As a mother of three, I have put on my fair share of baby weight. In fact, with my first pregnancy, I started out as a size zero and quickly expanded to a baby weight gain of fifty additional pounds, which was a significant weight gain on my petite five foot tall frame.
My other two pregnancies also resulted in approximately fifty pound weight gains each. While I don’t think I will ever be a size zero again (I’m holding steady at a size four), I was able to achieve long term baby weight loss through some fairly simple adjustments to my normal diet and exercise routine.
When you are pregnant, you may watch the number on the scale climb with each passing week, telling yourself the baby weight will come off naturally once your baby is born. Then after the birth, you step on the scale each week hopeful to see a number smaller than the previous number.
While some women shed their baby weight fairly fast,for others the baby weight clings to them. Most women can expect to lose at least some baby weight naturally during the first few postpartum weeks as the pregnancy fluids are removed from the body.
What is left after that period of time, however, is most likely extra and unwanted baby weight. The unfortunate truth is that this baby weight will cling to you if you don’t take action.
How Weight Loss Occurs
Right now as you are caring for your child, you are probably stuck in a bit of a routine rut. Whether you are naturally an active or fairly inactive person, the fact remains that you are carrying unwanted weight because you are consuming the same amount of calories (if not more) each day as you are burning.
All of the food you eat has calories in it. And calories are not a bad thing. Calories give you the energy you need to survive and remain active. Yet when you eat too many calories, you end up gaining weight. Or, if you are simply maintaining a level weight, the calories you are taking in are approximately equal to the calories you are burning each day. To lose baby weight, you need to either burn more calories through increasing activity, decrease your intake of calories, or a little of both.
Losing Baby Weight While Carrying For Baby
One of the biggest complaints new moms have concerning weight loss is the lack of time or energy to exercise with the baby. The other complaint is that they have to eat to maintain a certain energy level. You don’t need to go on an energy-zapping fad diet to achieve baby weight loss. When you make small but beneficial adjustments to your diet and exercise routine over time, you can make your dream of baby weight loss a reality.
First, take a look at your diet. If you are drinking even one or two sugary drinks such as sodas or sweet tea each day to get your energy boost, make a switch to diet sodas, unsweetened tea, or black coffee. You will get your caffeine boost to help you through the days with baby without the additional calories. This one change can save you literally hundreds of calories each day, and dozens of pounds over the course of a lifetime, if you are a big soda or sweet tea drinker.
Other areas that offer fast and simple changes include switching from ice cream to low-fat or sugar-free frozen yogurt, and replacing potato chips for fresh fruit or whole grain wheat crackers.
Take a look at your current eating habits and find small areas that you can adjust to realize big results in your baby weight loss efforts. Rather than completely give up on a food or beverage, you will find it easier to lose baby weight initially by simply exchanging an unhealthy food for a healthier alternative.
Getting Active With Baby
In addition to replacing unhealthy calories with healthy calories, you will see more baby weight loss if you get active. Your body is burning a certain amount of calories a day with your current activity level. So if you are already walking around the block each day with baby in the stroller, or you are starting from couch potato position, there is room to improve.
Add in a little bit of exercise to your daily routine, rather that means walking another lap around the block, or even doing some sit ups and push ups on the floor while baby has tummy-time. The point is to do something additional in your daily routine, each and every day, to burn some extra calories.
You may feel completely drained of energy, but activity often makes you feel energized. So find the strength within to take that initial step. Don’t be discouraged by how much you didn’t do, but be encouraged by how much you accomplished. The next day, you can always do a little more to achieve your baby weight loss goals!
Raise The Bar
As the days and weeks go by, you may lose a few pounds by making these initial changes to your diet and exercise routine. Unfortunately, you will not continue to lose baby weight indefinitely. If you find that you lost five pounds with your initial changes, but still have another twenty to go to achieve your baby weight loss goals, you may need to take another look at your diet and exercise regiment and raise the bar over time.
You may need to add another block or two to your normal walking route, or even lace up the jogging shoes and run a lap or two around the block. You may need to take a look at your meals and make changes to leaner meats and whole grain pastas and breads over the enriched varieties.
Keep in mind that each small change you make to your diet or exercise routine will add up to big changes in your weight and health over time, provided you maintain that change and don’t revert to your old eating and exercise habits. Maintaining an ideal weight is not a milestone you reach one day through a temporary fad diet but rather a lifelong event that you maintain through a healthy lifestyle.