Keep these tips in mind if you’re struggling to get rid of that unwanted pregnancy weight
Yes, you can get back into shape after giving birth, and there is no time like the present to get started! As long as you have clear and realistic goals in mind, and don’t compare yourself to other moms, you can start to get your pre-baby-body back in a matter of months.
The following tips will help you gradually get back into shape. However, the most important thing to remember is that, akin to pregnancy, every single post-baby journey is different. Do not compare yourself to anyone else; do things your own way, at your own pace, and listen to your body. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t see instant results!
From working out, to cutting down on cravings, and even wearing supporting tanks and other shapewear, these suggestions will get you back to your pre-pregnancy self in no time:
Rest and recuperate
The very first step is to rest, so it seems like we’re already off to a great start! Being a new parent is associated with lack of sleep, and that can contribute to everything from less energy to more food cravings and a slower metabolism. Try not to let it get you down. Your body may be sore from giving birth, so comfortable clothes are a must. Wearing comfortable tank tops under your clothes can help to keep you supported, and the soft fabric won’t irritate you either. You can still look fashionable, even if you have a newborn!
The best thing you can do for your body, though, is to let it rest and recover
The best thing you can do for your body, though, is to let it rest and recover. Sleep when your baby is sleeping to recharge your batteries, and don’t feel bad about not using the down time to do chores or work out. While you’re adjusting to being a parent, resting will be far more beneficial to your body and mind than exercising.
Most new mothers should wait at least six weeks after giving birth (longer for caesareans) before exercising, but always check with your doctor as each person is different. Before you get the green light to hit the gym, start moving slowly, by going on gentle walks. Then gradually work your way up to a 20- to 30-minute walk four to six times a week.
Breastfeed if you can. Breastfeeding can burn up to 800 calories a day, which can make a huge difference when it comes to shedding a few extra pounds. It’s important to remember that your body will need at least an extra 500 calories a day when breastfeeding, and the calories should come from foods rich in nutrients to benefit you and the baby.
As tempting as they are, try to avoid empty calories from soda and fatty, salty, sugary junk food. Once you’ve finished breastfeeding, cut down on the extra calories and start exercising more to avoid putting on extra weight.
Sadly, you can’t get away with ‘cravings’ and ‘eating for two’ once the baby is born. You should focus on foods that will nourish you, improve your metabolism, and combat cravings once and for all.
Focus on small, balanced meals throughout the day instead of one or two giant meals. Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and try not to skip it. Oatmeal with a handful of walnuts and Greek yogurt is a great example of a healthy breakfast.
Healthy sources of protein such as beans, fish, skinless chicken and lean cuts of meat will help control hunger. Adding more vegetables, legumes and whole grains to your diet will provide extra fibre to keep you feeling satisfied longer, so you won’t be hungry between meals or tempted to snack.
It’s important that you don’t avoid fats altogether – healthy plant fats such as nuts, seeds and avocados should be incorporated into your diet, too. And it goes without saying, but make sure you’re getting at least five servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Focus on small, balanced meals throughout the day instead of one or two giant meals
Slowly get back to a regular exercise routine
If you were exercising gently throughout your pregnancy, getting back into your workout routine will be a lot easier. Don’t worry if you weren’t, though. Now is the best time to start a brand new routine, which you gradually can get into and do at your own pace.
Yoga and pilates are fantastic for strength and flexibility, while positions such as the bridge and plank will help strengthen your core and abdominal areas post-pregnancy. Pelvic tilts are amazing for helping to reduce stubborn belly fat, too!
Cardio (anything from the stationary bike, cross trainer and treadmill to swimming and fast walking) should be added back into your workout routine gradually, to get your heart rate up. Weights should be incorporated too, as strength training will help with speeding up your metabolism and dropping fat.
Having a baby is a stressful, yet exciting time for any mother. While it can be difficult to get back to your slim figure, it’s certainly possible even when juggling your new responsibilities. Keep these tips in mind if you’re struggling to get rid of that unwanted pregnancy weight.