How to lose the weight after pregnancy is a popular topic among new Moms. I’ve been frustrated with the extra weight hanging around. With 4 children I’ve got a lot of experience with loosing the baby weight.
I’ve tried a lot of things – here are my secrets of what worked best to shed those unwanted pounds.
Changes to your Diet
The greatest advice I can give you is to transform your diet from processed foods to only whole foods, NO PREPACKAGED FOODS. Vegetables, fruits, grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs.
The amazing thing is calorie counting is off limits – Just eat real food! Getting the best nutrition from quality foods will dramatically help shed unwanted pounds.
Whole foods is what God intended for us to eat, not something whipped up in a science lab. When food is processed it is stripped of many of the vitamins and minerals. Our bodies often crave more food because we aren’t getting the nutrition out of the food we do eat.
Whole foods contain the nutrients and minerals we need. Most prepared food is junk food filled with preservatives, fillers and artificial flavors and colors.
Eating whole, nutrient dense food is always a good choice for Mom and baby (if you’re breastfeeding) and an excellent way to lose the baby weight.
Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet
Some people can eat a little bit of dessert and feel satisfied (my husband is one of those people). I have one serving, but in the back of my mind I crave more. Sugar is addicting for me (and this study from the National Institutes of Health show it is generally addictive), maybe its addicting to you too?
Eliminating sugar has a dramatic effect on my weight loss. The first few days are tough, I eat homemade dried pineapple, I eat prunes, and other naturally sweet foods.
After 4-5 days, my sugar cravings pretty much vanish. As long as I don’t eat any sugar, I have the willpower to say no. The first bit I open a gateway to my sugar cravings.
Sugar hides in many places. Read your food labels, cut out the soda, and juice. Diet soda and artificial sweeteners are even worse and can make you gain more weight for you so skip them. This study gives more information on why to skip artificial sweeteners.
Since you’re eating mostly whole foods, it should be fairly easy to eliminate the sugar. I still eat regular ketchup and tomato sauce. Everyone is different, so know your body and your cravings (maybe you’re one of those lucky people that can eat one scoop of ice cream and be satisfied).
If you crave sugar (like I do) and need a little help in kicking the sugar habit here is my favorite program to help. The 21 day sugar detox ensures your success at eliminating sugar cravings. It has a money back guarantee, all you have to lose is your sugar cravings!
Eating whole foods and eliminating sugar will have a dramatic effect on your weight loss.
Drink More Water
Water is vital for every part of our body. Water is also needed to flush fat from our body. Often we mistake thirst for hunger. Next time you feel hungry soon after eating, drink a big glass of water and wait 30 minutes before having a snack. You might have just been thirsty!
I recommend drinking a large glass of water BEFORE eating a meal to help you feel fuller faster. Then wait for 15 minutes to eat. I usually drink a big glass of water as I’m preparing my kids food.
Drinking before eating lets the water flush through your system without washing your food along with it. The key is to drink before eating (even if it is just two minutes).
Try to limit drinking while you are eating. Drinking large quantities of water while eating will dilute your stomach acid, making it harder for your body to get all the nutrients from your food.
When you wake up in the morning you are dehydrated. First thing in the morning, drink a big glass of water to rehydrate. I like to add lemon or lemon essential oil to my water to wake me up and rev up my metabolism. First thing I also drink 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and honey mixed in a small glass of water. The apple cider vinegar helps to eliminate junk food cravings, sets me up for a successful day of eating, detoxifies my body, and helps to keep my immune system strong.
Sleep is Vital to Weight Loss Success
Your hormones reset when you sleep. Lack of sleep can make things go haywire and cause your body to retain fat. Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It is hard to get regular sleep with a new baby – take naps if possible and go to bed early.
Being sleep deprived makes you more prone to sugar cravings and carb cravings. I can always tell when I haven’t gotten enough sleep – I crave junk food all day. Get those zzzz’s whenever you can.
I know that a fussy baby can make sleep seem illusive – here are some of my favorite ways to calm a fussy baby.
Here are some tips to conquer insomnia.
You commonly hear “breast is best” for baby. Did you realize breastfeeding is also good for Mom’s health and losing weight? Breastfeeding burns extra calories without the exercise, in fact, breastfeeding mothers need an extra 300-500 calories to make milk for their babies. Those extra calories you burn help shed those extra pounds.
According to the La Leche League
“…Mothers who breastfed (either exclusively or partially) had slimmer hips and weighed less than women whose babies received only formula.”
Word of Caution: Make sure you are not cutting calories to lose weight and are eating a minimum of 1500 – 1800 calories per day, otherwise you may decrease your milk supply. I do not recommend counting calories – eat whole foods and keep your portion sizes reasonable.
Exercise off those Pounds
I’ve spent countless hours at the gym on cardio equipment and doing hour long cardio classes (sometimes two in a row). I bet you have too, often with only mediocre results.
I’ve discovered that I can get a better workout in less time – the key is intensity! You need to workout really hard with minimal rest – the great part is you’ll be done with your working in under 30 minutes.
Personally, I workout 3-4 days a week, 25 minutes or less each time! With a new little one, time is at a premium. Short workouts are key to getting back into shape if you have a new baby at home, or are just looking to get into shape.
We have a small area in the basement that I keep my weights and equipment. I suggest working out at home – otherwise you have to consider the cost of a gym membership, travel time, and daycare for your new baby.
I get up early and workout. Other great opportunities to get a quick workout in are nap time or after work when both you and your spouse are home. Just make sure to exercise at least 2-3 hours before bed, otherwise it can make it harder to fall asleep.
I have gone from a size 14 to a size 4 in 6 months doing short, high intensity workouts (here is my favorite at home workout). If you’re even more pressed for time, 10 or 15 minute intense workouts can also be very effective. The key is consistency – if you miss a workout one day, keep going. Pick right back up next time.
Don’t penalize yourself for missing workouts either by doubling up next time. Roll with it and keep moving forward. One thing I can promise is it won’t be perfect since babies needs come first – and that is completely okay. Just stay consistent with workouts and aim for 3 days per week.
Incorporate Weights Into Your Workout
Weight lifting is good for your metabolism. The lean muscle built by lifting weights helps to burn more calories. Muscle has a smaller footprint than fat and lean muscle will help your clothes fit better. Weight lifting always sped up my weight loss.
Lifting weights is going to make you look slimmer, most people think it will make them look bulky. I usually start out with 3-5 lb weights and work my way up. Weights are your friend ladies!
Stubborn weight? You May Need to Reset Your Hormones
After having a baby – I reset my hormones to get the weight off since I often plateau with my initial weight loss. I just had baby #4 about 6 months ago. I lost 20 lbs immediately after having my son (he was 10 lbs!). Then nothing for 3 months – I was eating right and exercising, but I was not seeing results.
I decided it was time to reset my hormones. I have successfully done this through my diet. It is more than eating whole foods. It’s eating the right foods for your body.
Now you know the secrets – what are you going to do TODAY to lose the weight? Comment below.