Why You Get Baby Fat
From the moment you get pregnant and start putting on a little bit of baby weight, your mind starts thinking about everything you will need to do to get back in shape once the pregnancy is over. Diet and exercise during pregnancy can help, but you will still need to consume plenty of calories to support yourself as well as your baby. Due to this, you will still have plenty of excess fat that you will want to get rid of once your baby is born. You will also have more of a “normal” routine after your baby is born in order to accomplish these goals.
In this article, I will be giving you my top 10 tips on how to get your body back after your pregnancy.
Over my 10 years as a certified personal trainer, I have trained many moms post-pregnancy as so many new mothers find it challenging to know when and how they should begin their diet and exercise routine after giving birth. That is why we have created this article just for you. But before we get started on the top 10 tips, it is essential to understand the following:
Don’t jump into diet and exercise 100% right off the bat!
Specialists say that it is not a good idea to drop calories dramatically after pregnancy, especially if you are breastfeeding your child. Still, studies have shown moderate rates of weight loss <2kg/week, achieved by a combination of diet and exercise, does not adversely affect lactation. You should be consuming between 1,800 and 2,000 calories every day if you are breastfeeding. The most important thing is that you don’t sacrifice the quality of your breast milk and, therefore, the quality of food that your baby receives. Your body cannot create quality breast milk if you are not consuming sufficient calories every day.
On top of that, your own body needs these additional calories for energy after a tiring pregnancy. Regarding exercise, I advise that you don’t jump into the same intense routine that you had before you were pregnant. Your body and muscles have changed slightly because you need to be able to carry so much weight in front of your body.
If you jump into an intense exercise too quickly, you can injure yourself. I am not saying not to exercise at all, as it is essential for getting back into shape. All I am saying is beware of the intensity and be conscious of how your body feels and reacts during exercise. Now that that’s all said and done let’s jump into the top 10 tips I have to get that body back!
Although breast milk requires approximately 500 extra calories a day to create, it burns around 800 calories a day.
So even if all you were doing is lying around being lazy, breastfeeding will help you lose weight naturally. That is one reason of many that I recommend breastfeeding over formula.
You need to be aware that the moment you stop breastfeeding or start introducing solid food into your baby’s diet, your calorie needs will drop significantly. You will need to be aware of this and adjust your diet as planned to keep weight loss on track.
2. Track Your Calories
Like any good diet program, you will need to track your calories to know how much you are consuming. I suggest investing in a good old-fashioned food scale to weigh out and track your calories. This is probably the most helpful tool for keeping track of your caloric intake. Other methods include portion control Tupperware containers that will help you count your calories for you.
Some at-home workout programs use this popular calorie counting technique, such as the 21-day fix programs. This is a preferred method by many of my clients as it is time-intensive.
You also cannot simply eat junk food like soda and fast food for this to work. Instead, stick to nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
3. Taking Naps
Not only will your body be craving sleep post-pregnancy, but it is also actually perfect for weight loss. The time you will be sleeping will be when you won’t have cravings to eat junk food or high sugar snacks. I recommend that you take a nap anytime your baby is taking a nap.
And as we all know, this may be practically half of the day. So if you feel tired, don’t feel bad about sleeping! This is what your body needs, which will be conducive to your weight loss goals.
4. Natural Weight Loss Remedies
I am definitely not talking about those high-stimulant chemical weight loss pills that you see in info commercials. Most of those contain multiple ingredients that are not good for nursing or pregnant women. There are, however, some natural weight loss remedies that can help boost your metabolism or keep hunger at bay.
Let’s take a look at some of these natural remedies.
- Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with hot water can help reduce fat.
- Another natural weight loss remedy is lemon or lime water with a couple of drops of honey.
- Green Tea has tons of antioxidants as well as natural fat-burning properties.
- Eating cabbage not only helps you get your necessary servings of vegetables, but it is low in calories and high in fiber.
- Other extremely low-calorie foods that are filling include tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery, which should be eaten as often as possible.
You can try a few of these natural weight loss remedies to see if they work with you and your body.
5. Exercise Daily
In order to get your body back into its pre-pregnancy shape, you will need to have a consistent and organized exercise routine. If you don’t know where to start, you can always hire a certified personal trainer to help you get started and organized with a solid routine. Preferably find a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal training.
