Do you want to lose baby weight? I did too…
There were times during my pregnancy when I was scared to eat because I was afraid I’d gain weight I wouldn’t be able to lose but thank God I overcame that and focused on nurturing the gift that was growing inside me!
Is it possible to shed the pregnancy weight and get your “pre-pregnancy” body back? Yes it is!
I did it and I know several others who have too. So it’s possible and it starts with believing that you can.
Some women barely gain weight; some gain a lot of it. Same way, some also lose it so fast like in a blink of an eye but for others, it may take several months or even years.
It’s important to note that, every woman’s weight loss journey is unique and depends on a whole lot of factors like: genetics, diet, physical activity and stress level.
So be true to you and never compare yourself to others.
In this post, seven awesome moms (including myself) share their best tips for losing the baby weight!
1. Start but go slow
Amanda Southhall Krieger of the Kriegers
I have four kids and my best advice is to go slow and give yourself time to heal.
I don’t have much free time, I have almost no energy and I have a long way to go. But I’m starting. So far I’ve been walking, and I hope to start running whenever I feel up to it.
I feel very patient about the process, and aware that it’s a process. I have no timeline, and there isn’t a photo of a supermodel in a bikini taped to my refrigerator. In fact, I don’t even have specific goals. Maybe I should set goals (how does one succeed without setting goals, anyway?) but I have four babies, and one of those babies is only eight weeks old.
I’ve gotten used to giving myself grace in all areas of life, including being a little over my fighting weight.
I asked my doctor for fitness recommendations. Is there a magic postpartum yoga? Or strength routine? She told me that the main thing to remember was to go slow. Postpartum healing can’t be rushed.
So here I go. Walking on the treadmill at a 3.0 pace for 30 minutes, or for as long as the baby allows.
2. Healthy freezer meals
Perri of becoming Perri
My best tip is to make healthy meals to freeze ahead of time. I didn’t do this the first time around but did on the second, and lost weight way faster the second time. I found that with a newborn easy food was my go to. If I had healthy meals already frozen, they were as easy to make as a frozen dinner but way better for me so I opted for those instead.
3. Homemade healthy meals
Haley of the German gypsy
Make homemade meals with plenty of fresh vegetables, eat more sweet potatoes than white, switch out the pasta and replace it with spaghetti squash (my mom bought a zoodler and makes noodles out of zucchini). Throw out the carbonated sodas and avoid the bread. Getting back in shape isn’t as intimidating as it seems. It is all a process of getting started and keeping your goals in mind.
Brittany of beautiful you life style
I am actually 7 weeks postpartum currently and already down to my pre-pregnancy weight!
(Disclaimer-I had a vaginal delivery. My advice is what worked for ME, and according to how I felt. Nobody should push themselves but rather listen to their body.)
Outside of breastfeeding, the most important tip I can give is to start walking and drink a lot of water! The first few days, you are obviously extremely sore still. Just take it easy and get yourself to walk for 5 minutes every couple hours. (Nurses told me walking helps recover faster too). As your recovery progresses, SLOWLY increase the amount of time you are walking. By 3-4 weeks postpartum I was walking my dog and baby around the neighborhood for 25 minutes 2-3 times a day.
As 4-6 weeks came and I was feeling close to my old self, I would hold my baby in my chest and do some walking up and down the stairs for 10-15 minutes at a time too. I would do very light weightlifting with my upper body to jump start building my metabolism back up.
At 6 weeks, I was cleared by my doctor to resume all pre-pregnancy exercises and have since been doing a workout program that kicks my butt. The pounds are falling off, the muscle is coming on!
5. Work out and have an early dinner
Melissa of one maine mama
If you have a gym in your area and its membership is within your budget, make it happen. The investment is highly worthwhile for your whole family. Eating an early dinner and packing up swimsuits for a swim after is a fun activity.
6. Make sure you eat
Breanna Park of messy buns and mom jeans
I know it seems silly, but when I first had my baby I would forget to eat because I was so busy baby-ing. This lead me to being starved in the night time and would cause me to start snacking and binging on super unhealthy food. By making sure I ate, it helped me to eat regularly so I wasn’t snacking, and also made me eat healthier choices.
Now it’s my turn to share my best tips with you.
