New year, new you. So not only have you got the Christmas weight to lose but also that annoying baby weight that just won't do one. During pregnancy the average weight gain about 20-35 lbs, but this can vary from woman to woman. This weight is due to a variety of factors including the baby's weight, fetal water, placenta, increased blood volume and fat reserves which are crucial for milk production after the birth. There is an awful lot going on with our bodies during this time, so we can't just expect it to spring back into shape straight the way, but we have put together a few everyday tips to make the whole process just a little bit easier!
We lose the vast majority of our baby weight directly after giving birth, and the 6 months after a baby is born our bodies will automatically try to lose an additional weight gain without any diets. After this period, however, our bodies slow down and then women may have to try a little harder to lose any remaining baby weight. It is worth noting at this point, that has been proven that breastfeed accelerates the loss of baby weight.
So, just what are our extra easy top tips for losing that extra baby weight in 2019? Well, here you have them -
Sorry to start with this and it is a cliche, but unfortunately it is where we need to start. It is so difficult with a new baby to even shop and plan meals, but as your little one grows older, everything does get easier - we promise. After 6 months old, it is time to start thinking about looking after ourselves as well.
- As far as meals go, try to plan and shop ahead what you are going to have. After birth, every woman needs protein, iron, calcium and vitamins as staples in their diet. Rather than grabbing for the easy pasta tea, opt for a more lean protein (such as chicken, fish or egg) based evening meal, filled out with lots of veg.
- Limit your intake of bread, potatoes and pasta to only one meal a day. There is a great recipe idea selection here from Coach Magazine to get you started. See also our great Post Partum 'Pick me up' Smoothie recipe to boost your iron levels, which can often deplete after having a baby.
- With older children, it is really difficult to not have sweets in the house, as they always seem to have them from somewhere, but if sweets are your thing, or crisps, chocolate, biscuits or cake just try not to have them even in the house. Keeping them out of the house will resist any late night snacking temptations.
- Keep a really well-stocked fruit bowl. Fruit is always easy to snack on when you are short of time, and a fresh colourful fruit bowl will tempt you into making a healthy choice of snack. Mouldy apples just don't have the same appeal!
- Drink, drink, drink - sorry we're not talking Prosecco here ladies! You need to sip water throughout the day. This will not only cleanse your body but make you feel fuller during the day and aid in weight loss. Aim for 3 litres a day to really boost your weight loss. Limit alcohol intake to a just 2 nights per week, or less if possible.
- If you are able and feel comfortable carrying on breastfeeding after baby is over 6 months old, breastfeeding is still one of the best and easiest ways to lose extra pounds after birth. During breastfeeding, women lose about 500 calories per day, but don't use this as an excuse for extra cake or snacks during the day! Just eat as you usually would and watch natural work it's magic.
To boost your weight loss we do have to start to move around more. It is very difficult when babies are small to move around at all. You are often stuck inside all day feeding, winding and changing when they are newborn, but as they get older physical activity becomes much easier.
- Get the buggy out. Try to aim to take your baby out for a walk in the pram or buggy once a day even for 20 mins. After feed time works great. They will often fall asleep. It's a great exercise for you, and the fresh air will help baby to sleep much better at night time. Win, win! When walking with the pushchair, aim for a brisk walk pace to optimise the effect of your walk. As your child gets older you can increase your exercise regime, check out for some great ideas for workouts at home from Les Mills.
- Build simple exercises into your daily routine, for example, run upstairs rather than walk, take the stairs rather than a lift and try to stand more than sitting down.
- Don't neglect your pelvic floor! This is one thing that many of us overlook and it is so important to look after especially after childbirth. A good rule of thumb is to do your strengthening exercises every time you put the kettle on. Not sure how to do them, see Tommy's for a great guide or try one of the highly rated Kegel8 or The Pelvic Floor Educator.
- Any exercise port-partum must be built up to gradually. Our bodies go through a great deal of strain and change during childbirth, and a sudden onset of high-intensity exercise can do more damage than good. Build up your levels gradually and don't forget to try to make some time for your self, whether its a pampering bubble bath once a week or a half hour of meditation, it is so important to take care of ourselves!
Getting back into shape after a baby, whether it's your first, second, third or even forth, requires dedication and perseverance, however, if you stick to a simple plan, you can achieve your weight loss goals for 2019 and beyond!