Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.
Lose Pregnancy Weight
Losing Weight After Pregnancy
Losing the weight gained during pregnancy tends to be one of the many things moms have on their minds after giving birth. It especially is a popular trend while being bombarded with celebrity moms who announce their immediate baby weight loss miraculously after they announce the birth of the latest oddly named baby…but I digress.
While it is an important matter to consider, losing the baby weight should not be the primary focus for moms. Rather, moms should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, sometimes a change from a current one, to help their bodies recover from the stresses brought on by pregnancy and childbirth. In the course of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, moms can then gradually lose the baby weight and be good examples to their children by making the right food choices and being active.
I know the phrase ‘gradually lose the weight’ will bring some groans from the audience. Let’s put it this way: as it is said in baby books and parenting magazines, it took nine months to put the weight on, and it can take just as long or longer to take it off (unless you have a nanny and a professional trainer and were blessed with an awesome metabolism…but I digress…again…).
After Pregnancy Weight Loss
How to Eat Healthy After Having a Baby
After I had my second baby, I knew I had to make some changes in my lifestyle. The self I had become was just not as healthy as the athletic, fit self I used to be ten years ago as a teenager. When my daughter was born, I made a pledge to myself not to just let go and become an unhealthy mommy. I wanted to be able to chase my toddler without huffing and puffing. I wanted to be able to lift my baby girl and hold her without pain in my back or arms. I wanted to be a better me.
Maintaining healthy eating habits became a long term goal for me; short term dieting tricks just weren’t going to cut it. When my daughter was almost two months old, I started tracking my food intake, writing down everything I ate and drank. I gradually turned it into a Weight Watchers dieting strategy. Since I had my points book and slider from a previous membership, it was easy for me to look up the information and keep track of it all.
When that wasn't working, I simply tracked what I ate with MyFitnessPal, an app on my phone that easily tracks calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. from everything you eat and drink. When setting it up, it considers your weight and height to determine how many calories you should be consuming every day.
Basically, in doing these things, I was setting myself up for long term, healthy eating habits. After eating and tracking for a while, I found these things to be true:
1. I am more aware of my portion sizes.
2. I actually pay attention to what I was putting into my body.
3. I ate more fruits and veggies and found more and more ways to prepare them.
4. I made healthier choices for the whole family.
Establishing healthy eating habits is definitely one way to help you lose your baby weight and maintain long term health and well-being. It may take a while to get used to it, but once you do, you'll reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Eating Habits After Pregnancy
Lose Pregnancy Weight: What Foods to Eat to Lose Weight
Drinking Water to Lose Pregnancy Weight
Along with eating well, I also decided to drink more water. Water is so important for moms to drink. While helping to flush out your system and keeping it balanced, it also keeps you hydrated (recommended for breastfeeding AND bottle feeding moms) and helps with keeping the digestive system regular. I try to drink at least three liters or more of water a day, especially when I fit in a good workout.
I also drink more milk, at least 1%. Milk is important for building strong bones and muscles. As an added bonus, studies suggest milk also helps with healthy weight loss and helps women to possibly lose belly fat if they drink it on a regular basis.
Tips to Lose Pregnancy Weight
Here are some tips and tricks I have used while learning to maintain healthy eating habits:
1. Out of sight, out of mind—My husband and I make it point to really limit the snacking items we buy. It’s not a habit of ours to regularly buy snacks like chips, cookies, donuts, etc. because we know how much we would eat them and crave them every day. If we do happen to buy a snack item, we keep it in the cupboard where it can not tempt us each and every time we walk in the kitchen.
2. Crave something? Just have it then! –I can drive myself crazy just thinking about chocolate, and if I try to avoid it, I often eat other foods to satisfy that craving. There would be times that I avoided chocolate as much as I could by eating other foods, but then I’d end up eating some chocolate as well, doing double or triple the damage to my weight loss plans. Now, if what I crave is readily available, I just have a little bit of it. It is usually enough to satisfy my craving without going overboard in calories.
