As any mother knows, the first few months at home with a newborn is exhausting and normal weight loss rules don’t apply as there is a whole new set of priorities that need juggling while also experiencing extreme sleep deprivation. Hence weight loss post pregnancy needs a different approach to pre pregnancy in order to fit in with a mother’s new life, and give successful results.
The key to any successful and long term post pregnancy weight loss and good health is a combination of nutrition, food, exercise, understanding your metabolism and having the right support and motivation. Without these it is very easy to fall off the ‘weight loss bandwagon’, especially when tiredness kicks in.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be hard, and adopting a new healthy regime can be easy to follow and stick to once you know what to do.
Why do you want to lose weight?
Firstly, you need to establish why you want to lose the baby weight and really think about it. Write down how still carrying your baby weight makes you feel. Do you feel a lack of confidence when going out? Do you crave to fit into your old clothes? Do you want to have more energy to play with your children? Do you want to look good naked? Do you want to have a healthy body inside and out? Do you want to look good for a special occasion? Or do you want to slim down to prepare for baby Number Two or Three.
When you have established your reasons have them close at all times, for example in your wallet or on your fridge as you will have moments of weakness, and remembering why you are doing this will help you use will power to overcome food cravings.
Food and nutrition
At the heart of healthy living and weight loss is cellular nutrition, where our cells are fully nourished so they work to the best of their ability. If they are not nourished the whole body doesn’t work properly, leading to a poor immune system, poor digestion, poor nutrient absorption, poor metabolism and an inability to lose weight. In today’s hectic lifestyle it can be hard to ensure we have adequate nutrition due to food being heavily processed, and due to being so busy as mums we often lack the time to eat properly at every meal, often resorting to unhealthy fast or processed foods that are devoid of good nutrition.
So what are some ways around this? Firstly don’t buy processed foods as you just don’t know what has been added to them. Secondly always stock up on lots of fresh vegetables and fruits so that you have healthy foods on hand to snack on. Thirdly, plan ahead and work out what foods you are going to eat during the day as a common issue is being time poor then using this as an excuse to eat junk food.
Lastly cook recipes and meals that are easy to make and don’t require endless amounts of preparation as if it is too hard you won’t do it. The good news is that there are lots of easy and healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy – all made from fresh foods that can be prepared in under 15 minutes and you can find over 20 easy to make recipes on the www.losebabyweight.com.au website as well as find lots others through a search engine like Google.
One of the most common questions mums ask is “How do I get rid of my belly fat”. Mums are plagued with a jelly belly after the birth of their babies and although the weight that has been acquired on bums, legs and arms can be hard to shift, sometimes the belly fat can seem like an impossible task.
It is well documented in personal training circles that spot fat removal – such as belly fat – is not possible and that an all over body exercise routine needs to be established to successfully rid areas of fat, like the stomach. However, post pregnancy, the core is important to focus on as it has not had much of a workout over the previous nine months. The stomach muscles need to be reactivated as soon as possible to help reseal the muscle separation that occurred when the bump was growing. This will help gain muscle support around the back and spine to avoid injury when going about caring for your baby.
By doing some basic core and abdominal exercises six weeks after the birth of a baby you improve your chances of having your belly return to its pre-pregnancy shape and size. An all over cardio exercise, such as walking, with help speed up weight loss.
Finally, it is very important to only start exercising after caesarean section once the doctor has given the all clear. Due to this procedure impacting severely on all three layers of the abdominal wall, there needs to be adequate time post-pregnancy to allow for the healing process and for the tissue to repair significantly before attempting exercise. Mums need to be very conscious of lifting and bending after having a Caesarean due to the resultant weakness in your core and abdominal area.