat for older people who can’t quite seem to shed the pounds.

In truth, while it does slow down a little bit, it only drops about 5% per decade after 40 according to WebMD. Your metabolic resting rate is how many calories your body burns when not engaged in physical activity.

For many 40-year-olds, that might be 1,200 calories a day. But as you hit 50, it drops to 1,140. So what that tells us is that metabolism isn’t really the culprit in trying to get a flat belly after 40.

So a better strategy would be to simply cut 100 calories a day once you hit 40 and then an additional 100 calories a day for each decade to come. That’s if you simply wanted to maintain your current weight without making any other changes to your diet or exercise routine.

What do 100 calories a day look like? Any of the following:

  • 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1/3 of an avocado
  • 2 cookies
  • 4 tablespoons of hummus
  • 12 potato chips

As you can see, you could cut 100 calories a day pretty easily just eliminating any of those things.

How can I boost my metabolism after 40?

If you’ve acknowledged that metabolism only drops 5% a decade once you hit 40 but you still want to improve it to works towards that flat belly, here are some of the best tips.

  1. Do a detox or cleanse at least once a year – Once we hit 40, it’s not uncommon for our colon and digestive system to be coated with years of buildup. This robs our organs and digestive system of the efficiency it had when we were younger. Eat more fiber and probiotics and cut back on refined sugars and refined carbs. There are also detox teas you can try or do a multi-day master cleanse.
  2. Drink more water – I drink a gallon a day, on average, but even if you only drank half that, I bet it’s probably more than you were drinking. Even 48 oz a day (a gallon is 128 oz), can raise your resting metabolism enough to burn an additional 50 calories/day.
  3. Take a probiotic – Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the lining of your gut and help keep our digestive track clear and running smoothly. While you can find probiotics in kombucha and yogurt, taking a high-quality supplement can help even more.
  4. Have hot water and lemon to start your day – We already covered how water can boost your resting metabolism and lemon also increase metabolism, so just a small glass of hot water with fresh lemon juice every morning, when you wake up, can supercharge your metabolism.
  5. Do some physical movement every day – You don’t have to hit the gym daily or rep out 100 pushups, but movement is life. Stop moving & start dying. So do some type of movement every day, especially if your job is largely at a desk. Take a morning stroll, do some yoga poses, but do something to keep your body loose, limber, and energized.
  6. Drink rooibos tea – Rooibos tea with mint is high in antioxidants and flavonoids and mint acts as a natural digestion aid, so together, they are a great (and easy) way to boost your metabolism.

Why is it hard to lose weight after 40?

As I mentioned above, metabolism does drop about 5% a decade once you hit 40.

But that isn’t the only thing that changes as we age which affects our ability to stay in shape or lose weight. Hormonal changes are happening too with drops in estrogen and pre-menopause changes for women and drops in testosterone for men.

Insulin sensitivity changes also impact the “body(‘s ability) to control the amount of sugar in your blood”, according to Caroline Cederquist, MD. She goes on to say

“This can make your blood sugar levels more prone to spiking and crashing, which can increase your urge to snack—especially on high-carb, sugary junk”.

Remember too that our organs and digestive system are aging just like the lines we see on our face.

Our digestive system has to work a whole lot harder to digest a bagel than it does a green salad, so while you don’t want to completely deprive yourself of the foods you love you do want to put more thought into what you eat and how much of it you eat.

Here are some of the best tips to help you hit your weight loss goals:

  • Cut back on junk food and processed carbs (potato chips, fries, etc)
  • Don’t skip meals (it can cause your metabolism to jump around a lot)
  • Just eat slightly smaller portions of the foods you love
  • Don’t go for fad diets or promises of huge weight loss – losing 1 to 2 lbs a week is the right goal
  • To ramp up your weight loss, cut back about 400 calories a day on your food

Does the keto diet help lose belly fat?

Call it a fad or a trend if you like, or the newer version of the Adkins or South Beach Diet, but there’s no denying that keto is the current diet craze and has been for a few years now.

If you aren’t familiar, the keto diet is short for ketosis. Ketosis is a normal bodily function that happens when our bodies don’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. When that happens, our bodies naturally burn fat instead.

So the keto diet is a low-carb, but often high-fat diet.

But to answer the question, YES, the keto diet is GREAT for losing belly fat.

But don’t take my word for it. Researchers at Johns Hopkins studied 2 groups of people. One group did the keto diet and the other did a low-fat diet.

After 6 months, the keto group lost an average of 10 pounds more than the low-fat group. BUT, the keto group lost considerably less lean muscle tissue than the low-fat group also, which is great.

Losing both fat and muscle is normal with any diet, but the keto group saw much less muscle loss.

But for now, let’s dive into the . . . 

27 Amazing Flat Belly After 40 Tips You Probably Don’t Know!

As we get older, we begin to shed muscle mass. This causes our metabolism to slow down, according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health.

As a result of losing muscle mass and a slowing metabolism, it can become much harder to lose stubborn belly fat.

Luckily, according to that study, “Exercise training and proper nutrition can have dramatic effects on muscle mass and strength (and the associated metabolic alterations). An optimal intervention program may include an exercise-training schedule that incorporates both resistance and aerobic exercise with adequate intake of total calories and protein.”

1. Throw in more veggies!

Almost any meal could stand to have a few more veggies in it.

Grabbing a sub for lunch? Skip that fat-laden meatball sub and grab a turkey with all the veggies. For dinner, it’s quick, easy & cheap to keep various bags of mixed veggies in the freezer and toss in a bit into the skillet or crockpot.

2. Cut back on sugar

Many of us try and be mindful of sugar. Maybe we even eliminate sodas and save sweet treats for special occasions.

But sugar is present in LOTS of things. There can be a ton of it in Chinese food sauces for instance.  Most bottled and canned beverages contain a lot of sugar too. Processed foods at the store can also contain crazy amounts of sugars; even in things you wouldn’t expect.

While you likely can’t eliminate all sugar, knowing that you’re likely consuming a lot of it without even knowing, try not adding sugar to things like coffee or tea.

Liquid stevia or powdered stevia (click the links to see my favorite brands on Amazon) is a great way to get the sweetness of sugar naturally without the insulin spike, calories or nastiness of artificial sweeteners.

3. Find healthy ways to move every day

Movement is life. Many of us, myself included, work behind a desk every day.

It’s also true that many of us spend more time couch surfing and being on screened devices than past generations. All that sedentary behavior can take its toll on our bodies, our flexibility, our muscles and yes, make it hard to get a flat belly after 40.

Don’t want to do a vigorous workout? No problem! Take a 20-minute daily walk, do yoga 3 times a week, but do something.

Movement is the key to health and longevity.

4. Stop counting calories

Seriously. You’ll drive yourself crazy.

Plus who has time for that and how accurate will it be at restaurants anyway? Enjoy life. Enjoy food. Just eat healthy food and a sensible amount.

If you have kids, get them set up for success in the future with my Healthy Eating Habits For Children (click to read on my site). Starting early and preventing those bad habits is far better than trying to fix the problem later!

5. Find effective ways to manage stress

Stress is a killer. There are plenty of studies on how stress can cause us to age prematurely or increase the risk of heart disease or high blood pressure. But under stress, the body produces high levels of the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol controls how much fat gets stored and where it gets stored.

A recent study by University College London showed that when under stress, over time, the increased levels of cortisol can cause people to be significantly overweight.

My solution for managing stress & sleeping better?

