One of the most common things that new moms worry about is losing baby fat, and many want to start getting fit after pregnancy right away. It’s only natural for your body to change during and after pregnancy. While many of these changes will reverse soon after delivery, some might take more time or they might even be permanent. A lot of new moms experience changes such as stretch marks, a wider waist and hips, and a softer belly. The period after giving birth can be a very blissful time for new moms, but you’ll probably already be thinking about shedding baby weight. If so, take a note of the following tips to shed baby weight:
8 Effective Tips to Shed Baby Weight
Set Realistic Goals
For many women, drastic weight loss is unrealistic and can only be achieved through unhealthy methods. A woman’s body needs some time after pregnancy need time to relax and recover, and it’s usually recommended that you wait a couple of months before actively trying to lose weight. If you’re breastfeeding, a calorie deficit that’s too strict might affect the quality and quantity of your milk supply. Keeping this in mind, try a gradual approach to lose those extra pounds. Losing approximately a pound and a half each week is a safe and realistic goal.
Keep a Healthy and Well-Balanced Diet
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to lose weight isn’t to go on a crash diet. People who do this end up tired and gain back the weight at some point. Getting enough calories through healthy foods is a better option for anyone, but especially for new moms who need extra energy! Your postnatal nutrition plan should include 3 to 5 meals during the day. Many new moms find it difficult to sit down for full meals, so having smaller meals that are interspersed with healthy snacks can help. Don’t skip meals, since this can cause more cravings later on. Breakfast is especially important, since it will help keep you satiated and energized.
Control Your Cravings
Besides eating healthy foods, you should also know what not to eat after giving birth. After having your baby, you’ll probably be tired and sleep-deprived, which can make you crave unhealthy foods. These are some of the foods you should avoid after delivery:
- Saturated fats
- Refined sugar
- Sugary drinks
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
- Salty foods.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is important for anyone who is trying to lose weight. Drinking enough water will keep you hydrated, satiate cravings, and boost your metabolism. Water is particularly important for breastfeeding moms, since your body will spend extra water producing milk. Drinking 1 to 2 liters a day is a good baseline, but you should also use the color of your urine to guide you. If you’re properly hydrated, your urine is light yellow and you’ll need to urinate every 3 to 4 hours.
Try to Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping well with a new baby can be tricky. However, sleep deprivation can negatively impact your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that new mothers who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are more likely to retain their pregnancy weight. This happens because when you’re tired, your body releases certain hormones to keep you going. These hormones can slow your metabolism and make you crave unhealthy, sugar-loaded foods. Try napping while the baby sleeps, or ask friends and family for help if necessary.
Know when to Start Exercising
Working out too soon after delivery only leads to injuries. If you had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, you might be able to start light aerobic exercises a few days after delivery. However, if you had a C-section or tore during birth, you’ll need to wait a few weeks. Your doctor will be able to advise you on when to start postnatal exercise for cesarean patients. Post pregnancy tummy exercises are especially delicate, since abdominal muscles get stretched during pregnancy, and you’ll need to wait longer before performing them safely.
Exercise alone won’t make you lose weight, but it will keep your metabolism up and tone your muscles. Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Walking is one of the easiest post baby exercises, and it can help you ease into a more intense routine. Remember to check with your doctor to make sure your body has rested enough and is ready to start exercising after giving birth.
Don’t Forget Your Kegels
You’ve probably heard that Kegels are a great exercise for moms-to-be, but they’re also very important after birth. Some new moms might experience pelvic floor weakness, and Kegels are the easiest ways to relieve this issue. You can start doing your Kegels immediately after birth, even if at first you might not feel yourself doing them.
Losing weight after having a baby might seem complicated, but following these tips can help you get back in shape faster. If you were already following a healthy lifestyle, odds are that you won’t have to make any drastic changes to recover your pre-baby shape. Just listen to your body, eat healthy, rest, and exercise regularly and your body will change in no time!