It might surprise you to learn that the typical weight gain during a woman’s pregnancy is between 25 and 35 pounds. Some women may gain slightly less than that, and some may gain slightly more. Regardless of where you fall in that range, we ALL want to get back to our pre-pregnancy weight (and maybe lower!).
So, all new mothers want to know THE way to lose weight after having a baby. The way that you lose the “baby weight” is exactly the same way that you lose weight any other time. You do not starve yourself. You do not go on any crazy seaweed smoothie liquid diets. You take a reasonable, healthy approach. This will result in a consistent, healthy loss of 1-2 pounds per week.
Not a Diet, a Lifestyle Change
Whether you are post-pregnancy or not, the word “diet”, really does start with the letters D – I – E! Diets are not typically successful, as they are based on denying us some category of food, like sweets or foods with carbohydrates. How many times have you said, “I’m on a diet; I can’t have ____.”?? When we feel deprived, we tend to want the forbidden food more and more, and we end up “blowing” our diet. The solution is NOT to go on another diet, but to make your new eating plan a lifestyle change. One effective way to make such a change is to go to a weight-loss support group of some type. The people there can support you as you begin to make healthy choices and cheer you on as you meet your goals. And it always makes us feel better to know others who are in the same boat
Eat Super-Healthy Foods
As a new mother, you are likely very focused on nutrition for your baby. Is she eating enough? Is she getting all of the nutrients she needs? Well, you need to turn that focus on yourself too. Whether or not you are breastfeeding, you need to have adequate nutrition to keep up with your growing baby. Eating a diet that is rich in nutrients and lighter in calories and fat is the best approach for losing weight, and for a healthy dietary approach in general. Eating “super foods” like fish, lean meats, colorful vegetables, milk, and yogurt meet your nutritional needs and help you trim the baby weight.
Many new moms are so exhausted, they cannot begin to imagine trudging to the gym, even if they COULD imagine leaving their infant with someone else. Take a walk, jog (remember to check out our guide to best jogging strollers) or even do an exercise DVD at home. You might even break it up into 10-minute increments if it is hard for you to find a half-hour of time. Don’t forget strength training with weights. This increases your metabolism by creating more muscle mass, which burns more calories even when you are NOT working out.
One of the things that you seemingly “give up” when you become a new mom is sleep. However, it is important to get as much rest as possible. When you are exhausted, your body releases cortisol, which is a hormone that causes you to gain weight, particularly around your waistline. Adequate rest is one way to minimize the released cortisol, allowing your other efforts to work on whittling your weight down.
Drink Lots of Water
Drink water consistently, as it is important that you stay hydrated. Water helps you to feel full so that you don’t overeat, it helps boost your metabolism, and cleanses your body of waste. All of this impacts your weight loss.
Losing weight after you have a baby can be challenging, as you now have more responsibilities and demands on your time and your body. Always check with a doctor to get an “all clear” before you begin a new eating and exercise plan.