Until and unless you were highly fit during your pregnancy, there are chances that you are dreading all that postnatal baby weight. And the journey of weight loss might seem aloof.

Baby weight – Post-natal weight loss guide

Until and unless you were highly fit during your pregnancy, there are chances that you are dreading all that postnatal baby weight. And the journey of weight loss might seem aloof.

working out
Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

You are not alone, only in ideal conditions, very few women can jump back in size 4-5 months after pregnancy. Where most women are so busy with everything else that they forget to take care of themselves too. Taking care of the new baby, recovering from the birthing process, house chores, and everything else, weight loss might be the very last priority. And before you know it, it’s your newborn’s first birthday. Huh! Where did the time go?

Yes! It is extremely stressful to manage everything after having the baby. However, you can’t deny how important it is for you to get in healthy shape again. A happy and healthy mom leads a happy and healthy home.

This guide is for you to understand how you can lose the baby weight in a healthier way and things to avoid while aiming for post-natal weight loss.


How to lose the baby weight

Here are the primary points you need to keep in mind while aiming to lose the baby weight. Also know that you will not see drastic changes right away. Your body has been through a big event of pregnancy and then pushing the baby out. It needs time and patience to adapt to new changes.


1. Check your calorie count and nutritional requirements

Losing weight more healthily is the most effective method. Going on a diet right after giving birth is not an option. Your body is recovering from all the strains of childbirth and needs nutrition to repair itself.

If you are a moderately active breastfeeding mom, you need 2100-2300 calories per day to fulfill your nutritional requirements and produce a healthy breastmilk supply for your baby. Did you know that breastfeeding can burn 500-800 calories each day depending on how often you are breastfeeding your baby…

Mom’s who are not breastfeeding and are moderately active, need 1600-1800 each day.

Eating healthy overall is important, however, consume the following for a better postnatal journey.

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A, B-12, C, and D
  • Folate
  • Zinc

To control your calorie intake, you can download a mobile app that tells you the calorie count in each meal. There are plenty of options available on both android and iOS.

Maintain a food diary, where you can write what you had at what time. This ensures that you have control over what you are eating. Moreover, looking at the list of things you have eaten so far will satisfy the urge to eat all the time.


2. Eat a high fiber, healthy protein, and fats to lose weight faster

Eating high fiber foods such as whole wheat, oatmeal, lentils, beans, chia seeds, almonds, several fruits, and vegetables, etc tend to make your tummy feel full for a longer period of time. Which ultimately results in a decrease in snacking.

Like high fiber foods, protein can also provide a feeling of fullness. Moreover, the body burns more calories in trying to digest it as compared to other foods. Protein can also boost your metabolism and decrease your appetite. You can consume protein through eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts, and seeds.

Healthy fats provide energy and support cell growth. Good fats are extremely important for your body as they help in protecting your organs, absorbing nutrients, keeping the body warm, and produce essential hormones. Some great sources of healthy fats are avocados, nuts, dark chocolate, cheese, eggs, etc


3. Exercising

Start with just a 15-minute walk. Exercising does not mean that you have to hit the gym and spend hours working on your body. Exercise means taking a walk, going for a swim, or anything that can speed up your heart rate which burns calories.

Many women swear by yoga after having a baby. Yoga can surely help you lose the baby weight but it can help you with gaining strength, toning muscles, improving postures, reduce stress, increase energy levels. Yoga has also helped breastfeed moms as it can boost the breastmilk supply.

Few other exercises that are amazing to shed the baby weight and also will help you gain strength are:

  • Kegels
  • Calf raises
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Low-impact pilates

Make sure that you don’t jump on the intensive exercise routines rather follow postnatal exercise routines. Remember that your body is recovering from childbirth. The slightest of errors may cause serious injuries.


4. Foods high on the water

Water is your best friend. Water can help in so many ways and not just losing weight. So always stay well hydrated and consume foods and drinks that are high in water. Foods and drinks like soups, broths, fruits, vegetables, teas, skimmed milk, plain yogurt, and cottage cheese are all high in water.

All these and similar foods can not only keep you hydrated but such foods are foods that provide antioxidants, energy, vitamins, and minerals and are still very low on calories. Water adds weight which leads to a feeling of fullness and a decrease in appetite.


