When you're pregnant, it can be hard to keep your weight in check. Between morning sickness and cravings, it's easy to gain weight. After the baby arrives, many moms are eager to lose that pregnancy weight as soon as possible to get back into their pre-pregnancy clothes.
However, when you're breastfeeding or exclusively pumping breast milk for a baby younger than six months of age or born prematurely, losing weight too quickly puts them at risk for health problems such as dehydration and trouble breathing. If you plan on breastfeeding after giving birth but want to lose some post-baby pounds before resuming your regular diet and exercise routine (or if you need help getting motivated), read this blog post for some helpful tips.
Don't diet - change your lifestyle
Don't diet; instead, focus on changing your lifestyle. If you're used to full-on sugar fests with lots of sweets, then cut back and start by only eating them once in the week. You might be surprised how much weight you can lose without even having to go hungry!
If you're not used to eating much, start making small changes, such as swapping a morning coffee with something healthier like orange juice or milk. You can even drink herbal teas with less caffeine but still give us that vital boost we need in the mornings.
The main thing is not to diet (which usually leads to more deprivation and often binge eating) but to make small changes in your lifestyle.
Next, try adding more healthy foods into your diet, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, high in vitamins and minerals but low in fat. Aim to have at least two portions of these every day, as they will help fill you up while giving you the energy you need to exercise.
Then, you might also want to consider cutting back on sugary and high-fat foods, as these have been shown in some studies to increase weight gain after pregnancy. If you find this hard, try swapping them for healthier alternatives such as low-fat dairy products or fruit juice drinks made from natural sweeteners like stevia.
Once you've made these changes, come up with a plan to gradually increase the amount of healthy food to become an automatic choice rather than something that requires willpower. You might find this works better as then you'll be able to focus on making some other positive changes in your life as well.
Joining a women’s gym is a good plan
Fitness experts suggest getting plenty of exercises, this will help you lose weight and manage stress levels! Start by adding at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day - try brisk walking or cycling, for example. You should gradually build up the amount of time you spend doing this so that you're able to exercise for at least an hour a day.
When you’re good and ready, consider going to a women’s gym like MPower Fitness. Here, you’ll get the attention and care you deserve so you can return to your pre-pregnancy weight and fitness level. Our trainers will ease you back into physical activity (if you ever stopped) and help you tone your body and get those muscles working once again.
A women’s gym will help keep you motivated and determined to follow through with your fitness goals.
You need to remember that it's what we do every day which counts - not one-off changes. So start making these small but vital lifestyle changes, and you'll soon see the results of your efforts without having to go hungry or deprive yourself in any way.
Get back to basics and eat real food
One good way to lose weight is to cut back on processed foods and start eating real food instead. Processed foods are notorious for their high sugar content and the chemical preservatives that they contain, which can trigger insulin spikes. One of the best ways you can lose weight after pregnancy is by not only cutting out processed foods but also adding in these healthy options:
- Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains: these should make up the bulk of your diet. These foods are low in calories but high in nutrients which will fuel you for a day full of activities while also keeping you feeling fuller longer thanks to their fiber content. You don't need to go crazy on super-filling veggies like broccoli orchards, but instead include some of your favorites, and you'll be much more likely to stick with the new diet.
- Nuts: Most nuts are a great source of healthy fats, which can help curb hunger and keep blood sugar levels stable and be high in protein while also containing antioxidants that protect against free radicals. These are an easy snack to have on hand when you're feeling a bit peckish or need something quick and filling.
- Protein: Snack time doesn't always mean that you should reach for junk food! One of the most satisfying snacks is a protein-rich item like yogurt, eggs, tofu, or almonds which are all high in this nutrient. Protein not only helps you to feel full and satisfied, but it also promotes muscle growth thanks to its amino acids which are the building blocks of this nutrient.
- Water: Drinking plenty of water is vital for good health and weight loss after pregnancy since it will help flush out toxins in your body, maintain electrolyte balance and promote a feeling of fullness. It's recommended that people drink at least eight glasses per day, but this may not be possible for everyone, so aim to have as much water as you can in the course of your day and see how it makes you feel!
- Probiotics: One hidden danger lurking in many processed foods is their lack of probiotics. When your gut flora is healthy, you'll burn calories more efficiently and have a better immune system, which will help ward off illness or infection and bloating and gas. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir (fermented dairy), sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and kombucha.
Your MPower Fitness coaches know and understand that caring for an infant takes a lot of time and energy. However, this is also why you should be eating well, resting and be in your best form — because you’re caring for another human being!
A post-pregnancy weight loss regimen that doesn't have to be time-consuming or restrictive. Just exercise daily, and you'll lose pounds.
Walk for 30 minutes each day--or do an hour workout three days per week at maximum--and your pre-baby clothes will fit again before you know it. If that seems like too much exercise, do 15 minutes of walking each day, this is a surefire way to keep your weight in check and feel great!
Sleep 7-8 hours a night
When pregnant women don't get the sleep they need, it can lead to postpartum depression. But getting an ample amount of rest is just as crucial for mom after she gives birth. It helps her heal from labor and delivery and adjust to being a new parent. Plus, when we don't have enough sleep, our appetite changes, and we can end up eating more calories.
Surround yourself with positive people who are supportive of your goals
Positive people and supportive female trainers are essential when it comes to achieving a goal. They can help you stay on track with your plan, but they also make this journey fun!
When you are surrounded by those who want you to succeed, working towards your goals doesn't feel like an uphill battle. In the end, finding your tribe is essential because it will help you stay motivated and on track with your goals!
Build an exercise routine that is fun for you
Building an exercise routine is a tough one for many new moms! There are so many things to take care of, and our bodies feel like they have been through the wringer. It may seem impossible, but there is something out there that can suit your needs. What exercise do you enjoy?
If it's yoga or walking, try finding classes at a women’s gym like MPower Fitness in Chino, CA.
On the other hand, if you enjoy swimming, look for a community pool that offers group lessons during the day and evening hours. You may also want to invest in some workout DVDs at home so that you can work out while baby naps.
Exercise Routine Ideas:
- Join a mothers group with other moms who are trying to lose weight. You can go for walks, do yoga or even cook healthy meals together!
- Take your baby out in the stroller and use it as an excuse to walk around the neighborhood/town where you live. Buy some new clothes that are more form-fitting and put them on as soon as you get home.
- Join a gym near your house, even if it is just for one day per week. You can take the baby with you in the car seat and do some exercises during naptime!
- Buy an exercise DVD (Pilates, Yoga, Kickboxing) and do it in the privacy of your own home.
- Find a babysitter who is willing to watch the baby while you go for a walk around the neighborhood or take an exercise class near work.
- Ask friends if they are interested in joining you on your walks/yoga sessions so that you can have someone to talk with.
Losing weight after pregnancy is a bit different from losing weight in general. In fact, this is not the same as any other routine for losing weight, and it deserves more attention. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that your body will be different. You are not going to be able to jump back into the same routine you were on before pregnancy.
Remember, it is very important to listen to your body while you are exercising after pregnancy.
Always consult with your doctor first. Do not start exercising until your doctor gives you the go-ahead. After all, you just gave birth to a baby; your body needs time to rest and heal. Otherwise, it may compromise your health even further than it already is.