After the initial excitement of the new baby has started to wear off however, you may find yourself beginning to think about what you should be doing at this point in order to shed that excess weight that you’ve gained over the pregnancy period and regain your former body back.
Some women have great anxiety over whether or not they will actually be able to lose the weight they’ve gained, but the good news is that as long as you have a firm plan of action in place, you can definitely lose the weight successfully and get back into the same shape or even better shape then you once were.
Let’s go over what you need to know about losing weight after pregnancy.
The very first thing that you need to be making sure you’re doing is aiming to take things slow and steady. You’ve just been off an intense exercise program for at least four to five months (depending on when you stopped as you went about your pregnancy), so now is definitely not the time to dive right back in.
Take it slow at first and then add more intensity as you go. This ensures that you not only avoid suffering from an injury, but that you also are going to enjoy the process more as well.
Far too many women are in a great hurry to lose the weight and adopt extreme approaches, which just leaves them feeling unwell and unable to care for your baby. It’s vital that you keep your energy levels up as you are definitely going to need it.
Energy comes from food and a moderate exercise program, not a very low calorie diet and an extreme workout plan.
Next, it’s also important at this time that you focus on getting back into cardio training. Cardio is one element of your fitness you will definitely see declines with as it tends to be the first to go during a layoff.
For the time being, walking is your best bet. You’ll want to stay away from bouncing types of activities such as jogging, skipping, or group fitness classes that involve any sort of jumping as these will place more stress on the body with the excess weight you’re carrying in the stomach, not to mention the fact your breasts will be heavier as well with the breast milk inside them.
Biking can also be a great choice, so if you’d prefer, try this as an alternative to walking. Aim to do about 30 minutes of activity each day, either breaking it up into three, 10 minute sessions, or doing it in one go.
For many new mom’s, doing it in intervals tends to work best as then you can do it while the baby is sleeping or while your husband is at home and is looking after him or her.
Plus, you’ll get an energy boost each time you do it as well, so this is also beneficial as you’ll get three energy boosts rather than just one.
Remember to keep your heart rate to a moderate level while doing this cardio training until you’ve been back at it for at least four months, after which case you can start doing more intense forms of cardio if you wish.
Second, also make sure that you’re incorporating in some strength training exercise as well. Strength training is key to success in regaining back your former body as this is the exercise variation that is best going to help to firm and define the muscles, while also boosting your metabolic rate so that you burn calories all day long.
For the time being, stay away from exercises though that have you lying on your stomach or directly on your back. These may place too much stress on the body being your stomach is larger at the moment.
Using weight machines is a great idea as you return back to your workouts as these will not test your balance as much either and sometimes after pregnancy you may find that your balance is off. You’ll have the machine to support you the entire way, so you can simply focus on strengthening the muscles that you’re aiming to work.
When doing strength training, use a moderate weight when you first get back into it and aim to lift in the 10-15 rep range.
As you regain your former strength level, then you can start increasing the weight again and move back down to the 8-12 rep range instead.
Furthermore, remember that you can also look into strength training group classes where you use your baby as a weighted object. These can be great for those moms who can’t find the time to do solo workouts and want to get out and meet other mom’s as they go about their workout.
They’re a great chance to spend more time with your baby, while strengthening your body at the exact same time.
After you have your cardio and workout in place, then it comes time to adjust and adapt your diet. This is going to be one of the most critical things that you need to be doing with your plan as it’s what will ensure that you create the calorie deficit you need for success.
Now, one thing to know right off the top is that you should never cut calories too much, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
If you’re breastfeeding at this point, you’re going to require more calories to produce that breast milk as the process itself burns around 250-300 calories daily.
Cut back too hard and you’ll struggle to produce enough to feed your baby. Furthermore, cutting back too hard will sap energy levels as we mentioned, so a moderate calorie intake should be used.
New moms who are breastfeeding should aim for around 1800-2000 calories per day. This is a sufficient amount for most to lose weight with ease, while still getting enough nutrients in.
After the breastfeeding process has finished, then you can decrease the calorie intake to around 1500-1700 calories depending on how active you are.
You will likely find that you can eat slightly more calories and still lose weight now than when you have in the past with your diets simply because you will be more active with the baby. If you typically work an office job, you may have found that you needed calorie intakes of around 1200-1400 to see weight loss success, but now that you’re up and moving around, you need more energy.
When looking at your food intake, think small, nutritious snacks. You may not have the chance to sit down for regular meals with the new baby home, so instead you want to feed yourself small amounts frequently throughout the day.
This will also help you keep your energy levels up as well, so that you can manage to do everything you need to. Make sure that you always take in a lean source of protein with each snack or meal you eat, such as chicken, low fat dairy products, egg whites, fish and seafood, or lean red meat.
In addition to that, add a vegetable and either a healthy fat or a complex carbohydrate for added long-term energy. You should focus on adding natural carbohydrate sources that have minimal processing. Examples would include brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or other very grainy breads.
These are the ones that will provide the most long lasting energy and that will keep your hunger levels under control. To check whether it’s a healthy carbohydrate source, simply ask yourself whether it’s a food that has come straight from the ground.
On the healthy fat side of things, turn towards source such as nuts, natural nut butter, seeds, avocado’s, olive oil, and fatty sources of fish. Just be sure to watch how much of these you’re eating because they are calorie dense and will add up quickly.
Choosing either fats or carbs to add to your protein and vegetable will help keep your calorie intake in check, while giving you a very well balanced diet. This also ensures that you will meet all your micronutrient – vitamin and mineral needs as well.
There’s no reason you ever have to cut your favorite foods out of your diet plan – simply eat in moderation and choose healthy as often as possible.
If you take a more moderate and flexible approach to your diet, you’ll likely find you do have greater success because it’ll be easier to stick with during this busy time in your life.
So there you have everything that you need to know regarding losing post-baby weight and regaining your body back again. If you work hard and use a smart approach the entire way through, you can definitely move forward and see fast, but yet safe and healthy results