Thursday, 17 November 2011

How to Achieve Steady Weight Loss Postpartum

AppId is over the quota
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During pregnancy it's very important to eat well for yourself and your baby. Your body naturally builds up stores of fat to help you provide healthy breastmilk to your baby after birth. Weight will often come off effortlessly over your baby's first year just from breastfeeding. Many moms, however, want to have their bodies feeling "normal" and their clothes fitting a little faster than will happen just with breastfeeding! Here's how to achieve a steady weight loss postpartum.

Wait on the Weight - Just a Little

You should give your body a chance to heal before you start trying to lose any weight. You'll probably be happy to see that you lose a good amount of weight right after your baby's birth. You lose the weight from the baby and from the amniotic fluid. You also lose a lot of "water weight" from extra fluids and the higher blood volume you have at the end of pregnancy. But you may want to lose even more weight than that.

Again, give yourself a chance to heal. Doing too much, too fast can prolong your postpartum bleeding (call lochia). That's your body's way of telling you that you're doing too much. You can do some gentle, seated exercises like Kegels or Tupler abdominal contractions in the early weeks. You can also start to take low-key walks as soon as you feel able to. But wait until your six-week appointment to start anything more ambitious. If you're breastfeeding it's a good idea to give yourself about eight weeks -- this gives your milk supply a chance to become well-established.

Start With Diet

Your diet is going to make the biggest difference on your baby's weight gain. Our bodies were designed to eat certain foods: animal products (meat and animal fats) and natural vegetables along with some fruits. Grains are newer in the history of humanity, and the grains we eat today are far different than those eaten in the past. Extremely high carbohydrate food signals to your body it's time to store fat.

You want to watch what you eat. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Avoid high-carbohydrate foods. It's hard, especially when you're a tired mom of a young baby. It's much easier to grab a few crackers than to pick something else. But try to. Pick cheese or some nuts to snack on, both of which contain healthy fat.

You do not want to eat a low-fat diet. Not only do low-fat diets not work (period!), they also rob your baby of vital fats he or she needs to grow brain tissue. Your baby's brain literally starves without the good fats in your diet creating creamy milk to feed it. Low-fat diets and skyrocketing rates of learning disabilities go hand-in-hand.

Choose instead a lower carbohydrate diet. This will help you lose weight -- it may be slowly, but it will be surely. If you don't see results at first, don't worry. Your body is nourishing a baby and it may take time for it to start mobilizing the stores it thinks it needs for that job.

Do not starve yourself counting calories. Keep a reasonable calorie level for nursing your baby. You shouldn't feel like you're weak or starving. Restricting calories too much will cause your body to go into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism.

Add in Exercise

Add in an exercise routine gradually as you are able. As I said above, walking is the best way to start. It's low-key and can easily be scaled up to more challenging hikes. Your baby can ride along in a carrier. It's perfect!

You can also start to work in an exercise routine at home. Some moms are really motivated by a gym or class, and if this is for you, go for it. But you can have an effective routine at home, too. Pick up some basic weights, such as a 5 pound, 8 pound, and 10 pound dumbbell set. Use those for some arm routines. Add in some basic bodyweight exercises like push-ups (you can do knee push-ups) and squats. Go slowly and do these in shorter sets and with support at first if you need to. As you get into a regular routine you will start to feel more and more like yourself.

A Final Tip

Watch your waistline. It can feel really frustrating to see that the scale is not moving. But sometimes muscles that weakened and lost tone during pregnancy build back up and strengthen as you do an exercise routine. This means that you burn fat padding away, but build some muscle weight. You may see and feel your waistline slim down before the scale reports a loss. Keep up your new, natural diet and your enjoyable fitness routine and eventually the scale will catch up with you!

By the way, do you want to get more practical baby care information that will give you keys to a smarter, happier baby while building a strong bond with your little one?

If so, download my free guide: How to Have a Smarter, Happier Baby

You'll get my guide and information packed with helpful tips on baby care and on managing life as a mom (and loving it!)

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