Many moms return home from the hospital, eager to show off their new bundle of joy and to lose the baby weight that they acquired. While you may have the best baby-weight-loss intentions, the hectic schedules and sleep deprivation associated with being a new mom can make your weight loss efforts seem like a losing battle. With patience and focus, however, you can shed many of those pounds. To lose baby weight rapidly, you must employ a multifaceted approach consisting of diet and exercise.
Begin Before Baby Comes
In the last months of pregnancy, many moms-to-be find themselves feeding their craving and indulging in normally forbidden foods. By resisting these urges and restricting yourself a little bit during these last few months, you may be able to ease your after-baby weight loss woes. While no pregnant women should adopt restrictive diets, you can change the types of food you are eating. Trade cookies and chips for fruits and veggies. By focusing on healthy foods and trying to turn away from some of the junk foods that have gotten you through your pregnancy, you can prepare your body for after-baby weight loss.
Most new moms are a bit too sore after the arrival of their tot to hit the gym hardcore. To effectively prepare your body for more serious workouts, you need to start small. Taking your new tot on daily walks is the way to start without putting your body through shell-shock. By tucking your new baby into a stroller and cruising the neighborhood or a walking trail at an area park, you can ease back into the workout scene, and give yourself a much-needed break from being indoors tending to the baby’s needs.
Moms who opt to breastfeed their kids burn an extra 600 to 800 calories a day, reports Fit Pregnancy. While this extra calorie burning does not necessarily lead to weight loss, many new moms find that they do lose weight while breastfeeding their babies. Breastfeeding for weight loss purposes alone is not recommended, as breastfeeding moms also generally take in more food so weight loss is not guaranteed, but if you plan to breastfeed anyway, this weight loss benefit could be a bonus.
Eat Small, Healthy Meals
Many new moms don’t feel as if they have time to put an elaborate dinner on the table. Instead of stressing yourself out with this task, consider trading the standard three large meals for six smaller ones. By dining on small, healthy meals throughout the day, you can starve off hunger and avoid meal time over consumption. Additionally, small, snack-like meals consisting of nutritious options, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean wrapped sandwiches or whole grain crackers, are much easier to fit into your hectic new-mom schedule.
While it may seem logical to spend time working out instead of taking a mid-day nap, new moms should not swap sleep time for gym time. Sleep is essential to weight loss as a lack of sleep can slow metabolism, reports Fit Pregnancy. You shouldn’t feel guilty when the call of the couch stops you. Instead, give in and allow yourself the healthful rest your body needs.