Hint: Don’t diet. It won’t help with baby weight.
Let’s start this by saying that you shouldn’t feel compelled to lose one doggone pound if you’re not up for it. You just brought a whole other human being into the world. Don’t feel like you’ve got to impress anybody with a swimmer’s physique this year. However, if your baby weight is making you feel uncomfortable now, the heat of summer definitely won’t make it better. In that case, try these five tips for losing baby weight without losing your mind dieting.
1. Set reasonable expectations and goals for post-partum weight loss.
Start by talking with your doctor about reasonable expectations and goals. Your body is in recovery, so adding the stress of intense dieting and exercise will only slow your recovery. Be compassionate with yourself. Set modest, attainable goals and back it up with a plan that you’re likely to stick to.
2. Breastfeed and/or pump regularly.
If you want to give post-partum weight loss a boost, breastfeed and/or pump. The old saying “I’m eating for two” continues to hold true for as long as you choose to breastfeed your newborn. Your body uses the fat cells stored up during pregnancy as well as caloric intake from your daily meals to produce breastmilk. Studies show that women who breastfeed exclusively for six months lose post-partum weight more quickly. They’re also more likely to attain their original, pre-pregnancy weight than women who don’t breastfeed or who nursed their newborn for fewer than six months.
3. Eat five to six smaller meals with healthy ingredients.
Diets that call for fasting and caloric restrictions often cause your body to convert more energy into fat stores. From your body’s perspective, you must’ve fallen on hard times, so it’s going to try to conserve your energy the best way it knows how. Instead of skipping meals, eat smaller, healthier meals more frequently. This is especially important if you are nursing. The more nutrients and vitamins you consume in your diet, the healthier your newborn will be.
4. Get some light exercise daily.
Spring is in the air, so you’ve got a few good months of perfect walking weather. Put that newborn in a stroller and take them out to see the world. Getting fresh air and light exercise will increase the flow of oxygen through your body and help you digest food more effectively, which helps with weight loss. You’ll also get more of that happy hormone serotonin, which will boost your energy so you can get another walk in later in the day. Little jaunts out into the world are good for you and baby, and a daily walk or two can get you to your weight loss goals one step at a time.
5. Avoid sugars and processed foods.
While skipping meals is a no no for new moms, skipping sugars and processed foods is a big HECK YES. Sugary and processed foods and beverages are full of empty calories, and they wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which plays a critical role in your body’s fat storage. In addition, the human body is naturally disposed to crave sugars, and sugars trigger hunger, which can create a vicious cycle when you’re trying to lose weight.
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Milk N Mamas baby is owned and operated by women who have experienced the challenges and joys of balancing breastfeeding with work and family. Our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms, including lobbying for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it, and our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time. To get the latest tips and news from our team, subscribe to our blog below.