How to lose your baby weight (without really trying) 7 years ago

How to lose your baby weight (without really trying)

Weight gain is a normal and healthy part of being pregnant. The fat stores that are laid down during this busy time of growth and development are there to ensure your own and your baby’s survival after the birth. So why do so many women find it hard to lose weight after having a baby? 

As any mother will tell you, one of the main reasons is that there is very little time to do anything at all after baby arrives. If you happen to have pre-school kids running around, as well as a new baby to care for, that will only compound the problem.

This means less time for cooking or exercising, meanwhile extreme tiredness can make it very challenging to find the motivation to make positive lifestyle changes.

Here are some tips to help you get back on track;

Sleep it off

One of the most difficult aspects of motherhood is sleep deprivation. It’s astounding how little sleep you will find yourself able to function on, but it does come at a price. Sleep has a big impact on the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin. The latter hormone, ghrelin is responsible for making you feel hungry and when you are sleep deprived it increases, so you will find that you have to eat more food than usual in order to feel satiated.

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Health fix

If you have just welcomed your first baby, then the best thing you can do is to try and sleep when your baby has a day-time nap. Forget about the washing, the cooking, the cleaning... it can all wait. If you’re well rested, you’ll fly through these chores in half the time. As an added bonus, your appetite hormones will be able to stabilise, helping you to stick to a healthy eating plan and be less inclined to reach for those sugar snacks.


If you’re on to your second or third baby, then a day time nap isn't always easy to come by. Remember there's no shame in asking for help. I know two women who took it in turns to mind each others babies, along with the older kids in the afternoon so they each could catch up on some shut eye, without fear of being disturbed. At the weekend, ask your partner to help out with the baby so that you can get the rest you deserve.

Stock up on healthy snacks

Lack of sleep affects blood sugar levels, so you will probably need to ‘graze’ during the day, by having five or six mini meals, rather than three main meals. This would be especially important if you are breastfeeding, as you will need an extra 500 calories each day to produce sufficient milk for your newborn.

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Health fix

The golden rule is that if there’s no junk food in the house then you can’t eat it. Keep things simple and have snacks to hand that require minimal preparation: fruit, nuts, seeds, crackers with hummus or guacamole, green smoothies and tinned beans or fish.

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Forget about dieting. Opt for nutrient dense foods instead


The last thing you should be doing after a baby is trying to cut weight by drastically reducing your calorie intake. This could in fact, hamper your ability to lose weight because starving your body will set off a series of hormonal changes designed to protect you and your baby, making it even harder to shift fat stores.

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Health fix

You should aim to have foods that are nutrient dense, rather than calorie dense.

For example, a white bread ham sandwich, is very calorie dense, but it isn’t a good source of vital nutrients. On the other hand, a root vegetable soup is very filling due to the fibre it contains, has plenty of nutrition and is very low in calories. Try to cook in batches so you can keep healthy meals in the freezer for when you need them.

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Don’t forget to hydrate

Again, this is important advice if you plan on breastfeeding, but it really applies to every new mum because water is vital for every process within the body. If you are depending on your morning cup of coffee to give you the energy to get through the day, bear in mind this has a diuretic effect, so you will need to drink extra water to make up for it.



Health fix

If you find water boring, then try adding cucumber and mint or lemon and berries to a large bottle to encourage you to drink up during the day. Herbal teas are another good option as they are warming than just water during colder weather and if you opt for brands that include ginger, lemon and warming spices such as cinnamon or cardamom, this will give your digestion a helping hand.


Finally: be kind to yourself

This isn’t a competition, the celebs, in most cases, aren’t losing weight the healthy way and have teams of people to help them. The first few months after having your baby are precious and shouldn’t be filled with anxiety about your appearance. It normally takes up to a year for women to feel like they have properly recovered from pregnancy, so take your time with it, enjoy all those special family moments. You’ll be back to yourself before you know it.

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