Friday, March 22, 2013

Post-Partum Weight Loss Tips

When I gained more than fifty pounds while pregnant with my oldest son, I was shocked and felt as though I had lost a horrible battle. It’s bad enough that you have to look huge for months on end before the baby is born, but it is salt in the wounds when the baby is out and you still look pregnant months later. This was my experience the first time around. When I look back on pictures of myself three (or more) months after welcoming Liam, it makes me sad.

Three months after Liam was born, I attended a bridal shower for a friend and the pictures show someone who looks as though they could be five or six months along. What a horrendous memory! I still wonder how I let myself go in the first place, how and why, did I choose to ignore it even months later? This time I was far more careful both during and after my pregnancy, and the extra effort has really paid off.

Here are my tips for getting your shape back after pregnancy:

*Don’t Gain It In the First Place: During my first pregnancy, I ate what I felt like and more than I should have. I also didn’t take the time to be active. This resulted in more than fifty pounds and an exhausted woman. This time, I watched what I ate, how much I ate, and made sure that I was as active as I could be. This resulted in less than 30 pounds of weight gain for my second pregnancy. Having a two year old to chase, definitely helped with the activity part of this plan.

*Nurse: If you are up for it and have the ability, nursing is a great way to lose those extra pounds. I nursed with my first son as well, which was a key factor in eventually losing the weight I gained with that pregnancy. Nursing burns a great deal of calories and is a wonderful way to get started on your weight loss during those weeks where exercise is not an option.

*Drink a lot of Water: Staying hydrated is important for many reasons: it will be extremely helpful in keeping your milk supply up and running, it will help with bowel movements (See What No One Tells You about Post-Partum), and it helps keep you feeling satisfied.

*What to Eat: Dairy, fruits, and veggies. I have had a very snack-focused diet since having my second son. It’s difficult to find the time and energy to make a full meal. So I keep my cupboards and fridge stocked with low-fat cheese, yogurt, oranges, bananas, apples, celery, carrot sticks, and other quick, easy, healthy snacks.

*Be Prepared: This tip goes along with the last one. Think ahead and have these sort of snacks packed when you go out. If you get hungry on the run, you tend to eat things that are not helpful with weight loss. If you know you will be out for a while, pack snacks for the trip. This way you will save the money you would have spent on food, and shed the pounds. This is also helpful for the kiddos in tow. If you have snacks for them, things tend to go much smoother.

*Join a Class/Run: I have never been much of a runner until having my boys. It took a while, but after Liam was born I started running here and there. This time, when I hit the 8 week mark (when my doctor okayed me for exercise), I was ready to go. Doing one of these options not only helps you burn calories and fat, but it is also a wonderful break from mommyhood. I can't wait for my husband to get home from work every day, so that I can go for my run. It has actually turned into a calm, relaxing, quiet time, which all new mommies need.

*Get Up!: My final tip is to simply be active. If you have more than just the new baby, this is easier because you have one to chase. But even if the newborn in your arms is the only one in your home, go for walks, join mommy groups, set up play dates, do anything to get yourself off the couch or out of bed. This is helpful for two reasons: 1. If you have a reason to get dressed in the morning and people to see, it will give you more motivation to get back into shape. 2. Getting out of the house is a chore in itself, and taking the time and effort to pack up, even just one child, will burn more calories than you know. Even if you can't manage to get to the gym or go for a jog, just getting up will help you win the battle against the baby weight.

I still have some weight to lose before I reach my pre-baby size, but I'm well on my way! Good luck with your post-pregnancy weight loss. Here are a couple of pictures to show how these tips helped me to lose the baby weight.
1 week before Baby #1
1 week before Baby #2

3 months after Baby #1
9 weeks after Baby #2

No comments:

Post a Comment