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Tips For Losing Pregnancy Weight
Changing bag…check, Wipes….check, stroller…check, baby…check, distended belly and buffalo butt??? check. 🙁
If you’ve had kids, unless you happen to have a trainer and a chef, or have an insanely high metabolism, chances are you’ve experienced how difficult it can be to lose weight after pregnancy. Face it… your body will just change. It looks different, it hangs different, and you probably have fat in places you didn’t even know you had before.
Many women simply accept these changes as part of life. Seriously, when you have a new baby, who really wants to focus on getting back in shape? You have this cute little human to stare at and play with all day. Who wants to take time off their baby to exercise???
But does it really have to be? Do you really have to choose one or the other? Do you really have to completely change everything in your life to finally get your body back?
I’m here to tell you that you CAN have both. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take that many changes to slowly reach your weight loss goals. Consistency is the key; you can’t lose it overnight. And no matter what anyone says, including your OB, you should start your weight loss goals on your own timeline, not someone else’s.
Be sure to get your doctor’s approval before starting any weight loss program; 4-6 weeks postpartum is a good rule of thumb.
Here are 7 tips I personally used to lose over 50 pounds after my first pregnancy:
1) Drink water like it’s going out of style.
Seriously. Especially if you are breastfeeding. I’ve heard people discredit the importance of water saying you can overhydrate, and while it’s theoretically possible, it’s much more likely that you’re dehydrated. You basically have to work hard to be over hydrated for that to happen. Pregnancy takes a toll on your body, and your body can’t fully recover without enough water. Your body also can’t focus on losing all the pregnancy pounds without enough water. It takes water to lose water build-up in your system. So be sure to drink. Also, try to drink just plain old water if you can stomach it; Excess calories are better not to drink. Try drinking a tall, cold glass of water right after waking up in the morning. I’m not sure if it’s just my imagination or not, but I’ve found that it gets your system primed and ready to burn those calories.
2) Buy Baby and Mom Yoga DVDs… and Use Them! 🙂
I know it can be very hard for me to get a lot of “me” time. And when I do have “me” time, the last thing I honestly want to do during it is exercise. I’d much rather read a good book or take a bubble bath. This is why I absolutely love Mother Baby Yoga DVDs. Then you can start exercising while spending quality time with your newborn. And Baby will love watching your face and having you on the floor with them. It really is a win. Much better than waiting for the planets to align, you can run to the gym.
3) Breastfeed if humanly possible.
I was saddened to learn how many doctors told my friends, “Why bother breastfeeding, it’s just as healthy to formula feed, just as good for your body, and much more convenient,” when the facts were. do not support it at all. I wish doctors would at least tell women all the facts and then let them decide. If they choose a formula anyway, then that is their prerogative. But first they should have all the facts.
So what does breastfeeding have to do with it? weight loss during pregnancy? Many. Not only does it have the best natural nutrients for your growing baby, it also takes about 500 extra calories to produce milk. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract and shrink back to its original size more quickly, minimizing the amount of time you still look pregnant after giving birth. If that’s not enough motivation, consider this; the only vitamin “missing” in breast milk is vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin (because most mothers are deficient in it, not because breast milk is low). Is this a great reason to get out of the pram and go for a walk in the park to make sure you and baby get your fair share of sunlight? Best of all, since breastfeeding has been shown to boost your baby’s immune system, you’ll spend less time tending to ear infections and colds and more days chasing your kids and taking them outside, helping to dissolve the fat
If the formula is more convenient? I can’t speak for everyone, but I love that there are no bottles to clean, no pacifiers to keep up with, no formula to mix, no running out of milk and having to run to the store, no trash, no cleaning up and most importantly almost no spitting. Also, once you get the hang of it, you can breastfeed pretty much anywhere with no one the wiser.
Ok, I guess I’ll stop rambling now… 🙂 It really does help get things going though.
