Are you worried about pregnancy weight loss? Well first of all, congratulations! Your body has just experienced an amazing miracle! Rejoice in that and don’t be too quick to jump into a conventional weight loss plan. Losing pregnancy related weight is different to trying to drop a few over-indulgent pounds. The way forward is to make “good nutrition” your goal instead of ‘losing weight’, that way you’ll see the benefits quicker and enjoy them much more. Let’s discuss some important post-baby weight loss secrets to make your journey easier.
Before beginning, make sure you give your body the time it needs to adjust. You’ve literally created life! How incredible is that? It’s going to take some time for your body to bounce back from that physically, hormonally and emotionally. Don’t forget that it took nine months to gain your extra weight so it’s not going to drop off overnight.
There are several important factors that will affect your pregnancy weight loss after you come home from the hospital, and it’s really important that you understand that it’ll take time to recover. After all, you’ve just been through a pretty traumatic experience!
Firstly, the type of delivery you had is a major factor. Recovering from a C-section will definitely be a much slower process. Doctors agree that it takes at least six weeks to fully recover from abdominal surgery of that kind. Secondly, whether or not you breastfeed will play a role in your pregnancy weight loss too. Your body will be burning calories constantly to provide for your little one so breast-feeding mothers will natural begin to drop weight.
Women who breastfeed certainly do lose weight more quickly primarily because the process of breastfeeding draws upon your body’s “energy stores”, burning up fat! The study further reports that the biggest difference (in your weight) between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding shows up between 3-6 months after birth. You need an extra 500 calories a day when you breastfeed, but your body burns 600-800 calories a day in the breastfeeding process, so you do the math! Here’s some useful info on calories in food. Just be careful to adjust your intake accordingly when you stop breastfeeding!
Thirdly, and most relevantly, your level of fitness prior to pregnancy is probably the most important factor in your pregnancy weight loss journey. If you were fit and healthy before your pregnancy, you’ll find it much easier to get back into shape.
How Can I Eat Healthy & Lose Post Baby Fat?
Below are some very easy but effective tips you can follow on a daily basis to help you stay healthy and manage weight loss post pregnancy safely, sensibly and effectively..
Your weight loss should be gradual! Make sure your doctor clears you for exercise before you begin too, as you don’t want to overdo it. Firstly, clean the pre-delivery junk food out of your house and stock up on healthy, nutritious foods to eat healthy. Get plenty of lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Only allow yourself 1-2 bites of those foods that you know won’t help and don’t eat empty calories, this is the biggest hurdle!
- Eat frequent, small meals. This will help keep your blood-sugar levels balanced. An imbalance frequently promotes over-eating. Remember that your body can only metabolize so much at once. Meals that consist of more than 400-500 calories typically end up as stored fat
- Make yourself a rule that you won’t eat after 7:00-8:00 at night, depending on your lifestyle. Don’t get in the habit of grabbing a “little” bite of something when you get up with the baby at night! Here are some great healthy recipes to try.
- Post a chart on your refrigerator to keep your journey “visual” and to help motivate you. Include your measurements and weight, but don’t check them more than once a week.
- Check out any local post-natal programs that might be offered by the YMCA, recreational centers, or hospitals. This is also a great way to connect with other new moms. You could form an early-morning walking group. Exercise is always more fun with friends!
How Can I Stay Active To Help Weight Loss?
Keep the baby’s changing table upstairs to force yourself to walk up and down the stairs quite frequently. You’ll be amazed at the steps you’ll take daily!
Take your baby for walks daily. The fresh air will be great for both of you and also add a change of scenery to your routine. It’s proven the outdoors reduces stress too.
Walk slowly on a treadmill or ride a recumbent bike while holding your baby. The noise of the machinery will probably be soothing to your baby. Holding the baby’s weight will be a workout for your arms, you’ll soon see!
Purchase or check out (from your local library) fitness DVDs. You can use these in the privacy of your own home while your baby is close by. Create a fitness “DVD exchange” with your friends.
Weight training will help boost your metabolism, but it’s not essential to go to the gym; you have your baby! We’re not talking anything crazy here, but just carrying your baby where you will make a huge difference.
It is widely known that there is a relationship between sleep deprivation and weight loss. Who is more deprived of restful sleep than a new mother? Take a look at our sleep deprivation page to find out more. So, Take a nap when your baby does. Nothing else that needs to be done is as important as you being rested and refreshed. Your unusual sleep patterns will play havoc with your metabolism, so get sleep when you can!
Finally, and most importantly, cut yourself some slack in your pregnancy weight loss journey! Enjoy each moment! You don’t want to remember how fat you felt after your baby; you want to remember every joyful, precious moment you spent together as mother and baby!