3. Eat foods that fill you up.—This is a pretty common weight loss tip, but it works. I basically add to my meals foods that will keep me feeling full longer. I add in a salad, mushrooms, salsa (I love adding salsa in different foods!), avocado, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, etc. Weight Watchers called them ‘filling foods’ as part of their diet program. I also eat foods with whole grains, fiber and protein.
4. Don’t finish your toddler’s snack or meal. Some people are probably thinking (or saying out loud as they gag) “EWW!” but it’s true of many parents. Not that we eat what has already been chewed or what has been in their mouths, but we often finish what is left since it’s rare that toddlers will finish a whole meal or snack. I caught myself finishing my son’s snack of apple slices and peanut butter the other day…Is it terrible? No, but it does add on extra calories that you don’t necessarily need.
5. Cut out what isn’t necessary. I found, that after many years of drinking coffee, that I don’t need to add sugar! I have switched to a fat free flavored coffee creamer, which is sweet enough to add to the coffee by itself. I cut out a few calories there every day. When making meals that require butter or salt, I cut down the amount that is recommended (except when baking…butter is sometimes an essential ingredient for some batters, etc., to work…). Soda almost never finds a place in my home since it’s just empty calories. Do what you can to cut out anything that can easily add up and hinder weight loss.
Maintaining healthy eating habits is definitely the first and best step in losing the baby weight. Find your own successful method to eating healthily. Set some goals—like eating more veggies or drinking more water—and stick to them. Once you have done this, you will set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for not only you but your family as well.
Exercising to Lose Weight
- How to Lose Pregnancy Weight by Exercising : With Re...
Losing baby weight gained during pregnancy can be accomplished by maintaining an active lifestyle. Read my active tips and my review of EA Sports Active 2 for Wii.
The Baby Fat Diet Book
Sumi from India on August 25, 2015:
Marissa (author) from United States on January 30, 2012:
tammyswallow, have you tried the sugar free/fat free kind of coffee creamer? They're pretty good, actually. Recently my husband and I switched to the powdered flavored kind that is sugar free/fat free. Every little bit helps, especially when as a parent you consume so much coffee! ;) Thanks so much for reading and commenting, and thanks for the congratulations!
Tammy from North Carolina on January 30, 2012:
That is really helpful. I still have 20 pounds to loose. I found that coffee creamer was really doing me in. I will try some of these tips too. I think if I stepped away from the computer I would do much better. :) Thanks and congrats on your 100!
Marissa (author) from United States on September 04, 2011:
thebookmom, I'm glad you found these to be good ideas! They really helped me to lose the baby weight. As you said, some of them might be hard for a mommy, but they're so worth it! :) Thanks for reading and commenting.
thebookmom from Nebraska on September 04, 2011:
Really Good Ideas. I especially like your advice about drinking water, not eating after your kids and stopping to think about what's going in your body! Hard for a mommy, but super necessary. You inspire me :)
Marissa (author) from United States on August 08, 2011:
Recipe Gal, congratulations about the pregnancy! As far as how quickly you can start/resume activities like jogging depends on a few factors: what your doctor says, type of birth (natural vs. c-section) and how you feel. Best of luck with everything!
Recipe Gal on August 06, 2011:
Thanks for the tips! I'm pregnant now, but I've been thinking about how to lose the weight already! I've been wondering how quickly you can start more vigorous workouts (like jogging) after you give birth. I noticed you have a Part II for this article, so I'll go read that :)
Marissa (author) from United States on May 20, 2011:
Raeyecarlos, lots of luck and blessings on your upcoming "birth day"! I'm glad you found these tips useful. Thanks for reading! :)
raeyecarlos on May 19, 2011:
Very useful. Thanks. I'll be trying out the tips in a couple of days after I give birth. :)
Marissa (author) from United States on May 18, 2011:
It does add up very quickly, Maggie L! I was guilty of it. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Maggie.L from UK on May 18, 2011:
Thanks for sharing some great tips for losing pregnancy weight the healthy way. I am certainly guilty of eating my child's leftovers thinking that it's just a small amount. Of course it all adds up!