Wondering what steps you can take to lose the weight after pregnancy? Today I’m sharing 10 strategies to help shed those additional pounds post baby and rock that mom bod!
You’ve spent the last nine months pregnant watching the pounds slowly creep up on the scale. Although in your mind, you know that the weight gain is necessary to support the growth of your baby, you’re eager to get your body back and start feeling like yourself again.
Ready to whip yourself back into shape…ready to fit back into your cute clothes…ready to feel like YOU again…and not like a huffing and puffing whale carrying around a ton of bricks.
Am I right ladies?!
Believe me, I know this exact feeling. Although I was thrilled to be pregnant and to experience that feeling of having a baby growing and kicking around inside of me, by the end of my pregnancy, I was DONE.
I reached a point where I just wanted to meet my baby, start spending time with my little family and NOT feel like I was carrying around a gigantic beach ball day after day.
But then, the big day comes and the baby arrives, and you think, FINALLY, maybe JUST maybe I can start feeling like myself again.
But there are SO many distractions.
Feeding the baby every 1-2 hours, changing what feels like a million diapers, trying to figure out why the baby just spent the last 2 hours wailing at the top of his lungs, and maybe going to the bathroom in between all the chaos…. only to start the whole process.
All. Over. Again.
Those first few weeks can be HARD. And let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot of time to focus on you.
While you’re loving every second with your new little baby, you can’t ignore that feeling deep down inside of wanting to shed those additional pounds that crept up during your pregnancy.
Although it can be hard, I encourage you to spend those first few weeks really enjoying your baby, getting the hang of the whole motherhood thing, and soaking up every moment because it does go by fast! At the same time, I understand the feeling of being eager to get yourself back into shape again and the good news is that it’s totally doable!
Today I’m sharing with you ten simple strategies to start shedding the baby weight ASAP!
1.Appetite vs. Hunger
During pregnancy, we get used to consuming those additional calories to support the growth of the baby and it can be easy to continue that routine long after we’re done being pregnant. But this is where we have to start listening to our bodies to determine if what we’re feeling is actual hunger. And we can start by asking ourselves these questions.
Do you think you’re hungry (appetite), or do you actually feel hungry (hunger)?
It’s important to discern between appetite and hunger before deciding if you actually need a snack or meal, or want to graze on food. By asking ourselves these questions, we can prevent taking in those extra calories that our bodies probably don’t need.
Keep in mind that if you’re breastfeeding, you still need approximately 500 extra calories, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on eating, but at the same time, it’s important to make sure you’re not overdoing it either and only eating when you’re truly hungry. Which brings me to my next point…
2.Don’t get too hungry
As a new mother, it can be easy to go long stretches without eating because we’re so distracted with taking care of our new baby. But it’s really important that we aim to eat a meal every 4-6 hours, with healthy snacks 2-3 hours after a meal as needed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating can result in over-eating later on, which definitely won’t help us progress closer to our goals.
3.Fill up on vegetables
This is one of my favourite strategies! It might sound simple, but it works! Veggies are low in calories & high in fibre so they’re going to keep us feeling full for longer without adding a bunch of extra calories! Choose veggies to nibble on at snack time, and aim for at least half a plate at lunch & dinner.
It happens so gradually that we don’t even notice. Instead of half a cup of rice, we serve ourselves 1 cup. The chicken breast that not long ago was always a precise 4 ounces, now weighs in at six ounces. A few extra calories here and a few there might not seem like a big deal. But they do add up. If this sounds familiar, it can be a good time to refresh your memory on portion sizes. Or another strategy is to try eating on a smaller plate. This is a trick for your eyes to tell your stomach that you’ve had enough food. Still feeling like you could have more? Go to step #5!
5.Wait 15 minutes
It takes 15 minutes for our stomach to tell us that our brain is full. So, before going back for seconds or taking that last bite, it’s important that we sit back & listen to our body to see if we’re really still hungry!
6.Drink more water
This is another one of my favourite tips and pretty easy to implement. Drinking water helps keep us well hydrated (which is important for everyone, but especially essential if you’re breastfeeding). The good news is, it can also help curb our appetite. Aim for 8-10 cups of water daily, and more if you’re exercising or if it’s really hot outside. Try lemon or fruit infused water to jazz up the flavour (or try out my Pretty Citrus, Cucumber & Mint Water!)
7.Watch out for hidden calories
The calories in beverages (for example: coffee with cream & sugar, flavoured hot drinks, juice, chocolate milk), salad dressings, sauces, and fried foods add up. It’s important that we keep an eye on how many of these extras we’re consuming, or better yet, skip them all together! You can check out my recipe box if you’re looking for some healthier options!
I’ve never been one to focus on counting calories. Instead, I find a better approach is to focus on planning a healthy balanced diet and monitoring portion sizes. These two strategies combined can help keep us on track with our weight loss goals. Remember the 80:20 rule. 80% of the time, focus on eating healthy, portion controlled and balanced meals and the other 20% of the time, enjoy the occasional indulgence. This strategy can help us enjoy our favourite foods while still achieving our health and fitness goals.
Those first few weeks after having a baby is probably not the time to go crazy at the gym. After all, you just gave birth to a human. The body has been through a lot. I recommend discussing appropriate exercise guidelines with your doctor and asking when you can resume a regular exercise routine. One you get the green light, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym each day to lose weight, but you do need to move to burn calories. Keeping physically active can help you reach your weight loss goals! Try taking the baby for a walk or doing an exercise DVD while the baby naps (Jillian Michaels Hot Body Healthy Mommy is awesome)! At the end of the day, we want to aim for 150 minutes of physical activity every week.
It took 9 months to gain those extra pounds, so keep reminding yourself that it may take some time to lose it as well. It’s important to be realistic and not too hard on yourself. I know this can be REALLY difficult when you just want to start feeling good about your body again, but you WILL get there if you put your mind to it.
Also, when setting realistic goals for yourself, keep in mind that a good goal for weight loss is about 1 – 2 pounds per week. By following these guidelines, it can help ensure that the weight loss is healthy and more sustainable. Try not to obsess over the scale, but instead focus on the fit of your clothes or how you’re feeling overall. There’s so much more to feeling good about our bodies than the number on the scale!
At the end of the day, being a new mother can be such a challenging, yet rewarding time. Although this time is full of distractions, you can start getting yourself on track again by paying attention to both the quality and quantity of foods that you’re eating, establishing a plan of action, staying adequately hydrated and getting active as soon as you get the go ahead from your healthcare practitioner!
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