Shedding excess weight put on during pregnancy may seem like an impossible undertaking but it is in fact quite a simple process. While some women continue to have weight problems and trouble losing weight, particularly while breast feeding, this simply does not have to be the case. We will discuss a simple, easy to implement program guaranteed to have you back in shape, literally and figuratively, in a matter of a few short weeks. Remember one thing, dieting alone is for the birds! And that’s only because birds, as you may have already heard, may eat several times their weight in food every day. Not a bad deal if you can get it. Unfortunately, we humans are built a bit differently.
The first step is probably the easiest and takes the least amount of effort. As a new mother, you may feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day and, what little time you do have, falls during the baby’s nap-time which, as you may already know, is totally unpredictable. As a result, you may already feel completely overwhelmed as you attempt to get everything you need to get accomplished completed and still have a moment’s rest while the baby is asleep. The great thing about step one of our post-pregnancy weight loss plan is that it doesn’t matter whether the baby is wake or not. In fact, it is usually better if the little bundle of joy is awake.
Step one? Take the baby for a walk in the stroller twice a day.
I often see new moms on a sort of “Bataan Force March,” and this is the last thing you should be doing. All that is necessary is a nice leisurely stroll that both baby and mom can enjoy. Take time to take in the scenery. And yes, there is scenery even in a total urban jungle like Manhattan! The walk should be at a decent pace but the actual rate isn’t as important as to just do it…as the commercials put it. Make sure that the walks are 20-30 minutes in duration, twice a day, and taken at the same time every day. Getting into a routine will help new mom and baby alike, with many hidden benefits.
One benefit will be immediately apparent!
After walks, the little one may sleep longer and much deeper, allowing for more time of your own. You will discover you have more energy and begin to look forward to your daily strolls. Don’t think you have time? Just stop and think about how much time you spend with a fussy baby, keeping them occupied, happy, and trying to get the little one to nap. Now imagine all of those bundles of time evaporating because you are spending time together, out in the fresh air, and losing weight all at the same time. Weight loss step number one: 2 walks per day, 20-30 minutes per walk. Try to space them out at least 8 hours apart. Some of the benefits will include an increased metabolism, decreased stress levels, and quick and easy weight loss. Not to mention the fact that you will have a happier, healthier baby!
Many new moms breast feed and, even if they don’t, they snack more frequently as they are used to a pattern of eating during pregnancy that is counterproductive and counterintuitive for weight loss. New moms who are breast feeding often believe that it is necessary to eat more in order to feed the baby, to build up and have available and adequate supply of breast milk. This is simply not the case! Breast milk quantity and quality has nothing to do with quantity the new mom’s food intake but rather the quality.
So, step two is basically in two parts.
One of two: You need to write down everything you put in you mouth. That’s it! Just write is down. Everything! With journaling comes an awareness of what and how much you are eating. And no, you do not have to count calories! The benefit is profound and immediate. Once you begin to take stock of what you are eating and how often, you will find that the awareness drives an adjustment, not only in quantity of food but quality as well. Why? Because now you are accountable to yourself and to your child. if you are eating better, you will feel better, and ultimately look better.
Two of two: You need to remove the junk food from the home. That’s right! Just don’t bring it in, any of it. The immediate benefit is obvious, you will take in fewer empty calories. The long term benefit is a shift in focus and eating habits that carry over to your child, as well. If you are used to eating healthy snacks, such as grapes, apples, oranges, and melons, to name a few, your child will thrive on those foods, never missing what isn’t in the house. Finally, the shift in eating habits, combined with the quality of the food you are now taking in, will enhance breast milk quantity and quality, while hastening your post-pregnancy weight loss.
Step two, parts one and two in concert, has nothing to do with how much food you put in your mouth. The step simply makes you accountable, to yourself, for everything that goes in to your system. And thus, changes the quality of those food items taken in through better awareness and accountability. We have not discussed diet, because diets, on their own, never work. That’s right, they never work. In fact, if you diet, without changing the underlying behavior? You may as well continue to shovel it in! The only way to lose those pounds, gained during pregnancy, is by changing or reestablishing, good eating habits and kicking the metabolism back up to pre-pregnancy levels.
Step three involves partnering with another new mom. Pregnancy is an amazing time for everyone connected to the new mom to-be; and, it is also an amazing period of discovery for the new mom, as well. During pregnancy, or immediately afterwards, link up with a support network in your area. There are hundreds online, all you need to do is type in “new mom support” or “new mothers support,” and the area you live in. I just typed in the former and got 36,100, 100 results! You will find an amazing number of resources in your area. If you have trouble meeting people or cannot find a group in your immediate area, go online and join a forum for new mothers. The reasons? Support and accountability! You will be amazed at how good you feel when you can share anecdotes about your baby, your life, your day, your problems, and your successes, to include your post-pregnancy weight loss progress.
Ultimately, post-pregnancy weight loss is not about diet, it’s about lifestyle. If you notice, there is not one diet tip in this entire article, other than to propose a shift in the kinds of food, the quality of food, and not the quantity. Why? Because diets will ultimately make one thing a reality…weight gain! So, if you are interested in losing weight: walk with your baby twice a day for 20-30 minutes; journal, keeping an account of everything that goes into your mouth; get the junk food out of the house, now, today, at once; and, partner with another mom or groups of moms, as soon as possible in the pregnancy. On the last point, step three, try to partner up with one other new mom. Yes, you can still join a group, and you should. But there is something about being accountable to one other human being that makes this strategy work. We may get into group dynamics and weight loss in a later article but for now, know that two is better than three, and three is better than a group. By integrating the three steps above, you will see results in days. In weeks? You will be a totally new you by applying the three simple steps of this post-pregnancy weight loss plan.
For further information and an intelligent program of treatment for neck pain, back pain, and sciatica, what I refer to as the “back pain complex” try the program below: