Feeling pressure to return to your pre-pregnancy weight? In many cases, this is easier said than done - especially when you add taking care of a brand new baby and a new schedule to the mix. In fact, most new moms don’t drop their extra pounds until their babies are a year old.
This doesn't mean that losing weight after a new baby is impossible. But, it's important that you be patient with your yourself.
Looking for tips to help you get started on your journey? Taking heed of the following three steps will help you find your waistline in a healthy way. And, the best part about it? You won't lose your mind or sacrifice vital bonding time with your baby.
Before We Begin
After the birth of your baby, your body is very fragile. Thus, it’s important that you are gentle with yourself when attempting to lose the baby weight. Secondly, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor before you begin your weight loss regimen, especially if any of the following pertains to you:
● Back and/or pelvis pain
● You had complications during delivery
Tip #1: Eat Smart
Just because you’re no longer carrying your baby doesn’t mean you’re not eating for two. Even if you chose to forego the breastfeeding route, you will need lots of energy to take proper care of both you and the baby.
[*For those of you who are still prenatal, check out the following meal plan designed just for you*]
When making smart eating decisions post-delivery, your goal isn't to go on a diet. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods, coupled with the added stress of being a new mom, can actually make you gain weight.
Instead, consider this simple concept - moderation is key. In other words, too much of anything is not good for you. And, when possible, opt for organic foods as they tend to be free of toxic ingredients. In addition:
● Eat smaller, but more frequent meals
● Drink lots of water
● Eat breakfast every day
● Include fiber rich foods like seeds, grains, beans, and oats in your meals
● Go easy on sugary and fatty foods
● Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
Here's a meal plan that you may want to consider along your journey...
Tip #2: Get Moving Mama
All those midnight feedings and diaper changes can wreak havoc with your nerves. And, to make things worse, this stress can prevent you from losing weight.
What is a new mom to do? Thankfully, not only is yoga one of the best exercises to reduce tummy size, it's a proven stress buster as well, not even counting the benefits that yoga has on your mind. But, before you begin your new yoga regimen, make sure to pick up the following items:
● Mat: Prevents your feet and hands from slipping. It also serves as a barrier between you and the floor
● Blanket: Used to make certain poses more comfortable
● Blocks: Make it easier to do poses that require a little more flexibility than you presently possess
● Strap: Helps deepen stretches
● Comfortable clothing: Wearing comfortable clothes that are breathable and allow freedom of movement will ensure that you won’t have to constantly rearrange them. Lycra and cotton tops and bottoms are snug but comfortable.
To get the most out of your yoga-inspired post-delivery workout regimen, some recommended poses include:
● Tiger pose: Relieves back pain, helps weight loss, improves digestive health, and tones the shoulders, arms, and legs
● Cobra pose: Relieves lower back pain, firms the buttocks, tones the abdomen, shoulders, and arms, and improves oxygen and blood circulation
● Pigeon pose: Helps tone the lower half of the body (i.e. legs, thighs, and hips), reduces stiffness in the lower body, increases hip flexibility, and relieves anxiety and stress
Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep
After the birth of new baby, it can seem impossible to get a full night’s sleep. But, lack of sleep can actually make it more challenging for you to lose the baby weight. When you’re tired, your body releases stress hormones (like cortisol) that can help promote weight gain. It's also less likely that you will choose healthy foods and/or engage in physical activity.
To ensure you get enough sleep, try napping when the baby is sleeping. This might mean that you have to let the laundry and/or the dishes pile up but, that's ok. You need all the sleep you can get to take good care of both you and baby.
When you begin your post pregnancy weight loss plan, it bears repeating that you should be patient with yourself. Ignore stories of the lucky ones that get back in shape within a few weeks after delivery. Quick weight loss like this is unrealistic for the average new mother. Your focus should be on losing weight gradually and, with the above tips, you will be well on your way. Good luck and, as always, namaste.
This was a guest post by Emily Adams, who is a marketing specialist at YogiWear - having a main focus on development and implementation of marketing ideas. Her primary talking points are yoga life, benefits of yoga, yogi lifestyle and yoga wear.