After giving birth, you’re likely to have a few extra pounds hanging around, particularly if you gained more than the recommended amount. Unfortunately, having children means that it’s a lot harder for you to take the time to focus on yourself and lose the weight. You will have to work on eating healthy foods and exercising, but you can do this while you take care of your baby–it simply takes a bit more creativity.
Determine how many calories you need to eat. In general, if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume, but the process is a bit more complicated than that–if you eat too little, your body will lower its metabolism, trying to hold onto the fat that you have. The number of calories you burn each day is based on your current weight, your body composition and your activity level. If you are breastfeeding, you need more calories than someone who is not. Get recommendations from the government to see how many calories you should eat to lose weight, or use a wearable device such as a Body Bug for more accurate results.
Track the food that you eat. You want a general idea of how much food that you’re eating to be sure that you are eating enough without eating too much. You can do this by counting calories or by counting Weight Watchers “points.” Store-bought premade foods can help you to limit your intake, but they can cost more money.
Prepare foods ahead of time. You won’t have a lot of time to cook with your children around, so it’s smart to make foods and freeze them. Having easy-to-prepare healthy meals on hand can prevent a trip through the drive-through.
Snack on fruits and vegetables. Keep your hand out of the chip bag when you’re hungry between meals. Instead, have some baby carrots dipped in hummus or apples with peanut butter. These low-calorie treats can fill you up and help you to lose weight.
Squeeze in exercise whenever you can. You may not be able to schedule an hour-long trip to the gym anymore, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising. Put your baby in a stroller and take him out for a walk. You get exercise, and he gets some fresh air. You can also do exercise videos while he’s taking a nap. Even little things such as walking upstairs to change his diaper can make a big difference.
- Do not start an exercise program immediately after giving birth. You must get the OK from your doctor.
- Waage image by Goldenvictory from Fotolia.com