9 Tips to Lose the Baby Weight After Pregnancy
Losing weight in general requires a lot of dedication and motivation. Losing baby weight is a challenge all on its own. You have a baby relying on you 24/7, your body is recovering from birth, your boobs are sore and you are exhausted. If you are like me then you have Pelvic Girdle Pain too, which I still have 6 months after giving birth. Yay me.
Both times after giving birth I left the hospital about 12 pounds lighter than when I checked in. 12 pounds in 3 days? WOOHOO!
That instant weight loss was a huge confidence booster, but if you break it down it makes sense how it happened so fast. Math time!
- Baby: 7 ½ pounds
- Placenta: 1 ½ pounds
- Enlarged Uterus: 2 pounds
- Amniotic Sack: 2 pounds
- Extra Blood: 4 pounds
- Extra Fluids: 4 more pounds
- Breast Tissue: 2 pounds
- Stored Fat: 7 pounds
Total: 30 pounds
After you give birth you will lose a lot of weight all at once, but it won’t be all fat loss unfortunately. Once your body adjusts to not
being pregnant anymore what’s left should be the stored fat. For me that was about 10 pounds and it took me about 3-4 months to lose it both times. I had to tweak my diet a few times and once I found a healthy balance I started losing 1-2 pounds per week.
As much as I wish losing weight was simple, it’s not. There is no magic pill or potion that makes the pounds disappear. The only way to do it is through dedication and consistency, aka HARD WORK. This way easier said than done, but here are some things that could help you on your journey.
Track Your Intake
I use the MyFitnessPal App to keep track of my intake and exercise. It’s by far my favorite wellness App. With tracking your food you will be able to see how many calories you are eating, where you can cut back and maybe see some spots that you can work on. My weakness was late night snacking, which took some serious determination to combat. I mean, who doesn’t love eating ice cream after the kids go to bed?
I write out my meal plan in advance and then make a grocery list for the ingredients to make those meals. This helps me stay on track and keeps my grocery budget in check. On a side note, never go to the grocery store hungry. Everything looks delicious when you are hungry and you may buy things you shouldn’t while dieting.
Another way to plan ahead is meal prepping. If you have time to meal prep lunches or dinners then that could be a great way to grab and go when you are hungry.
Find What Works For You
Everyone is different, so you need to figure out the best plan for you. It took me a few weeks after my baby was born to find a healthy balance of losing weight and not feeling hungry all the time. Make sure it is a healthy diet that you can stick to long term. If you can’t stick with it, you are setting yourself up to fail. Remember, healthy looks different on everybody.
The goal should be steady weight loss, not rapid. Make sure you are eating enough, especially if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers should eat 500 MORE calories a day than mothers who are not. That’s about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. If you are unsure where to start, you can find out your BMR (basal metabolic rate) using this online calculator. This will tell you roughly the amount of calories you need to eat just for being alive (breathing, vital organ functioning, etc.). Make sure to add more calories as necessary based on your lifestyle.
Ease Into Exercising
Don’t expect to jump right back into hard core workouts. Your body went through tremendous stress from birth and needs time to recover. But even during the recovery stage you can still do light exercises such as stretching and walking, as long as your doctor clears you for it. A cute idea is Mommy and Me Yoga. It is a low intensity workout and a fun way to bond with your baby. No matter what you decide to do to burn those calories, make sure you build yourself back up slowly and listen to your body.
Try aiming to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, more if it’s hot outside or if you are exercising. In addition, if you drink water instead of beverages that contain calories you will reduce your calorie intake which can promote weight loss.
You don’t have to eliminate ALL your favorite foods. You can still have chocolate, which is my
weakness, but try not to have it as part of your daily diet. A healthy lifestyle is about balance. Don’t forget to feed your soul every once in a while too.
It is much easier to see your progress when you take pictures of yourself. Try taking 1 picture every week on the same day. After a month or two, compare your latest one to your first one. Or compare them weekly if you wish. It is a great way to stay motivated.
Set realistic goals. You can’t lose the weight overnight just like you didn’t gain it overnight. Aim to lose a healthy 1-2 pounds a week. To lose 1 pound a week, you need to have a 500 calorie deficient per day, double it for 2 pounds. I know, easier said than done. Please remember to not strive to be perfect and to look like those models on TV. The only person you should care about being better than is the person you were yesterday.
Weight loss is a slow process, but if you have a healthy diet plan and exercise regime, you will see results over time. Once you set your goals write out a plan on how to achieve them. Tweak your plan until its right for you and then STICK TO IT. Even if you fall off the horse every once in a while you can still get back on and keep moving forward. No matter what, always be proud of the body you are in. It created life and that is something quite amazing and beautiful.