Post-pregnancy weight-loss is a hot topic. It’s everywhere! Most, if not all, new mommies want to know HOW TO LOSE PREGNANCY WEIGHT!?
Why is that you say!? Because whether we like to admit it or not, body after baby is a BIG DEAL.
The after-pregnancy body is not exactly the same as the pre-pregnancy body. Am I right ladies? Things are just a bit out of whack. For the first 2-6 weeks we are in total rest and recovery mode. I don’t know about your experience, but the first two weeks after baby were hell and I’m not even talking about learning how to care for a baby! I could barely walk, sit, go to the bathroom, or shower without looking like a 90 year old woman! Who cares how to lose pregnancy weight at that point. It shouldn’t even cross your mind!!
Thankfully, by the time 6 weeks rolls around, most of us who had a vaginal birth are feeling “healed,” and ready to concur the world (isn’t that the female nature?). BUT, just because we FEEL healed, doesn’t mean we are! Did you know it takes 14 months for your body to fully recover from a pregnancy!? YUP. There’s a reason it’s not recommended to get pregnant before 14 months post-partum! Your body wants to FULLY RECOVER! That means, at 6 months post-baby, I’m not even halfway to healed! Isn’t that crazy!? It’s especially nuts when you hear about how hard these celebrities push themselves right after delivery to get their body back after baby. Now that I’ve experienced it, I don’t know how they do it!
The point of this post is not to judge how fast or how slow your weight-loss after pregnancy experience went. We’re all different and that’s the beauty of individuality. Some ladies lose all the weight at the hospital, others take the full 9 months, and some hang on to the extra pounds forever (but that doesn’t have to be the case).
At 6 months out, I feel pretty amazing about my after-pregnancy body. Did I lose any weight this past month? No. Do I still have an inch to lose around my waist? Yes. Am I still 5 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight? Yes. Am I still nursing? You betcha. Am I working out and eating well? That’s a hell yes! Am I being the best mom I know how to be!? That’s a triple HELL YES! Am I stressing about those last 5 pounds?? Sometimes, but I’m only human.
Even though I am not exactly where I was pre-pregnancy, I still feel confident that I will get there eventually using a healthy and balanced approach. I did the “starve myself/over-exercise” thing years ago. While this method got me thin…I know it wasn’t healthy. I am PROUD that this time around I took the slow and steady route and I want to share with YOU a few of the things I have learned about how to lose that darn pregnancy weight.
- Be Patient. I decided to put this point as number one because I believe it is the most important. Ladies; it is NOT all about the weight-loss! Don’t lose sight of what really matters in the grand scheme of things; YOUR BABY! Enjoy the little life you have created. It goes SO fast. Hannah is 6 months old! I literally get teary thinking about the first day we brought her home from the hospital. I could not be more proud of how she is turning out and I believe that it is in LARGE part to me giving her my all.
- Set realistic goals. If your goal is to look like Jessica Alba 6 weeks after baby and you didn’t even look like her before your baby…be real with yourself! Fully assess the scene. Personally, I gained about 33 pounds in my pregnancy and had 15 pounds to lose after Hannah was born. As much as I wanted to wear my pre-baby clothes again, I also needed to heal, take care of Hannah, and give myself realistic goals. When the average weight-loss post-baby is 1-2 pounds a MONTH, I decided that would be my goal. I gave myself 7 months to reach my goal (which was NOT my pre-pregnancy weight; nursing adds about 3 pounds just in the chest!). I am 6 months out and 3 pounds and 1 inch away. I feel GREAT about that!
- Track your progress. I took measurements AND decided to weigh myself. When I didn’t see any shift in the scale, my measurements spoke for themselves. There were plenty of weeks and months that I saw ZERO weight-loss but lost 1-2 inches! January was actually the first month where I saw ZERO progress in either area. I was disappointed at first, but then I realized; maybe since I’m still nursing, my body needs to hang on to a little extra weight until I’m done. I’m eating right (but not willing to be super strict) and exercising moderately (without going crazy). I think I’m doing the best I can.
- Breastfeed. I understand there are plenty of moms out there who have a difficult experience, don’t produce enough supply, or just choose to give formula. I’m not judging. Believe me. Remember my Pros and Cons of Nursing post? Even though I followed up with a post where I was Still At It, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel for other nursing moms and any problems they may experience. All that being said, I fully stand by breast being best for both mom and baby! Not only is it the healthiest thing for your baby, BUT it’s really healthy for YOU! It is a huge help in shrinking your uterus, dealing with the stress of parent-hood (meaning less stress eating!), and burns tons of calories! When I say I can eat anything…I mean it. There were days and weeks I ate about 3000 calories a day and didn’t gain a pound. Seriously.
- Exercise! Whether you are nursing or not, try to incorporate an exercise routine at least 4-5 days per week. Sure, this is a no-brainer but WHY AREN’T YOU DOING IT!? I will admit since I was fairly fit before pregnancy and throughout, I felt pretty great hitting the gym after just 2-3 weeks post-baby. I do not recommend this for everyone! Take the time you need for YOU. But once you start feeling better, start slow and build up! At 6 months out, I exercise about 5 days a week; 2-3 days I focus on strength training and 2-3 days I focus on cardio/stretching/yoga. I try to work my full body! Start with something you love! Check out my facebook page for frequent workout suggestions! Also, keep moving!! Engage in day to day activities by cleaning your house, get up to talk with a co-worker, take the stairs, etc. Every little bit helps!! Try to MOVE at least once an hour, if not every 30 minutes!
- Eat Well. Sure, I say I can eat whatever I want, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to the drive-thru every day either. I like to nourish my body and the best way to do that is by eating WELL. I stock LOTS of various greens and keep a big bowl washed and prepared in the fridge; I love having greens right at my fingertips, keeps me from straying to unhealthier options! I also keep fresh/seasonal fruits, nut butters, nuts, eggs, plain yogurt, hummus, and various veggies. I find that when I have a constant supply of healthy eats, I feel the best. This might sound like a no-brainer too but then why aren’t YOU doing it?
- Keep a Food Log. This is something I have done since being pregnant. I love the accountability. Of course, you can use good old pen and paper but I like to keep track of my meals and goals in an online meal tracking/planning program. I use a program that literally grades me on how well I’ve eaten for the day! I’m serious! Every day I get a grade card!! Most days I average a 3.0-3.5 GPA! I love how the program shows me meal and snack ideas if I’m not sure how to get a better grade in nutrients like potassium, calcium, my B vitamins, etc. I also like seeing A’s in most categories! Talk about a way to keep you honest!