There are many things new moms have to juggle, such as taking care of the baby, the house, their partner, and themselves. Adjusting to the new routine after the baby and recovering from childbirth is not easy. It may take some time to even get motivated to lose baby weight, and that is okay. Moms need to realize, yes, their baby is essential, but if they don’t take care of themselves first, they won’t be able to give their all to their little bundle of joy.
Pregnancy affects the mother’s body in a lot of ways. They go through so much to have their little one; they deserve some time for themselves as well. These pregnancy changes could include weight gain. Reaching a healthy post-baby weight can be a struggle. However, it is essential to return to a healthy weight after delivery, especially if you plan to have a second one in the near future. Losing post-baby weight is not easy, and it takes time, but these tips will keep you on track and help you get control of your weight over time.
What Is Baby Weight And Why It Can Be Dangerous?
Baby weight is the weight moms gain during pregnancy. You need this weight for a healthy baby, but you won’t need it once it’s delivered. Mothers gain weight because of the baby and other factors such as the placenta, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, blood, uterus enlargement, and extra fat stores. These can lead to weight gain in mothers.
The fat reserves provide energy during childbirth and breastfeeding, but excess fat after pregnancy can be dangerous for the mother’s health. It can cause obesity, heightened risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
To reduce the risk of the complications mentioned above, here are a few practical tips to help you achieve a healthy postpartum weight:
Tips To Help Lose Baby Weight
1. Have Realistic Goals
Every mother you talk to would have a different weight loss story after pregnancy, but one thing common in all would be that it takes time. Depending on how much you gained weight during pregnancy, it is realistic to expect to lose around 10 pounds in a year, but losing weight would take more time if you gained more weight. But with the proper diet and exercise, losing weight is possible. Get in touch with your doctor to create a healthy plan for you and your little one.
2. Don’t Crash Diet
Losing weight instantly in excessive amounts like in crash diets can be harmful to you and your baby. Crash diets are low-calorie diets. These diets aim to make you lose a large amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible. Your body needs a balanced amount of nutrition after giving birth to heal and recover.
Calories are vital if you are breastfeeding. Crash dieting can leave you feeling tired, and this is not what you want when taking care of a newborn baby. Diets like keto help you quickly lose weight after pregnancy, but they lack nutrition. Consult your doctor before starting any diet, as you now have a baby that depends on you.
It is necessary to cut down the number of calories you take in a day, but your doctors advise a healthy amount. Decreasing 500 calories a day is a healthy amount, and it is considered safe for new moms who are breastfeeding. You can reduce daily your caloric intake by 200 calories through diet and 300 calories through exercise. That will provide you with 1500 calories daily, which is a healthy number to shoot for.
3. Breastfeed If You Can
Surprisingly, breastfeeding aids in losing weight for new moms. Breastfeeding moms also lower their risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer after pregnancy.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for moms and provides babies with all the essential nutrition to grow and become healthy. Especially in the baby’s first six months of life, doctors recommend mothers breastfeed their little ones to help them thrive and support their immune system. Breast milk contains antibodies needed to help your baby fight viruses and bacteria in their new environment.
The risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, respiratory disease, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and gastrointestinal infections tends to be lower for breastfed babies.
4. Monitor Your Calorie Intake
After consulting your doctor, create a healthy diet plan with a set amount of calorie intake that is optimal for you and the baby. Monitoring your calorie intake can help you determine how much you are eating and where the problem area lies.
Knowing how many calories you take in a day will ensure you get enough calories for the energy and nutrition you need. Sometimes, when trying to reduce calories, some moms can drop it down to exceedingly low levels, affecting your and your infant’s health.
To make calorie counting easy for you, you can keep a diary to write down and remember the number of calories you are taking. There are now apps that help you track your calorie intake, so using apps could be helpful and motivating. The best way is to have a friend with you who also controls the number of calories they take in the day. Every day, call each other up and share your calorie intake for accountability.
5. Create a Healthy Diet Plan
Make a list of foods high in fiber the next time you go grocery shopping. Eating food high in fiber help in losing weight, so include all those healthy grains and veggies you like in your diet. Research shows, fiber foods slow down digestion and reduces hunger hormone levels. Meaning, eating more fiber keeps you full for an extended period, eventually reducing the number of calories you take in a day.
