How Much Weight Did You Gain During Pregnancy?
The number one questions I am often asked is, “how much weight did you gain?” During my first pregnancy, I gained about 45 lbs. I remember going to my doctor’s appointments and closing my eyes when I got on the scale. The nurses would laugh when I would say, “I don’t want to know.” Looking back, I wish I didn’t say that because every pound gained helped to make my beautiful little girl. Once we were home and I was able to adjust to our new norm, I was ready to lose my extra baby weight. Loosing weight after pregnancy, isn’t always easy, but I contribute my success to these 7 effective tips.
7 Effective Tips to Loose Baby Weight
Tip#1: Be Sensible
On average, it takes about six months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. The biggest mistake I made during the early months was trying to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I still remember the disappointment I felt when I couldn’t even get my jeans past my knees. I would look at other moms who had babies and bragged about being back in their pre-pregnancy clothes well before me. I would say to myself, “what am I doing wrong?” The answer, nothing! Everyone’s body is different, and people lose weight at different rates. Don’t compare yourself to other mothers, and don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. It took you nine months to make your baby, so give yourself time.
Tip #2: Breastfeed & Pump
Breastfeeding is so beneficial for your baby, but breastfeeding can also help you lose your baby weight. By exclusively breastfeeding or pumping, you can burn up to 500 calories a day. Since I was emptying my breasts every 2-3 hours, I burned a lot of calories during this time. The hormones you produce during breastfeeding, also help shrink your uterus and your baby belly. Although breastfeeding and pumping were exhausting and, at times, beyond frustrating, I contribute the majority of my weight loss to my breastfeeding and pumping routine. I focused a lot of time and energy on increasing my milk supply, which you can read about here.
Tip #3: Cut Back on Your Sugar Intake
This tip was effortless for me to follow since, for whatever reason, I don’t have a sweet tooth. However, I use to drink my coffee with a splash of cream and two sugars. After having my baby, I started drinking black coffee and monitored the amount of sugar in my day to day diet.
For those of you who crave something sweet, try to pick something that also has nutritional value. My favorite quick & easy dessert consists of strawberries, blueberries, bananas, marshmallows, and semi-dark chocolate chips.
To make this:
Set your oven to 350, fill a baking dish with your favorite fruit, place marshmallows on top then sprinkle your dish with dark chocolate chips. Bake your creation in your oven for 10-15 minutes and wah-lah, you just made yourself a sweet yet non-guilt worthy treat.
Tip #4: Count Your Calories
Research shows that for women to lose weight, they should intake no more than 1500 calories a day. Luckily for us millennials, many free apps help you keep track of your calories. My favorite app to use is FatSecret, but MyFitnessPal and SparkPeople also have great reviews. These apps are free and make it easier for you to stay on track.
Tip #5: Add High Fiber and Protein-Rich Foods to Your Diet
Studies have shown that fiber keeps you fuller for longer, and protein can boost your metabolism. I incorporated lots of fiber and protein-rich foods into my diet. Ironically, a lot of my food choices have also shown to increase milk supply. My diet consisted of various fruits and vegetables, but avocados and carrots were my usual go-to snacks. I also made many dishes that contained beans, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, broccoli, salmon, and the list goes on. I used Pinterest to find new recipes and made sure my diet consisted of foods high in fiber and protein.
Tip #6: Water, Water & More Water
I will be the first to admit that water wasn’t a massive part of my diet before becoming pregnant. One of my early signs of pregnancy was my craving for water. I remember chugging 16 oz at a time and still wanting more. When you are breastfeeding, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated. The best part about this is the fact that water can help you lose weight too! I always had a glass of water next to me during my nursing sessions and made sure to finish my entire glass. Breastfeeding can make you hungry so I found that by adding more water, I felt less hungry after nursing sessions.
Tip #7: Exercise
I’ve always been a very active person, but during my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with placenta previa. I was given a long list of things I couldn’t do, which included working out. This diagnosis made getting back into my work out routine even harder. However, during the Holidays, my husband purchased me a peloton bike, and I started working out 2-3 times a week.
What Loosing Weight After Pregnancy Taught Me
I genuinely believe that every mother’s journey is different. I consider consistent breastfeeding and the amount of water I drank to be my top two successors. However, all of the tips outlined above contributed to loosing my baby weight. Many mothers reached out to me to write this post due to my success; however, the people around me questioned my weight loss instead of praising me for achieving my goal. That was a hard time for me, especially since I felt judged more than complimented during my daughter’s early stages.
If my road back to my pre-pregnancy weight taught me anything, it is that no matter what, people are going to talk & some may even judge. You know your body and what has worked for you in the past. You can follow all 7 tips to loose your baby weight or pick a few that feel may work for you. Ignore the negative and embrace the positive while giving yourself time to figure out what works with your body.