Losing the Baby Weight
As a new mother, you’ve already witnessed various lifestyle changes. While most are positive due to your bundle of joy, you probably also have some worries. One of them concerns how to lose baby weight safely and naturally. Is it possible to shed the extra pounds by following a postpartum weight loss plan?
Common Causes of Postpartum Weight Gain
It’s natural to gain weight during pregnancy. Other than food cravings, it’s not uncommon for friends and loved ones to advise you to “eat for two.” Although they mean well, sometimes you end up eating larger portions than necessary.
Another cause of weight gain is thyroid problems due to immune system changes during and after pregnancy. Since this gland regulates metabolism, untreated hypothyroidism can result in obesity, heart problems, and even infertility.
Other weight gain triggers include hormonal imbalance, depression, ovarian cysts, fibroids, and food intolerance.
Dieting While Breastfeeding
Taking care of your baby is a hectic activity that gives you less time to work out and sleep. If you’re researching how to lose baby weight, you’re probably wondering whether dieting while breastfeeding is a good idea.
According to research, it’s possible to diet without hurting your baby nutritionally. Your weight loss journey will be slow in the first three months, then pick pace. Although dieting works, take the following precautions to ensure your safety and that of your baby:
- It’s advisable to implement your diet plan two months after starting breastfeeding. Your lactating body needs more calories to produce enough milk, but it will also burn more fat from the third month.
- Increase the breastfeeding frequency to maximize weight loss. You’re likely to succeed if you exclusively breastfeed for six months since it burns up to 500 calories daily.
- For health and safety reasons, it’s advisable to consume more than 1500 calories daily. The amount should rise depending on whether you lead a sedentary, moderately active, or active lifestyle while breastfeeding. Other than keeping your baby well-nourished, you’ll also retain enough energy to stay healthy.
- You can safely set a weight loss target of 1.5 lbs per week. If you follow a healthy diet, do some workouts, and breastfeed frequently, you might achieve your pre-pregnancy weight by the sixth month. You might wait longer if you’ve been pregnant before or gained more than 35 lbs during pregnancy.
How to Effectively Lose Weight After a Baby
A healthy diet helps you produce nutritious milk for your baby. There are other ways of reducing the extra weight without rushing to cut your calorie intake. They include:
1. Regular Exercise
Seek your physician’s go-ahead before starting physical exercises. It’s generally safe to start six weeks after giving birth. Begin with moderate and postpartum-friendly workouts such as Yoga, walking with your baby, swimming, cardio, and resistance training. These workouts strengthen your core, tone your tummy, and improve your overall posture.
You may start with light exercises for two to four months then increase the intensity as you gain more strength and confidence. Your plan on how to lose baby weight will succeed if you nurse your baby before working out. Remember to invest in comfortable and supportive sports bras, shoes, yoga pants, and other workout gear.
2. Follow A Healthy Diet Plan
If you must cut down on carbohydrates, replace them with nutritious alternatives. Avoid sugar and fat-rich food and add more proteins, iron, and calcium to your diet. Specific sources of these nutrients include lean meats, whole grains, eggs, and dark leafy vegetables.
You can download an app to help you keep track of your eating habits and overall progress. However, avoid obsessing over how to lose weight. Target steady, manageable outcomes instead of trying to lose it all at once.
3. Prioritize Hydration
Try to drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day because it helps produce milk and flush out water weight. Avoid sugary beverages because they have lots of empty calories. The color of your urine is a crucial determinant of whether you’re getting enough water. The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are.
4. Get Enough Rest
You’ll have a hard time sleeping after birth due to the baby’s need for close attention. Research shows that little sleep or insomnia enhances stress, depression, and poor eating habits. Fatigue and erratic sleep patterns can wreck your weight loss plans. Consider expressing breast milk so your partner can feed the baby as you enjoy some much-deserved rest.
Try to take a nap every time your baby does or whenever a close friend or relative visits. To maximize your rest, avoid too much time on electronic devices, caffeine, and responsibilities at work or home.
It’s more advisable to keep a journal of your motherhood experience and record memorable moments with your baby. Lift some burden off your shoulder by sharing your feelings, fears, and expectations with close friends, family, or support groups.
5. Get Professional Help
There are various professionals to help you maximize these tips on how to lose the baby weight. A nutritionist will create a healthy meal plan that will benefit both baby and you. A training instructor can craft a customized workout plan to make your exercises more effective.
Consider visiting a doctor if you feel like you’re doing everything right without seeing results. A medical evaluation will identify or rule out conditions such as hypothyroidism, ovary syndrome, declining testosterone, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Your doctor can also recommend a competent mental health expert if you show signs of postpartum depression. They’ll offer solutions to fatigue, stress, insomnia, anxiety, and other related problems. Ultimately, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to succeed in your weight loss journey.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to lose baby weight after pregnancy, you and your baby can lead healthier lives. Whether it’s your first time or you have experience with motherhood, you need more helpful resources. Please read our other articles for comprehensive tips on settling into your exciting new role.