Congratulations, you are a new mother!
Now that you have given birth, most likely you are ready to start losing that baby weight and to get back in shape. But hold on, not so quick…
Most healthcare professionals agree that you should not start trying to lose weight or to back get in shape until you have completed your six-week postpartum checkup, two months, if you are breastfeeding.
Once cleared by your doctor or at the two-month mark, respectively, consider these four things.
1) Don’t Diet
Strict, restrictive diets don’t work and in most cases, they do more harm than good to both you and your new baby. As a new breastfeeding mother, you most likely need to eat 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day to keep your milk supply adequate; some mothers need as high as 2,500 calories per day. If you are not breastfeeding, then you should eat between 1,500 to 1,800 calories.
2) Eat Right
Caring for a new baby can be hectic and you may find it hard to work in a meal sometimes. Avoid the tendency to skip meals – especially breakfast. As they say “It is the most important meal of the day.” and so true. Many mothers find that eating five or six small meals, spread out throughout the day, works better than sitting down to three larger meals. A small meal might consist of half a sandwich, some veggies, a piece of fruit and a glass of milk.
Besides eating right, exercising is the most important element in your weight loss effort. Static cardio exercises mixed with some lightweight training, such as light dumbbells or resistance bands, is a good way to both tone muscles and get your metabolism revved back up. You can exercise and spend time with your baby by going for a walk while pushing the stroller ahead of you.
4) Set Realistic Goals
Keep in mind that it took nine months to put the weight on, so it can take that amount of time to take it off (or more). Yes, movie stars lose their weight in a couple of months after having a child, but keep in mind, most of them have personal trainers to guide them and nannies to care for their child.
Losing one pound per week is a safe and realistic weight loss goal. To do this, you have to burn up 500 more calories per day than you eat. To keep your calorie count down, focus on eating whole grain, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, while staying away from fried foods, sweets and saturated fat.
You can also work on getting the whole family into your fitness plan and support each other on reaching the level of fitness you desire. It just takes eating nutritious foods, proper exercising and patience.