The saying goes that it took you 9 months to put on the weight, so expect at least 9 months to take the weight off.
Oftentimes though, a new mom is ready to get her body back much sooner, and she grows frustrated with the idea of 9 months to work off the extra pounds of mommy-hood.
You may be lured off your slow-and-steady course to lose weight by fad diets that promise quick results. Or perhaps you had your baby 2 years ago and still have 10, 20, or more pounds to lose and have simply lost the motivation to continue. You may even feel like you are stuck at a certain weight and are unable to lose any more weight, regardless of how hard you try.
Here are 3 easy things you can do to get rid of your baby weight…
#1 Revise Your Expectations.
The first step is to get real. There are moms who snap back to their pre-pregnancy weight and also their pre-pregnancy figures within weeks of having their little bundle of joy.
Most women aren’t that lucky, though. Most moms have to work very hard to get back to even within ten pounds of their pre-pregnancy weight.
To make matters worse, even if you are able to lose all the baby weight, chances are you aren’t going to fit into your favorite old pair of jeans again. Or if you do fit into them, they aren’t going to look quite the same.
Disappointment is bound to sink in. It is important to understand that your body has gone through tremendous changes to bring new life into the world, and to expect your body to be the same is just not realistic. So before you get bent out of shape and frustrated with the process of losing weight and getting your "old" figure back, you may need to change your expectations and make them more realistic to your situation.
Even when your baby weight is gone, don’t be shocked when you have a new figure carrying that weight. The fact is that your body most likely is not going to look the same as it did before, regardless of how much weight you lose.
#2 Make Healthy Changes.
Now that you have a little one to take care of, it may be time to adjust your lifestyle a bit.
If you have not been interested in exercise and healthy eating before, it is never too late to start. Keep in mind that your child will learn his eating habits and exercise habits by watching his parents. If his parents lead a sedentary lifestyle and load up on unhealthy foods, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of your child adopting those same habits.
Your lifestyle will undoubtedly have a huge affect on how your child lives his life. Oftentimes, if a mother cannot find the motivation and willpower to make healthy changes for herself, after the child is born, things will change. You will be able to hold a living, breathing reason to adopt healthier habits, a reason that instantly becomes more important than any of your reasons not to. Your baby is your motivation — if not to lose weight, then at least to make healthy changes. And when you make healthy changes, weight loss and a healthier you will come in time.
You don’t need to go overboard with changes to your exercise habits and eating habits. Small changes will make a huge difference over time:
- If you drink soda, switch to diet soda.
- If you enjoy a bowl of ice cream, switch to non-fat frozen yogurt and take one less scoop than you normally do.
- Switch from white bread and pasta to whole wheat bread and pasta.
- Instead of stopping for fast food, stop at a sandwich or deli shop. Or head home and make a healthier meal.
When you make small changes to your diet, your calorie intake will slowly decline, and eventually the pounds will come off.
The same holds true for exercise. Nobody expects you to run a marathon after having a baby — even if you ran marathons before the baby. Buy a jogging stroller and head out to the local park for a nice stroll. The baby will love the fresh air, and walking every day for about 20 to 30 minutes will help your pounds come off faster and improve your overall health. If walking isn’t for you, there are so many other things you can do — such as biking, swimming, yoga, and more. You can typically get a relatively inexpensive gym membership that includes childcare while you workout.
#3 Build It Up.
With these small changes to your diet and exercise routine, you will begin to see gradual changes in yourself.
Don’t expect sudden changes overnight, but eventually your healthy changes will begin to show in your outward appearance.
When you are ready, make some additional changes to your eating habits and exercise routine. Perhaps add some weight training to your regular exercise routine; even if this means purchasing some 5- or 10-pound dumbbells and doing some repetitions in your living room at night. Switch to leaner meats in your diet. If you love hamburgers, switch to a meat that is only 5-10% fat rather than the greasy 20-30% fat you find in regular ground beef. Or even try a turkey burger or veggie burger.
Each small change to your diet and exercise routine will add up to big changes to your health and body image over a long period of time.
Enjoy the slow but steady results that you will see when you make small changes to your lifestyle. Be consistent and stick with the changes you make, such as sticking with a 20-minute walking routine. Soon enough, that baby weight will melt away, and you will meet and love your new after-baby body!
I write about a wide range of topics, including pregnancy.