5 ways to lose weight after having a baby
The days, weeks and even months after you have a baby can be quite a whirlwind!
You’re sleep-deprived, riding an emotional rollercoaster, adapting to a new schedule, and trying to focus on one of the most important jobs in the world; being a good mom!
At the same time, you’re trying to come to terms with your new “post-baby body” that probably doesn’t look or feel anything like what you had 9 months ago!
Before you go into panic mode, know that you certainly can get back into great shape after having children. But, at the same time, understand that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to quickly lose weight after your pregnancy.
The key is taking a smart approach when it comes to losing baby-weight.
Here are 5 tips that will help you work your way back to your pre-pregnancy body or even better:
Allow Your Body To Recuperate
Being a new mom is important job, so focus on taking the time to enjoy that new little person in your life. Your body is in “repair” mode after giving birth, so it’s important not to rush back into a diet/fitness routine. Give your body enough time to recuperate and restore its normal processes. Understand that getting your body back into shape will take time, so as your body heals know that patience, good health habits and self-love will go a long way.
Get Up & Move
Once you start to settle in get the green light from your doctor, start easing back into movement by taking short walks. Most new moms are not ready for serious exercise for at least 6 weeks after giving birth (longer if they had a C-Section), so focus on gradually working your way up to 20-30 minute walks 4-6 times/week. After your 6 week check-up, you may get the green light to do more!
Mothers who breastfeed burn approximately an extra 800 calories/day, so that can go a long way in helping drop some of that extra weight. Keep in mind, however, that your body will need an extra 500 calories/day when breastfeeding. Be sure to get your calories from a variety of nutrient-rich meals and avoid “empty-calorie” foods like soda, chips, sugary sweets, etc.. Once you stop or taper-off breastfeeding, your calorie needs will decrease. This is a good time to adjust your meal planning and make sure you’re on a regular exercise routine to avoid packing on unwanted weight.
Get Plenty of Rest
Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on new moms. Not only will it sap your energy and increase cravings, but it will upset your metabolism and make it very difficult to lose that extra pregnancy weight. Don’t feel guilty about trying to sneak in a nap when your baby is sleeping. And in those early weeks do not sacrifice sleep in order to fit in a workout … your body needs the recovery more than a workout at that point.
Establish an Eating Philosophy
When you were pregnant you may have felt like you could eat anything and get away with it. Unfortunately, this way of thinking won’t cut it once the baby is born. It’s time to establish some rules when it comes to your nutritional needs to help improve your metabolism and do away with the cravings.
- Focus on smaller, balanced meals spread out throughout the day
- Breakfast is your most important meal
- Be sure to incorporate good sources of protein to control hunger
- Add extra fiber to your meals to help fill you without the extra calories
- Include healthy fats like nuts and avocados
- Try to have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on hand