Ask any new mother about her journey with weight-loss after giving birth and she’ll probably give you an exasperated sigh. As wonderful as it is to become a mom and take that incredible journey, the female body undergoes dozens of changes both during and after pregnancy. Shedding the extra pounds you packed on while growing a child can be challenging, even if you eat healthy foods and work out regularly.
Need some extra tips and tricks for cutting out that baby weight? Here are ten weight-loss methods that women frequently recommend after giving birth.
Protein is an excellent, natural tool for weight loss. Eating more protein-heavy foods can boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and even help manage the hormones that control your weight. Fill your breakfast with eggs, load up on lean meats, and snack on nuts when the munchies hit. Just be sure that your protein is coming from healthy sources, not lots of red meat or fatty foods.
» Try our Blackened Chicken with Avocado Cream Sauce recipe for a protein-packed dinner your family will love.
If you’re not drinking enough water, go ahead and say goodbye to those post-baby weight-loss goals. Drinking water helps you stay full, speeds up your metabolism, and generally helps you feel like a healthier person. No matter how tired or stressed out you may be in those early months of motherhood, take care of yourself by keeping a reusable water bottle on hand 24/7.
The more you move, the more your body will start to feel like your own again. Start by walking around the neighborhood once a day, then increase that cardio to runs on the treadmill or laps in the pool. You should be engaging in cardio for a half hour at least three times a week, if not more.
One mistake many women make after pregnancy is sticking to the treadmill alone when they hit the gym. Strength training is just as important to the weight loss process as cardio. In fact, weight training can speed up your metabolism substantially and transform your extra fat into strong muscles. Aim to hit the weight room at least twice a week during those post-pregnancy months.
» Need a little help getting started? Check out our 7-Day Strength Workout Plan.
You probably know that breastfeeding has numerous health benefits for a growing child and the mother, so if your health and schedule permit that method, you should 100 percent give it a try. Furthermore, breastfeeding burns approximately 600 to 800 calories per day. That means you could be burning calories by simply feeding your child.
» Read More: The Best and Worst Foods For Breastfeeding
In an effort to consume more vitamins, many women start sipping orange juice instead of coffee in the mornings. Although that can be a smart move, remember that there is usually a hefty amount of sugar in most juices. Stick to one glass a day and drink water with your other meals.
Even though you’re probably tempted to scarf down a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos after a crazy night with the baby, reign yourself in and stick to high-fiber snacks like whole-wheat crackers, figs, and raisins. They’ll keep you full for long periods of time and make sure that your digestive system is running smoothly.
As we said before, the Flamin Hot Cheetos are out, as are sweet treats and other junk food items. The sugar in these products will just make you feel even more bloated, and they will certainly work against your weight-loss goals.
New moms are notoriously sleep-deprived, and unfortunately, that can make losing weight even more difficult that usual. According to many studies, getting enough shuteye is a huge part of regulating weight gain, decreasing your appetite, and controlling the stress hormone that causes you to eat bad foods and retain extra fat. Do yourself a favor and grab some extra hours of sleep whenever, however you can.
You’re a mother now, which means you need energy. Failing to properly fuel your body will take a toll on you, both mentally and physically, so say no to diets that require you to fast for hours at a time. Instead, focus on eating foods that are full of nutrients and engaging in a moderate exercise plan. Those techniques will work much more effectively than any fad diet.
No matter how defeated you may feel as you attempt to reach your pre-pregnancy weight, remember that results take time. It may be months before you are able to fit in your old jeans, and that’s ok. Your body has done incredible things in the last year. Give it some credit and help it get where it needs to be.