After having a baby, you might be eager to lose the weight you’ve gained in the process.
Full disclosure – it won’t be easy. Toning your body and eating well might not happen the same way it did in your pre-baby days. Still, there are things you can do to stay trim and healthy for you and your growing family.
Make Sure to Move
The key is to get moving. While it’s tempting to catch up on sleep (which is important for weight loss too), moving your body is essential.
Find ways to work out with your baby. You can take walks with the stroller, find a baby-friendly gym, or get a personal trainer to come to the house during naptime.
Understand Your Nutrition Needs
Everyone’s nutrition needs will vary but there are a few key points to keep in mind. Breastfeeding has a big impact on the nutrients you need. Ask your doctor for the recommendations for essential vitamins and micronutrients. Calcium, folate, iron, and vitamin C are particularly important.
Speaking of breastfeeding, many women find that they drop weight quickly while they’re breastfeeding. Of course, there’s no shame in opting for formula instead. After all, a fed baby is all that matters. But, if you’re looking to lose your baby weight, if you can breastfeed, it should help.
Just beware that once you stop breastfeeding or your child switches to solid foods, you’ll need to adjust for those extra calories. Breastfeeding burns between 300 to 600 calories a day without any extra exercise. Make sure to account for that when your feeding methods change.
Snacks are okay, but it’s important to make balanced choices. To keep you on track with your post-pregnancy/pregnant weight loss goals, here are a few simple and nutritious snack ideas:
- Vegetables and hummus
- Egg or chicken salad on whole grain bread
- Whole grain bread and nut butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Apples and nut butter
- Protein fruit smoothies
Set a Goal for Yourself
As long as they’re realistic, the power of goal setting is incredibly valuable. Knowing you have a reason for choosing better snacks and working out will help on days when you don’t feel motivated. Your goal can be anything from running a marathon, beating a record of 10 push-ups, or doing your first pull up.
Newly post-partum moms are often spending a lot more time at home than they’re used to and the fridge seems to always be calling. That’s why it’s a good idea to remove any obvious temptations. No temptations, no difficult decisions.
Go through your kitchen and remove sugary foods, overly-processed products, or anything else that isn’t good for fueling your body. That doesn’t mean you have to subsist on chicken and vegetables only – do simple switches instead.
For example, throw some Greek yogurt cups into the freezer for a portion-controlled ice cream substitute. Snack on organic homemade granola instead of a whole bag of chips. You get the idea.
Getting enough sleep does wonders for weight loss. Anyone who’s been a mom knows that sleeping in the early stages is a pipe dream. That’s where napping comes in. When you sleep, you’re giving yourself the energy to work out and the headspace to make better choices in the kitchen.
A grumpy, sleep-deprived mom is more likely to skip the gym and resort to a pint of mint chocolate than one who’s slightly well-rested. Keep that in mind the next time you try to convince yourself to push through the sleepiness.
Go Easy on Yourself
Finally, go easy on yourself. Always remind yourself of how amazing your body is. It’s helpful for many moms to think of pregnancy as an 18-month journey. Nine months for the baby and nine months for you.
Your body is going through a lot as it heals and replenishes itself after birth. Give yourself some grace and enjoy this new stage of your life as a woman and mother.