Interestingly enough, adding magnesium to my morning routine actually has helped my overall anxiety a considerable amount.

I personally use Natural Calm Magnesium powder (click to check the current price on Amazon Prime) and just add a tablespoon to a large glass of water each morning after I get up.  It’s organic, GMO-free, vegan and gluten-free. They claim, and in my 6 months of using it, I agree that it:

  • Supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong
  • Supports regular blood sugar levels, blood pressure and producing energy
  • Helps fight stress and anxiety

That’s all I have to say about that, but if you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it works for you!

6. Get enough sleep

The National Sleep Foundation, in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated it’s sleep recommendations by age. Here are their recommendations for adults.

flat belly after 40 National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Duration Recommendations Middle Class Dad

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that “if you’re sleep-deprived, your hedonic drive for certain foods gets stronger, and your ability to resist them may be impaired. So you are more likely to eat it. Do that again and again, and you pack on the pounds.”

7. Don’t completely eliminate treats

Do you know what happens when we completely deprive ourselves?

After a while we get frustrated. When we don’t feel that instant gratification of a flat belly after 40 that doesn’t often happen quickly when we eliminate all the things we love, we fall back to our old ways.

We binge. Then we feel guilty. We resolve to try again. We fail again and our self-esteem plummets while our weight skyrockets.

So don’t eat ice cream or cookies every day, but do indulge every once in a while. Give yourself a treat, especially as a reward for hitting a certain goal.

When we don’t feel deprived we stay motivated.

8. Focus less on a diet and more on a lifestyle

Don’t worry about the latest diet book that hit the #1 spot on the NY Times.  Next year someone else will come out with one that tells us why the last one got it all wrong.

Eat better, move more, reduce stress, sleep longer. It really isn’t much more complicated than that.

9. Don’t add salt at the table

We can’t easily control how much salt is in prepackaged foods or foods at restaurants.

However, many of us, without even thinking about it, just add salt at the dinner table. I want you to stop doing this. For one, it’s just a habit. For another, when people salt food before tasting it, they aren’t even adding it because it needs it.

Make no mistake, our bodies need sodium to survive, but too much can cause edema. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues.” Too much sodium can easily lead to an electrolyte imbalance, which can cause both hypertension and edema.

So cut back where you can, but never just add salt to meals at the table.

10. Take a daily omega 3 supplement

According to Healthline, “Fish oil may be most effective at reducing hunger and appetite in healthy people following an effective weight loss diet.” But they also claim that “Fish oil may increase the speed of your metabolism.”

And they end by saying “Fish oil may help increase the number of calories and amount of fat burned during exercise”.

Want the highest rated fish oil capsule on Amazon Prime?

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11. Cut back on milk

No matter what the ads say, according to most experts, milk does NOT do a body good.

Think of it this way. Is there anywhere else in the animal kingdom where 1 species drinks the breast-milk of another species?

No is the answer you’re looking for.

Now, I’m not a vegan and I’m not uber-militant. I like cheese and ice cream too. But if you want a flat belly after 40, you aren’t likely to get it by drinking milk regularly.

But don’t take my word for it. A recent study by Harvard looked at the relationship between dairy intake and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They found that “These results suggest that dairy fat is not an optimal type of fat in our diets.”

They went on to say that “a healthy diet pattern tends to be plant-based and low in saturated fat,”

12. Do less cardio

I know, that doesn’t sound right!

After all, if you’re trying to lose weight or find the perfect anti-dad bod workout plan (click to read my article), surely cardio has to be a big part of that, right?

Our bodies do burn fat as fuel while engaging in lower-intensity workouts (such as cardio).

But, that’s not necessarily what will get us the most weight loss. What counts most is our overall calorie burn.

“The higher the intensity of your workout, the more total calories you will burn,” according to Marta Montenegro, who is a Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition candidate at UNINI MX with a Masters in Science and Physiology with a specialization in cardiac rehabilitation.

“Studies show (doing higher intensity training) you’ll shrink your belly fat faster.”

13. Engage in more resistance or weight training

“Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which both increases your metabolism and decreases fat,” says trainer to the stars Elizabeth Hendrix Burwell, owner of High Performance Gym.

A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that kettlebell exercises can burn up to 20 calories a minute. That’s like running 6 miles a minute!

14. Have a clear goal in mind and track your progress

If you set out on a cross-country road trip without a map or GPS on your phone how would you know where to go?

In fact, would you even set out on a road trip without a destination in mind?

So if you want to be healthier, live longer AND have a flat belly after 40, have a clear, measurable goal. That goal could be to lose 1 lb per week. It could be to go from a pant waist size of 36 down to a 34 in 6 months.

Whatever your goal, make it realistic and achievable. Then measure your progress each week.

Need help setting, planning and tracking your goals?

The Freedom Journal is the Best Daily Planner to Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days!

One of my most-favorite podcast hosts is John Lee Dumas of the podcast EOFire.  He has created an amazing & scientific approach to knocking your goals out of the park!

It’s called the Freedom Journal and on Amazon Prime, it has almost all 5 stars and hundreds of reviews.

CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon and check it out today and see if it can’t help you with your goals, for New Year’s and beyond!

15. Be patient with yourself and this journey

You know we can control in this world?

Not much other than our own actions & reactions.

But even when it comes to weight-loss, we can’t always control where friends or family members want to eat and we also can’t control genetics or the boss stressing us out.

So be patient with yourself and this journey. You WILL get where you want to be. But expect the unexpected. Go with the flow and don’t fight against every unexpected obstacle.

Not only will you be happier, but you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals.

Speaking of goals, whether it’s New Year’s or not, my expert tips on keeping New Year’s Resolutions (click to read on my site) can help you and your goals all year long!

16. Don’t buy low-fat foods

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but avoid packaged foods labeled low-fat.

While it’s true they are typically lower-fat versions of the foods you love, they are often substituting sugars and carbs for the lack of fat.

Thus while you may be consuming a lower quantity of fat, these empty starches are converting to added pounds on your body.

So eat full-fat foods; just a sensible amount and the right foods.

17. Take a vitamin D supplement

Medical News Today recently released a finding that “individuals with higher levels of belly fat and larger waistlines are more likely to have lower vitamin D levels”.

Luckily it’s not hard to get a little extra vitamin D.  The sun you’ll get on walks is a great way to soak in natural vitamin D.

But vitamin D supplements are a great way to beef up your vitamin D as well.

NatureWise Vitamin D3 has an amazing 5000+ reviews on Amazon Prime and almost all are 4 and 5 stars. It’s also an Amazon Best Seller. And it’s under 15 bucks!

CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon!

18. Be kind to yourself

When we’re constantly beating ourselves up over not meeting some predetermined expectations, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

So be kind to yourself. Remember that you are human and like all humans, you will make mistakes.

When we expect the occasional setback and don’t freak out over it, we tend to get over it much more quickly and get back to the business of going for that flat belly after 40.

19. Don’t drink soda, at least not daily

Sodas are either LOADED with sugar. A 16oz can of Coke contains 190 calories and a whopping 52 grams of sugar (104% of your recommended daily allowance). When you consider that many people drink more than 1 a day (or grab the notorious 44oz. Big Gulp), it’s not hard to see that we have a sugar problem in our country.

Treat yourself every now and then if you must, but avoid drinking soda daily if you want to have any hope of a flat belly after 40.

20. Eliminate artificial sweeteners

Love soda and think you can just switch to Diet Coke to shed pounds?

