Lindsay Gee, PhD, is the founder of Hot Mama Health & Fitness, health warrior and blogger/influencer bound and determined to get families active, together.
Firstly, let me be perfectly clear: whatever amount of weight you gained during pregnancy, you need to accept. Some may have kept active and maintained a healthy eating plan and some may have eaten whatever whenever you chose. Both may lead to varied weight gain. Whatever got you through your pregnancy and now with a healthy (I hope) baby in your arms, you’ve achieved your main goal, you’re a Mom. Kudos to you!
I often get asked what activity is best for postpartum Moms to do in order to lose their baby weight. The problem with that question is that there are about 20 questions I need to follow up with in order to provide any helpful guidelines. Did you have a natural or caesarian birth? Were you active before you got pregnant? Were you active during your pregnancy? How’s your pelvic floor? Has your doctor/midwife approved you to begin being physically active? I could go on and on.
So, being unable to ask YOU those questions in this article, I wanted to provide you with my top three recommendations to help you lose your baby weight without being able to ask the very important questions excellent trainers (*raises hand*) should ask.
Tip #1: If you’ve been cleared by your doctor/midwife to begin physical activity, I always recommend weight-bearing activity. That simply means doing activities that are not supported by a piece of equipment. Walking, jogging, dancing, weight training (as long as you’re standing) are good examples of weight-bearing exercises. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends 60 minutes of physical activity per day, but you can start slowly and build up.
Tip #2: This tip is all about food. Be sure to eat breakfast within two hours of waking up to help ignite your metabolism and get your body properly fuelled for the day. After breakfast ensure that you’re eating every 2-3 hours. Do not go longer than 3 hours without eating something, but try to have a break of at least 2 hours where you’re not grazing or putting food in your mouth. This may take a little re-training, but try to follow these guidelines.
Tip #3: One of the most overlooked reasons new Moms are unable to lose their baby weight is lack of sleep. In order for your body to get into a fat-burning state or a state where you’re actually expending more calories than you’re taking in requires sleep. If you aren’t getting sleep your metabolism slows right down and releases stress hormones which make it almost impossible to lose weight. Rest Mamas, rest. Your babe needs it. You need it. Your body needs it.
Bonus Tip: If you’re still really struggling with your weight 6 months postpartum, get your thyroid checked. I have sent many Moms to get their thyroid checked when they told me that they weren’t losing weight even though they were working out, and many find that they’re hypothyroid. When you become hypothyroid you’ll have trouble losing weight (in fact, you may gain), you’ll be tired, irritable and feel like you may be battling some postpartum depression. Get your thyroid checked, Mamas, it could be the key to helping you feel much, much better.
Those are my top tips to help you lose your baby weight. Start here. I’ll provide more tips soon. And Mamas? Be gentle with yourself. You’ve just grown a human and had an experience of a lifetime. You’re amazing and strong. Your body created life. Respect that. Honour that. Nourish that.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.