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Post Pregnancy Weight Loss - Perspective Is Key
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Post Pregnancy Weight Loss  -  Perspective is Key

Pregnancy is a glorious time in a woman's life. The miracle of life growing inside of you - there is nothing else like it in the world. And, you get to eat anything you want any time of day and you are encouraged to do so. You're eating for two after all.

But once the baby comes, you are left with a lot of extra weight and a body that no longer looks or feels like it used to. Many first time moms expect to lose quite a large percentage of their baby weight when the child is born. In reality, you may lose 10-15 pound of the 30-50 pounds you put on during pregnancy. How depressing, right?

So, here you are, a new mommy with a baby who takes 100% of your time and energy. With 3 or 4 feedings a night, you are getting very little sleep. And you realize you are still wearing your maternity clothes and the baby is two months old.

Why Is Post Pregnancy Weight Loss So Difficult?

Losing weight post pregnancy is a very difficult task. It is not because it is hard to lose your baby weight. It is because you do not have time to lose your baby weight. And your body has other ideas about whether you should lose or retain your pregnancy weight. It's not your fault.

Your body stores more belly fat when you get less than 8 hours of sleep a night. Every new mother gets less than 8 hours of sleep a night. In most cases, you are lucky to get 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time before you need to get up for another feeding. So, if your body wants to store belly fat because you are not getting enough sleep, and you already have a post pregnancy belly that you are dying to get rid of, you are pretty much set up to fail.

There's another thing stacked up against you. Exhaustion. When you are tired, your body craves more calories in order to keep going. And, of course, the cravings are for fatty foods and sweet foods. Foods of comfort. Give into these cravings and you are doomed in your pregnancy weight loss efforts.

What Can You Do?

You need to change your perspective.

  1. You are not fat, you are a new mom. Instead of loathing the body you have, love that body and accept it. It gave you a precious little gift, your baby. Be grateful and appreciative of the amazing thing your body just did.
  2. Remember, it took 9 months to put on the baby weight so you will not lose that weight in a month or two. The best way to lose weight is gradually. After the initial month, you should plan on losing no more than 1 or 2 pounds a week. If you lose 3 or more pounds in a month, consider that month's goal achieved!
  3. If you're upset about wearing your maternity pants, don't be. But to help you feel better, find those pants you were wearing during months 3 - 5 of your pregnancy and wear them. Or, invest in a great belly band, if you didn't get one during the pregnancy, and use it to keep those before-baby jeans on - no need to button when you've got the belly band on. You'll feel great because you're wearing your old jeans - just the mental boost you need to motivate you to the next level!
  4. Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and rid your home of all temptations that will lead you down the path of failure. Chips, cookies, and candy need to go. I would recommend keeping a small quantity of dark chocolate, unsalted nuts, and meal replacement bars on hand for snacks between meals. If you are breastfeeding, you need to make sure you are eating enough calories to feed you and your baby, so don't eliminate snacks from your diet just yet.
  5. You need to get out of the house. It is important for your mental state to resume some of your normal routine as soon as possible. So, strap the baby in a baby carrier or their stroller and get outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood or a local park. The fresh air will rejuvenate you and the exercise will assist you in your pregnancy weight loss goals.

Losing weight post pregnancy is not hard. It will not happen quickly, but it will happen. Focus on eating healthy foods, getting some fresh air and light exercise, and sleeping as much as you can. With a little bit of disciplined eating, you will achieve your goals!


Street Talk

While this is a problem for many I can't say it was for me. I think the key was that I never started eating for 2 and thinking I had the right to eat whatever I wanted when I was pregnant (and I did have twins to nourish). I ate only what I wanted them to be eating after they were born (e.g. I didn't want my kids to have a sweet tooth and I'm grateful I don't either). I don't remember trying to lose weight although the shock of not fitting into my clothes for a while was memorable. As the doctor laughed "Dolly Parton struck!" I now weight a tiny bit less then I did in high school but my shape has sure changed. I joke that I now have really skinny ankles because the weight has climbed up and settled around my mommy belly! ;-) Enjoyed your article. Sound advice!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Heather, you had the right attitude from the start! So many women give in to eating for two. During my pregnancies, I ended up gaining 28 pounds and 35 pounds with my kids. My second round of weight was much harder than the first. I can finally say that after many yoyo diets after my son, healthy eating and living has gotten me back to my college weight - which was 12 pounds less than my baby weights. It's all in the perspective.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Well done you!! That's a great achievement.

  
  about 7 years ago

Never had a problem with my weight while the wife was pregnant, good informative article as always AJ.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Good point, Rob. Many dad's do put on some weight eating with the pregnant mother. You were lucky not to be one of them. Article idea for me :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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