Think again!

Diet Coke (and most other diet sodas and beverages) contain Nutrasweet (aspartame). In a recent study by the Yale Journal of Biology & Medicine, they found that “artificial sweeteners, precisely because they are sweet, encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence.”

They also found that “drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages consistently had higher BMI (body mass index)”.

And that is to say nothing of the studies purporting that aspartame may cause cancer.

Want to be healthy and have a flat belly after 40? Drop artificial sweeteners altogether.

21. Cut way back on processed carbs

Processed carbs include french fries, potato chips and a whole lot more. White bread, white rice, and regular pasta also make the list.

These often lack nutritional value and are high in sodium making them some of the most challenging foods to eat when you’re striving for a flat belly after 40.

So cut back on carbs where it makes sense, but also switch to whole grain bread and pasta as an easy swap. With the right toppings or sauce, you aren’t even likely to notice.

Check out all the 11 foods that Pack on the Pounds you should avoid or cut back on.

22. Eat foods containing Vitamin C

Want to fight stress and eat at the same time? These vitamin C rich foods help combat cortisol  and “reduced indices of stress” according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health:

  • Berries
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Cabbage

23. Remember that ultimately it comes down to calories consumed & calories burned

We try and make diet and weight loss so complicated (especially in the US).

But really, while genetics and age do play roles, it mostly comes down to 2 things:

Calories consumed and calories burned.

Want a flat belly after 40? Either eat less or exercise more (or both).

24. Don’t jump from fad diet to fad diet

Fad diets come and go. Just ask Dr. Atkins or whoever created the South Beach Diet.

To really have a flat belly after 40 and beyond, we need to focus on simply living a healthier life. That means no more fad diets or counting calories.

Focus on eating less, eating healthy and more movement and lowering stress.

Don’t get me wrong. I have friends and family members who have lost weight on the Keto diet and countless others that came before.

But research from UCLA suggests that up to 2/3 of dieters don’t stick with these diets and when they fall off the plan, they often gain back MORE weight than they started with.

UCLA even went so far as to say “dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain.”

25. Drink peppermint tea after dinner

What? It may surprise you, but peppermint tea has amazing gastrointestinal properties.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that peppermint “stimulated bile secretion, decreased total cholesterol level, and increased total bile acid level.” A healthy flow of bile is how your body digests fats.

Also, another study by the National Institutes of Health found that “peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti-tumor actions.” So there are other health benefits too!

Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Herbal Tea is an Amazon Choice product on Amazon Prime. It rates 4.5 stars and well over 600 reviews and at well under $10, it’s an easy way to help hit your flat belly after 40 goals!

CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon.

26. Reduce your screen time

We all love our computers, tablets, and smartphones. I’m sure you’re reading this on one.

But compared to our grandparents, we are much more sedentary today than at any time in the past. Many of us sit at the office, then we sit to and from in the car only to come home and sit some more and veg out in front of our phone or TV.

Then we’re off to bed. Rinse and repeat.

The Mayo Clinic states that “sitting for long periods of time (can lead to) obesity . . . increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.”

They also shockingly found that “those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of death similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”

So engage in movement, often, especially to get that flat belly after 40.

Talk daily walks. At work, get up and move a little every 30 minutes. And that’s to say nothing of how Technology Affects the Brain Negatively (click to read my post).

27. Have a set routine for exercising each week

A set schedule for exercise is a great thing.

We are creatures of habit, so having a set routine is the best way to get with an exercise regime and stick with it.

While you can join a gym, according to USA Today, “the average gym membership costs just under $60 per month, and 67% of memberships go unused. ”

So do something that is easy to work into your schedule, not expensive, and ideally something you won’t look for excuses to talk yourself out of doing it.

Yoga, martial arts or just a daily set of 20 pushups, squats, leg raises, and sit-ups.

Final thoughts

In this post, I took a hard look at belly fat, aging, and some of the medical reasons behind why it can be harder to lose stubborn belly fat as we age.

Specifically, I looked at 27 amazing tips to help us get a flat belly after 40.

Tips that aren’t costly, time-consuming, or unrealistic for our busy schedules. Now in my mid-50’s a flat belly is one of my struggles too, despite my 25 years of health expertise working for Whole Foods Market and my current fitness role of running a large martial arts school.

What has been your biggest challenge losing your belly fat?

Ever wish all your weight loss efforts produced real results?

I feel your pain.

I’ve been just a little overweight my whole life. Not obese, just heavier than I want to be; clothes tighter than I wish, and I look a little fatter than I wish in family photos.

I eat healthy, workout 3 or more times a week, and still, the fat just sits there.

I am not a doctor, a nutritionist or a physical health professional (although my day job is running a martial arts school) and I did spend over 20 years as a leader for Whole Foods Market. This post, like all my posts, is based on my research, opinions, and observations. If you need medical or professional advice you should seek out a qualified professional in your area.

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

15 Best Tips on Eliminating Teenage Anxiety and Panic Attacks

anxious and sad teenage girl with her phone teenage anxiety and panic attacks middle class dad

Struggling with teenage anxiety and panic attacks with your kids?

If you’re a parent of a teen or soon-to-be-teen, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that our kids are getting moodier.

They are getting more anxious and can panic more easily over seemingly simple things. It’s getting harder to tell if something is genuinely wrong, a passing phase, or something to not worry about at all.

Our once happy child is now brooding, quiet, and maybe even secretive.

The problem is that our kids are now heading towards adulthood. School is getting more challenging. Puberty is starting. Friendships and crushes also become more challenging and complex than they were in grade school.

I’d like to tell you that there was a perfect solution to dealing with moody and anxious teens or maybe a book that solved all the issues. Unfortunately, just like the problem, the solution isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all.

In my house, we have 2 almost teenage daughters (and a newborn). I noticed profound changes as my older 2 finished out elementary school and prepared for middle school. My formerly happy girls get grouchy and anxious more easily. They stress over crushes or tests or things that were said on the bus.

Luckily my wife and I have found some very effective tools to help manage these symptoms in a way that brings peace and harmony to our house and our family outings.

In this post, we’re going to look at the most common questions surrounding teenage anxiety and panic attacks. Then we’ll take a look at the proven tips for helping manage and eliminate these issues with your kids.

What are the signs of anxiety in a teenager?

Anxiety is a normal part of growing up.

The teenage years can be some of the most stressful times in their life. Thus anxiety totally normal since their maturity, self-regulation, and communication skills are still developing.

For most kids, anxiety is usually a harmless phase that goes away all on its own. There are, however, a few genuine disorders which may require treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder is one of the big ones.

The Main Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Irritable
  • Tires easily
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Unfocused
  • Muscular tension

Aside from GAD, there are also other disorders to be aware of, such as:

  • Social Anxiety Disorder – The most common disorder. This is simply being uncomfortable in social settings with blushing, stammering and losing confidence
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – This affects up to 3% of the population. Upwards of 10% of adults with OCD attempt suicide, so this is something to pay attention to in teens. This is notable for an obsessive attention to detail being disruptive to their daily life.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – This can happen when a teen (or anyone) witnesses or experiences a tragic or horrible event. But even a nasty divorce can prompt this too.
  • Separation Anxiety – This can happen after the death of a parent or loved one or if a divorce removes one parent from regular contact with the child. It can also be triggered when a family moves from a long-time comfortable surrounding.

What age do you get panic attacks?

