What can be more beautiful than giving birth to a perfect little human, created from you and your half? But you have gained some extra weight and looking to those beautiful Holywood stars who came easily to their pre-pregnancy forms troubles and challenges you more and more.
Most moms don't reach their prepregnancy weight until their babies are 1 year old. Dropping those extra pounds takes time, especially when you're caring for a new baby and getting adjusted to a new schedule. So don't be hard on yourself. Just focus on a healthy lifestyle now, take it one day at a time and become a healthy role model for your child. Our 7-steps guide will help you find your waistline again without sacrificing time with your baby — or losing your mind.
Tip No.1: Don't diet.
It may sound strange, but going on an official "diet" could derail your post-pregnancy weight loss goals. Feeling deprived of your favorite foods while you're already stressed out by your new role as mom could actually cause you to gain weight. If you go back to eating healthy and eating for your hunger, most women find that the weight comes off pretty naturally.
Instead of dieting, we recommend eating a well-balanced variety of foods. Keep different snacks in the house to keep you from feeling hungry and give you energy throughout the day. Apple slices, carrot sticks, and wheat crackers are all good for noshing.
Tip No. 2: Set Your Sights
If you haven't done so already, set a realistic goal for yourself — say, losing one pound (0.45 kg) per week. Work toward it by following a sensible weight-loss diet (the Postpartum Diet has all the nutrients you need; add about 300 calories a day if you're nursing), and by exercising regularly. Regular is the operative word here — working out for at least 30 minutes three times a week is essential to losing baby weight after pregnancy (and staying healthy for your little one).
Tip No. 3: Keep Moving
Sticking to a diet is much easier if you stay active (and you’re already on the move with everyday baby care!) plus postpartum exercise can boost your metabolism. Find an activity you enjoy — jogging, yoga, cycling, swimming, even walking works — and plan it into your week. You'll get in shape even faster if you squeeze even a little extra activity into your daily routine. For example, leave the car in the garage and take the baby in his stroller for nearby errands. When you do drive, park a bit farther away than usual, and take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. Every step counts toward your ultimate goal of burning more calories than you take in (the only way to shed those stubborn pounds!).
Tip No. 4: Breastfeed
Whether breastfeeding can actually help you lose weight is still up in the air -- some studies find that breastfeeding exclusively can help you return to your pre-baby weight faster, while others find no difference in weight losweights between women who breastfeed and those who bottle feed.
What is for sure is that breastfeeding is good for your baby, boosting immunity and providing a number of other important health benefits. And nursing exclusively lets you add about an extra 300 calories a day to your diet (you can add slightly more calories if you have a really big eater or twins). Just make sure that if you do breastfeed, you don't use it as an excuse to eat whatever you want.
Tip No. 5: Drink up.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day prevents you from getting dehydrated. It also fills you up so that you don't eat as much, and some research has found that it may speed up your metabolism.
Whether you need the often-recommended eight glasses a day isn't certain, so Johnson recommends using the color of your urine and how often you need to go to the bathroom as guides. If you're drinking enough fluids, your urine should be relatively clear, and you should be going to the bathroom about every three to four hours.
Tip No. 6: Team Up
When it comes to losing baby weight after pregnancy, you need all the support you can get — so make sure your partner is on board, too. Instead of watching TV, take a walk tonight. And together, make a commitment to sticking to a diet. Start by ridding your fridge and pantry of high-fat foods; then stock up on fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products and lean meats, poultry, and fish that are good for you (no matter what you weigh). Keep an eye out for each other’s eating habits — no sneaking snacks!
Tip No. 7: Think Positive
Most importantly, keep a positive attitude about sticking to a diet. Treat yourself to some smart snacking with healthy on-the-go noshes and focus on what you've accomplished so far (like having a baby and the weight you've already lost). And remember that just because you aren't at your pre-pregnancy weight yet doesn't mean you can't look fabulous. If your skinny clothes are still too skinny, buy a couple of fun things that you'll enjoy wearing as you make progress towards losing baby weight after pregnancy. A new haircut or makeup can also perk you up as you slim down.