Can’t say enough about walking. It really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So many people will tell you that to get back in shape you need to work your butt on the bowflex or at the gym 5 days a week. That’s just not true. Believe it or not, your body wants to return to its pre-pregnancy weight. So movement is all it takes to get things moving. Make sure you start slowly. Every little bit helps. Try taking more stairs or parking further away from the store. You can even walk the perimeter of the grocery store before you start shopping, or walk around the living room while the baby takes a nap. If you need an extra boost, why not carry your baby instead of using the pushchair occasionally. Just one hour of carrying a 15-pound baby burns 246 calories for a 155-pound woman. This can easily be achieved by spreading it out over a few extra minutes throughout the day.
5) Continue prenatal use.
Taking vitamins with help give your body everything it needs to lose pregnancy weight. With the lack of sleep and lack of time that comes with being a new mother, it’s easy to not get all the nutrients you need in your diet. Your body needs to know it has all the vitamins it needs daily before it gets rid of all the stores it has built up for your pregnancy. Taking vitamins every day helps ensure that this is the case. What vitamins specifically help? Vitamin E, chromium picolinate, and B complex vitamins are believed to aid in weight loss; so make sure any prenatal choice includes these essential vitamins.
6) Eat more fiber and good fat.
It takes fat to burn fat. Try adding more olive oil, nuts and fish to your diet. Avocado is your friend!!! They are probably one of the healthiest things you can put in your mouth! Adding more good fat will help keep you fuller longer and help you burn off any fat stores you no longer need.
For fiber, try using whole wheat flour instead of white and eat lots of asparagus, broccoli, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Rather than using stool softeners and laxatives, make sure you eat extra fruit as well. No, carbs won’t kill you. 🙂 Fruit suits you!! Also, try buying ground flaxseed and adding it to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or even pancake mix. When you’re backed up and feeling bloated, you don’t want to exercise or move. So do your body a favor and indulge in more fiber!
7) Get rid of all the artificial crap!!!!
Put away the low-fat margarine, away from the low-calorie cakes and spit out the Diet Coke. Have you ever noticed that most people who eat all that stuff are overweight??? It is much better to eat some real butter than to drink an excess of low-calorie margarine, which is nothing more than hydrogenated oil. In case you’ve ever wondered what’s actually in a margarine spread, here’s the list of ingredients in Smart Balance Margarine:
BLEND OF NATURAL OILS (PALM, SOYBEAN, CANOLA AND OLIVE OILS), WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% SALT, WHEY (from MILK), VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SORBITAN ESTER OF FATTY ACIDS (EMULSIFIER SORBITAN, SOTHIBEUMAN) LACTIC ACID (TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS) , NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL ACETATE), BETA-CAROTENE COLOR
What’s in butter?
Cream, salt and milk. I’ll take the butter, please. 🙂
On a similar note… a little sugar is also not as bad as artificial sweeteners, which I truly believe cause cancer. After you just had a baby, your body needs as much natural food as possible. No chemicals. The same goes for Diet Coke. I even heard this supposed “health guru” tell a room full of people that he lost weight by drinking Diet Coke all day. The calories saved by drinking Diet Coke compared to regular Coke can cause you to drop a few pounds if you’re used to drinking huge amounts of soda, true. However, the chemicals you are ingesting are not improving your health one bit. If your intention is to lose the pregnancy pounds, then definitely drink Diet Coke. However, if your goal is to be thin and healthy so you can run around with your new bundle of joy and live a long healthy life, do yourself a favor and stop drinking all the diet drinks. Get involved in water, natural tea or even smoothies with honey. Your body will thank you later.
Losing those extra pregnancy pounds can be quite difficult. Hopefully these few tips will help you on your way to your own weight loss and fitness goals. Remember to start slow and focus more on some form of exercise at least 30 minutes a day, not Iron Man training. Drink plenty of water and remember to eat fats, fiber, vegetables and fruits, especially avocados. Good luck and lose the pregnancy pounds for good!
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