Panic attacks and panic disorders can start at any age. After all, the stresses and challenges of life happen differently to different people and can happen all throughout life.

The most common age for these to start, however, is between the ages of 15-25 according to WebMD.

It’s not uncommon at all for people to get them occasionally. But if they happen consistently it could be something called panic disorder. About 1 in 20 people are diagnosed with panic disorder. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed.

The Primary child anxiety symptoms of panic disorder are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Sweating or shaking
  • Lightheaded
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Irrational fears

The Anxiety Workbook for Teens is an Amazon #1 Best Seller. 4.5 stars and well over 100 reviews, this book “gives teens a collection of tools to help control anxiety and face day-to-day challenges. This workbook both gives anxious teens insight into their problems and offers practical guidance for overcoming them.”

What is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack?

With anxiety attacks, people become afraid & apprehensive.

Their heart rate may race and their breath becomes shallow. However, these attacks are usually short-lived. Once whatever is causing the anxiety stops, the attack stops.

Panic attacks, on the other hand, aren’t usually triggered by a specific incident or event. Thus they are much harder to see coming or stop on command.

Is teenage anxiety normal?

Almost all teens get some form of child anxiety symptoms. This is totally normal.

After all, everything in their world is changing:

  • Hormones
  • Their bodies
  • School (getting harder)
  • Social pressures
  • Fear of failure & rejection

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations and is one of the main coping mechanisms for teens.

For most teens, things like finals, athletics, or their increasing awareness of their own sexuality can bring about teenage anxiety and panic attacks.

The brain naturally responds to this by increasing heart rate, perspiration and hampering the teen’s ability to focus. If your teen is struggling specifically with a Fear of Failure and/or rejection, there are some very actionable steps you can take to help resolve those issues, so take a moment and check out one of my most popular posts from earlier this year.

Can you get anxiety during puberty?

Most definitely!

Teenage anxiety and panic attacks often go hand in hand with puberty. You see, puberty is more than just facial hair on boys and breasts on girls. It’s much more complicated than that.

Puberty typically starts around ages 7-13 for girls & 9-15 for boys.

This starts when the brain releases a hormone called GnRH. As GnRH hits the pituitary gland, it releases 2 puberty hormones: LH and FSH.

Boys & girls have both of these in their bodies. But they affect boys and girls in totally different ways.

For boys, the hormones send the testes a signal to start production of testosterone & sperm.

For girls, these hormones cause the ovaries to start producing estrogen. Estrogen, along with FSH and LH, causes a girl’s body to physically mature & prepare for pregnancy.

All these hormonal changes make emotional self-regulation very challenging on top of all the other changes happening in their lives during this time.

Teenage boys in particular, while slower to mature, will start to spend more time alone, and you might see your son start to take really long showers.

The Panic Miracle system is a unique 3 step system that can help you “Treat Your Panic Attacks and Anxiety, Regain Your Self Confidence, and Enjoy Life Without Fear” without drugs, gimicks or things like hypnosis.  The system comes with a 250 page e-book, relaxation audio programs, ultimate stress-relief guide and online access and counseling with the course creator (and former anxiety-sufferer), Chris Bayliss. Learn more about whether this system is right for you at

So what are the . . .

15 Best Tips on Eliminating Teenage Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

To learn how to help a teenager with anxiety, we’ve found the following 15 tips can significantly reduce or eliminate teenage anxiety and panic attacks.

At the very least these tips can help manage the symptoms and get your teen the support they need to sail through these years and enter adulthood on solid footing.


If your child sees you panicked or stressed over their behavior guess what’s going to get worse?

As parents, we have to be the adult and be strong, calm and patient. We have to model the behavior and self-regulation skills we’d like to see in them. So keep your cool, remember to breathe and if you need to vent to your spouse or have an emotional moment, have that in private.

At the moment your child is feeling teenage anxiety and panic attacks, that is the very moment your child needs you to be strong and calm so you can help them be stronger and calmer.


Life automatically puts a ton of pressure on kids these days compared to when I was a teen.

We didn’t have STAAR tests, cyber-bullying or many of the other stressors that kids face today. So the one thing we don’t want to do is make our kids feel pressured to “get over it”.

Let your child express their feelings. Listen. Let them know that these things will pass, but be patient with them and let them know you love them unconditionally.


Breathe is the cornerstone of life.

That sounds simplistic, but if you look at some of the oldest health practices, whether it be yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong or martial arts, you’ll see they all focus heavily on the breath and using the breath to regulate the body’s nervous system, energy levels and response to stress.

Personally, as a martial artist, I like to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth about 3 seconds in and 5 seconds out. But any focus on the breathing will help. Check out some additional breathing tips to reduce stress from Dr. Andrew Weil.


As with almost any issue in life, there is an underlying root problem.

So to really get over teenage anxiety and panic attacks we have to understand what is really causing them. It could be:

  1. Divorce
  2. Death of a loved one
  3. Moving to a new city (and leaving behind everything they knew)
  4. Undiagnosed dyslexia or other neurological issues

Once you understand the real underlying root issue, then and only then, can really start to address the real problem.

If you or your teen struggle with how to Let Go of the Past, I highly recommend you take a moment and check out my most shared post on Twitter about moving forward after trauma.


Technology is great. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading my blog.

But too much tech time affects sleep patterns, worsens ADHD and can stunt emotional growth.

But don’t take my word for that. Dr. Scott Becker is the Director of the Michigan State University Counseling Center. In studying it for 18 years, he finds a direct correlation between the over-use of technology and anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and more.

Learn more about How Technology Affects the Brain Negatively in one of my most shared posts from earlier this year.


Above, I mentioned things like divorce, moving and the death of a loved one as possible root issues.

Unfortunately, what I sometimes see (I work with hundreds of kids in my day job and my wife is a teacher) are parents wanting to do everything BUT acknowledge the real issue.

They’ll pay for doctor and therapists, medication and much more. But they gloss over the fact that they just went through a nasty divorce or the impact of having just moved cross-country or other potentially traumatic events that can have a significant impact on our kids.

So don’t feel guilty if these things happened in your family. I’ve been divorced too and have moved my kids to different cities a few times.

But acknowledge it, talk about it and understand that these things will negatively affect our kids.

We can’t always stop them from happening but we are in complete control of how we deal with it.


A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that nearly 2/3 of adolescents did not get the recommended 10 hours of sleep per night.

On average they found teens got closer to 7 hours. Lack of sufficient rest impacts grades, increases risk of depression, increases the likelihood of risky behaviors like drug/alcohol and cigarette use, and our overall ability to regulate our emotions.

Learn more about the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Students.


Almost all of us need professional help at one point in our lives or another.

There’s no shame in admitting we need it or asking for it. There is shame in needing it and allowing ego and pride to prevent us from seeking it out.

A great psychotherapist can help you and your kids cope with the challenges and stresses that are leading to teenage anxiety and panic attacks.


Everyone needs a support network.

Let’s face it. Sometimes our kids don’t want to confide in us. That’s increasingly true as they get older. While we can nurture our relationship with our kids, we should also encourage them to talk to their peers. After all, no one quite understands the challenges facing teens today like another teenager.

In this day and age of social media, you can also put technology to good use and seek out Facebook support groups. Check out a list of many of the Facebook groups that come up, but check them out before you or your teen join in.


While we don’t want to put pressure on our kids when facing teenage anxiety and panic attacks, you can gently encourage them to deal with them.

