Pregnancy stretches your skin to its limits. If you’re battling a pouch of flabby skin around your midsection, you know firsthand what having a baby can do to your body. Even women who don’t gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy sometimes battle post-pregnancy loose skin. You’ve acknowledged it’s there. You’ve accepted that it’s gone down as much as it’s going to on its own. Now it’s time to make a plan to shave off as much as much of that flabby skin as you can.
Kick fat burning into high-gear with aerobic exercise. Do any type of activity you enjoy that gets your heart rate up. This could mean easing into your pre-pregnancy running routine or playing in the yard with your older children. The point is to get your heart rate up and keep it up for 30 minutes a day, five days per week.
Do crunches, sit ups, core-strengthening exercises or take muscle toning and strengthening classes. As you build muscle definition, that muscle will start to fill out some of the loose tummy skin. Work on strengthening your muscles two to three times per week. As a bonus, you’ll also have an easier time lifting your children thanks to your new core strength.
Clean up your diet so that you’re making the most of the calories you take in. Treat your body the same way you did during pregnancy, unless your pregnancy cravings meant midnight fast-food burrito runs. Eat mostly vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, vegetarian proteins and fat-free dairy.
Adjust your calories to help burn additional extra body fat. Even if it seems like you have loose skin, there’s a good chance fat stores inside those skin folds makes them look more pronounced. Cut your daily calories by 100 to 200 each week until you begin to lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 lbs per week. Don’t cut calories if you’re breastfeeding because you need an additional 200 to 500 calories just to keep up with your milk supply, according to BabyCenter.
Consider a cosmetic procedure if nothing you do works to tighten your skin. Surgical procedures, like tummy tucks, have extensive healing periods but yield the most dramatic results. Non-surgical cosmetic treatments like laser light therapy cost less and require little healing time, but results only last about a year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.