Frequently asked question after giving birth: how to lose weight after pregnancy
Post-pregnancy weight gain can be so frustrating! The fact of the matter is women put weight on during pregnancy.
It’s healthy and natural to do so. We want our bouncing little cherubs to have the very best start in life so a few extra pounds here or there whilst pregnant is permissible.
According to the Institute of Medicine expect to gain as much as an extra 25 to 35 pounds (higher for some) if you were at ‘normal’ weight before becoming pregnant.
But what happens after you’ve given birth and those surplus baby pounds which once paraded your beauty and radiance are no longer flattering.
You’re starting to feel a little dumpy (oh-oh!). And what with all the expectations which come with being a mother, you struggle to find the time to cook for yourself, let alone to exercise.
To make matters worse there’s yet another magazine article or news story about some freakingly-too-good-to-be-true-celebrity who managed to lose all her baby weight the day after giving birth.
Not meaning to make sweeping generalizations, but perhaps a little nip and tuck operation post-C section is not an uncommon phenomenon for some of these picture-perfect celebs.
Furthermore, what about the grade ‘A’ personal trainers, dieticians, and super nannies on hand to provide the celeb mum with that much-needed respite time to get into even better shape.
Most of us can’t compete with that and don’t want to miss out on any valuable bonding time with our child, the pressure to get back into shape as quickly as possible postpartum is so strong.
So what tips or advice is out there on how to lose weight after pregnancy in a healthy, natural, and realistic way for the average mum?
Breastfeeding Helps With Weight Loss
You’ve no doubt heard the one about breasts being best. Well, it certainly is when it comes to sucking away the baby fat, as many women will vouch for. Just be sure to maintain a healthy diet whilst you breastfeed.
How does it help?
You can burn as much as 500 calories a day breastfeeding (more if you have twins)
The uterus contracts during breastfeeding which helps to tighten muscle tone in the stomach — getting your tummy back to its pre-pregnancy state quickly.
Is it any wonder why some mothers continue to breastfeed their children into toddlerhood and beyond? But that’s a whole different debate.
Yes I know working out seems like the last thing you would want to do with a very active 3-month-old keeping you on your toes, but exercise is a given when it comes to losing weight. We’re talking about a consistent and sustained exercise program here that will build your muscle tone and get your heart rate up.
Whilst joining a gym may not be a viable option there are plenty of other things you can try:
- stroller fitness
- Walking is great! Take your little one down to the park or for a walk around town. If you can manage to get out and walk for 20 to 30 minutes at least 4-5 days a week then that’s a great start.
- There’s even a stroller workout program that you can get from Amazon that is specifically designed to provide an all-over cardio workout for mothers who are 6-8 weeks postpartum.
- Yoga and Pilates are other forms of gentle exercise that work the entire body inside out to create a stronger, fitter, and more energetic you.
Eat balanced and Nutritious Meals
This is a necessity for everyone looking at controlling their weight but even more so if you are a nursing mother according to the Eat Well, Lose Weight Whilst Breastfeeding book.
Ignore dieting for now – it depletes you of the extra calories you need to breastfeed.
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring either, just make sure you’re taking in good quantities of wholegrain, protein, and calcium-rich foods along with lashings of fruit and veg.
Goal Setting Equates to Success
You can’t successfully lose weight if you don’t set yourself realistic and achievable goals. Think about it for a second – how can you plan where you want to get to unless you have a map to get you there?
For extra motivation seek out a friend who you know is also a new mum and plan your weight loss programs together. It will help you to stay on track.
Regularly Consult Your Doctor
It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and in your haste to go back to the slimmer version of yourself, you might be tempted to over-exert yourself on the exercise front. I can’t stress this enough; ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS consult your Doctor before you take up any form of exercise or start a new weight loss regime.
Remember to enjoy being a mother. Giving birth, in my opinion, is one most amazing gifts we as women have been blessed with.
So what if you haven’t worked out how to lose weight after pregnancy (I mean it took nine months to put it on in the first place right?).
You’ve done an amazing job thus far and you will continue to do so. Don’t let anyone not even that little voice in your head tell you any differently.