My oldest daughter recently went to the beach. The last time she was at the beach (over a year ago), a big wave knocked her down and really scared her. As we got to the beach this time, she said she hated the beach and didn’t want to get in the water. I didn’t force her but simply asked if she wanted to get in the water with me. I assured her I’d stay by her side and we wouldn’t go too deep.

Slowly we went further out and slowly I got a little further away from her. We had a blast and 2 hours later she was out there with her sister and a family friend without me.


It’s important as parents that we know what to look for.

Teenage anxiety and panic attacks don’t happen completely out of the blue. Educate yourself and your teen. Watch YouTube videos together. Learn about symptoms and warning signs. Most importantly learn about coping mechanisms and what to when attacks are happening.


Sunshine and fresh air are natural cure-alls for the blues.

The sun naturally provides us with Vitamin D. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health concluded that Vitamin D could be a “solution for many who are at risk for depression and possibly other mental disorders.”

So take your kid for a hike or ride bikes through the neighborhood. Go camping or just walk through downtown. The sun will do them good and the time with you is priceless.


The world today conspires to keep families apart.

People work longer hours, commutes are worse and technology often disconnects us while pretending to connect us. So when possible, spend time as a family. Eat dinners together at the dinner table. Put the phones away and talk about your day.

The family unit is important and the support and connection our kids find at home should be greater than they find anywhere else.


Just like with breathing, you and your child can actively practice relaxation techniques.

Take a yoga class together or practice at home with YouTube videos. Meditation is also a fantastic practice for both parents and kids. It doesn’t have to be an hour sitting in silence either. Even just 5 or 10 minutes a few times a week can help reduce anxiety and bring focus, presence and connectedness.

Learn more about How Mindful Meditation Can Improve Your Parenting Style in one of my recent posts on Lifehack.


My oldest daughter was recently diagnosed with SVT.

Essentially it’s an easily treatable heart condition noted by very rapid heartbeat. The research is still a little unclear but my daughter herself has noticed that the incidents have been triggered by anxiety and stress. With the help of our cardiologist, we got some specific tips on what to do when the attacks occur.

On the recent beach visit I mentioned above, she had one of those incidents. Because we had a plan, the event lasted less than a minute. Before we had a plan, her events sometimes lasted as long as an hour and a half.

So having a plan to help manage your child’s teenage anxiety and panic attacks is crucial.

Final Thoughts

In this post we looked at the most common questions parents of anxious teens are desperately searching for answers on.

We explored the differences between anxiety, stress, panic attacks and other emotional challenges facing teens today. Lastly, we looked at the 15 best tips for managing or eliminating teenage anxiety and panic attacks so your household can get back on track and be more harmonious.

My house now has peace, quiet and open and loving communication and yours can too.

If you have daughters, I also highly recommend this book from Amazon that we recently ordered: The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self.

It’s  New York Times Best Seller, is 4.5 stars on Amazon and while it deals more with building confidence than teenage anxiety and panic attacks, there are a lot of ways these issues cross over. Help your daughters become “bold, brave, and fearless”.

Any tips, suggestions or questions on how help manage these issues in your house with your kids?
If you like this post, please follow my Parenting board on Pinterest for more great tips from myself and top parenting experts!

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

Of course, I have to add that I am not a doctor, therapist or mental health professional. As with all most posts, I offer my opinions based on my own research and experiences. If you need professional help, you should seek out professional help in your area.

7 Best Tips on How to Reduce Cholesterol Levels Naturally

how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally colorful vegetables on display middle class dad

Having spent over 2 decades as a leader in Whole Foods Market, I slowly became and expert not only on food, but overall wellness and natural remedies as well. This post is also my personal journey in lowering my cholesterol

Looking for tips on how to reduce cholesterol levels quickly?

I think you’ll agree with me that there’s nothing scarier than a bad medical diagnosis.

High cholesterol means we are at an elevated risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Even if you are young and in reasonable health, this diagnosis can sneak up on us.

But it’s not all bleak.

We aren’t doomed to a life of oatmeal and medication. You can still enjoy many of the foods you love. While you should always follow the advice of your doctor, I believe you can find ways to effectively manage cholesterol levels without drugs.

In this post, we’re looking at some sobering high cholesterol causes and statistics.

But more importantly, we’re reviewing some key steps and tips on how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally. Tips that won’t leave you feeling lost and deprived and can help you effectively manage your health.

The worst risk factors for high cholesterol

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the factors within our control that can cause high cholesterol are inactivity, obesity, and an unhealthy diet.

Risk factors include:

  • Poor diet (high in saturated/trans fat)
  • Obesity
  • Large waist circumference (over 40 for men)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes

Of course, those risk factors can also lead to things like hypertension, the silent killer, which is a fancy word for high blood pressure.

According to the CDC, the recommended numbers are as follows:

Desirable Cholesterol Levels2
Total cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL
LDL (“bad” cholesterol) Less than 100 mg/dL
HDL (“good” cholesterol) 60 mg/dL or higher
Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL

How I’ve tried to reduce my cholesterol level naturally

I train in martial arts at least 3 times a week for roughly an hour each time.

Also, I have never really been a smoker and my waist is a 34, and my weight about 195. I don’t eat trans fats at all and rarely eat things like burgers & fries and keep the sweets to a minimum.

I even juice things like beets, carrots, and greens 2-3 times per week.

And yet here I was, being told I need special tests to look for signs of heart disease.

To be specific, I was sent for a CT scan to check for potential blockages.

If you have kids, get them set up for success in the future with my Healthy Eating Habits For Children. Starting early and preventing those bad habits is far better than trying to fix the problem later!

What food should be avoided for high cholesterol?

how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally middle class dad delicious burger and fries

WebMD has a page about high cholesterol and how to reduce cholesterol levels quickly.

Their list of foods to avoid include:

  • Starchy Foods (things like pasta, potatoes, corn and peas)
  • Baked Beans with sugar and pork 
  • Too Much Fruit 
  • Alcohol 
  • Canned Fish in oil (high quality tuna in water is OK)
  • Coconut
  • Sugary Drinks
  • Honey/Maple Syrup
  • Fats (high fat meats, trans fats, butter)

And before you run to the pharmacy, according to the Mayo Clinic “medications that specifically increase HDL have failed to reduce the rate of heart attacks.”

So medications may not provide the all the answers we are looking for.

They go on to list the side effects of statins (the most prescribed drug for high cholesterol) as:

  • Muscle pain and damage
  • Liver damage
  • Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
  • Neurological side effects

Older people and women are the most susceptible to side effects.

Thus you should use caution and consult your doctor before deciding that statins are the best treatment for you.

It also is clear to me that there can be greater benefit in learning how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.

I’ve blogged before about my feelings of America being Overmedicated. Check that out to see my take on why we’re overmedicated and how it impacts our society.

how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally middle class dad guy doing a cartwheel on the beach

Alcohol and its impact on cholesterol

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.” So drinking in moderation could be a good thing apparently.

But how much alcohol is too much?

The CDC claims that “moderate” drinking is 1 drink a day for women and 2 a day for men (presumably due to higher body weight).

Heavy drinking then increases 5 drinks a day for men and 4 per day for women.

In a recent study by the National Institutes of Health, they found that compared to non-drinkers, occasional heavy drinkers have unusually high levels of triglycerides and low levels of (the good) HDL cholesterol.

They also found that heavy drinkers have significantly higher levels of (the bad) LDL cholesterol.

