Most new mums can’t wait to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy state. For a few mums, bouncing back comes pretty easy, dependent on some factors such as the woman’s fitness, age and heredity. However for most mums, losing the baby fat comes with a price. It’s a healthy price to pay considering you’ll be back in shape, looking and feeling good soon. So, it’s time to stop wishing the baby fat away and start doing something about it. Take these decisive steps towards regaining your pre-pregnancy body:
1. Set a Goal
Set a realistic weight loss goal and keep to it. How many pounds or kilos are there to lose altogether? On a weekly basis, how many kilos do you hope to lose? Is one or two kilos a week realistic for you?
2. Get a Scale and Measuring Tape
Apart from showing your accurate weight, a digital scale could give you an insight on how much you lose or gain each day, putting you in check. Don’t expect drastic changes from day to day as failure to see any can be depressing. Measure your midriff once a week and write it down. Although using these items can be depressing when there’s no noticeable difference, they keep your eyes on the goal, as they inspire and motivate you to work harder to achieve your weight loss goals.
3. Be Active
As it’s the tradition in this part of the world, there are probably so many people eager to care for you and your baby, that there’s next to nothing for you to do. So, when you’re not breast-feeding your baby, you settle for ceaseless naps, lying down or sitting to watch TV. You’re probably being fed with a great portion of all kinds of delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The aim is to spoil and let you rest, but all that may soon leave you with more fat to worry about. While I encourage new mums to rest because their bodies need it, try not to get lazy. As your body recovers, gradually increase your activity. Being active will increase your metabolism, thereby burning off fat. Include other activities like walking, swimming and climbing up and down a flight of stairs, into your daily routine.
4. Breast-feed Exclusively
Exclusive breast-feeding helps you burn 600-800 calories per day. If you are not eating ‘for two,’ exclusive breast-feeding affords you quite a convenient means to shed a reasonable part of the unwanted baby fat and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight in no time. Just ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids.
It’s been reported that breast milk tastes sour after a work-out, if this is the case with you, ensure you breast-feed or express some milk before exercising.
5. Eat Healthily
Reduce your food portions and eat healthily. You may eat up to five times a day but in small fistful portions. Eat a balanced meal of foods that are high in fiber, like cereals, fruits and vegetables, to keep you full for long, and foods rich in protein like beans, chicken, fish. Still eat your carbs but in greatly reduced portions as little as what a child consume. Eating healthy is important to give you and your baby the required nutrients in appropriate quantities. Cut out excessive sugar intake by eliminating fizzy drinks , minerals and sweets from your diet for now.
6. Take Lots of Fluids
The importance of drinking cannot be over-emphasized. If you’re breast-feeding, you want to make sure that you are well hydrated as there will be a huge demand of fluid from your body. Eat fruits and veggies with high water content like water melon, apples, carrots, strawberries, lettuce and spinach. Apart from keeping you well hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids will make you feel full, thereby minimizing your hunger or craving for food.
7. Settle into an Exercise Routine
If you’ve had a normal delivery and you feel up to it, you can start doing light exercises, though it’s generally recommended to wait from six to eight weeks after, depending on the type of delivery. Start with your light stretches and “kegel” exercises or any other you can handle, then gradually progress into doing more difficult ones like cardiovascular exercises. Note that it’s important that you get your doctor’s approval before starting any rigorous exercise regimen, especially if you had a c-section.
8. Get a Workout Buddy
Finally, have a workout buddy that shares similar weight loss goals with you. It translates to having a support system that injects a bit of fun into the whole process, keeping you motivated enough to achieve your goals.
9. Remember, no pain; no gain.
So, approach losing that baby fat with less anxiety, consistent hard work and determination, putting all the afore-mentioned into practice (no short cuts) and you’ll be smiling at your mirror again soon enough.