When it comes to losing baby weight, why does it seem like some women return to their pre-pregnancy size faster than the rest of us could inhale a tray of brownies in the third trimester? The truth is, for many new moms losing baby weight can be a lengthy and frustrating process. But with the right amount of patience and dedication, it can be done. Here are some tips to help you on your own path to shedding those pesky pregnancy pounds.
Get a jogging stroller – Running or jogging offers a multitude of benefits for a new mom, and with a jogging stroller you won’t even need anyone to watch the baby while you run all your problems away. It helps you de-stress, it’s great cardio, and gets you out of the house and into the fresh air.
If you’re not hungry, don’t eat – It’s tempting to poke your head in the fridge every time you put the baby down for a nap, or set her up in the swing, or really anytime you find your hands free for a moment. Resist the urge to snack frivolously and focus on more productive stuff instead – like catching up on The Bachelor.
Breastfeed if you can– There are tons of great reasons to breastfeed, and one of those reasons is that you can lose weight without doing anything at all. As if by magic (okay, maybe science), calories are burned automatically every time you nurse your child.
Drink water – Like, tons of it. You should consume at least eight glasses of water per day, since it flushes out toxins and can stave off food cravings.
Avoid too-strict diets – The type of diet that promises quick results will only succeed in making you feel hungry and miserable. The last thing a new mom needs is added stress in her already chaotic life.
Snack healthy – Stock up on healthy snacks and toss anything unhealthy that you’ll find tempting. Use the baby’s nap time once a week to portion out snacks for yourself. This will help you avoid overindulging on the first thing you can grab whenever you’re hungry.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals – Opt for at least 3-4 smaller meals per day. For maximum lasting energy, pair proteins with carbs at each meal. And never, ever skip breakfast – it’s terrible for your metabolism.
Host a daily dance party – Throw on some upbeat music and dance to your baby’s delight. You’ll work up a sweat and he’ll have a blast watching you. Before you know it, he’ll be dancing along with you, and it’ll be so cute that you’ll probably do it every day.
Set a goal – Start small and gradually push yourself further as you accomplish each goal. Every time you reach a milestone, reward yourself with a small cheat. Or a new handbag. Or both.
Exercise at home – For a lot of new moms, finding enough time (and babysitters) for regular trips to the gym is simply not an option. But there are plenty of exercises you can do in your own living room that will help you lose weight. Anyone can do crunches during commercial breaks, right?
Babywearing – Quite literally, “babywearing” is the act of wearing your baby in an infant carrier. The additional weight will help you burn extra calories as you move about your day.
Fiber is your friend – Foods that are high in fiber are digested more easily and can make you feel more full, causing you to eat less.
Turn to your partner for support – You shouldn’t have to do it alone. You also shouldn’t have three boxes of Mallomars taunting you every time you open your kitchen cabinet. Talk to your partner about the benefits of enjoying a healthier lifestyle together, and make sure he understands that chocolate covered marshmallows are the enemy.
Put away the gossip magazines – We know, we know. Gwyneth lost 40 pounds in two months, Beyonce lost 60 pounds in one month, and Jessica Alba never really looked pregnant to begin with. Rip out Page 6 and wipe your tears with it, and then remind yourself that these women stake their entire career on looking fit (and they have a whole arsenal of trainers and nutritionists helping them do so).
Wait at least six weeks – Your body needs time to heal after nine months of exhausting pregnancy followed by the grueling grand finale of childbirth. You should never begin a weight loss regime until you feel 100 percent. You will generally lose up to half of your baby weight during this time anyway, so go have some ice cream and start when you’re ready.
Choose a workout you enjoy – When it comes to losing baby weight, there seems to be conflicting ideas as to which type of exercise works best. Some say cardio is key, some think weight training is best, while others swear by their daily yoga routine. Any workout is better than no workout, so select the type of exercise you enjoy doing most and stick with it.