Now that you have a precious bundle of joy in your arms, you are likely anxious to take off the extra weight that you gained before giving birth. I started out at 165 pounds, was 185 when I gave birth and was 162 pounds when my son was just four weeks old. If you are still pregnant, keep on doing moderate exercise, with your doctors approval, for the duration of your pregnancy. I walked daily, even walking about five miles while I was in labor, and did a fat burning pilates workout five days a week during my pregnancy. Here are seven tips that helped me get three pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight before my son was a month old. They worked well for me and I'll follow them again after the birth of my next little one.
Eat Breakfast- Every morning I made sure to get up a few minutes before I expected my baby to wake, though sometimes it was five minutes and other times half an hour, to eat a wholesome breakfast. I would usually eat homemade granola, I made a huge batch before he was born, with dried fruit and nuts, milk and a banana. After awhile I got smart and started filling my bowl before I went to bed so I had to do as little as possible in the morning.
Eat Lots of Protein- Protein will help keep your energy high and more likely to keep you eating healthy in the difficult early weeks. Getting at least 80-100 grams of protein is necessary to help you stay full. Eggs, beans, nuts and lean meats are great choices. Make up a batch of hard boiled eggs and keep banana and peanut butter on hand for snacking on.
Drink Water- Water should be your main beverage of choice. It will keep you feeling full and energized. If you are nursing it's even more important to drink lots of water to keep up your milk supply. Limit caffinated beverages and sugary drinks which will give you an energy boost for awhile but then leave your blood sugar levels crashing a few hours later.
Breastfeed- If at all possible, breastfeed your baby for the benefit of him and you. My son had just one cold during his first year of life and I breastfed him that whole time, giving him pumped milk when I returned to work. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories and while you will have to consume a lot in order to keep producing enough milk, as long as you are eating good, wholesome foods, it will help the pounds come off. Although I did lose all of my baby weight, many women report that their body hangs on to about five pounds until you wean the baby. This is natural, so don't worry if this is the case for you. Once your baby is weaned, cut out the extra calories and step up your workouts and the last little bit will come off easily.
Sleep During Naptime- New moms are known for running on very little sleep. Babies don't care about following schedules like adults do. I know there are tons of things that need to get done during the day, and that naptimes provide a great respite from the busyness of the early days, but make sure to get a little 30 minute power nap during one of your baby's naps. I ususally got mine in during his afternoon nap. I'd set a timer for 35 minutes and feel so refreshed after waking up that I was usually able to get most things done each day.
Take A Walk Daily- Once your doctor gives you the go ahead, start doing exercise to tone up your muscles and burn more calories. Until that point, and even in addition to that, put your little on in a carrier or stroller and take him out for a half hour walk each day. It will get you out of the house, around other people, allow you to breathe in some fresh air, as well as exposing the baby to an active lifestyle.
Don't Refuse Help- If your mom or mother-in-law or friends want to help out, tell them "thank-you" and suggest something that they can help with. Grocery shopping, fixing meals, and doing more detailed cleaning are some suggestions that you can offer. It might be hard to let someone help you but you will enjoy the extra hands helping out with stuff that you just can't seem to get done.