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Tips For Losing Pregnancy Weight
Diaper bag … check, Wipes … check, stroller … check, baby … check, expanded belly and buffalo ass??? control. 🙁
If youhave kids, unless you happen to have a trainer and a chef, or otherwise have a crazy high metabolism, chances are you’ve experienced how difficult it can be to lose weight after pregnancy. Face it… your body just changes. It looks different, it hangs different, and you probably have fat in places you never knew existed before.
Many women simply accept these changes as a 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 person to stare at and play with all day. Who wants to take time away from 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 about 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 gradually reach your weight loss goals. The key is consistency; you can’t lose it all night. And no matter what anyone says, including your OB, you should start your weight loss goals on your own timetable, not someone else’s timetable.
Make sure you get the OK from your doctor before starting a weight loss program; 4-6 weeks after birth 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 when it goes out of style.
Seriously. Especially if you are breastfeeding. I have heard people discredit how important water is saying that you can over hydrate yourself, and while that IS theoretically possible, it is FAR more likely that you are dehydrated. You basically have to work, HARD, to get hydrated for it to happen. Pregnancy takes a toll on your body, and your body cannot fully recover without enough water. Your body also can’t focus on losing all that pregnancy weight without enough water. It takes water to lose your build up of water weight in your system. So make sure to drink. Also try to drink plain old water if you can stomach it; It is better not to drink the extra calories. Try to drink a tall cold glass of water first thing in the morning right when you wake up. Not sure if it’s just my imagination or not, but I’ve found that doing it tends to reset your system and get it ready to burn those calories.
2) Buy a baby and mom yoga DVD… and use it! 🙂
I know for me, it can be very difficult to carve out a lot of “me” time. And when I do have “me” time, the last thing I honestly want to do is exercise. I’d much rather read a good book or take a bubble bath. That’s why I absolutely love the Mom and Baby Yoga DVDs. You can then get in your exercise while spending quality time with your newborn. And Baby will love to look at your face and have you on the floor with her too. It really is a win-win. Much better than waiting for the planets to align, you can run to the gym.
3) Breastfeed as at all humanly possible.
I am mortified to find out how many doctors have told my friends, “Why go through the problems of breastfeeding, it is as healthy as formula feed, just as good for your body, and much more convenient,” when the facts do not support that all the way. I wish doctors would at least tell women all the facts and then let them decide. If they still choose formula then that is their prerogative. But they have to have all the facts first.
So, what does breastfeeding have to do with it lose pregnancy weight? Very much. Not only does it have the best natural nutrients for your growing baby, but it also takes about 500 extra calories to produce the milk in the first place. Also, nursing helps the uterus contract and shrink back to its original size more quickly, minimizing how long you look pregnant after delivery. If that’s not enough motivation, consider this; the only vitamin that is “deficient” in breast milk is Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin (because most mothers are deficient, not because breast milk doesn’t contain enough). What a great reason to make sure you get out the stroller and go for a walk in the park to make sure you and your baby get your share of sunlight? Best of all, because breastfeeding has been shown to boost your child’s immune system, you’ll spend less time dealing with ear infections and colds, and have more days chasing your child around and getting them outside to take, and helps to melt that fat away.
As far as formula is more convenient? I can’t speak for everyone, but I love the fact that there are no bottles to clean, no nipples to hold, no formula to mix, no formula to run and run to the store, no trash, no clean up, and above all no spit up. Also, once you get the hang of it, you can breastfeed pretty much anywhere without anyone being the wiser.
Okay, I guess I’ll stop rambling now… 🙂 It really helps things though.
Not enough can be said about walking. It really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So many people will tell you that you need to exercise your butt 5 days a week on a bowflex or in the gym to get back in shape. That is simply not true. Believe it or not, your body wants to go back to its pre-pregnancy weight. So, just moving is enough to get things going. Make sure you start slowly. Every bit helps. Try to take the stairs more, or park further from the store. You can even walk around the perimeter of the grocery store before you start shopping, or do laps around your living room while the baby takes a nap. If you need an extra boost, why not carry your little one instead of using the pram every now and then. Just one hour of carrying a 15-pound child burns 246 calories for a woman who weighs 155 pounds. That can be easily achieved if you just break it up to a few extra minutes during the day.
5) Keep taking your prenatals.
Taking your vitamins with help gives your body everything it needs to lose the pregnancy weight. With the lack of sleep, and the lack of time that comes with being a new mom, it’s easy to not get all the nutrients you need in your diet. Your body needs to know that it has all the vitamins it needs on a daily basis before it will let go of all the stores it has made for your pregnancy. Taking your vitamins every day helps ensure that it does. Which vitamins help especially? Vitamin E, Chromium Picolinate, and Vitamin B complex are thought to help aid weight loss; so be sure whatever prenatal you choose 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. Avocados are your friend!!! They are probably one of the healthiest things you can put in your mouth! Adding more good fat will help keep you full longer, and help burn off all those 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. Instead of taking stool softeners and laxatives, make sure you eat extra fruits as well. No, the carbs won’t kill you. 🙂 Fruit is good for you!! Also, try buying some flaxseed meal and adding it to your yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or even pancake mix. When you’re backed up, and you feel bloated, you don’t want to exercise or move around. So, do your body a favor and get more fiber!
7) Get rid of all the artificial crap!!!!
Put down the low-fat margarine, get away from the low-calorie snack cakes, and spit out the diet cookies. Have you ever noticed that most people who eat all that stuff are overweight??? It is much better to eat a little real butter than to slather on an abundance of the low calorie margarine which is nothing more than hydrogenated oil. If you’ve ever been curious about what’s actually spread in margarine, here’s a list of ingredients in Smart Balance Margarine:
NATURAL OIL MIXTURE (PALM FRUIT, SOYBEAN, CANOLA AND OLIVE OILS), WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% SALT, WHEY (OF MILK), VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SORBITAN ESTER OF FATTY ACIDS (SOYUM BANIERS, SOIL BEANERS), LACTIC ACID (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS), Natural and artificial flavors, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL ACETATE), BETA-CAROTENE COLOR
What is in butter?
Salt, cream and milk. I’ll take the butter, please. 🙂
On a similar note… a little sugar is also not as bad as the artificial sweeteners that I really believe cause cancer. After you have just had a baby, your body needs as much natural food as possible. Not chemicals. The same goes for diet coke. I’ve 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 make you drop a few pounds if you’re used to drinking a huge amount of soda, true. However, the chemicals you ingest do not improve your health one iota. If your intention is simply to lose weight, by all means drink the diet coke. However, if you are striving to be slim and healthy so you can walk with your new bundle of joy and live a long healthy life, do yourself a favor and stop drinking all the diet drinks. Drink water, natural tea, or even smoothies made with honey. Your body will thank you later.
It can be quite difficult to lose those extra pregnancy pounds. Hopefully these few pointers will help you on your way to your own weight loss and fitness goals. Just remember to start slow, focus more on just some form of exercise at least 30 minutes or so a day, not on training for the Iron Man. Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat fat, fiber, vegetables and fruits, especially avocados. Good luck and here’s to losing that pregnancy weight for good!
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