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Studies show that the majority of new mothers (75 percent) weigh more one year postpartum than they did before becoming pregnant. However, just because it happens to the majority of women, that doesn’t mean it also has to happen to you.
There are lots of things you can do to lose extra weight and keep it off postpartum. Read on for five great tips that will help you get started.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the most important things you can do to lose the baby weight is to make sure you’re sleeping as much as possible.
When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to overeat and, more specifically, overeat high-sugar, high-calorie foods.
Of course, sleep can be hard to come by when you have a new baby.
While sleeping through the night might not be possible, you can make an effort to nap and relax during the day. When your baby takes naps, you should nap, too.
Try not to let your need to clean the house, catch up on work, or run errands keep you from getting the rest you need. Chores can wait, but you can’t put your body’s need for sleep on hold for very long.
2. Snack Smart
When you have a new baby, it can be a challenge to sit down long enough to eat a full meal (especially when you’re using nap time as sleep catch up time). To make sure you’re eating enough, you may need to snack more throughout the day.
Now, that’s not an excuse to go ahead and eat a bunch of sugary, nutrient-poor treats. Your snacks need to be healthy and full of nutrients.
Good snacks to keep on hand include:
Vegetables and hummus
Nuts and nut butters
Full-fat Greek yogurt
Beef or turkey jerky (just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar)
Protein bars (again, avoid high-sugar, heavily processed bars)
3. Find Simple Ways to Exercise
When you’ve had a new baby, getting to the gym for regular workouts might not be possible. But, that doesn’t mean you have to skip exercising altogether.
If you’re trying to burn more calories and lose extra weight postpartum, look for simple ways to move more throughout the day. Go for walks with your baby to get outside and get some fresh air, or use your baby as a weight while you do some resistance training.
Good exercises to do with your baby to lose the baby weight include:
4. Plan Ahead
It’s really hard to eat healthy when you don’t have time to prepare nutritious food. Even if you have the best intentions, your weight loss goals can fly out the window when dinner time rolls around, you’re starving, and you don’t have anything prepared.
In order to minimize the chances that you’ll reach for a takeout menu, take some time over the weekend to prepare some meals for the week ahead.
Meals don’t have to be elaborate to be healthy — look online for healthy and easy make-ahead meals like soups or sheet pan meals, and chop up fruit and vegetables to have on hand for quick, easy snacks.
5. Don’t Crash Diet
Finally, resist the urge to dramatically slash your calories and crash diet. This is especially true if you’re breastfeeding — you should be still be eating between 2,000 and 2,200 calories to ensure you and your baby are getting sufficient nutrients.
Cutting your calories too much can help you lose weight in the short-term, but it’ll be harder to sustain your weight loss later on. When you undereat your metabolism suffers — this means you stop burning calories as efficiently and will be more inclined to hold on to fat.
During the process of early detection of slow metabolism, one of the first things professionals will ask is whether or not you’ve been eating too few calories.
Repairing a slow metabolism can be incredibly frustrating. Unless you want to go down that road — and delay your weight loss even more — it’s important to avoid decreasing your calories by too much.
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