Lose Your Baby Weight for Good
Budge the baby weight and feel brilliant with these six key steps.
By Kelly Rennie
I hear so many people complain how hard it is to lose their ‘baby weight’. As new mums, we’re so busy and often losing weight just seems impossible. While our time is limited, shifting the baby weight can be done. Plus, getting back to feeling healthy and confident will help you to be the best mum you can be.
The truth is, with the right approach and mindset, you can lose most of your post-pregnancy fat in a matter of months. Will it be easy? Not at all. Though it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think either.
I speak from experience when I say you need to let yourself heal from the inside out. If you can tighten up your mental space, then your body won’t be a problem.
Below are the six key steps to saying goodbye to excess baby weight – forever!
- Get Rid of the Word “Diet”
NEWS FLASH – Diets don’t work.
Did she just say that?
I did. The reason they don’t work is because they are based on committing to something for a short period of time, sometimes only a matter of weeks. They are also based on the principle of deprivation – you’ll forego foods you enjoy (chocolate, pizza, cakes etc.) for X number of weeks and achieve a result. The only problem is that when you go back to your normal diet afterwards, and add in foods you deprived yourself of before, the weight comes back in no time.
A better thing to do is to commit to a generally healthier lifestyle. Nothing too crazy. Just good, fresh food on a consistent basis. This will make you feel so much better.
One way to begin is to ditch the junk food from your kitchen. Fill the fridge and cupboards with fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish and wholegrains, not to mention eggs and healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds and yoghurts. Set a rule with yourself that you only indulge on special occasions, this will help keep calorie overspill to a minimum.
Starting a food diary is a great way to stay accountable too. It also makes sure you aren’t eating too much (or too little), which can be dangerous for your fatigued post-pregnancy body.
- Focus On You, Not Anyone Else
It’s easy to get sucked into the miracle world of celebrity transformations. The problem is a lot of what is reported is rubbish, or worse – dangerous.
The first month or so after having a baby is not the time to start intense exercise or super-restrictive crash diets. You can get healthy and regain your strength without getting obsessed. Instead, spend your time getting to know your little baby and consulting a doctor on the best way to start working out again.
It might be a relief to know that nature is still on your side. During the first six weeks after pregnancy, your uterus, cervix and vagina begin to shrink back to their pre-baby size. Pregnancy hormones – which have softened your ligaments and joints – also begin to lessen, which will aid your return to normal life.
In order to give nature a helping hand, you could start doing basic pelvic floor exercises. These will help your vagina to tighten and recover. As long as you have no tears, you can start pretty soon after your baby has been born.
NOTE: Any C-section mums should stay away from anything that stresses the abdominal muscles until they are fully recovered.
- Breast Feeding and Hormones
What are the effects of breastfeeding on post-pregnancy weight loss? It depends entirely on the person. For some mums, losing weight seems to go hand in hand with regular breastfeeding. For others, it does nothing.
The standard advice is that mums who will be breastfeeding their newborns shouldn’t attempt calorie-restricted diets because it can affect the quality of their breastmilk. This isn’t set in stone though, especially if you are eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, so be sure to check with your doctor to see where you stand.
- Do What You Can, When You Can
As soon as possible you should start getting back into some sort of exercise routine. Not only will it help you lose excess fat quickly, it will also strengthen your heart and tone your muscles, as well as boosting your mood and energy level. All of these are great news if you are suffering from the baby blues.
Once you are beyond the six week point, it is worth asking your doctor whether you are fine to start exercising again (this is especially important if you had a C-section). Once you have the green light, now is the time to go crazy! Get back to the exercise that you know you enjoy and will stick to, whether that means the treadmill, tennis court or weights room.
If you’ve never done much in the way of exercise before, don’t worry! There is never a bad time to start. Signing up to a 12-week program or similar might be a great way to get you motivated and learning new things. There are many post-baby transformation programs out there too.
- Learn to Power Nap
If you’ve got a new baby in the house, you’re probably not getting much sleep, right? I know how you feel but it’s important you make time for it, even if you have to take twenty minute naps during the day or go to bed really early when everything is quiet.
If you need some motivation to do this, remember that countless studies show when you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to reach for the fatty and carb-laden foods. One study in particular discovered that mums who slept for less than five hours a night were much more likely to keep their baby weight. This is a result of high levels of cortisol in the body (which promotes abdominal fat gain and retention).
- Get Help
So you’ve been working out for months, eating health foods and exercising when you can, and you still can’t lose the weight. I know how frustrating this can be and there are a lot of reasons this could be happening. The best thing you can do in this situation is to talk to your doctor. Ask them to run tests for specific conditions that can make losing weight difficult, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism. Once you have specifics on what is holding you up, you can plan for future success.
ABOUT KELLY RENNIE
Kelly is an international coach, fitness model, author of The Fit Mummy Manual and creator of the no.1 Busy Mum Program. She is a mother to two gorgeous girls, Nevaeh and Eden, and aims to empower mums across the world with her holistic approach to life, mindset and health.
For more information visit www.busymumfitness.com or find her on Facebook or Instagram: kellyrenniefit