As much as we all love the bundle of joy we just recently may have brought into the world, most women will agree that the added baby weight they gain after giving birth is less than ideal, to say the least. In fact, being able to return to your pre-pregnancy weight is something that a lot of women strive for. As superficial as it may sound, getting back to that weight is something that makes them feel happy, which is so important when living your life. Below are some great ideas for how new mothers can shed their baby weight effectively over time
Exercise is a must
If you were hoping that exercise wasn’t going to be one of our tips for mothers, then you were sorely mistaken. Although doctors used to keep women from being physically active after their delivery, that is no longer the case today. The key here though is to not focus necessarily on losing those pounds, but rather just focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. Yes, the pounds will come off eventually, but don’t expect immediate results. What is more important is to get back into the groove of exercising and trust that it will lead to not just weight loss, but a generally healthier you.
The general goal of becoming healthier should be more important anyway, especially when you need to be around for the long haul to support your baby. So just think of exercising as a necessity for your baby, with the added benefit of losing the baby weight!
As soon as you are home from the hospital you can feasibly start getting into some light exercising. Think 10 to 20 minute walking either in the house or outside in a public park or such. This should remain the extent of your exercising for a while though. At least for the first six weeks. After that, you should be physically ready for more formal workouts such as weight training, or full on aerobic exercise. And hopefully by that time, the light walking will have prepared you for the increase in physical activity.
A great and simple way to exercise while trying to lose the baby weight is ironically to take the baby around with you. By this I mean going on stroller power walks. Depending on how fast you are walking and how long you do it for, you can really burn the calories quickly. This sort of exercise is great for getting you and your baby outside and for the two of you to bond. Just making sure you are walking at a reasonable pace that is safe for the baby. A good rule of thumb for this is that you should be able to talk to your baby without gasping for air. If you are breathing too heavily, it would be best to slow it down, for both of your sake.
Oh and one last thing… Another benefit of exercise worth mentioning is its ability to reduce stress significantly. Especially when the “honeymoon” (and I use the term very loosely here) phase of your new baby starts to come to an end, you may need some time to de-stress with all the constant late nights of taking care of the baby. This is just another reason why exercising does so much more for you than just help you lose the baby weight!
Make Healthy Eating Decisions
Remember that just before you physically gave birth, you were eating for two people. And often whether or not new mothers realize it, they may still be eating relatively the same amount after their babies have been born. However, it is not as simple as saying eat less (although doing so will definitely help lose the baby weight). It is just as important, if not more important to make smart choices about what you are eating. Avoid sugars and sweets at all costs, and do your best to eat healthy meals that provide you with the energy needed to be a mother, without adding too many extra calories. Don’t forget that as a mother, you will be very busy and active, so you’ll be burning plenty of calories already, especially if you are also exercising. Just make sure you aren’t taking in an inordinate amounts of calories and that they are healthy foods and you should be good.
And as a side note, if you are breastfeeding, what you eat as a mother can affect your baby’s food preferences in the future. So keep that in mind and use that as extra motivation to eat healthy foods that you would be wanting your child to eat when they grow up.
Find Time to Free Your Mind
Raising a child can be stressful, especially those first few months. However, the large amounts of stress that you are probably feeling will typically do more harm than good, especially in terms of weight loss. Basically if you are overly stressed, you can end up gaining weight! However, there are ways to remedy that stress, and therefore allow you to lead a healthier lifestyle that leads to weight loss rather than weight gain.
The best way to do that is to always make sure you have some personal time for yourself. Go to a spa to treat yourself every once in a while. Like we mentioned above, going outside is another great way to relieve the stress, especially when you are doing it with your baby. And just doing whatever you used to do for leisure before the baby, you should try to resume doing now. Things like reading, drinking coffee or tea, or even something as simple as taking a nice hot bath every once in a while can really help relieve you of your newfound stress!
Be Patient and You Will See the Results
As much as we would all love to slip back down into size 9’s just days after we give birth, the fact of the matter is that shedding those pounds takes time. Add in the fact that you are not only trying to lose the weight, but also trying to adjust to a new lifestyle with new responsibilities, and it will take significantly more time than if you were just trying to lose X amount of pounds without the added responsibility of motherhood. It can take up to a year, or even more for you to lose your baby weight. And while a lot of that time frame depends on how much effort you are physically (not to mention mentally) able to put in, as long as you stick to the tips mentioned above you will see those pounds shed for good… At least until you have another kid!