Post Pregnancy Weight Loss

image001When your baby is born, you have a lot of concerns on your mind and while the main focus is caring for your newborn most moms also want to lose the baby weight. The good news is that if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy and gained the recommended weight (of 25 to 35 pounds) during pregnancy, you should be able to drop the pounds in just a few months through diet and exercise. If you were overweight before pregnancy, however, it may take up to a year.

Despite the need to drop the pounds, the most important thing to remember is to do it slowly and stay healthy while losing weight. Below are tips for healthy weight loss after giving birth.

How to Lose Weight Healthily After Giving Birth

General Guideline

The best way to speed up the recovery process after giving birth and post pregnancy weight loss is to eat healthy and be sure to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will also increase your energy so you can keep up with your baby. Eating a healthy diet is crucial whether or not you are breastfeeding and you should try following these tips:

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Have five portions or more of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Eat foods rich in fiber like seeds, grains, lentils, beans and oats
  • Eat starchy foods with each meal including pasta, rice and bread
  • Limit eating sugary and fatty foods such as soda, cakes and fast food
  • Keep an eye on portion sizes both at meals and during snacks

When you combine your healthy eating with exercise, this will help you lose fat (not lean tissue) and improve your overall fitness.

1. Don’t Diet Too Soon

Labor and delivery can be very hard on your body so you need to wait at least six weeks until you start to take active steps towards losing weight. Experts suggest waiting a full two months if you are breastfeeding.

If you start dieting too soon after you give birth, it may slow down the recovery process and even make you more tired. Dieting can also affect your breast milk supply which is why you should always wait if breastfeeding.

2. Eat Super Foods

You should aim to select foods high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Fish is an excellent option with DHA (one of the essential omega-3 fatty acids that help with newborn development). Try to focus on cold-water fish like canned light tuna, sardines and salmon.

Yogurt and milk are another great choice because of their calcium content. You should also aim to get protein and fiber from beans, chicken and lean meat.

3. Breastfeed

Experts continue to disagree on whether it is easier to lose weight while breastfeeding due to conflicting studies but everyone agrees it won’t hurt your weight loss and is excellent for your baby. It can improve his immunity and will even let you eat about 300 calories more each day if you only breastfeed.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

Water not only prevents you from becoming dehydrated, but it can also fill you up so you aren’t as hungry and even increase your metabolism. The best way to judge your ideal water intake is to check your urine; it should be clear and you want to be going to the restroom every three or four hours.

5. Workout

Although diet is crucial to post pregnancy weight loss, it is only one factor. Be sure to include strength training and aerobic exercises so you can burn fat and maintain strong bones and muscles. Exercising can even help you relieve stress. The ideal is about 150 minutes each week but this can involve something as simple as going on a walk with your baby in his stroller. Don’t forget strength training and you can even use soup cans as weights. Always talk to your doctor before exercising after giving birth.

Watch a video to learn tummy-burning for post pregnancy weight loss:

6. Try to Get Enough Sleep

Although it is hard for new moms to get eight hours of sleep a night, it is important to try as hard as you can. If you are sleep deprived, you will probably find it a lot harder to lose the weight because your body will release cortisol as well as other stress hormones which promote weight gain. The best way to get enough sleep is to nap when your baby does and try to go to sleep early when possible.

7. Set Realistic Weight-loss Goals

Most women will lose over 10 pounds during labor because of the baby weight, amniotic fluid and placenta. During the next week you’ll shed retained fluids and lose additional weight. Despite this, the fat that you stored during pregnancy isn’t as easy to lose.

A reasonable goal with diet and exercise is to lose a pound a week and you should remember that it may take six months or more to lose all of your baby weight. It is also possible that your weight won’t be distributed in the same way so you need to stay realistic. Remember to accept any changes in your body as they are natural.

8. Team Up

You will need support to lose your baby weight so try to get your partner involved. Try making the commitment together to eat healthy and getting rid of unhealthy items in your home. Consider going out for walks at night instead of sitting at home and watching TV. If you and your partner watch out for each other, you should find it much easier to lose the weight.