Being a new mom is stressful enough, but if you add in the pressure of losing the baby weight, it can be overwhelming. Don’t freak out, because losing weight after pregnancy isn’t as difficult as you might think.
A gradual, even-keeled approach to weight loss, no matter your age and no matter how much weight you've gained, is the best place to start. Here are some tips to get you started losing weight after pregnancy.
1. Breast feed your baby.
While your number one motivation to breastfeed is likely the health of your baby, mother’s milk is also great for your figure. In fact, an epidemiological study of 36,000 Danish women found that the more a mom breastfed, the more weight she lost in a six-month period. Making breast milk requires about 500 calories daily.
2. Don’t diet.
Go back to eating healthfully, but don’t confine yourself to a diet. New moms should wait at least two months to start counting calories in the first place and breastfeeding moms should have a minimum of 1,800 calories per day in order to produce enough milk for their babies.
3. Get mindful.
New moms are busy running around and trying to keep it together with all the new responsibilities of parenthood. That said--staying mindful when it comes to your diet is so important because it teaches us to eat only when we’re hungry. Learn to listen to what your body is telling you. If you're not hungry first thing in the morning, start with a green juice and wait for heavy hunger to hit. Before baby rises, take 10 minutes each morning to meditate.
4. Skip the takeout.
New parents don’t get to go out to eat as much as they did before they became parents. This can be a great opportunity to learn to have fun in the kitchen. Cook meals at home and don’t depend on takeout. Learning to cook is a great way to control calories and know exactly what you’re eating.
5. Exercise with your baby.
New moms may not have the opportunity to leave the house and go workout. That is--unless you take your little one along. Exercising with your baby is also a great way to socialize and meet other new moms. It's all the motivation you need to kick your running stroller into high gear.
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Image: Nelson Kwok