Gaining those few extra pounds during pregnancy can be hard for some of us, but easier for others. The cravings, increased appetite and less intense activity level can make the pounds creep on quickly and before you know it, you’re 9 months pregnant and you’re 25-35 pounds heavier… or, like me, more like 50 pounds heavier. Eeeek!
After delivery, you might be shocked at the reflection your body takes in the mirror. The first 6 or so weeks after your baby’s birth are NOT the time to worry about your body image, it’s important to remember to sleep as often as you can, eat nutritious meals, especially if you’re nursing, but even if you’re not because with a newborn in the house, it’s important that you’re body has the energy it needs to meet the baby’s constant demands and needs. Give yourself some time to heal, your body has changed so much and it’s more important to get yourself into a good sleep and eating routine than it is to stress over extra pounds.
By the time the baby is about 2 months old, you’ll both be on a better schedule and you’ll feel better physically too. Eating right and exercising are the only ways to effectively lose the extra baby weight the right way; crash diet and the like will only keep you on that vicious yo-yo cycle of gaining and losing, over and over. A healthy, filling breakfast of oatmeal with diced almonds and fresh blueberries, a fat-free yogurt and a small glass of orange juice is a great start to the day. Sometimes those types of sit down breakfasts aren’t always possible so try to keep a nutritious protein rich granola bar in your pantry to substitute for the hot cereal. A simple lunch of soup and salad is also filling and not too high in calories if you make good choices. Progresso makes zero point Weight Watchers soups, ½ a can is 2 days worth of lunches and hardly any fat, and Wishbone Spritzer dressings are a great way to control the fat and calorie content in your salad, and pairing both soup and salad is a filling way to get in a lot of vegetables during your afternoon meal. Dinners don’t have to be hard, a plate that’s half full of vegetables, frozen, fresh, steamed or boiled, make it easier to fill up your belly without filling up on fat. The rest of your plate should include protein, such as 4 ounces of chicken or lean beef or turkey and half carbohydrates such as brown rice or whole grain pasta or bread. If you’re hungry in between meals reach for a handful of nuts and raisins or a slice of Pumpernickel bread, toasted and spread with peanut butter.
Be sure to include at least 20 minutes of aerobics per day. Walking with the baby in the stroller or in a sling is great exercise. DVDs are another great way to get a workout in, all in the privacy of your home. Sleep is equally as important for weight loss; you need to give your body time to reenergize.
The key to losing baby weight is to not stress over it, don’t rush the process or you’ll end up gaining it all back in no time, instead just take care of yourself. If you eat right, exercise daily and sleep well, you’ll lose the weight by baby’s first birthday for sure!