Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Over the years, I, like many people, have fluctuated with my weight. I know it can be difficult to keep up with healthy eating and exercise, even more so after having children. After having a baby, our bodies can often be left looking (and feeling) like we are a different person. This is to be expected. Your body has just gone through a huge ordeal and it will take time to start to feel normal again. Remember, the number on the scales does not define you, and the most important thing is to feel happy and healthy! Please don’t expect your body to just ‘bounce back’; it takes time. You need to take care of your body, eat plenty of fresh foods (especially if you are breastfeeding!) Doing this is already a step in the right direction. Firstly, I do not have any qualifications in nutrition/fitness, so if you have any medical conditions, please consult a professional. I have just come across some things that helped me lose my baby weight and feel more confident in my skin! I’m sharing, as I am often asked how I did it! The best ways to lose weight after pregnancy, here are 8 tips!
1. It’s A Lifestyle Change, Not a Diet
First of all, unless I am mentally prepared to make a change to lose weight, anything I try, does not stick. I need to be committed and in the right mindset, otherwise I end up falling back into bad habits. Any time I have tried different ‘diets’, I have eventually given up, as I wasn’t able to maintain it long term. To me, it is a lifestyle change - choosing to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m not saying we can’t still treat ourselves occasionally, but if we want a healthier lifestyle and to feel fitter and better about ourselves, then we need to try and make long-term changes. Shift your mindset from: Í’m going on a diet, or trying this trend, to: I’m going to consciously try to live a healthier lifestyle! This is the first step,continue reading to see more tips and the best ways to lose weight after pregnancy.
2. Remove Your Favourite Snacks From The House
If my favourite snacks are in the cupboard, it is almost impossible for me to resist them. The best way for me to avoid snacking is simple: out of sight, out of mind! I specifically buy snacks for my children and husband, that are flavours I don’t like. Chocolate is one of my weaknesses, and I have learnt to just buy the smaller bars, rather than the blocks, as I can easily eat half a block in one sitting. I used to buy the packets of the snack size dairy milk chocolates, and allow myself to have two per day. Having to open the individual packets, made it more obvious how much I was eating, rather than just easily snapping off another row from a block, and helped me not to over-indulge. This, of course, does take self-control, so if you are in the stage where you have none, it is better to just have no chocolate there altogether. Something I have also done, is ask my husband to hide them, so he can ration them to me! Sounds funny, but it works!!
3. Eat To Live, Don’t Live To Eat
I was in a bad cycle of emotional eating to cope with life. I don’t smoke or drink, so eating was my guilty pleasure. I’d put the children to bed, and think, what snacks can I eat!?! I would always be thinking about my next meal. When I shifted my mindset, from relying on food as a crutch, to seeing it just as a necessity to live, it made a huge difference. Yes, our bodies need food. But we should only eat to fill our stomachs and nourish our bodies, not just to appease our tastebuds and fill some emotional void. I’m not saying we can’t enjoy tasty food, but just that life is not all about eating. In this day and age, most social activities are also involved around eating; going out for a meal, getting ice-cream, all the different food trucks and eat-street functions, so it’s no wonder obesity is so prevalent these days. Of course, I do still enjoy these things, but all in moderation.
4. Portion Control - Eat Till You’re Full, Then Stop
Before I explain further, if you are exclusively breastfeeding, this may not really apply to you, as it is imperative you eat enough so you and bub are getting enough nutrients. Keep reading though, you may find some useful tips for when you are no longer breastfeeding 😉. Imagine your stomach is the size of a golf ball. If you continue to eat when it is full, it will expand to the size of a tennis ball. If you then continue to eat still, it will then become the size of a basketball. You get my drift. Over-eating is a classic way people put on weight. Listen to your stomach, and stop eating when you are just full, even if the meal is super delicious. I also find eating slowly helps. Have you ever scoffed a bowl of pasta, then, all of a sudden it all settles and you’re so incredibly full!? I know I have. Pancakes always do this to me as well. If I eat more slowly, it settles and I can then recognize when I am full more easily. Not only will it help you not to gain weight, but you won’t get that awful sick feeling from over-eating. I want to stress, DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF, make sure you are still eating enough, just stop eating when you are full, to avoid further stretching your stomach.
5. If There Are Any Foods That Don’t Agree With You – Avoid Them
I’m not going to tell you to cut out certain food groups. However, a lot of people have certain foods that don’t really agree with them or really bloat them. Sometimes it is a sign of some sort of allergy or food intolerance. For me, eating too much white potato, pasta or dairy often leaves me feeling bloated and sick, plus, eating too much of them makes me put on weight. Some people are aware certain foods don’t really agree with them, but they still continue to eat them regularly. If this is the case for you, I suggest maybe think about avoiding them and see if it helps your weight loss journey. On a side note, I am not recommending you cut whole food groups from your diet, if you have any major concerns about food intolerance's please consult a professional such as a nutritionist.
6. Don’t Focus On The Number On The Scales
Obsessing over the number on the scales, is not going to help. Depending on how much weight you want to lose, sometimes you can lose a large number at once, but then plateau. If you are also exercising, the number on the scales may even go up, as you are gaining muscle. If you really do want to weigh yourself, try only doing it once every week or two, and even then, don’t be too disheartened if the numbers don’t change that much. Some people also like to measure themselves, I have done this in the past too. For me, the best way I can tell, is by how my clothes fit me, and how I feel. At the end of the day, how you feel is most important, not what number is on the scale or what size tag your clothes are.
7. Exercise When You Can, But Diet Is Most Important
If you can exercise, it will definitely help speed up your weight loss journey. Even just going for a brisk walk, is better than nothing. I personally, love weights, and have always found them the most effect in losing weight. Moving your body in any way is great for not only weight loss, but fitness and overall wellbeing. However, as you have probably heard many times, your diet is important and definitely one of the best ways to lose weight after pregnancy.
8. Find Some Healthy, ‘Go To’ Snacks And Meals That You Really Enjoy
Google is great for finding a variety of different healthy snacks and recipes. Once you have found some you really enjoy, make sure you always have those ingredients in your cupboard. A lot of people I know also really benefit from meal prepping, both meals and healthy snacks, such as protein balls and slices. I personally, really love smoothies and often have them for lunch. They are quick and easy to make, healthy, filling, and my children like them too! There are so many recipes out there! My current favourite recipe is: coconut milk, coconut yoghurt, banana, frozen blueberries, ice and some chia seeds on top! So yummy! If you are breastfeeding it is especially important to make sure you are eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and getting enough protein and iron!
Remember, weight loss is a journey, and the best way to achieve results is to commit to a change in lifestyle, and consciously make the effort to make choices that will benefit your overall health and wellbeing . Still treat yourself, and if you do slip, don’t beat yourself up! I still have a binge now and then; we are still human! Just start fresh again the next day! Your weight does not define you, and it doesn’t matter if you are a size 6, 10, 14 or 20! What is most important, is that you feel healthy and good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, it has a positive influence on all aspects of your life! Start slow, every little change helps. If you’ve had a baby, it will take time for your body to heal, but eating well and gentle exercise are all steps in the right direction! These are what I’ve found to be the best ways to lose weight after pregnancy. I hope these tips have been helpful to you. If you have any more, feel free to share below! Also, feel free to ask any questions. 😊