After giving birth, you’ll discover a pleasant surprise: your body will shed around 13 lbs of weight. This comes from the placenta, fluids—and, of course, your bundle of joy leaving your body. You’ll continue to lose even more weight as your body adjusts to its post-pregnancy state. Then, around the six-week mark, this blissfully-rapid weight loss will stall.
Overall, you gain around 35 lbs during pregnancy. Though this is perfectly normal, you may be looking to lose weight post-partum to feel more energized or simply boost your confidence and self-esteem. Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true methods you can use to expedite the process.
Here are 5 tips to lose pregnancy weight naturally.
Breastfeeding is often touted as the wellspring of good health for babies—and for good reason. Breast milk provides antibodies that support children’s immune systems well beyond infancy. Breastfeeding has amazing benefits for mothers, too—and one of them is weight loss. Mothers who breastfeed exclusively burn an average of 500 additional calories a day and tend to regain their pre-pregnancy weight six months faster than mothers who choose to formula-feed.
If you’re constantly on the go, you can invest in an electric pump to meet your breastfeeding goals and express milk effectively even when your baby isn’t with you. Since your body produces milk on a supply-and-demand basis, make sure you breastfeed and pump on a schedule. Every mom is different, though, and it’s okay if you can’t breastfeed regularly. If you’re a formula-feeding mom, we have more weight-loss tips for you to try!
You may have heard the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There’s some truth to that. Breakfast has many health benefits, including reducing obesity and body mass index (BMI). Many breakfast foods have nutrients that can help you with weight loss. Oatmeal is full of fiber that can keep you full for longer and prevent overeating. Protein-rich eggs and yogurt support fat loss and metabolism. These very same nutrients also power up your breast milk’s supply and vitality, which also serves your newborn.
New moms should prioritize this beneficial first meal, as well as make sure it is balanced nutritionally. If you’re short on time, try easy meal-prepping! For example, overnight oats can be made with only two ingredients and only take a few minutes to prep. Healthy ready-to-eat meals like vegetable-laden pizza are great, too!
Do easy exercise
As a new mother, you shouldn’t be doing marathons right after you give birth. Part of getting back into shape, however, is post-partum exercising. The trick is to ease into it. If your delivery was strenuous, you’ll want to give your body the time it needs to recover. When you’re ready, you can start with low-impact workouts like belly breathing or easy yoga poses and work your way up from there.
As you’ve probably learned during your pregnancy, keeping yourself hydrated is imperative. It boosts your mental clarity, lubricates and cushions your joints, and helps your body absorb nutrients more effectively. It’s also common to mistake hydration cues for hunger cues. The light-headedness and fatigue you feel could be your body needing fluids instead of food. Drinking water can therefore satisfy what you believe is hunger, making it an easy and sustainable way to promote natural weight loss. Pay attention to your thirst and hydrate when needed! If you’re nursing, drink around 16 cups of water per day.
Prioritize your overall well-being
It’s easy to get wrapped up in meeting the needs of your newborn. However, the frustratingly long retention of pregnancy weight is caused not just by the body’s natural processes, but also because new mothers tend to let their own fitness routine and well-being fall by the wayside in favor of focusing on their baby completely.
While this motherly devotion is commendable, it’s important to remember that looking after yourself is one of the most important parenting skills you can develop. Share a load of parenting with your partner, family, and friends that you trust. That way, you can give yourself the space to focus on self-care through hobbies like reading or relaxing in the bath. In the long term, your child will thank you for looking after your vibrancy and personal needs.
Pregnancy weight doesn’t have to dishearten you—especially at such a joyous time! Try the above steps and be patient with yourself. Soon, you’ll be in the best shape possible to explore the wonders of life with your newborn!
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