Thus moderate drinking or not drinking clearly can help with how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.

What are the best foods to reduce cholesterol naturally?

According to Harvard, some of the best foods you can eat to reduce your cholesterol levels quickly and naturally are:

  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggplant and okra

Ironically their list also includes a couple of things on the above list of no-nos, such as fruits, fish, and oils.

But the one thing we can be certain of with experts is that the “correct” method changes periodically.

Dr. Andrew Weill also has a list of how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally through dietary changes. Those include:

  • Fresh garlic
  • Green tea
  • The supplement Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Interested in the #1 rated CoQ10 on Amazon Prime?

Purely Holistic’s High Absorption Coenzyme Q10 has over 1200 reviews and rates 5 stars.

An 8 month supply is less than $30 and they offer a 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. No plan for how to reduce cholesterol levels quickly and naturally would be complete without seeing if CoQ10 works for you!

What have you got to lose (other than maybe cholesterol?)

So what are my . . .

7 Best Tips on How to Reduce Cholesterol Levels Naturally?

1. Cut back on red meat

Save the red meat for special occasions.

While the protein can be beneficial, you don’t need all the saturated fat.

You also don’t need all the antibiotics and chemicals that often get put into a lot of commercial meat products.

So sadly, learning how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally and quickly has to include less red meat.

2. Eliminate butter

Certainly better than the trans fat in traditional margarine, but ultimately very high in fat without some of the benefits found in a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Coconut oil has been very trendy for a decade, but use caution with that too, as it contains a high level of saturated fat and may not help us learn how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.

3. Use more olive oil

It goes without saying that I only recommend extra virgin olive oil, but even there, there’s a lot of bogus EVOO on the market.

I won’t go into it here, but check out what 60 Minutes has to say about it in their story on Don’t fall victim to olive oil fraud. When buying it, avoid the most common grocery store names.

Often when you deal such mass quantities, even with the best intentions, it can be very hard to control quality.

Get a 2 pack of Zoe Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 25.5 FL. OZ. tins for less than $25 bucks on Amazon Prime! 4.5 stars from hundreds of people from specific types of olives from Spain.

4. Add CoQ10 to my supplement regimen

I mentioned it above, but Co-enzyme Q10 is the #1 supplement Dr. Andrew Weill recommends for managing healthy cholesterol levels. A study by the American College of Cardiology found that “Long-term CoQ10 treatment reduces major adverse cardiovascular events.”

5. Lose weight

Weight is mostly a matter of calories in and calories burned.

Thus to lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories and/or burn more.  To go deeper into this topic, check out another post on my site about how to Lose That “Dad Bod” in 5 Easy Steps.

But exercise and healthy movement will definitely be one of the best ways of how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally.

6. Cutting back on pasta, bread & potatoes

Basically, we’re talking about limiting empty starches.

Can’t go completely without? At least eat whole grain pasta and bread then.

A recent study by Johns Hopkins University looked at three diets that were based on either protein, monounsaturated fat or carbohydrates.

They found that the protein and monounsaturated fat diets were more effective in reducing the risk factors for heart disease than the high-carb diet.

So if you’re looking for tips on how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally, cutting out empty starches will definitely be one of the best things to try.

7. Adding more fish and fish oils to my diet

Going back to Dr. Andrew Weill, he finds that “fish oil contains an abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol.”

He goes on to say that “Research indicates that omega-3s may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation, including heart attack and stroke.”

Fish oil capsules are easy enough to add as is the occasional lunch of chunk white meat tuna packed in water.

As with olive oil, there are, however, a number of concerns with fish and it can get confusing; wild caught, farm raised, mercury concerns and sustainability concerns just to name a few.

You can dig in further if you wish by learning about Factory Fish Farming.

Want the highest rated fish oil capsule on Amazon Prime?

Check out Premium Fish Oil Omega 3 by Mav Nutrition.

It has 5 stars, over 1000 reviews and is a #1 best seller in the fish oil category on Amazon! If you’re looking for how to reduce cholesterol naturally using home remedies, fish oil is well worth considering!

The most important things you can do for your loved ones

  1. WE NEED TO KNOW OUR NUMBERS – Hiding our heads in the sand doesn’t make the problems go away
  2. OUR FAMILIES DEPEND ON US – If nothing else, we owe it to them to take care of ourselves
  3. GET A PHYSICAL AT LEAST ONCE EVERY 2 YEARS – Ideally once a year. As with any serious disease, catching it early can save your life
  4. TAKE ACTION – Acknowledging an issue is only half the battle. Next, develop the discipline to actually make changes.

According to the American Heart Association, “it takes 60 to 90 days to create a new habit”.

Getting through those 2 to 3 months will take drive, willpower, and tenacity.

Whether you need to quit smoking, exercise more or eat better (or anything else), you need to, as Stephen Covey says, in his great book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People . . .

“Begin with the End in Mind”!

In other words, know where you want to be in 6 months or a year (and 5 and 10!).

Have a specific goal for yourself that is realistic and specific and set a time frame of how long it will take to get there.

BE DETAILED & KEEP IT SIMPLE! No one ever achieved their goals when they were vague, complicated or unrealistic.

Whether you’re reading this around New Year’s or not, I highly recommend following the steps I outline in my post on Keeping New Year’s Resolutions. I walk you through some simple, actionable steps to set and KEEP realistic goals.

If I can learn how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally and be there for my family, so can you!

Let’s do it!

Did I cover everything you wanted to know about how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally?

In this post, we looked at one of the top concerns facing hundreds of thousands of people every day.

High cholesterol.

But more importantly, we looked at high cholesterol remedies and top tips on how to reduce your cholesterol levels naturally.

Are you struggling to learn how to reduce cholesterol level naturally? Have you tried herbal remedies for cholesterol or other home remedies?

Feel free to comment here or email me with any questions!

Middle Class Dad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. This is no way increases the cost to you.

Of course I have to add that I am not a doctor, health practitioner or nutritionist. I am offering my opinion based on my experiences and research. If you need medical advice you should seek that from a qualified professional.

9 Best Healthy Eating Habits For Children They Will Love

young girl eating a watermelon wearing a pink dress healthy eating habits for children Middle Class Dad

Do you struggle with healthy eating habits for children? 

How do we get our kids to eat healthier without a mutiny? Does healthier food cost more? If we occasionally let them eat whatever they want does that make us a bad parent?

It can be hard to get your kids to eat healthily!

I get it! Creating healthy eating habits for children can seem like a thankless job!

What about those kids who crave sweets?  Do your kids struggle with weight or self-image issues?  Perhaps peer pressure has suddenly turned your once healthy child into a soda-craving moody pre-teen?

If you are a parent you have, or likely will, battle all those questions at some point on the parenting trail.  Creating healthy eating habits for children that they won’t hate; things that don’t break the budget and can be found at your local supermarket can sometimes seem impossible.

But fear not, as someone who spent 25 years with the world’s largest natural foods grocery chain, I can tell you that you CAN achieve those goals!

In this post, we’re diving deep into the world of healthy food for kids.

We’ll look at the worst ingredients to avoid for your kid’s health. But I’ll also give you a list of my favorite items that are healthy that my kids also LOVE.

Specifically, we’re looking at healthy eating habits for children, and how to start them or improve them. That way you can rest easier knowing they are getting the proper nutrition they need without the battles at the dinner table.

