Just because celebs ping back into shape 2 weeks after giving birth doesn’t mean it’s healthy. That said of course you want to get back to feeling more like “you.” So what can you do to lose your baby weight healthily? Here are my top ten tips for busting that baby bulge
OK so there are big new demands on your time but it will not help you or your baby if you forget to look after yourself. Airlines remind us to put our oxygen masks on first in an emergency before helping the kids. This is because if we are oxygen deprived we can’t help anyone. It’s the same with good nutrition, you need it to function so don’t feel guilty about taking some time to plan and prepare healthy meals. Do this when your partner is in the house or when your mum has come to visit. They need time to bond with baby too and it will buy you some much-needed time.
Internet food shopping might seem like the way to go when you feel pressured on the time front but a walk to the shops with baby in a pram is great exercise. You don’t need to do a monthly or even weekly shop. Re-think your routine and consider a small daily shop. You will get exercise and it will fit better with feeding demands. If you live too far from a supermarket to do this drive but park a little distance away so that you still get a walk.
Don’t organise everything to minimise physical effort. It’s easy to keep nappies and wipes in every room and keep baby close by at all time. But remember walking upstairs to change a nappy or comfort your crying baby is good exercise.
Do what you can to get adequate sleep. Caffeine, alcohol and what we eat before bed can have a big impact on the quality of our sleep. Check out my previous blog post on diet and sleep here
Get organised with snacks. Bag and box up snacks in 100 or 50 calorie portions so that you don’t slip into a constant nibbling habit.
Make use of your freezer. Cook meals in bulk when you have adult help in the house and squirrel away pre-portioned tubs that you can defrost and re-heat when there’s no time to cook.
Don’t over-restrict. Whether you are breastfeeding or not you need a healthy balanced diet. Contrary to popular belief breastfeeding alone only leads to a very small amount of weight loss. Don’t let this put you off breastfeeding though it’s great for baby if you can do it. For more information about what a balanced diet looks like in practice take a look at a previous post here
Once you’re all healed up and you’ve got the thumbs up from your medical team get back to the gym. Most gyms have crèche services and you can pop in and out to check on your baby during your workout. If you don’t have gym membership or if it doesn’t appeal to you then get a good video and exercise with a friend at home. That way you will have help on hand if baby is having a constantly needy day and you will still be able to get a workout. The NHS provides free workout videos. Just check out this link
Have a healthy lunch. The middle of the day is when new mums are most likely to be alone with daytime TV. It’s easy to just skip a meal in the hope that this will tip the scales in the right direction. Don’t! Missing meals leads to more snacking or over-eating at the next meal. If you are lacking motivation or you’re tired then heat up some leftovers or have some porridge with fruit. Our ideas about what’s ok to eat when are all just based on tradition. Eat whatever is easy and healthy even if it feels more like breakfast or dinner.
Set goals but be realistic. You will probably have gained 10-12 kg over your pregnancy. Weigh yourself a few weeks after the birth and make a note of your post-birth weight. Much of the weight gain during pregnancy is fluid and growing baby so it’s good to see what’s left when that’s gone. Aim to lose ½-1 kg each week. It’s perfectly normal to take 3-4 months to get back to your usual weight. If you were overweight pre-pregnancy and you are planning another think about losing some before you start trying for your next baby. It will make things easier next time.
As always if you would like some personalised support please get in touch and arrange an appointment