Bouncing back to your old figure after having a baby may seem like an impossible task. The fun of eating for 2 can take some time to wear off and instead of the number on the scales going down, it may just continue to increase.
There’s no quick fix or magic pill that can make you shed those pesky extra pounds, but there are a few useful hints and tips that could help you get set in the right direction. Put those meal replacement drinks back on the shelf and take a more natural and relaxed approach to shifting the excess weight.
Avoid Negative Self Image
The most important thing to remember when going on any diet or exercise plan is that you are worthy and important no matter what size you are. You have created and carried a child inside your body for 9 months, and it is truly an amazing feat with a beautiful outcome. It is natural that you have gained weight throughout the process, and you should try to reevaluate any feelings of guilt or regret as they are not valid or beneficial to your mental health. Forget the idea that you are working to ‘get your body back’ as it never left, it simply adapted to house another human. Of course you will have grown in size to accommodate this other being, so begin to see the realistic positive achievements rather than focusing on those perceived as negative. Openly loving yourself will also set an amazing example for your child from the get go, so it’s important you work towards a positive self image not only for yourself, but your baby too.
Starting vigorous exercise too soon after giving birth can have so many negative effects on your health. Weight loss should begin slowly, at a rate of no more than 1 and a half pounds lost each week. No matter how much you gained, it’s important to work at a relaxed pace in order to stay safe and sustain the healthy changes. Every mother’s body is different, and as a result this means that every mother will shed the weight at a different speed. Many factors can impact on your success, including you age, metabolism and usual activity levels. Set realistic goals for yourself, that focus more on improving your health and how you feel rather than the number that appears on the scales.
Review Your Diet
Your body requires extra nutrition within the first 6 weeks after giving birth so that you can defend yourself from any infections and breast feed your little one, so reducing your food intake within this time should be ruled out completely. Speak with your doctor when you feel as though you are ready, so that they can confirm whether you can begin to diet or not. It’s better to count the vitamins rather than calories, as you should be focusing mainly on being healthy rather than slim. You should still be aiming to consume your daily 2000, if not more when you are still breastfeeding, so see it as a change rather than a reduction. Cut out any processed foods and those which contain high amounts of sugar, especially fizzy drinks full of artificial flavours and colours. Aim to have more than the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, and ensure you are getting enough protein from lean sources like fish and chicken.
Doing some kind of sport or activity can provide you with so many benefits. Starting off with some basic light exercise with your baby such as a walk around the park pushing the stroller will allow you to see how quick and painless the experience can be, as even something that simple will have an impact. If you find some time to go to the gym, grab the opportunity with both hands.
There are so many knowledgeable people than can really help you, and the opportunity to get your own coach will boost your motivation by a mile. After a few months of successful exercise related weight loss, you may even be inclined to take it to the next level and share your aptitude with other new moms in the same predicament by doing a personal training qualification. If you’ve ever wondered how to do a PT consultation, learning couldn’t be simpler and it will really boost your confidence and give you an extra incentive to work out.
Looking after a newborn is a strenuous task in itself, so you may not always have time to go for a run or chop up 6 different vegetables for a salad, and that’s ok. If you and your partner
want to have pizza for dinner, go ahead. Just like one healthy meal won’t make you lose masses of weight, one unhealthy meal won’t make you gain a stone either. If you’re craving ice cream, just let yourself enjoy a bowl and don’t feel any remorse for your actions. If you’re putting in the effort elsewhere, you deserve to let go every now and again, so don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s easy to feel as though you lose some of yourself when you become a mom, so make sure you still allow yourself to dip into your old personal comforts every now and again as we all have our guilty pleasures that can really work when it comes to making you feel better.
When you get the go ahead from your general practitioner, follow these steps and slowly begin to introduce exercise and healthy eating into your lifestyle. Be mindful of the nutritional aspect of your food, and be sure not to undereat if you are breastfeeding your baby. Don’t forget to love yourself at every step of the way, and focus on the positive factors over the negatives. Putting in that little bit of extra work will make a huge difference in the long term, and doing things slowly will help to keep you on track.