Why are healthy eating habits for children important?

little Asian boy in chef's hat and apron eating a yellow bell pepper healthy eating habits for children Middle Class Dad bio

Healthy eating habits for children are SO important. After all, our kids are still growing.  Their bones, immune system, and brains are still developing.  What we put in their bodies in terms of food is the equivalent of putting gas in your car.  Put garbage into your car instead of high-quality gasoline and your car won’t run well, if at all.

Before we dive into what healthy eating habits for children you should be looking at, let’s dig into some statistics.  Don’t just take my word for it.

According to the CDC:

  1. Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages account for 10% of kid’s caloric intake
  2. Added sugar and solid fats account for 40% of the caloric intake of kids up to age 18
  3. Since 1999, the number of kids who don’t eat vegetables (other than  French fries) has increased by 60%!
  4. 16% of kids under 18 in the United States are considered overweight or and almost 14% are obese
  5. Almost 15% of kids do less than 1 hour of physical activity per week

So you can clearly see we have a health crisis in our country with our kids.

What are some healthy eating habits?

In general, kids are eating more, eating less nutritiously and exercising less.  Compared to when I was a kid it’s a different world.  Back then, playing outside was the norm. Today we sit in front of screens (TV, tablets, laptops or gaming devices) and eat chips while moving as physically little as possible.

Of course how your kids spend their time and setting limits on technology are all great things for you to keep under your parenting hat.  But healthy eating habits for kids needs to be high on the list too.

What is a healthy balanced diet for kids?

In our house not only do we battle all of the above, but we also battle our kids coming home complaining about:

“why can’t I have Little Debbie cakes with lunch every day?” or
“why can’t I drink Coca-Cola every day at lunch?” 

The list goes on and on, but peer pressure and that feeling of not being cool compared to your friends is a huge part of the battle.

Luckily you are a great parent You understand you are here to mold, guide, inform, protect and parent your child; not just be their friend or the “cool” parent.

Focusing on healthy eating habits for children doesn’t mean any fun at all.  The key is a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, low sugars, fiber, lean protein and lots of veggies. And yes; the occasional special treat is just fine.

But eat 1 Little Debbie cupcake at school lunch each day?  According to . . .

In 1 year, assuming they only eat that Little Debbie while school is in session, and they will consume:

  1. 280 grams of fat (all of which is saturated)
  2. 4,200 grams of cholesterol
  3. 23,800 mg of sodium
  4. 3,080 grams of sugar (about 208 tablespoons)

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  And we’re talking 1 item that is a small part of your kid’s lunch; far from the entirety of what they will be eating!

Thus creating healthy eating habits for children that your kids will like is CRUCIAL!

How do you encourage your child to eat healthily?

The key to creating healthy eating habits for children is balance. You can’t go to one extreme or the other.

Do healthy eating habits for kids mean no treats ever? Absolutely not!

Don’t completely deprive your child of anything within reason. They will be more apt to binge when they can, as well as hide it from you or lie about it.  The trick is to know the difference between a special treat on special occasions and just filling our kids with unhealthy empty calories.

In my house we love Halloween.  We always trick or treat.  When we come home with overflowing baskets of candy do I make my kids throw it out?  NO!  But I also don’t let them sit there on the couch for an hour eating as much as they want.

They get a reasonable amount and then we put it away and dole it out in small doses.  Our daughters may not love it now, but when they are 30 and not overweight or on diabetes medication they will thank us. Thus healthy eating habits for children can include the occasional indulgence.

If I made them throw their Halloween candy out, they’d be more apt to hide it when we aren’t looking, only to binge on it later when they think they can get away with it.  Keep your kids safe from harm, but that doesn’t mean extinguishing all the fun of being a kid.

Parenting styles and healthy eating habits for kids 

Eating healthy, exercising and living well doesn’t have to be at odds with having fun, living it up or treating ourselves.  We just have to be sensible about it.  We have to remember that we are the parents and that other parents may parent differently.  That should not prevent us from parenting how we want to and doing what’s right for our kids.

If you struggle with trying to figure out what’s best for your kids, it’s crucial that we identify our parenting style.  Then, and only then, can we begin to navigate around the 3 Worst Parenting Styles You Should Avoid at All Costs.  If you haven’t previously read my post on that, I highly recommend you take a moment and check it out before continuing on here.

What are the best healthy eating habits for kids on a budget?

Eating healthy is something you can do on almost any budget!  Molding healthy eating habits for children doesn’t have to break the bank.  You just have to be sensible, shop carefully and read those labels!

In our house, we have a weekly budget for the 4 of us at $140.  I do most of the shopping and a shop at the best store near our house which is a fairly mainstream grocery chain.

I get lots of healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; organics, non-GMO, fresh produce and no items containing the worst offenders I list below.  If times were really tight and we cut out some of the frills, I know we could cut our grocery budget by almost half.  In fact going back only 6 or so years ago when my wife did more of the shopping, that was our weekly budget.

Of course, there’s no substitute for fresh food right off the farm, but you do have considerations regarding organic vs. non-organic.  In our house, it’s pretty simple.  If an organic item is within 20% of the conventional item, we buy organic.  If it’s not, chances are we’ll move on to another item.

Check out this great video if you’re confused by organics or unsure what are the best items to buy organically.  She also goes over what non-organic produce you’re safe buying and eating!

My top tips for healthy eating habits for children?

  1. Seek out your grocer’s private label items.  Chances are they have an organic line that is both healthy and rock bottom in price.  We buy private label organic beans, sauces, tomatoes, chips, crackers and much more!
  2. Look for well known national brands that you can count on for both great flavor and good ingredients.  I like Annies Homegrown & Cascadian Farms, among many others.  While it is true that many of the natural foods brands I grew up with in my former career are now owned by large food conglomerates, I still feel like companies should be judged on the basis of their food and ingredients and not investors and parent companies.
  3. Look for foods that bear the Non-GMO Project label.  I could write a whole other blog post on GMO’s but that’s not the focus of my blog and this post is about healthy eating habits for children.  Suffice to say, I’m not a fan of genetically modified foods and good chunks of the world outside the US agree with me on that.  Consumer Reports takes a nice impartial look at the controversy and it’s worth taking a look.

Check out my list at the bottom of the post for more specific items that are great for kids and kind to your grocery budget!

What are the worst foods for our kids we should limit or avoid?

For me, it doesn’t come down to items or brands as much as ingredients.  If you shop at a Whole Foods or Trader Joes you’ll likely be in fairly good shape. But if not, it’s crucial to read and understand ingredient labels.