5. Healthy snacking for healthy weight loss

Food cravings are not just for pregnant women. Many new moms also experience food cravings, usually for something sweet. Sadly, these food cravings then transition into their lifestyle. It’s natural to feel hungry as your body recovers, it needs more nutrients. And you should eat something every 2-3 hours especially if you are breastfeeding.

But, eating something frequently doesn’t mean that you eat everything and anything in your sight. Giving in to your food cravings will never let you lose those extra pounds on baby weight but will surely help you in putting on some more weight.

Healthy snacking will get you the required nutrients and energy without a full load of calories. Try including all the food groups in your meal. Remember that you need fats as well. Indulge in good fats, proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates for a healthy mind and body. these snacks when your baby is having its baby food aka breastfeed or bottle-feed.

  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Kale chips
  • Frozen yogurt pops
  • Oats and dark chocolate chip cookies
  • A handful of mixed nuts
  • Granola bars (multigrain)
  • A small bowl of fresh fruits with a squeeze of lemon
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Piece of plain or seasoned cheese
  • Avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cheese salad

You can find more healthy snacking options with recipes here.


6. Ask yourself

Before every unnecessary meal or snack, you are thinking to have, first ask yourself if you are really hungry or you just want to eat. Sometimes our body gets overtired and then all you can think about is to have a dollop of ice cream or grabbing a pizza slice just to satisfy our brain. Therefore, it is important to put in perspective why are you thinking about eating? Is it really hunger or just one of your old food cravings.


7. Sleep

Sleep is often underrated when it comes to weight maintenance. New moms who are up all night, feeding their babies, changing diapers, and dealing with the colic crying, and whatnot are so tired mentally and physically. Moreover, they hardly get any sleep.

Sleeping is important. Especially in the early stages of your baby, nap when your baby is napping. Rest whenever you can. Take help if someone offers you some help and don’t be shy asking for help when you need it.

Lack of sleep can alter the response your body has towards food. Your appetite will increase, your resistance power will decrease and soon enough you will find yourself craving for and eating the food all the time.


8. Join a moms club or challenge a friend

Joining a moms’ club is a great idea that can help you learn how other moms are dealing with their babies, baby weight, and themselves. If you are a person who needs motivation all the time then group-based weight loss might be the one for you.

If you don’t want to join a club then challenge a friend to complete the 21-day weight loss postnatal program with you. This is also a great approach to keep a check on yourself and achieve what you are aiming for.


9. Be realistic about the baby weight loss

Lastly, but most importantly, be realistic. Set goals that you can achieve. Over-stressing your mind and brain won’t help you in any way. It took 9 months to gain all that weight. At least give another 9 months to lose all that weight. Slow and steady weight loss is what you should aim for.

If you are feeling anxious, then talk to someone you can trust. Take help and ask for help. There’s no shame in taking help around the house and daily chores from your friends and family.


Things to avoid for a healthy weight loss

Aim at losing weight most healthily as you are a new mom and you need nutritious foods for yourself and the baby. Make healthy living your lifestyle. This way you don’t have to think the weight loss as a journey rather thinks of it as a much better approach for healthy living.

Avoid the following things which are unhealthy for you in every way possible.

  1. Added sugars make your foods taste delicious, but it provides no nutritional benefits. Added sugars can also lead to many health problems. Substitute it with stevia in your teas and other sweet confectioners
  2. Empty calorie foods are low in nutritional value and high in calories. Fast foods, processed food, candy bars, sodas, energy drinks, fruit drinks, donuts, and other packaged treats are all empty calorie foods.
  3. Fad or crash diets are not effective at all for a longer period of time. These diets may help you losing weight much quicker but you will probably gain more weight than you lost. Moreover, fad diets are a big NO because they do not provide enough nutrients for your body and can cause many health issues.
  4. Weight loss supplements or drugs can alter your body’s normal metabolic rate. Consult your doctor before consuming any weight loss supplements. Avoid it completely if you are breastfeeding.
  5. Do not compare yourself to others. Everybody reacts differently after childbirth. Understand the fact that your body has been through a lot. Give it some time and stay consistent with your healthy lifestyle.