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Tips For Losing Pregnancy Weight
Diaper bag… check, Wipes….check, stroller… check, baby… check, extended belly and buffalo butt??? check. 🙁
If you’ve had kids, unless you happen to have a trainer and a chef, or otherwise have a crazy high metabolism, then you’ve probably experienced how difficult it can be to lose weight after pregnancy. Face it… your body is just changing. 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 just 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 that way? Do you really have to choose one or the other? Do you really have to 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 slowly reach your weight loss goals. The key is consistency; you can’t lose it all night. And regardless of what anyone says, including your OB, you should start your weight loss goals on your own schedule, not someone else’s.
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 that I personally used to lose more than 50 pounds after my first pregnancy:
1) Drink water like it’s going out of fashion.
Seriously. Especially if you are breastfeeding. I’ve heard people discredit the importance of water by saying that you can overhydrate yourself, and while it’s theoretically possible, it’s far more likely that you’re dehydrated. You basically have to work HARD to stay too hydrated for that to happen. Pregnancy takes a toll on your body, and your body can’t 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 you drink up. Also try drinking plain old water if you can stand it; Better not to drink the extra calories. Try drinking a tall cold glass of water first thing in the morning right when you wake up. I’m not sure if it’s just my imagination or not, but I’ve found that it tends to rev up 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 have “me” time, the last thing I honestly want to do during it is exercise. I’d much rather read a good book or take a bubble bath. That’s why I absolutely love the Yoga DVDs for mother and baby. You can then start your training while spending quality time with your newborn. And Baby will love to see your face and have you on the floor with them too. It really is a win-win. Much better than waiting for the planets to align, you can run off to the gym.
3) Breastfeed if at all humanly possible.
I’ve been horrified to learn how many doctors have told my friends, “Why go through the trouble of breastfeeding, it’s just as healthy, just as good for your body, and much more convenient,” when facts do. does not support it at all. I wish doctors would at least tell women all the facts and then let them decide. If they still choose formula, that is their prerogative. But they should have all the facts first.
So what does breastfeeding have to do with it lose pregnancy weight? A lot. 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. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract and shrink back to its original size more quickly, minimizing how long you still look pregnant after giving birth. If that’s not enough motivation, consider this; the only vitamin “missing” in breast milk is vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin (because most mothers are deficient, not because breast milk doesn’t contain enough). What good reason to make sure to get out of the pram and go for a walk in the park to ensure both you and baby get your share of sunlight? Best of all, since breastfeeding has been shown to boost your baby’s immune system, you’ll spend less time tending to ear infections and colds, and you’ll have more days chasing your kids around and taking them outside, which helps to melt away the fat.
As far as the 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 keep up with, no formula to mix, no running out of formula and having to run to the store, no trash , no cleaning up, and most of all almost no spit up. Once you get the hang of it, you can breastfeed pretty much anywhere without anyone being the wiser.
Ok, I think I’ll stop rambling now… 🙂 It really really helps to get things going.
Can’t say enough about going. It really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So many people will tell you that it takes working your butt off 5 days a week on a bowflex or at the gym to get back in shape. It’s just not true. Believe it or not, your body wants to return to its pre-pregnancy weight. So just moving is enough to get things going. Be sure to start slowly. Every little bit helps. Try to take the stairs more or park further away from the store. You can even walk around the perimeter of the grocery store before you start shopping, or take laps around your living room while the baby is sleeping. If you need an extra boost, why not carry your little one instead of using the pushchair occasionally. Just one hour of carrying a 15-pound infant burns 246 calories for a 155-pound woman. It can be easily achieved if you just break it down to a few extra minutes during the day.
5) Continue 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 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 it has all the vitamins it needs on a daily basis before it will let go of all the stores it has built up for your pregnancy. Taking your vitamins every day will help ensure that it does. Which vitamins help in particular? Vitamin E, chromium picolinate and vitamin B complex are believed to help aid in weight loss; so be sure that whatever prenatal you choose contains these essential vitamins.
6) Eat more fiber and good fats.
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 fats will help keep you full longer and help burn off all those fat stores that you no longer need.
For fiber, try using whole wheat flour instead of white, and eat plenty of asparagus, broccoli, spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Instead of taking stool softeners and laxatives, make sure to eat extra fruit as well. No, the carbs won’t kill you. 🙂 Fruit is good for you!! Also, try buying a ground flax seed and adding it to your yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or even pancake mix. When you’re backed up and feeling 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 coke. Have you ever noticed that most of the people who eat all that stuff are overweight??? It is far better to eat a little bit of real butter than to load up on an abundance of low-calorie margarine that is nothing more than hydrogenated oil. If you’ve ever been curious about what’s actually in margarine spreads, this is a list of ingredients in Smart Balance Margarine:
NATURAL OIL BLEND (PALM FRUIT, SOYBEAN, CANOLA AND OLIVE OILS), WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% SALT, WHEY (from MILK), VEGETABLE MONOGLYCERIDES AND SORBITANE ESTERS OF FATTY ACIDS (SUMULIC ACIDS, SOLIUM TREATMENT), LACTIC ACID (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR, CALCIUM DINODIUM EDTA, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL ACETATE), BETA-CAROTENE COLOR
What’s in butter?
Cream, salt and milk. I’ll take the butter please. 🙂
On a similar note… a little bit of sugar is also not as bad as the artificial sweeteners that I truly believe cause cancer. After you just had a baby, your body needs as much natural food as possible. No 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 long. The calories saved by drinking diet coke compared to regular coke can make you lose a few pounds if you’re used to drinking a huge amount of soda, true. But the chemicals you ingest are not improving your health one iota. If your intention is just to lose pregnancy weight, by all means drink Diet Coke. But if you’re striving to be both thin and healthy so you can run around with your new bundle of joy and live a long healthy life, do yourself a favor and stop drinking all the diet drinks. Get hooked on water, natural tea or even smoothies made with honey. Your body will thank you later.
Losing those extra pregnancy pounds can be quite difficult. Hopefully these few tips will help you on your way to your own weight loss and fitness goals. Just remember to start slow and focus more on just getting some form of exercise at least 30 minutes or so a day, not on training for Iron Man. Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat your fats, fiber, vegetables and fruits, especially avocados. Good luck and here’s to losing the pregnancy weight for good!
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