I read a lot of books and websites, trying to find the right way to do it, and I realized the best way to lose weight after delivering a baby, is a combination of the right diet and exercise. Honestly, there is no magical way to achieve weight loss and it requires a lot of patience and perseverance.
More importantly, it requires a lot of determination and a positive attitude. While you will not be able to fit into your favorite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans immediately, working towards an achievable goal is perhaps the best way to lose weight after birth.
Most experts suggest that it is better to wait for about six weeks or so before you really start looking at losing weight. And to be honest, I think it makes sense. When I had my baby, it took me about 2 months to get used to a routine around the baby and get adjusted to breastfeeding and the whole idea of having a living being dependent on me for everything. Hence, I really started thinking about my body and the weight loss only after that.
One of the best ways to look at weight loss is to keep an eye on what you eat. If you are breastfeeding, you may have this urge to just eat whatever you can, thinking that breastfeeding will help you burn calories.
Actually, breastfeeding does help to burn calories, but it is not as simple as that. It also results in you wanting to eat more food. I remember eating almost twice my usual amount when I was breastfeeding my baby, and then I wondered why I was not losing weight.
So the first step towards weight loss is to eat a healthy diet. Also, remember that anything you eat will directly reflect on your breastmilk if you are feeding the baby. So eating healthy is not only good for weight loss but also good for your baby’s health.
Ditch the Junk Food
While that fish and chips or the chicken nuggets can be extremely tempting, it is best to stick to eating healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. That does not mean food has to be boring. Today there are so many sites which give amazing healthy recipes and all it requires is a bit of searching and enthusiasm to make those dishes.
Often these are three step meals which can be prepared under 30 minutes. So instead of that chip, snack on carrot sticks and a hummus dip or pop in some peanuts into your mouth. Eating a protein rich diet helps to curb those constant hunger pangs.
Get Your Pantry Full of Good Goodies
Good goodies are fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish and seafood, whole grain products, eggs, yogurt, nuts, and seeds. These are not only tasty, but they are also healthy and give you the feeling of being satisfied for a longer time. Often many of these goodies also help to increase milk production, which is beneficial to your baby as well.
Maintain a food diary
Having a baby obviously means having no time in hand, but a good idea would be to maintain a food diary which will help you keep track of what you eat. In fact, there are many apps available these days like Calorific, Lose It, My Fitness Pal or Rise Up, which will help you with this and you can know exactly how many calories you are consuming and help you figure out what extra calories you are gaining.
Have small meals throughout the day, instead of just three big meals. Include a lot of liquids in form of water, milk or juices so that you feel full all day and do not get dehydrated.
As a new mother, it is important to know what kind of exercise is advisable for you. Moms who have had a cesarean operation may be advised not to do a particular type of exercise. It is best to talk to your doctor or midwife before you embark on any exercise routine.
Along with diet control, exercise is a great way to lose weight effectively and in a safe manner. Find out what form of exercise suits you and always do something you enjoy. Look around your locality for a moms and babies group where new moms meet up to do something fun together. Go for long walks with your baby in the pram, or just join a dance class for some fun time.
Exercise is a great stress buster and often pregnancy and delivery can result in a lot of stress. Exercise ensures that you feel relieved, and it helps to boost your mood and improves your fitness levels. Often mums who exercise are more positive with their parenting skills and raise happy kids.
Having a new baby means lack of sleep to many new moms. But the best way to keep up with your sleep levels is to try and sleep when the baby sleeps. Studies have indicated that moms who sleep less than five hours a day, often end up finding it tough to lose weight, because the stress hormones get released increasing weight around the stomach area. While it may not be practical to nap whenever your baby naps, do try and get sufficient sleep to ensure enough sleep for the body.
When Will I Fit Into My Pre-Pregnancy Jeans?
Honestly, a woman’s body changes a lot after birth and the best way to deal with it is by acknowledging it. It may take anywhere between 9 months to a year, to lose weight effectively and get back to your pre-pregnancy size, but the key to success is to do it the right way. The right combination of diet, rest and exercise will ensure you lose weight without compromising on your health.