It's been weeks since the baby was born, and those stubborn pregnancy pounds are still hanging around - around your hips, around your belly and just generally around. If you're despairing of ever getting back to your before-pregnancy weight, here are some tips and tricks from successful pregnancy weight losers to help you out.
1. Don't Diet.
Nutritionists point out that after pregnancy, your body still needs more food than it usually does - especially if you're breastfeeding. Even if you're not, your body still needs some extra fuel for a few weeks to get everything back to normal. Severely restricting your calories to lose weight after pregnancy can actually have just the opposite effect as your body slows metabolism to store up energy it thinks it will need.
2. Lose those pregnancy pounds with exercise.
Nothing strenuous - but your body will thank you for getting right back into the activity saddle by taking off that pregnancy weight. Tuck the baby into a backpack or Snugli and take a nice, ambling walk. Aim for about 2-3 miles per hour for the best effect - not fast enough to be winded, but if you can sing while you walk, it's a bit too slow.
3. Watch the nutrition - and the pregnancy pounds melt away.
Rather than restricting your food intake, take a serious look at what you eat. Calories are important when you're trying to get back to your pre pregnancy weight, but where those calories come from is equally important. Get high quality protein, calcium, and all the vitamins you need - especially if you're breastfeeding. The better the fuel you give to your body, the easier you'll find it to keep up with the baby and still lose those extra pounds.
4. And speaking of breastfeeding...
The benefits for baby are pretty clear - natural immunities, the perfect food, etc. - but there are also some great benefits for breastfeeding moms. Among those benefits - breastfeeding moms tend to take off weight after pregnancy much more easily than those who bottle-feed. Why? Because you're still supporting two people with the nutrition that you take in. The USDA, long-time experts in good nutrition, says that breastfeeding mothers use 500 extra calories a day.
5. Let the baby help you stay hydrated to help you get back to your pre pregnancy weight.
Your body can't function right without enough water, and that includes losing weight. Water helps flush all the toxins out of your system and promotes healthy metabolism - which leads to a faster weight loss. How can the baby help you stay hydrated? Simple - use the baby's feedings as a reminder to drink water. Every time you sit down to nurse or feed the baby, fix yourself a nice glass of cool water to replenish the supply of fluids in your body.
Losing weight after pregnancy is really not a lot different than losing weight any other time. The best way to get back to your pre pregnancy weight is to get back to your pre pregnancy activity level. Eat right, make sure you get plenty of water, and exercise moderately every day. You'll find yourself back to your normal pre pregnancy weight in no time - and feel great doing it.