Some people maybe totally turned off by the title of this post. Lose your baby weight? Why should I? I don’t want or need to. I’ve birthed a life and that’s all that matters to me now. THAT new life. And you know what? That’s fine. You may not be reading this immediately post partum. You maybe looking at getting back in shape months down the line. Or you maybe reading this 2 days after giving birth and already planning your post partum shape!
Since I’ve got into the blogging world I’ve realised people have a lot of different opinions, wants and ways of going about things. I guess it’s always been like that but you find it more when you actually read about it. Plus through in some social media everything can be controversial!
But there is nothing wrong in wanting to take back a bit of you after a baby.
I’m a firm believer that it takes a good 6-12 months to recover from having a baby and I leave that very open I know. It’s not just you physically, that has to recover, it’s mentally too. If you are breastfeeding there are all the associated hormonal fluctuations in addition, and combine that with lack of sleep, your joints and muscles recovering and adjusting to a new baby in your life.. I’d go with you feeling more like yourself at their first birthday!!
For me losing my baby weight is important to me. As a keen gym goer and exerciser (and someone who likes to shop and new clothes!) I want to get things moving when I feel ready. I have done this three times now and this is how.
Lose Your Baby Weight
First I would say there is absolutely no pressure to do this and I didn’t even think about actively “trying” to get back into shape until I had my 6 week check and I felt mentally ready. Please bear that in mind, as you really need to recover first. This means plenty of good nutrition for healing and resting. If you are breastfeeding this is even more important, as well as plenty of fluid.
But after this, then what to help lose your baby weight?
– Try and get into an eating routine. This may sound a little boring but if you can stick to a similar eating pattern each day, you get similar calories each day and if this is a calories deficit, you will lose weight. Your body likes routine too.
– Try to have breakfast. I used to wake up ravenous after breastfeeding at night or just being awake in the night, as lack of sleep plays havoc with your hormonal appetite regulators. Eat a good breakfast. I usually start the day with eggs and wholegrain toast. I also used to love this protein, fruit smoothie too. This may help you stop reaching for the junk later on.
– Most of you reading this will know that crisps, biscuits, cakes and chocolate are not a good fuel source to power you through the day when looking after a baby. I know it can get tough to fit healthy food in when looking after a baby too. With baby number 1 when I wasn’t much of a pro, I used to prep my lunch when she slept. I’m not talking gourmet meals – a chicken salad, a tuna wrap, tuna pasta. Something like that.
– Base your meals on protein, as it is filling! Lean meats, fish, beans, lentils, eggs and dairy depending on your preferences. An omelette is a fab choice if you have time. Add a couple of portions of vegetables and you have a really healthy meal.
– Try hard to avoid the biscuits and cakes and fill up on fruit, nuts, peanut butter on toast as some examples.
– Watch the stodgy foods and associated portion sizes. When you are tired and hungry white bread, lots of pasta and rice seems like the holy grail but they may make you feel sluggish and it’s very easy to eat a lot of them. I used to scoff loads of pasta and never weigh it!! Try to go for wholegrain and wholemeal versions and ensure you weigh out your portions. You can find these on the packet usually.
– Plan a healthy evening snack. If you are not wrecked and going to bed at 8pm, it is very easy to pick at night. And there is nothing wrong with a little snack but it’s watching those portions. I tend to eat earlier, before 6pm, so have a bowl of fruit and yoghurt and a few squares of chocolate. Both tasty but portion controlled.
– Above all though, don’t deprive yourself. You may avoid all the biscuits at baby group but then once a week meet your friends from antenatal class and have cake together. I know I did, and some great cake too!
– Walk with your baby. This was the first thing I did after all three of my babies. Start slowly. I found I used to get a stitch if I went too mad, as I guess my stomach muscles were still a little all over. But after a while I was managing up to an hour walking with the pram. I used to go with my Mum or plug in my headphones and go. Many people listen to podcasts. Walking can really burn the kcals.
– Gentle exercise. You may want to seek some advice if a newbie but there are so many things you can try. The gym may not be practical at all and it isn’t for me all the time. I exercise at home and in the past have joined “mum fit” groups and taken the baby. This is a good way to socialise too and your baby has fun. If you can make the gym, group classes can be fun and going with a friend.
– Don’t be shy of weight or resistance training. For me, this is always the clincher. The fat burner. The type of exercise that slams the fat. Weight training burns fat, helps tone and build muscle, that burns more calories than fat. Its a no brainer.
– Motivate yourself. You may want to track your activity. I use my Fitbit and this is great to track steps, calories and progress.
As a mum of 3 I feel self-care is SO important and all of the above I have written about is self-care. You as a mum are important and regardless of losing your baby weight, keeping active and good nutrition is so important generally. You need time for you and to look after your self to BE a good Mum.
So bear this in mind when you feel guilty for hitting the gym or leaving your baby to cry for a few minutes whilst finishing making a healthy lunch. They don’t remember a few minutes and you are looking after yourself too.
I find once I get on track, I get into a routine. It is possible. You can do it!
You can lose your baby weight like me. Good luck and any questions or comments, please drop me a line.