Getting your body back after having a baby is tough… really tough. Unlike the average person battling weight loss, new moms have sleep deprivation, hormones, breast feeding, lack of time, and a complete life change to make the process more difficult. Also, it is the first time that many moms are carrying around the extra pounds, so they often feel like they are living in a foreign body. It doesn’t help matters when we see celebrity moms parading around with pre-baby bodies just weeks after giving birth. So what is the best way to lose the baby weight? I will share with you some tips that have worked for my clients.
It really helps to know you are not alone in the weight loss process. Find a workout buddy, hire a trainer, or find fitness classes with other moms. When you are accountable to someone, you are more likely to stick to the plan. After a sleepless night you may not want to work out, but when you have a trainer like me knocking at your door you will be less likely to call it quits.
Choose foods wisely
Feelings of stress and fatigue often lead to overeating, and if you are breastfeeding it may not be a good idea to restrict your calorie intake. If you are going to snack, make sure you are eating the right things. Stock your kitchen full of fresh veggies, lean protein, and high fiber foods. If you have cravings for junk foods try crowding out the bad choices with good ones. For example—if you eat a big plate of carrot and celery sticks you may not have room for that cupcake you were craving.
Exercise anywhere and everywhere
Because you are often short on alone time, don’t wait for a quiet moment to exercise. You may never make it to the gym. Take long walks with your baby. Do crunches on your living room floor. Invest in an exercise DVD. You would be surprised how much work you can get done in the privacy of your own living room. When I train clients in their homes the baby is often present for the workout, so there is no babysitter needed and no excuses not to work out.
Don’t let the celebrity photos fool you. They spend thousands of dollars on full time nannies, chefs, and trainers—not a realistic lifestyle for most moms. On average, the weight will come off in 6 to 8 months (if you are active and eating right). 1 to 1.5 pounds per week is a healthy goal. Having a realistic time line will take some of the anxiety away so you can focus on enjoying the time spent with your baby.
Yes, the process can be grueling, but by committing to a plan the pre-baby body is completely obtainable. Come on, you carried the baby for 9 months and gave birth, so you are capable of dealing with the greatest of life's challenges!
Read about the journey of one of my clients, Laura Rohrman, and the steps she took to get her body back.