After delivering a baby, losing weight can be difficult. Losing the baby’s weight is essential to your health, but it can be hard to lose weight after pregnancy. It’s important to understand that you don’t need to look like you did before you were pregnant. What matters most is taking care of yourself so you can enjoy life as a mother and wife.
Every new mom wants to know how to lose weight after having a baby. Here are some tips and tricks for postpartum weight loss that really work for any mom!
What is ‘baby weight?’
Baby weight is the extra pounds you pack during pregnancy.
Some of this weight is fat, but most are fluid (mostly water) and a few more pounds of other nutrients for your baby.
The good news is that when you give birth, most of that baby weight comes right off again—that’s what postpartum means!
Postpartum Weight Loss: Tips to help lose baby weight
1. Don’t worry too much about your weight.
While it’s important to aim for a healthy weight, don’t compare yourself to others. You’ll not be pregnant forever, and knowing that will give you the motivation you need. Don’t let others influence your weight loss goals either; they may not know what they’re talking about or be trying to make themselves feel better by putting others down. Don’t let your weight define who you are; many other things in life matter more than just being skinny!
2. Give yourself time to heal after birth.
Giving yourself time to heal after birth is crucial for successful postpartum weight loss. The body needs time to recover from the trauma of giving birth, and you mustn’t rush too fast into intense exercise or dieting.
If you have an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, your doctor will likely tell you that it’s safe to resume physical activity within six weeks of childbirth. If there were any complications during delivery or if you had a C-section (a surgical procedure where an incision is made in your abdomen), then your doctor may recommend waiting longer before resuming exercise.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
Excellent! You are already on the right track. Eating well is a great way to help you lose weight and keep it off. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Eat vegetables and fruit every day. These foods contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer, and nutrients that can help with energy levels and moods. Try eating a rainbow of colors for the most nutritional benefits (red peppers, green beans, orange carrots…etc.). Choose fruits with less sugar than others (berries have more fiber than bananas) if possible!
- Eat whole grains like quinoa or brown rice instead of white bread or pasta whenever possible. Whole grains will give you more energy than processed carbs, such as white bread, because they contain more fiber and protein than their processed counterparts!
- Add legumes like chickpeas into salads for extra protein without adding too much fat from cheese or dressing ingredients like mayo which can add up quickly when eaten in large quantities regularly over time!
4. Choose whole foods over processed foods.
Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and retain their natural form. They’re typically rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Whole foods include:
- Fresh vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and buckwheat (these can be used to make delicious meals using our recipes)
- Nuts that aren’t salted or buttered (though raw nuts usually have a lot more fat than dry roasted nuts)
5. Make capacity for yourself.
If you are at a loss as to what to do, don’t worry. You can start by making capacity for yourself. This means taking time out to relax and do things that you enjoy. Spend time with family and friends, give yourself a break and remember, if not now, when you will take a break. Don’t feel guilty about taking time out!
6. Drink lots of water.
Drinking lots of water is essential to your health, but it can also help you lose weight. According to WebMD, water helps you feel full, which may prevent you from eating too much. Water also aids in digestion and keeps you hydrated throughout the day.
The recommended daily water intake is 6–8 glasses (12 cups) for women and 9–13 glasses (17–26 cups) a day for men; however, this number may vary depending on your specific needs. Suppose you’re following a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. In that case, drinking more than the recommended daily amount won’t hurt — make sure that most of what sips down your throat comes from water rather than sugary beverages like soda or juice!
If the plain old tap is starting to get boring for your taste buds, try adding some citrus or cucumber slices into your glass before filling it with ice cubes and enjoying it with friends!
7. Breastfeed if you can.
Breastfeeding your baby is a great way to bond and lose weight. Studies show that women who breastfeed tend to shed pounds faster than those who don’t nurse their babies. Breastfeeding also helps us get back into shape after giving birth because it boosts our metabolism and helps us burn more calories. If you are new to breastfeeding, check out these tips for starting on the right foot!
8. Manage stress and fatigue.
- Stress is one of the biggest factors contributing to weight gain after birth. Stress can make you gain as much as 10 pounds in a year!
- Stress triggers your body to produce cortisol, which raises blood sugar levels and causes you to crave high-calorie foods. This can lead to weight gain if you eat more than usual and do not burn it off through exercise.
- In addition, sleep deprivation makes it harder for your body to produce serotonin (the happy hormone), making cravings even worse. Lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to regulate blood sugar and hormones like leptin control hunger. So even if you’re eating less than usual during the day, chances are that your willpower will be gone at night when you’re most tired and hungry, and those cravings will win out!
9. Monitor your calorie intake
Aim for about 500 to 1,000 fewer calories than you normally eat for a healthy weight loss. That’s roughly the difference between two slices of bread, an apple and a banana.
The easiest way to count your calorie intake is by using an online calculator that considers age, sex, height, and weight. This way, you’ll know how many calories you need daily to lose weight at a healthy pace (1 pound per week). Alternatively, consider downloading an app like MyFitnessPal, which will let you track your food intake easily on your smartphone or tablet!
10. Don’t crash diet
Crash dieting is a dangerous way to lose weight. It’s not the best way to lose the baby’s weight, and it’s not even a good way to lose excess weight. Many people who crash diet end up gaining more weight than they lost, or even worse, they develop eating disorders or other serious health problems.
Crash diets tend to cause water loss rather than fat loss, leading to nutrient deficiencies. If you’re going on a crash diet, ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals from food sources, so your body gets what it needs while simultaneously losing weight!
11. Keep your goals realistic
Keep your goals realistic. Don’t set unrealistic goals like losing 20 pounds in a week. Also, don’t compare yourself to others or be too hard on yourself if you don’t reach your goal.
