One of the many new concerns new mothers face after childbirth is how to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. Although many women want to drop those extra pounds in a matter of weeks like they commonly see celebrities do, it is recommended that they take their time and return to their pre-baby weight over a period of six months.
Additionally, if you were overweight before your pregnancy, it could even take up to a year. It is expected that women gain between 25 and 40 lbs over a 9-month period. Losing all of your baby weight in less than 10 weeks means you are losing upwards of 4 lbs a week, which is unhealthy.
When it comes to losing weight after pregnancy, losing 1.5 to 2 lbs a week is sufficient. It gives your body time to heal from childbirth while you are losing weight. To help lose weight after having a baby, however, you should also make sure you are getting enough sleep and incorporating the right exercise habits into your daily routine.
Continue reading for some helpful tips on losing weight after pregnancy so that you can go about achieving this goal in the safest and most effective way possible.
Losing Weight After Pregnancy Requires Eating Right
Most physicians and fitness experts advocate for gradual weight loss for a number of reasons. Your new role as a mom presents several new challenges that you’ll face both physically and mentally. Crash dieting to lose weight quickly can actually cause you to gain weight by increasing the amount of stress you’ll experience when caring for a new baby.
Also, by severely reducing your food intake, you may be cutting out important nutrients that are vital for repairing your muscles, bones, and joints that were damaged or torn during child birth. Instead, you should focus on keeping a well-balanced diet.
If you are going to reduce your caloric intake, you should be sure not to take in less than 1,800 calories and eat 5-6 small meals per day with a snack in between. This doesn’t mean you should eat six 300-calorie donuts throughout the day either, make sure meals and snacks consist of nutrient dense foods and healthy snacks like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These will help you lose weight while keeping you energized and feeling fuller longer.
Many mothers have also reported that breastfeeding can help new mothers lose weight. Breastfeeding does burn calories, but to adequately produce enough breast milk, women should consume an extra 300-500 calories a day depending on the amount of milk they need to produce. Your diet can also affect the nutrients that are passed to your infant through breast milk. Stick to foods that are nutrient rich and help with your newborn’s development.
If you are confused about what constitutes “eating right” for losing weight after pregnancy, consider what the experts recommend. According to ParentHelpt123, you can stick with the following guidelines to improve your eating habits after childbirth:
- Foods that contain protein can help your body recover after having your baby, and protein can also help with losing weight after pregnancy
- Eating a variety of foods every day can help ensure you will be giving your body the wide range of nutrients that are necessary for healing, health maintenance, and weight loss. It’s one of the most important things to do when losing weight after pregnancy.
- Increasing your intake of fruits and veggies is a wise way to get a host of valuable nutrients, without the high number of calories. Plus, this is an ideal way to get your daily dose of fiber to keep your digestion healthy and help you feel full, so you eat fewer calories.
- It should go without saying that junk foods are not the right foods to eat when the goal is losing weight after pregnancy. So, even though they might be tempting, ditch the sugary beverages, the salty and sugary snacks, and the high-fat foods. Avoid processed foods, too, as much as possible. The more natural the foods on your plate, the better.
- Speaking of beverages, be sure to stick with pure water the majority of the time. Juices might be too sugary, and if you are adding a lot of sugar and cream to your tea and coffee, that’s not going to help with losing weight after pregnancy either. Also, try drinking water before a meal to help your belly feel full, so you will end up eating less.
Losing Weight After Pregnancy Also Requires Exercise
Before you begin any exercise regimen, it is important to make sure your body is ready by waiting until after your 6-week checkup, and consulting with a physician. You can actually do more damage to your body if it hasn’t fully healed from childbirth.
After being cleared, there are several different exercises that you can participate in while working around the schedule of your newborn. Splitting your workout sessions into smaller time increments can be just as effective as if you worked out once daily for 20-30 minutes.
To help lose fat in and around your core and for basic strength training you can start with some basic exercises you can do around the house while your baby naps. Some of the exercises include pelvic tilts, modified planks, lifting cans of soup, chair squats, overhead presses, lunges and different aerobic exercises that involve an exercise ball and exert a moderate amount of strength.
If any exercise or movement is uncomfortable, you should discontinue it, it is your body telling you it’s not ready yet! To increase your cardio, you can simply take a few laps around your house, or go up and down the stairs a few times. The key is to begin slowly and work your way into regular routines. Also focus on low impact activities that you can incorporate throughout the day with your infant. Pushing a stroller can increase the number of calories you burn while walking.
Losing Weight After Pregnancy: Fluids and Sleep
Lastly, as mentioned above, you want to make sure you are taking in plenty of fluids and getting enough sleep. Again, fluids can help keep you fuller longer and will obviously keep you hydrated.
It may be difficult to acquire the recommended amount of sleep, but in order to avoid exhaustion and fatigue, it is necessary. Don’t feel guilty about napping when your baby sleeps throughout the day. Sleeping helps you stay energized and increase your mental capacity. Plus, sleep is an integral component of any smart weight loss plan, as it can actually help support a healthy weight.
Well, there you have it: a few tips that you can use when your aim is losing weight after pregnancy. The right strategy can lead to success, so you want to be sure that you are taking the necessary steps to shed those extra pounds, while supporting your body as it heals after pregnancy and childbirth. Before you know it, you will be back at your pre-baby weight!