Weight loss after Pregnancy

By: Julie Fletcher

Congratulations, you've just had a baby!

You've also probably joined the ranks of millions of other women throughout the world who are concerned about losing their pregnancy weight. While you've discovered that the svelte body you has pre-pregnancy didn't miraculously re-appear, it won't be quite as hard to get back into shape as you may have heard. It is a lot of work, but we're going to start off slow.

As nearly every article you will ever come across online or in print will remind you that it took nine months to get to your full term weight, many will tell you it will take nearly that long to get back to that weight. I'm going to be a little more honest and tell you that while it is possible to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, that may not happen for all of us. It's one year later for me and I'm not near it. Some women respond well to some tips and tricks, while others do not. With each pregnancy and birth, you'll find that what worked before may not work as well this time around.

Most women I know found that after their second child, the weight seemed to melt off. That was true for me, too. But, at that time I was working and already very physically active chasing after a nearly three year old. Working out of the home with a demanding job attributes to weight loss, but what about after the third baby? What if you are a stay at home or work at home mom who doesn't get out of the house much or who sits down in from of a computer or sewing machine after all of the kids are in bed?

No reason to despair. You don't have to be heavy forever. Simple tactics to subtly change how you eat and move will give you a steady weight loss.

I don't trust diet programs. Years ago I tried a diet program and weight loss pills. Lost a ton of weight, but also gained a heart problem from the pills. These were the everyday over the counter weight loss pills you see every day on television and in the health section of your local grocery. Pills can also be passed on to your baby if you are breastfeeding, so it is best to avoid them all together. Most diet programs want to sell you advice on how some food groups are better than others and can change your life for the better. While it is true that avoiding empty carbs and refined foods is better for you, avoiding grains totally, along with carbs, will set you up for more problems down the road. One very popular diet has the emphasis on protein, protein, protein, with a side of oils and fats. This diet will give you a quick weight loss, but it will also cause a serious case of gout sooner or later.

One surefire way to begin losing weight is to drink plenty of water. Water will help your body flush itself of the extra fat and impurities. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body make milk, if you're breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is another simple way to jumpstart the weight loss. Your baby needs plenty of milk to grow, so your body will be burning many calories to make that nutrition. You will need to consume about 500 extra calories per day, but it will be burned off quickly.

Get moving. Walk up stairs if you have them. Of course, if your laundry room is in your basement, this one is easy. Don't over do things, but a simple walk up and down the stairs once a day after your stiffness has worn off will be a good starting point. Put some music on while you clean and dance. A feather duster and good music is a fun way to burn the calories. If it is warm enough, take the baby out for a walk. You can also ask dad or grandma to watch the baby so you can not only get low impact excesise, you can have a little alone time. Any movement is good movement. It's best for you to wait until you're up to par and with doctor's clearance before starting any other exercise routine.

Probably the one piece of advice I'll offer that differs from most everyone else is to eat what you want after pregnancy. That's right, don't restrict yourself from the foods you love. Starvation diets just cause resentment, plus your body will hold on to fat stored because of not knowing when it will be fed again. Just eat smaller portions of the richer or sweet items and larger portions of the good stuff. Having lasagna? Eat a big salad with a little less than usual of toppings and dressing. Cut a smaller slice of the lasagna and only one piece of garlic bread. The veggies will fill you up, nourish your body with vitamins, and offer benefits to your digestive system, like helping with irregularity. Cut back on the soda you drink, replace some of it with home brewed tea. Start lowering the amount o sugar you use to sweeten it a bit at the time. Tea has many antioxidants and certain teas will help in your quest for weight loss.

All you need are small changes here and there to become healthier and reach a desirable weight. Give yourself time and love, you'll make it to your goal.

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