If you want to get back into shape after having a baby, make sure you have an exercise plan that works for your lifestyle. Be patient with yourself as well as supportive of other mothers who are trying to lose baby weight too!
12. Eat foods high in fiber
- Eat foods high in fiber.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet that helps you feel full and stay satisfied for longer. It’s also good for your digestive system. Fiber can help prevent constipation, making losing weight easier after giving birth. Fiber can also help control blood sugar levels, making it easier for you to lose the baby’s weight.
- Choose whole grains over refined grains.
Choose whole grains over refined grains–such as bread made from 100% whole wheat flour instead of white bread made from enriched wheat flour–to add more fiber to your diet. This will ensure you’re getting enough fiber while eating fewer calories than refined grains.*
13. Stock up on healthy proteins
Protein is an essential nutrient for postpartum weight loss. You can find it in fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, and nuts. Protein helps build muscle mass and repair tissue after pregnancy; it also supports your immune system and keeps you feeling full longer. Choose these items more often than others when shopping or eating out:
- Fish such as salmon or tuna (or other types of seafood)
- Lean meats like chicken breast or turkey lunchmeat
- Eggs as part of breakfast sandwiches with ham or bacon
- Beans as part of salads or tacos
Nuts are an easy snack on the go because they’re portable but still provide enough protein to fill you up between meals at home—remember not to overdo it since they’re high in calories!
14. Keep healthy snacks handy
Snacks are a great way to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Snacks can be healthy and don’t have to be junk food. They can provide an opportunity for you to get in more nutrients than what you would normally eat at meals, or they can give you the extra boost of energy that keeps boredom at bay. Here are some tips for snacking smart:
- Avoid eating too many snacks at once – try not to eat more than one snack per hour
- If possible, choose snacks made with whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice
- Choose snacks that are high in fiber, so they stay with you longer (a great source of fiber is vegetables)
15. Avoid added sugar and refined carbs
Avoiding added sugar is a good idea, but avoiding all carbs is not. Whole grains are less processed than refined and have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also tend to be better for you than many other grains in terms of the number of calories that they contain. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, oats, and quinoa.
Refined carbohydrates are high in calories but low in nutrients; one slice of white bread contains 14 grams of carbs but only 2 grams of fiber (compared with 3 grams per 1/2 cup of cooked lentils). You should avoid these foods if you’re trying to lose weight postpartum because they don’t provide much nutrition while adding many calories to your diet.
16. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more frequently. This can cause dehydration and weight loss if you consume too much alcohol. Alcohol also contains calories, so avoid it if you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re breastfeeding, skip the booze as well: It passes into breast milk and can lower your supply of breast milk for your baby (source).
17. Get moving
You may be surprised to learn that exercise isn’t just about the calories you burn. Movement is important for health and well-being and can help you lose weight, sleep better, reduce stress, and improve your mood.
Try to get moving as soon as possible after giving birth. If you can’t walk around outdoors without feeling like you’re going to pass out or faint (or if it’s too cold), try walking up and down stairs or doing squats while holding your baby in a carrier.
If you have access to a gym or workout space at home, give yourself some time there each day—even if it’s only 15 minutes at first—to get used to being on your feet again and start incorporating strength training back into your routine.
If all else fails, try getting dressed and taking a 10-minute walk outside with your baby in his stroller! The fresh air will do both of you good!
18. Resistance training
Resistance training is a form of exercise that involves using weights, elastic bands, and other forms of resistance to build muscles. Resistance training is one of the best ways to lose weight and tone your body. The lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. This means that even when you’re not moving around much, your body will still be burning calories as it restores energy to maintain its new level of fitness—which means fewer cravings for junk food!
How often should one do resistance training? It’s recommended that you should do it at least three times per week on non-consecutive days (so Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).
What are some examples of resistance training exercises? Some examples include squats (using dumbbells or barbells), lunges (using dumbbells or barbells), push-ups against the wall with feet apart from each other rather than close together like traditional ones, so there’s more tension throughout back muscles)
19. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings, fatigue, and even depression. This is especially true postpartum when you have a newborn who needs to be fed every few hours.
Getting enough sleep is important for new moms as it helps with weight loss. Sleep also helps boost energy levels, which is essential during the first few weeks after delivery when you’re trying to take care of your baby and yourself simultaneously.
How much sleep should I get? Your body will need more rest than usual during this period; aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night (and try not to nap during the day).
20. Seek support
- Seek support from your partner. They may not be able to understand exactly what you’re going through, but at least they can be there for you and listen when you need it.
- Seek support from family and friends. They will help you feel more positive about yourself and provide the encouragement needed during this transition.
- Seek support from other women in the same situation as yourself. You will find that others have been through similar experiences, making it easier for everyone involved to cope with postpartum weight loss issues together as a group rather than individually – especially if there are no other resources available (such as doctors/therapists).
- Seek professional help if necessary; do not feel bad about doing so! Having someone else’s perspective on things can make all the difference between success or failure – especially when dealing with emotional issues such as depression and low self-esteem, which often contribute heavily towards difficulties with postpartum weight loss.”
Bonus Tip: Ask for help
Your friends and family might not know what you’re going through, but they want to help. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help with anything you need. They may want to lend a hand or give you a ride somewhere. If they can’t do it, they will offer advice or try their best to find someone who can do what needs doing.
Your doctor is there for your health care needs and will probably have some ideas on losing weight postpartum, so don’t hesitate to talk with them about any problems with your weight loss postpartum! You may also find it helpful to seek professional counseling or therapy if feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression are holding back your progress in losing weight after the baby arrives!
The bottom line
There’s no denying it—losing baby weight is a challenge. But you can do it! Remember, losing weight takes time, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t go as fast as you’d like. The important thing is that you keep trying and staying positive. You can do this!