Proteins such as lean meats, eggs, low mercury fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy can boost metabolism, decrease appetite and reduce calorie intake. Proteins work like fiber in suppressing hunger and reducing hunger hormones. This food group also provided a lot of nutrients needed for a healthy diet.
Avoid Added Sugar And Refined Carbs
Chocolate desserts would look very tempting but are the number one cause of weight gain. They are incredibly high in calories and contain low nutrients, so they are not at all helpful for you and your baby. People who have a high intake of added sugar and refined carbs daily are more prone to obesity and a host of threatening diseases.
There is a healthy alternative available in the market now. Whenever you go to the store, read the labels to see if the product has processed sugar in it. If you’re serious about losing weight, don’t buy foods with processed sugar.
Keep refined sugar products out of the house! Sugary drinks, fruit juices, white flour, sweet spreads, cakes, biscuits, and pastries are few examples of food you want to avoid on this weight loss journey. Substitute these sugary things with whole organic foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and yogurt.
Avoid Highly Processed Foods
It is essential to avoid processed foods and switch to more fresh, unprocessed food options to lose a few pounds. Foods prepared in a factory are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, salt, and calories. These are not what you need if you’re on your weight loss journey! Unfortunately, processed foods are readily available, so they prefer grabbing them from the market. But, these foods are highly addictive and increase your weight too. Examples of processed foods include fast food, repackaged foods, chips, cookies, and candy.
Alcohol can add up to your calories. It leads to more fat storage around organs, also known as belly fat. For breastfeeding mothers, it is advisable to stay away from alcoholic drinks at all times because alcohol can have adverse effects on infants. A good substitute for alcohol would be unsweetened flavored sparkling water.
Keep Healthy Snacks Handy
It is normal to feel hungry throughout the day when you’re breastfeeding. It is not easy to always have prepared meals available with a baby around, so keep some healthy snacks handy. Here are a few healthy alternative foods for you to ensure you have something healthy to eat. Foods such as vegetables and hummus, mixed nuts and dried fruit, Greek yogurt and homemade granola, air-popped popcorn, and string cheese, are great to keep handy when you’re feeling peckish.
Here’s a recipe you can make as a snack and store in your fridge to get you started;
This new trendy dessert is not only delicious but also healthy. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber and include a lot of nutrients as well. It is high in antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation, and improves heart health as well. This snack has fewer than 200 calories and can be made a day before, and is ready to eat whenever you crave something sweet!
• 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
• 1/3 cup of water
• 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
• A pinch of stevia or other sweeteners
Cover and refrigerate a mixture of chia seeds and water for at least 30 minutes. Stir in cocoa powder, peanut butter, and sweetener. Enjoy!
6. Exercise, Exercise, and Exercise
Moving your body is beneficial for your physical and mental health. You can plan trips with your partner every morning and even take your little one along with you in their stroller. Cardio, such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, and interval training, helps burn calories and has many other benefits. Regular exercise after pregnancy improves heart health, reduces the risk and severity of diabetes, and may help you avoid several types of cancer. Ask your doctor before you start exercising. If you had a C-section, then let your body heal before you think about working out.
7. Drink Water
Drinking eight ounces of water every day is necessary for new moms. Due to constant breastfeeding, it is very likely you would end up feeling dehydrated. Not only is it essential for breastfeeding, but drinking water also helps stimulate weight loss leading to weight loss. Replace sweetened beverages with plain water if you want to see weight loss results quickly.
You’ll Get There!
Every new mom goes through different stages of weight loss, so don’t compare yourself or your journey to another mom’s weight loss journey. Losing weight after delivering your little one can take a lot of time as our body needs to heal before we make changes to it. Rest and relax and let your body heal at its own pace. There’s no shame in carrying some extra weight after giving birth. You just brought a human being into the world, so be proud of yourself! Enjoy your time with your baby and get the most out of being a new parent. Your weight loss journey will start once you’re ready. Keep these tips handy when you start for an effective change!