Outside of that, there are tons of small changes that you can make to get more exercise during your daily routine. For example, you can walk your baby whenever you feel like it. This is great exercise as well as very stimulating for your baby. Other small things you could think about are parking farther away from the grocery store when you go shopping.
Instead of taking the elevator, think about taking the stairs sometimes. Stairs burn tons of calories on the upward climb. In addition, simply being conscious and making fitness a priority will allow you to create additional strategies to burn more calories while performing your daily activities.
As a personal trainer, one of the biggest recommendations I give to every client is to include weightlifting in their exercise program. Building muscle is extremely important towards building a faster metabolism and getting rid of excess body fat. If you are very unfamiliar with weightlifting, this is another good reason to hire a personal trainer to assist you. If you don’t feel like hiring a personal trainer or going to a gymnasium, I suggest investing in some dumbbells for your home.
You can also do types of resistance training that involve your baby. For example, while taking him or her for a stroll, you can do lunges behind the stroller to strengthen your legs. Your baby is also not extremely light and will only get heavier. Using your baby, you can do various types of arm exercises such as shoulder raises and curls.
Who would have thought that you could get into such great shape between breastfeeding and using your baby as a dumbbell!
7. Practice Diet Philosophies
Besides tracking your calories, as I mentioned above, you will have to focus on a few sound diet principles to get your diet back on point.
Here are some strategies for getting back on track with your diet and start losing weight.
- Include snacks in your diet. Spacing your meals is a great way to maintain your blood sugar at a consistent moderate level in order to keep your metabolism running at its peak performance.
- Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. Make sure to include it every day so that you have enough energy to exercise and think clearly.
- Eating protein is a good way to curb your appetite and build muscle. Some great protein sources include nuts, beans, fish, and poultry.
- Make sure to include plenty of fiber in your diet. This will reduce hunger without dumping a lot of calories on your plate.
- Focus your diet on whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy products for a well-rounded diet.
8. Join a Group of Mothers that are Passionate about Exercise
It can be highly motivating to join with other mothers for regular group exercise. You can create a jogging group with fellow mothers. You will have a billion things to discuss regarding motherhood, making the exercise portion pass by incredibly quickly. This is a great way to push one another because you all have a collective effort to get back in shape together.
You can also join a group exercise class at your gym, such as Pilates or yoga. You can either meet people there that are passionate about exercise or bring fellow mothers along to join you. I have had many post-pregnancy clients tell me these types of groups and classes are very helpful in remaining consistent with a routine.
Although this is something that I do not typically recommend for the first 6 weeks after the pregnancy, it is still a great form of exercise and can burn a ton of calories. So if you and your loved one are feeling up to it, make sure not to hold back.
Having sex is also a fantastic way to bring control back to your bladder and strengthen the floor of your pelvis, which needs strengthening post-pregnancy.
10. Core Exercises
Women post-pregnancy must focus on strengthening their core. This is because the pregnancy relaxes and stretches a lot of the muscles in the core, such as the pelvic floor muscle, transverse abdominis muscle, and the obliques.
You will need to pay special attention to these muscles to help you look better because when these muscles are weak, you are more prone to injury.
Sex is one of the better ways to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, as I mentioned above. But besides that, there are plenty of exercises you can do to help strengthen all parts of your core. One of the more basic beginners’ exercises that I recommend is static plank exercises. These can either be done from the knees as a beginner or from your feet in lieu of a more advanced form.
Once again, if you do not know what you are doing and need a little guidance, hiring a personal trainer just for a few sessions could be very beneficial for you.
Well, there you have it, ladies. These are the top 10 tips for getting your body back in shape after your pregnancy. If you start with these 10 tips, I guarantee you will see significant results quickly. Getting started is probably one of the most frustrating parts of any diet or exercise routine.
I could write a whole article just about creating the habit of exercise and dieting alone. The biggest tip that I can give you to stay motivated is joining a group of other mothers interested in fitness or hiring a personal trainer. Just remember that it takes a little bit of patience for your body to come back. Don’t give up hope too soon when your body doesn’t bring itself back to the way it used to be in a couple of weeks.
It would help if you were patient with yourself and your routine. If 10 tips are a little bit too much to keep in your head right now, the top three I would focus on are my diet tips (including counting calories), getting started with a weight lifting program, and taking naps as frequently as possible you feel like taking them.
That is it for my article. So everyone, get out there and start making these positive changes. Your body will be thanking you in no time!
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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