I’m not taking esoteric things as much as basics.  Want to instill healthy eating habits for children? Start by strictly avoiding what I believe are the worst things put into food:

  1. Artificial sweeteners

    • According to the National Institutes of Health, a recent study shows that consumption of artificial sweeteners (such as NutraSweet found in Diet Coke among many other things) “was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, a potential pathway for cardiometabolic risk “.
    • Harvard University went on to find that those who “drank artificially sweetened drinks had a 47% higher increase in BMI (body mass index) than those who did not”
  2. Hydrogenated oils

    • Hydrogenated oils, sometimes called partially hydrogenated or trans fats are, according to the Mayo Clinic, “the worst type of fat you can eat”.  This type of fat is used both because it’s cheap and also because of its long shelf life.
    • The Mayo Clinic goes on to say: “A diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of men and women.”
  3. High fructose corn syrup

    • Princeton University recently conducted a study on high-fructose corn syrup and found conclusive evidence that “In addition to causing significant weight gain . . . , long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, . . . and a rise in . . . triglycerides” (a key part of your cholesterol measurements).
    • Since the introduction of HFCS to the American diet in the 1970s, obesity rates have gone from about 15% to over 33%! While trans fats wouldn’t be the only cause in that huge increase, it no doubt plays a large role given how prevalent this cheap sweetener is in our food supply.
  4. Artificial colors

    • At one time, our country had over 80 approved artificial colors.  Today, thanks to legislation and careful study that dates back to 1908, only 7 colors remain classified as what the FDA calls “generally regarded as safe”.  Many of the ones that have been banned in recent decades showed a clear correlation to causing cancer.  A number of the colors still allowed in the US are banned in many European countries.
    • England’s University of Southampton conducted an extensive study on the correlation between the consumption of artificial colors (such as what you regularly find in mac n’ cheese, breakfast cereals, MnM’s or snacks like Cheetos) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  They found conclusively that consumption of artificial colors led to “a significant increase in ADHD-type behavior, including impulsive behavior and loss of concentration”.  They went on to find that those who “suffer from ADHD . . . could be reduced by 30 percent if additives were banned.”
    • I wrote an earlier piece that addressed ADD & ADHD and how physical play and limits on technology could actually improve symptoms.  Combined with watching what our kids eat there’s not a doubt in my mind that we could definitely significantly impact the occurrence of this epidemic.  Check that piece out if you haven’t already at 7 Best Ways of Treating ADHD Naturally for Your Kids.

If you want to know some of the worst store-bought food items out there, check out this list courtesy of NBC called the 20 Worst Kid’s Foods in America.

On that list, for instance, you’ll see that 1 cup of Captain Crunch cereal has a whopping 16 grams of sugar.  Auntie Anne’s Pepperoni Pretzel Pocket comes loaded with a staggering 1,120 mg of sodium.

Even worse?  Ruby Tuesday Kids Turkey Minis & Fries contains an amazing 46 grams of fat and almost 900 calories.  That’s a huge amount for an adult, but this is actually geared towards kids!

So what are my . . .

9 Best Healthy Eating Habits For Children They Will Love?

baby in a yellow hat and stuffed animal healthy eating habits for children Middle Class Dad bio


A quick, easy snack.  Stick them in the freeze when you buy them.

Then when getting kid’s lunches ready in the morning, just put them in the lunchboxes.  They’ll be nice and thawed by lunchtime.  Even if they’re not, what kid doesn’t love frozen yogurt?

Made from organic milk that has no added growth hormones unlike much of the dairy products out there.


PBnJ is a staple for most kids.

You know what are staple ingredients in most peanut butter and jelly?  Hydrogenated oils, sugar, salt and maybe even some artificial color in the jelly.  The average store-bought peanut butter and jelly see peanuts and fruit way down on the ingredient list.  You know what makes good peanut butter?  PEANUTS!  You know what makes good jam or jelly?  Fruit!

Look for peanut butter with no added sugar or oil minimally.

Look for jelly that has no corn syrup, sugar, oil or food coloring.  Fruit is plenty sweet enough and should have plenty of color all on its own.  These can be tough to find amidst a sea of junk.

I like to grind my own peanut butter which more and more stores offer.  This way all you get is peanuts and maybe some salt!  For jelly, even some of the organic ones put a lot of sugar in, so I like the Polaner All fruit spreadables which are also non-GMO.

Just make sure to avoid their ones sweetened with Splenda.


OK, we ate Annie’s Mac n Cheese for years.

We also avoided Kraft like the plague since it was a lot of yellow food coloring.  But these days you can find good ‘ole Kraft with organic pasta, no artificial ingredients and no-growth hormone cheese for a lot less than Annie’s.

I’ll always love Annie’s (owned by General Mills these days) but this is the one in our pantry.


There’s no substitute for fresh off the farm fruits and veggies.

But for many of us working Middle Class Dads and Moms, that’s just not the reality we live in.  According to WebMD, frozen veggies have the same or superior nutritional content to their fresh counterparts.  And they are cheap & store easily for long periods of time.  They also make it incredibly easy to add veggies to any meal.

Most grocers have organic private label frozen veggies making a good deal even better.


In our house, we don’t put juice boxes in with lunches; it’s just a lot of sugar even if it is all derived from fruit.

But it is better than soda, so whether for lunches, birthday parties or other special occasions, seek out juice boxes that are made from organic fruits that have no sugar added.  Most often these will say 100% juice, but ones like Honest Kids do water them down a bit without added any fillers or sweeteners.

The net result is it actually reduces the amount of sugar per serving which is a good thing!


It’s not organic and I wish it was. But for a quick snack that won’t break the bank that is still fairly healthy, these fit the bill.  Packed in water (or 100% juice) and made from non-GMO fruits, these work for any budget.


OK, so I know if I keep touting brands like this one (owned by Kellogg’s) the purists out there will be up in arms.

But as I’ve said.  I’m here to help you find healthy, affordable foods your kids will eat.  The food soapbox is best left to others.  I like Kashi bars as they are affordable and all are non-GMO and they have a savory line with very low sugar.

8. ORGANIC WHOLE GRAIN BREAD (made without azodicarbonamide)

Sandwiches are a staple item in kid’s lunchboxes across the globe.  Unfortunately, you know what else is a staple in the bread that gets used?  A laundry list of ugly ingredients like bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup and the dreaded azodicarbonamide, a key component in yoga mats (Mmmm . . . delicious!)

Ideally look for organic bread as it will skip all that junk.  Minimally look for ones avoiding the big three I name above: bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, and azodicarbonamide.


Personally, I don’t drink milk and haven’t in decades.

But my kids and wife like milk in their cereal.  Thus we only buy organic milk.  Milk that’s organic will be, by definition, free of any added growth hormones.

In our house, we like to completely avoid foods with added growth hormones (most common in milk products and chicken).  According to renowned health expert Dr. Andrew Weill, added growth hormones “can increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women and may promote development of prostate cancer in men.”

For my coffee and any baking I do, I prefer Silk non-GMO unsweetened almond or coconut milk.  They taste great, are inexpensive and in my mind a much healthier alternative.

Notice I’m not going uber-militant here. 

I’m not speaking in absolutes (they must eat vegan or they must only eat organic).  I’m trying to be realistic and budget friendly.  I also want you to buy things that your kids will actually eat without putting up a fight.

If you want to go stricter, all organic or vegan, go for it.

But for me and my family, these things are healthy staples that beat the pants off a lot of what I see in the school cafeteria at lunchtime.  And they work for our budget and my kids love them.

And most importantly, they are healthy eating habits for children I know my kids love and will stick to even into adulthood.

There are also experts out there more knowledgeable than me. If you want to really dive deep, check out my friend Nina’s site over at GoodFoodFighter! Nina has a wealth of knowledge and is a food force to be reckoned with!

Final Thoughts

In this post, we took an in-depth look into the world of food, good health, eating habits and how those things affect our kids.

I spent over 20 years in leadership positions with Whole Foods Market, so I know a thing or 2 about healthy eating. With 3 daughters, I also know a few things about healthy food for kids and some of the challenges that come up.

Specifically, today, we looked at healthy eating habits for children and some specific product recommendations. That way you can rest easier knowing your kids are eating healthier BUT without the struggles and push back at the dinner table.

What is your biggest healthy food for kids challenge?

If you like this post, please follow my Parenting board on Pinterest for more great tips from myself and top parenting experts!

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