Post Pregnancy: 5 Simple Steps to Lose the Baby Weight
Some of your friends practiced yoga throughout their pregnancies and still had to deal with post-baby bodies that took a while to bounce back. One of your friends gained 60 pounds, has never exercised a day in her life and seemed to magically drop the weight immediately. One thing is clear – everyone's body is different!
While all women’s bodies make their way back to “pre-baby body” differently, there are certainly some tips you can follow to make the process of getting back into shape much easier. And with that weight off your mind – and soon off your body! – you can spend less time worrying and more time playing with your miraculous little bundle of happiness.
1. Set Realistic Goals
You have a new baby that demands most of your attention during waking hours – and sleeping hours. The last thing you need is the pressure of reaching a goal that is technically unachievable. Set realistic goals for yourself so you can enjoy the process.
- Speak with your doctor to agree on a healthy goal weight as well as healthy intervals of weight loss.
- Remember that it took nine months for your body to change, and it will take time to reverse the transformation.
- Create short-term goals so you can celebrate smaller victories and keep your spirits up along the way.
2. Explore Breastfeeding Benefits
If breastfeeding is an option, consider the research that promotes its ability to help push your body back into shape. When a woman breastfeeds, her body releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps her uterus return to its initial size. Your body also burns calories throughout the breastfeeding process, which may help you lose weight.
However, if breastfeeding is not an option, don’t fret – you and your breastfeeding mama friends will all soon happily fit back into your favorite pair of jeans, regardless of your feeding choices.
3. Keep Down the Bloat
If you’re keeping on water weight while you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll probably feel puffy and uncomfortable when you could be feeling light as a feather (or something like that). Make changes to reduce bloat for an instant pick-me-up effect:
- Reduce Your Sodium Intake: Extra salt causes your body to retain water.
- Drink Plenty of Water: It’s healthy, helps flush excess salt and bloat and keeps you hydrated.
- Eat More Fiber: Increasing your fiber is great for digestion and is known to promote a flat belly (and it keeps you feeling full, so you’re less likely to reach for snacks right after a meal).
4. Move Your Body
One of the best ways to get your body back into shape? You might not want to hear it, but it’s true: Move it! Joining a gym might not be in the cards right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t burn calories and tone up – you just need to get a little creative.
- Elevator or stairs? Always take the stairs.
- Set up short bursts of exercise that you can do when baby is napping.
- Get your little one all comfy and secure in a stroller and take walks.
- Join a mommy and baby exercise class.
- Schedule a time to go for a quick jog while someone else is watching your little one.
5. Practice Healthy Eating (and Sleeping) Habits
All of those amazing things you let yourself eat while you were pregnant – it’s time to say goodbye. Back to healthy, balanced eating! When combined with exercise, it’s all you need to get back into shape. Make it happen:
- Clean out the Kitchen: If those empty calories are not in the kitchen, you can’t accidentally eat them.
- Cut Back on: Unhealthy fats, sugars and oils.
- Replace Sweet Treats: Choose healthier options – a banana dipped in a little chocolate syrup is much better than a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream!
- Eat Several Small Meals a Day: This helps keep your energy up for your new I’m-up-all-day-and-all-night schedule.
- Choose: Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and veggies. Lower fat, complex carbohydrates and plant foods all promote heart health, weight loss and high energy. For example, skip the blueberry muffin as a snack and opt for low-fat yogurt and a healthy granola bar.
Your only other assignment? Create a support system with relatives, friends, siblings or other moms – having a cheerleader or two in your corner makes staying on track so much easier (and a lot more fun).