My first and second pregnancies were quite different in the effects that they had on my body. I put on more than my fair share of baby weight when carrying O, but less so with Q. However, a long period of maternity leave and a love of baking has left me with a rather wobbly tummy and a lot of pre-pregnancy clothes that are hanging in my wardrobe, just waiting for me to get back in to them! So, I thought I’d share my tips on how to lose the baby weight – I’ve done it once and I can do it again. I’m hoping that writing it here for all to see will give me the motivation to get up and going again!
I should state now that you really shouldn’t be looking to lose weight until at least 6 weeks after giving birth – pregnancy and labour is a huge deal and your body really does need to rest and recover properly. Please don’t believe the magazines showing celebrities that seem to miraculously pop back to a pre-pregnancy figure within a few short weeks. It’s not realistic, and to quote a certain Chrissy Teigen recently, “We have nutritionists, we have dieticians, we have trainers, we have our own schedules, we have nannies. We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that’s normal, or like that’s realistic.”
As a new mum, I find the lack of sleep sees me turning to unhealthy and sugary snacks rather than making good healthy choices. We’ve all thought we could live on a constant supply of chocolate, cake and tea; but it’s just not realistic. I know, I’m disappointed too. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet and take in as much nutrition as possible. Top foods are:
- wholegrain breads, pasta and rice for good fibre intake;
- lean protein such as fish, chicken, pork, eggs, tofu and nuts – protein helps you to feel fuller for longer and prevents snacking;
- vegetables are packed full of nutrients and fibre, and often burn more calories to prepare and eat than what they contain;
- fruits are also full of wonderful vitamins and great for providing natural sweetness – try berries or banana as a topping on porridge for breakfast; and,
- garlic and chilli helps to boost your metabolism!
I found that cutting out products made with white flour, such as bread and pasta, really kick-started my weight loss and the switch to wholegrain foods really helped to keep my energy levels up. Also, I tried to keep alcohol and junk food, such as chocolate bars, biscuits, etc, to a minimum as they’re full of lots of empty calories and just not your friend when trying to lose weight!
Water can be really good for weight loss. It’s calorie-free and a much better choice than sugary drinks such as fizzy pop and squash. I’ve also read that if you drink a glass of water before mealtimes, it helps to reduce your appetite! It’s especially important to make sure that you’re keeping your body fully hydrated, especially if you’re breastfeeding your little one. Breastfeeding is also a great way to burn calories – just by feeding your baby! You also need to eat and drink more to allow your body to produce a good milk supply, so it’s a bit of a win-win!
The old mantra ‘eat less, move more’ is pretty much the way forward. If you’ve got the eat less part down, it’s time to get moving. One of the best things for exercise after having a new baby is having a pram or pushchair! Often, us mums fork out a small fortune for the pram of our dreams so it’s only right we get out for a walk with baby wrapped up inside. Time your walks out so that baby is well-fed before you go out, pop in some ear-phones and put your favourite playlist on your phone to get you motivated.
If the weather isn’t so great outside, there are some great video tutorials that you can use to get your exercise fix from the comfort of your own home. We all know how difficult it suddenly becomes to get out with a baby so this might be your preferred option! Videos like that are aimed at postnatal women to tone affected muscles are a great place to start.
Ask the Experts
If you’re struggling to lose weight despite your best efforts, chances are you’re eating the wrong foods and suffering from metabolic syndrome. It can be so frustrating to read so much conflicting advice on diets and weight loss. So often we spend time yo-yoing from one diet to another, trying to find one that allows you to eat everything, with no exercise and you stay slim. But I don’t believe there is one that really works.
The tips I’ve included are just bits I’ve picked up along the way, but the experts are the ones who can really help. If you’re looking for a long term solution to losing weight, then you might like to get in touch with a personal trainer or join a local gym.
So, there you have it! Did you find it easy to lose your baby weight? Would you add anything to this list? Let me know what your favourite healthy recipes and snacks are in the comments!
*This is a collaborative post