I have had 2 children and I know just how hard it is sometimes to lose the baby weight. With my first daughter the weight just fell off, but in my defense I was 19. With my second daughter I struggled, this time I was 30 and it took about six months to get back down to my normal size and 2 years to get to my goal weight.
I’d like to thank Valerie Gravel for this great guest post for all those new and not so new mom’s out there on how to safely lose weight.
How To Safely Lose Weight After Having A Baby
Having a baby is the most wonderful experience in a woman’s life, but that joy is often accompanied by the disappointment of having packed on a few extra pounds that don’t disappear as quickly as they should. Losing the baby weight you gained during pregnancy takes time. Celebrity moms can look tone and lean just weeks after having their child, but remember, they have whole teams of trainers and dieticians that follow them around 24/7. Most of us regular people, can’t afford that type of luxury.
Here are some healthy tips and strategies to help you safely lose the weight your little bundle of love helped you gain.
Slow and steady is the key:
Keep in mind that you won’t ‘’shrink back’’ to your normal size after you’ve given birth, after all, it took you 9 months to gain the weight and despite some of that belonging to the baby, you can’t expect to lose the rest in a blink of an eye. Although pregnancy can change a woman’s body forever, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something about your postpartum belly. Just like beginning any type of fitness program, make sure you receive the ‘’OK’’ from your doctor to begin exercising after childbirth.
Focus on your core:
The core is the part of your body that is the most affected by pregnancy. Part of the challenge of toning the core after giving birth is due to the body being programmed to store fat in the belly, not lose it. Exercising on a regular basis is the key to getting back into shape and to staying healthy. Use exercises that target specific areas of your core like your abdominals and oblique muscles. It’s easy to find books that clearly illustrate which types of exercises you can do. Take advantage of your baby’s nap time to do a few reps (an average of 16) in the living room or elsewhere, about 2 or 3 times per week.
Walk before you run:
You can take small 20-30 min walks pushing your baby’s stroller, about three times per week. Many areas also offer stroller aerobics or some type of exercise class you can do with your child in a stroller. Swimming is a wonderful way to work out while still being kind to your body and joints. Elliptical and stationary bicycles are also gentle enough to use after giving birth. After a while, you will feel fit enough to pump up the tempo of your cardio workout, but respect yourself. If you feel you’re pushing yourself too hard, turn the beat back down so that your meter’s still running, but at a gentler pace.
Change your eating habits:
Radical diets are the worst thing you can do when trying to lose weight safely. Cutting back on certain foods will only make you crave them more. Don’t reduce your calorie intake too quickly, especially if you’re breastfeeding, because that facilitates the release of toxins in your breast milk . Your body will lose weight naturally after your pregnancy. You’ll lose at least 8 to 20 pounds of fluids alone and breastfeeding can knock an extra 500 calories off each day. Instead of eating 3 big meals per day, eat about 6 smaller meals. A meal can be half a sandwich or a couple of carrots. Another good tip is to eat slowly, this will make you feel full more quickly and you’ll be less likely to over eat. Include plenty of fruits and veggies to your diet and favour low fat dairy products over the regular ones.
If all else fails, you can always use a little extra help:
Body shapers are a growing trend helping women everywhere look slimmer and smoother in their clothes. It is a great choice post-pregnancy gift to give women a boost of confidence. Shapewear manufactured by ShaToBu™ will not only slim your silhouette, it will also tone your muscles and help you burn extra calories. Ideal for the busy new mom who doesn’t always have to time to make it to the gym! The key is the resistance bands incorporated in the shaper that make your body work a little harder while performing everyday tasks like walking or climbing stairs.
Remember, when it comes to losing weight after a pregnancy, slow and steady wins the race. Wait 2 to 3 months, or until your period returns to normal before considering an exercise program. It’s also wise to follow the advice of a doctor or a nutritionist to guide you along the path to returning to pre baby weight. After all, you’ve waited 9 months to hold your child in your arms, isn’t it better to take the time to enjoy being a mom instead of focusing on losing weight right away?
Thanks Valerie for an informative post!!!