Ladies, this one’s for you: If you’ve recently had a baby, you’re probably filled with the joy that a new life brings. Also, you’re probably exhausted and tired of hearing about celebrity moms who seem to lose pregnancy weight at the drop of a hat.
What those celebrities don’t tell you is that they have doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers, private chefs, and – if all else fails – Photoshop experts to help them look their best after pregnancy. What’s a regular mom to do?
There are plenty of things any woman can do to lose pregnancy weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
Call for Back-up
Private time is a precious commodity for new moms. To lose pregnancy weight, you’ll need to make time in your busy schedule for grocery shopping and exercise. That’s where friends and family come in.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Hand off your grocery list to your spouse, or ask Grandma to watch the baby while you exercise. Many recreation centers and gyms offer babysitting services, even for infants, to give you privacy while you get fit. Use the resources available in your community.
Nourish Your Body
Now is not the time to fill up on junk food, as tempting as it may sound. Pregnancy is hard on the body, but you can speed up your recovery by eating several small, balanced meals per day. Your calories should come from lean protein, green vegetables, high-fiber fruits, dairy products, and whole grains.
If you are breastfeeding, you will require more calories than normal to keep you and the baby healthy. Also, remember to drink plenty of water. New moms could require 64 to 128 ounces a day, especially while nursing.
Sometimes it takes all of a new mom’s energy just to get out of bed. But cardio exercise is important for staying healthy, and it will also help you lose pregnancy weight faster. You don’t have to commit to a gym workout; you could work in the garden while the baby naps in a shady spot, or you could go for a long walk while pushing the baby in a stroller.
Whenever possible, get 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week. You will notice that your energy level actually goes up, while the scale goes down! A little bit of yoga can also reduce your stress and your weight. Try doing stretches and poses after you wake up for a burst of energy, and do your breathing and meditative exercises before bed for more restful sleep.
It’s hard when you have a newborn, but it is important to find the time to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. This can be done by enlisting help from others, or by catching naps throughout the day to keep your energy up. Try to sleep when the baby sleeps to maximize your periods of rest.
Sleep helps us function, mentally and physically. Just a small sleep deficit (one to two hours a night) can cause problems such as lack of focus, compromised immune system, and delayed healing ability. Unfortunately, most people don’t sleep enough – and that’s especially true for new moms!
Take care of your loved ones by taking care of yourself. With a combination of nourishment, the right exercises, and plenty of rest, you’ll be on track to lose pregnancy weight fast.