From the moment that we find out that we’re having a baby, we’re filled with excitement! While we think about practical things like what the gender of the baby is, and how to decorate the nursery, our little one is growing bigger each day! As you’ll be well aware, weight gain is part and parcel with pregnancy. There’s definitely no way around it. Your baby needs nutrition, and they get it from you.
Did you know that you technically don’t even have to eat for two? Many experts say that a pregnant woman needs approximately only 300 more calories than her normal diet. Julie Redfern, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston says “That is an old myth. Many women who do ‘eat for two’ end up gaining an excessive amount of weight.” Rather, it is more important eat more of various nutrients.
In any case, you may already be thinking about how you’ll shift the weight you gained once you’ve given birth. So, how exactly should you go about losing baby weight? There are a number of easy ways! Read on to discover our expert tips.
1. Be Realistic And Set Goals
It is quite possible that you might never see your pre-pregnancy weight again. However, don’t be dismayed as you can lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. If you want to lose your baby weight, you have to start by sitting down and writing out some goals for yourself. You don’t want to make the goals too big, though.
Start small, like taking your little one out for a short walk each day. Walking is a great form of exercise, and you can start slow and steady, without overdoing it. Another goal can be to set your weight loss goal. Where would you like your weight to be again? But make sure it’s a healthy goal, though. Try not to be unrealistic about your goals. It may take a year or two to lose the weight. Baby steps are the best way to start!
2. Don’t Jump Into A Diet Right Away
This may sound counter-intuitive to wanting to lose the “baby weight.” However, your body just went through some major changes for the last nine months! Rushing into a diet too quickly can actually do more harm than good. You have to give it time to heal. It is recommended that you wait at least until your six-week checkup so you can speak to your doctor about a diet that would be right for you. Every woman’s needs are different, and you may need to adjust your caloric intake, for example, if you are breastfeeding.
3. Munch On Healthy Snacks
It may seem tempting to grab a few chocolate chip cookies, but there are better, more nutritional options out there. They can be just as yummy, too! Choosing snacks like yogurt, raisins, fruit, nuts, and even some grab-and-go veggies are a great way to curb your cravings.
Healthy snacks also give our bodies the nutrition that it needs. Perhaps you can even keep a bowl of fruit on your counter, where you can see it! That way, you can just grab and go. One study showed that by just having fruit available on your kitchen counter correlates to a lower body-mass index (BMI) score.
4. Eat Small Frequent Meal
Instead of eating three large meals a day, try to aim for six smaller meals. These more frequent meals help not only to keep your energy reserves up, but to keep your metabolism going as well. This way, the food will not be as easily stored as fat, but used as energy. This is especially true if you are breastfeeding your baby. When breastmilk is your little one’s sole source of nutrition, you’ve got to keep your milk supply going. You can speak with your doctor as to how many calories you should be ingesting each day while you are breastfeeding. By eating small and frequent meals, you are also less likely to overeat.
5. Join Up With Other Moms
Are there other moms in the neighborhood? Join up with them and go for a walk together with each of your kids. It can be fun for both parent and baby! You can also check to see if there is a Baby Bootcamp or Stroller Strides group near you. Both of these organizations give moms a chance to exercise and connect with one another. You can find a lot of support in groups like that. If there are no chapters in your area you could always create one. So many new moms have found groups like this to be incredibly helpful and uplifting.
6. Grab A Nap When You Can
If you have just laid the baby down for a nap, you may want to try to get some extra snooze time in for yourself. Sleep can actually help you lose weight! Because you are thrust into a crazy sleep schedule at night with a newborn, it can mess up your energy levels. This is when it might be tempting to grab an energy drink or two, but they are packed with sugar. When you get sleep, your metabolism won’t get so messed up and out of whack. Forget about mopping the floor for now, get rest and you will be on the right track to help you lose weight.
8. Drink Water
It may seem like a no-brainer to drink water regularly. But honestly, you can just get so busy with taking care of your newborn child that it can slip your mind. Try to keep bottles of water around the house, to remind you to drink and stay hydrated. Without drinking enough water, you can get dehydrated pretty fast. That means you will also feel pretty sluggish.
Even if you do not feel thirsty, drink water anyway. Because, believe it or not, by the time that you start feeling thirsty, your body is already beginning to dehydrate. Water is the healthiest beverage that you can drink. If you need some fizz in your drink, you can always try naturally flavored seltzer water. They come in a variety of flavors that is sure to please your taste buds.
9. Do Not Beat Yourself Up
Every woman’s body is totally and completely different. This means that even if your friend lost the baby weight in a matter of months, it may take more time for you. This is okay. Once again, your body is healing, and you need to honor that, too. So try to take it easy on yourself.
If you feel like you are not losing weight, talk to your doctor about other options. For instance, how you can change up your workout routine or certain foods that could boost your metabolism even more. It is so important to not only take care of your physical wellbeing, but your mental wellbeing as well. Remember, we each only get one body, and we have to take care of it inside and out. You will lose the baby weight—you just have to give it some time and put a bit of effort in.