Baby fat! It’s cute on the baby, but not necessarily something we, as women, want on our bodies after giving birth. Yes, it’s probably unrealistic to expect your body to ever look exactly like it did before having a baby. Still, honestly, I think all moms want to be able to fit in regular clothes and move out of the (sometimes awkward) pregnancy clothes we’ve been wearing for several months (although some of those pregnancy pants are SO comfortable!). Crazy diets are not helpful (or healthy). Instead, try these simple tips to naturally lose weight after pregnancy! No fads or unhealthy ideas, just simple, honest tips.
1. Keep healthy snacks on hand.
In other words, get rid of the unhealthy snacks from your house (things like chocolate, chips, pretzels). If you’re breastfeeding, you need to eat regularly (and most likely need to snack frequently). Opt for healthy snacks – things like avocados, veggies with hummus, nuts, whole fruit.
2. Cut out sugar
Eliminate sugar from your diet. Eating large amounts of sugar is linked with weight gain. This is so hard to do but can be a huge help in losing weight (and feeling better!).
3. Drink lots of water (and avoid coffee and sugary drinks).
Water is the best. Spice it up with a little bit of lemon squeezed in. Honestly, I drink a lot of water and made it a habit when I was younger and it seems normal and natural to me now. (I do love to drink unsweetened hot tea though…)
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4. Move around.
Take your kids for a regular walk (even just around the block). When my first daughter was a few weeks old I’d swaddle her in a Moby Wrap and walk around our apartment complex at least once a day – good for her and me to get some fresh air. When she grew older, I strapped her in a stroller and had a brisker walk.
5. Avoid the scale.
It’s tempting to want to jump on the scale daily but don’t. Try not to stress about it. If you must weigh yourself do it once a month – pick the same day every month and weigh yourself then. Far better would be to use a measuring tape to measure your size. Often, we lose weight and gain muscle and this might not change our actual weight.
6. Eat more fiber.
Make sure you’re getting enough fiber and eating a variety of foods (fruits and veggies especially). This also helps keep you regular and make everything come out smoothly (if you know what I mean). After my first daughter was born, for the first week or two I ate a ton of salads and lots of fruit. This not only was nutritious for me (and my daughter since I was breastfeeding) but also helped me go to the bathroom without any problem.
7. Get enough rest.
Try to get enough sleep. As a new mom, this can be super hard! Take every advantage of extra sleep (if someone offers to help you out so you can sleep – tell them yes!). Enough sleep will help you feel better, give you energy, and help you get through days when you’re tempted to shovel down Oreos instead of some hummus and veggies.
8. Eat when you’re hungry.
Ha! I don’t know about you, but I (very often) eat when I’m tired, bored, stressed, irritated, need a break, excited… I notice that I often eat when I feel stressed or anxious. I’ve caught myself several times before eating some snack by asking myself “Why am I eating right now?” and the answer was not “because I’m hungry”. Being conscious about why you are eating can help you take time to actually eat for a real purpose (because you need to fuel your body!).
9. Treat yourself when you reach a goal.
Make a small goal (lose an inch around your waist or lose 5 pounds) and when you reach that goal treat yourself! (Not with a sugary snack!) Save some money for a manicure or pedicure, take yourself shopping for a new shirt, buy an item that you’ve really been wanting (that is within your budget), take a long bubble bath, indulge in your favorite movie… Having a tangible goal and a reward as an incentive can really help you to stay focused, get some exercise and eat healthy food! Write your goal on your calendar and put it in a prominent place to see it often.
10. Accept yourself!
Accept the fact that you may not get down to the exact size (and shape) you were before birth. I had to give away my jeans and buy new ones (well, used from the thrift shop ones) because my shape had changed – even though I eventually reached the size I was before, my hips are now wider and my old jeans didn’t fit quite the same).
Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking care of yourself go a long way to helping you naturally lose weight after pregnancy. Not only that but these things help you feel better about yourself! Eating healthy is much easier when you have a plan – see my post on how to make meal planning super easy for yourself as a mom! I’d love to hear your tips for getting close to your pre-baby weight!