7. Eat healthy whilst pregnant
I guess it’s too late for that now but maybe in your next pregnancy? Eating healthy during pregnancy is essential and makes the weight loss process easier. Eating the right food provides the body the right amount of nutrients and fat gain. It contributes to having a belly only pregnancy.
8. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because your body would have fasted during the night. Skipping breakfast triggers high cortisol levels, a stress hormone. Cortisol encourages cravings for carbohydrates which will cause more weight gain. Starving to lose weight is not a great idea. It may only worsen your state.
9. Cut down processed foods
Processed foods usually have a high caloric content. They are also generally unhealthy. As a result of their high caloric content they tend to cause more weight gain. When trying to loose baby weight try harder to cut down these kind of foods as they can be addictive.
Lack of adequate rest puts your body in a vicious cycle of increased stress hormone levels such as cortisol. This hormone encourages cravings for carbohydrates and other sources of energy that consequently not only antagonizes weight loss but leads to more weight gain. Therefore adequate rest is necessary for losing the baby weight.
If you haven’t heard how amazing breastfeeding is, please read this post. Breastfeeding helps the uterus to contract and helps lose the baby weight. How exactly does this happen?
The amount of calories burnt per breastfeeding session is between 300-500 calories. This is equivalent to 45-60 minutes medium intensity physical exercise. Breastfeeding moms may be more conscious of what they consume thus, take in less processed foods. Source.
However, some breastfeeding moms do not not lose their baby weight because:
- they may eat more but move less
- irregular and interrupted sleep patterns increases hunger and appetite. This makes it harder to lose the weight.
All these can be related to stress, hormones and diet.
12. Drink lots of water
Drinking water helps burn more calories. Drinking cold water helps burn even more calories because the body uses extra calories to warm the water up to the temperature of the body.
Water contributes to weight loss by reducing appetite when taken before meals.
Water has zero calories thus by taking in water, the body has even less calories to burn compared to beverages which are usually high in sugar and calories. Source.
13. Stay active
I’ve never had a strict exercise routine but I like to think of myself as a very active person. I realized I was more active at home compared to being at the office.
How do you stay active when you have a sedentary job?
- Unless extremely necessary, walk to a colleagues desk to ask for the clarification you need instead of sending an email or making a phone call.
- Stretch /take a brief walk after at least every two hours.
- If you have a staircase at work, utilize it instead of the lift.
- Avoid sitting at your desk to have lunch.
- It’s another win if you have a staircase at home too. Use it as part of exercise routine daily. Up and down the staircase you go- as many times as your energy allows.
My husband told me diet is everything when it comes to weight loss. And no, you don’t necessarily have to tell yourself you are on a DIET. The goal should be to eat healthy. Cut down carbohydrates drastically from your menu. Replace carbohydrates with whole grains, fats and protein. By avoiding carbohydrates, the body uses up the stored fat in your body.
Your diet should include:
Red meat, chicken, turkey, steak, eggs, fatty fish- tuna , mackerel, seeds and nuts- chia seeds, almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, low carb veggies- green veggies, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers.
Foods to avoid:
Sugars (in all forms- ice-cream, fruit juice, cake), bread, pasta, rice.
I’m not a dietician but my personal advice would be not to diet if you’re breastfeeding. Always check with your doctor before embarking on an exercise regime and starting a diet. Their advice should override any information given here.
You know something I realized? As a mom, you will be tired a lot of the time, it takes a lot of inspiration to get up and get moving. I actually struggled to put up this post because I was tired! But at the end of the day, I had goals to attain and mamas who needed to read this post. Have your goals written and the find inspiration to keep going on those tough days.
Do not let social media get you into a comparison game or comments from insensitive people put you down. It’s only a matter of time no matter how long it takes before you drop those pounds. I’ve had some nasty comments after losing weight on why I lost the weight I lost! But I guess I can’t please everyone.
It made me realize that people will judge you no matter what. You will be judged for breastfeeding in public, for feeding your baby formula and even for getting pregnant when you got pregnant (whether the pregnancy came early or late); the list can go on and on.
So my advise? Don’t focus on people or negativity. Focus on “positive vibes only”. Focus on the people that love you unconditionally and draw your energy from there. Make them proud. Do it because you really want to. Do it because you can!
Are there tips you have used for weight loss that you found effective? Kindly share them in the comments below.
What are some of the challenges you are encountering in your weight loss journey as a mom? Would love to hear them. Don’t forget to share!