Parenting is stressful and nerve-wracking and many new mothers may find themselves self-conscious of their post-baby body. There is nothing wrong with your body, it has just survived growing and delivering a whole human. It deserves time to rest and it is as beautiful as it was prior to the birth. But many mothers are uncomfortable in their new body and find it difficult to lose weight after birth. We often find it difficult to let go of the status quo. Taking care of a child takes up a lot of time and recovering from delivery can be a lot on a new mother. These are some tips on how to help you lose postpartum weight:
Don’t Go On a Super Restrictive Diet
This may come as a surprise to most new mothers but a super strict and low-calorie diet could potentially lead to weight gain. Crash diets have been proven not to work by doctors, nutritionists, and personal trainers. While your body does need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, it does not need to be on a 1000 calorie no carb diet to lose weight. Opting for a high protein diet rich in vegetables and whole foods will be the most sustainable way to lose weight as well as heal and recover from birth. New mothers need extra calories to recover and breastfeed but this also takes up a lot of time. If you find yourself struggling to create healthy meals, choosing a healthy meal preparation service such as https://barimeals.com/ is a great way to keep your nutrition on track without spending hours in the kitchen.
Choose Healthy Whole Foods
Many new mothers find themselves too busy for full meals but having 4-6 small “snack” meals a day is also a great way to keep hunger at bay. Regardless of how many meals you have, it is more important to have whole foods that are high in fiber, micronutrients, and protein. Limiting added sugar and refined carbs is the best way to lose weight as these foods are generally high in calories but low in nutritional value. They will often leave you feeling hungrier than before. Examples of refined carbs are pastries and chips. These are both easy to grab but not so great for your body. Avoiding highly processed foods is the key to counteracting the baby's weight. Processed food has been shown to lead to addictive binge-eating disorders. Instead opt to make selective choices at the grocery store full of whole ingredients such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean meats.
Squeeze in a Workout
It seems like you spend all day with your baby and there is no “you” time which is probably true. But if weight loss was easy, everyone would do it. Squeezing in a workout is the key to successfully losing the baby weight. A great way to squeeze in a workout is by taking your baby out for a walk. Walking is a low-intensity workout that is good for you and perfect for recovering mothers. When they’re done for a nap, muster up the energy and do an at-home workout or if you’re lucky enough to have a home gym, have a short weight lifting session. Moving your body is a great way to keep the weight off and it can improve heart health and decrease chances of cancer. Living a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen and finishes off at the gym. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning any workout routine.
Most doctors recommend new mothers get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week following the clearance for working out. This will also increase your activity level and keep you happy and healthy. Resistance training, also known as weight lifting, can also help you lose weight but increase your metabolism and build muscle mass. As we get older, we start to lose our muscle mass. So weight lifting will help you keep your body young, fit, and healthy!
Last but certainly not least is getting enough sleep. Babies make it super difficult to get 8 hours of sleep but that does not mean you should not try to prioritize it. Speaking with your partner and establishing a set schedule will do wonders for both of your sleep schedules. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your body’s hormones and make you retain weight. A regulated and adequate sleep schedule is necessary to avoid postpartum obesity. Do not be afraid to ask for help because your health is the most important part of this weight-loss journey.