It seems like every other gossip magazine cover features at least one celebrity looking slim and perfect within weeks of having a baby. But it’s important to remember that these are people who have access to (and money to pay for) nannies, nutritionists, personal trainers, personal chefs, and post-partum cosmetic surgery. We certainly don’t blame them. The pressure to be perfect must be even more intense for those constantly in the public eye.
At Viva Wellness in San Diego, we remind all of our patients that perfection should not be the goal. The goal for weight loss should always be health and confidence. Even though a quick fix may work here or there, it’s rarely healthy or long-term.
Looking for ways to lose weight quickly and safely after pregnancy? Try these:
Tip #1: Eat healthy but don’t diet
Having a brand new baby is stressful enough. If you add to that the sense of deprivation that sometimes comes from a new diet, it might actually serve to do the opposite of what you’re hoping. Instead of strict dieting, give yourself some flexibility while you incorporate healthy snacks and superfoods into your daily life. Try not to go under 1800 calories per day. (That number should be higher if you’re breastfeeding).
Tip #2: Breastfeed
Your breastmilk contains a number of vitamins and immunity boosters that your body has to work hard to produce. Although your milk production doesn’t result in gym-sweat, it does take extra energy. And the energy used up results in calories burned. Breastfeeding burns 300-500 calories per day!
Tip #3: Drink plenty of water
Now that you’ve had your baby and you’re allowed to drink alcohol, you may be tempted to make up for lost time. But you’re better off pounding back glasses of water. Water keeps you from getting dehydrated and fills you up so you’re not as inclined to feel hungry. Water also increases the amount of calories you burn. So, you fill yourself up on water’s zero calories and then burn more calories on top of that. Sounds like a no-brainer!
Tip #4: Bust a move
Just like any other weight loss program, shedding those post-baby pounds will happen more quickly if you add physical activity to your schedule every day. Start slowly with a combination of light weight-training and low-key cardio to help you burn calories and tone your body. As you build muscle, you speed up your metabolism and burn more calories even when you’re not moving. Exercise provides the added benefits of staving off depression and relieving stress. You may need to talk to your health care provider about what kind of exercise is safe for you to do, especially if you’ve had a C-section or a complicated birth.
Tip #5: Sleep
Life with a new baby probably means you’re not getting the full night’s sleep you were accustomed to before your pregnancy (that was a long time ago, wasn’t it?), but you should still try to get as much sleep as you can. When you’re tired, your body releases hormones that promote weight gain. Additionally, you’re less likely to make healthy choices when you’re exhausted. Although you may be tempted to get housework or other tasks done while your baby is sleeping, try to catch some Zs yourself then, too.
Tip #6: Set realistic goals
Yes, we realize how much this conflicts with tip #5. But don’t rush to lose your pregnancy weight to the detriment of your health. Your baby needs you to be as healthy as you can be. And as much as you want to get out of your pregnancy jeans and back to your body that fits into much smaller clothes, it may take some time to get there.
Tip #7: Seek help if you need it
Patience and realistic goals are important. But also important to be honest and admit when you need help or when what you’re doing isn’t working. If you’re having a difficult time fitting in exercise or getting enough sleep with a new baby in the house, ask for help. Ask a family member to watch the baby while you go for a run. Or hire someone to do the housework so you can sleep when your baby sleeps. On the other hand, if you’re already following all the tips on this page, but aren’t seeing the weight come off, maybe it’s time to ask a doctor for help.
We can help you shed your post-baby weight
At Viva Wellness in San Diego, our weight loss programs have helped many women shed excess pounds after giving birth. It’s important to note, however, that there is no miracle drug, no pill you can take that eliminates the need to eat healthy and exercise when it comes to weight loss.
But medical weight loss therapy can help you jumpstart your weight loss by suppressing your appetite while you adjust to the healthy lifestyle required to lose weight safely – and keep it off. Furthermore, you’ll be in the hands of a doctor who can support you and monitor your diet and exercise routine.
If you’re ready to lose your baby weight in a safe and healthy manner, give us a call. We look forward to meeting you – and your baby!