Motherhood – it comes with so many conflicting feelings and thoughts. You know that life changes have to be made, and that facing these changes can be scary and uncertain. And in another way you also want some things to go back to the way they were before you fell pregnant.
Undoubtedly, one of the things you might wish for is to lose all the pregnancy weight and get your pre-baby body back. The good news is that it is possible to lose the “baby weight” without resorting to extreme dieting. This article gives you some advice on what you can do to get your pre-baby body back. It will not be easy or effortless, but it is definitely possible.
The first thing we recommend is actually a negative one – do not start dieting. I know that this sounds almost counter-intuitive. However, hear us out. When you are pregnant, your body is providing energy to not only sustain you, but your baby as well. After giving birth, calorie restriction will not only compromise the nutrition levels of your milk, but also slow your metabolism down, potentially resulting in weight gain.
Instead, pay attention to what you are eating. If you stick to a healthy diet, your body will become an engine that runs itself at peak efficiency. This means foods that are high in fibre and proteins. The fibre is especially important as some new mums will experience constipation after giving birth. Oh, and stay away from spicy and acidic food if you can!
Speaking of metabolism, the best way to keep it going is by snacking on healthy food often. You’ve heard it before – fruits, vegetables and whole grain. Fish is also good for this! In addition, always ensure you are sufficiently hydrated. Water consumption can also flush out toxins, which is a nice bonus!
What about breastfeeding? Many experts will tell you that breastfeeding is the preferred method of passing nutrients to your child. But can it help you lose the pregnancy weight? Peoples’ opinions are really mixed on this one, and unsurprisingly, so is the scientific literature. However, you should do so if you can, as breastfeeding will do a world of good to the child’s immune system.
Now that we have covered dietary changes, what do you think is the other thing we should discuss – exercise, yes! Now, I know that this is easier said than done. Having a new baby can switch up the routine so much that it causes a great deal of angst. So with regards to exercise, it is suggested that rather than going out for a run or pumping iron at the gym, you start off light – such as going for regular walks with the baby.
You see, the reality is that you cannot expect to get back to your usual routine – unless you have a lot of help at hand. So, with the mantra of some movement being better than none, you can work your fitness level with light exercises that involve the baby. Once you are settled into the new routine, you can then plan on a more structured exercise regimen.
Another thing that is often overlooked is having sufficient rest. Yes, it is a lot harder when you are a new parent, as the baby often demands a lot of time and attention. Most new mums will say that an eight-hour per night sleep is impossible. Try and nap as often as you can during the day, especially when the baby is also napping. You’ll thank us for this advice!
Don’t forget to establish community. This means finding a mothers’ group to join. Not only will you have people in the same tribe to share your experiences with, you might even encourage one another to stick to your nutritional and exercise plans. Having a community of like-minded people is always a good thing.
Most of all, remember that you took nine months to gain all this excess weight, so be patient and give yourself enough time to shed the excess kilos. This piece of advice is not only for new mums, but also people who are starting their journey “heavy” because of years of weight gain.
All the best! And let us know below if you have any more tips.
Ps. If you think that this might help someone you know, please feel free to share it with them. Cheers.
Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. As of 2023, Mark spends his days as a People and Culture Manager. He holds three science degrees, a Diploma of Christian counselling, a Diploma of Human Resources, and a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan