No More Baby Weight
So you recently have gone through one of the most wonderful experiences of your life (or the most painful) and you have given birth to a beautiful child! Besides the morning sickness and baby weight gain, everything about the process was great. But now all of that is over and you are wanting the body back that you had before you became pregnant. Losing the baby’s weight and strengthening the core can be hard and may even seem insurmountable! But never fear – read on.
Lose the baby weight: Getting Back In the Game
With our help and the help of these amazing experts, we will have you reaching your goals in no time (of course this is AFTER you have been cleared by a physician)!
Just remember that “what took 9 months to come out may take 9 months to go back” so don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the tabloid-model mom comeback!
1. More Sleep
Our experts agree that one of the biggest things a new mother can do is get enough sleep, “As a new mum it’s easy to neglect your sleep. But never underestimate the role that sleep has on weight loss. Lack of sleep is a threat to the body’s optimal performance.
Without it, the body will store fat unnecessarily. New mums should just grab sleep when they can,” said Julie Winterton author of the forthcoming book “Good Nutrition for Food Lovers”
Besides sleep, another way to really lose the baby weight is to breastfeed. Samira Shuruk a fitness and dance teacher of 28 years said,
A mother who is able to nurse her child will use around 500 more calories per day, so breastfeeding is a wonderful way to encourage weight loss.
“It also stimulates uterine contractions, so will help her tummy get smaller faster.”
Losing Baby Weight: Safe Exercises
3. Start Walking
After your physician has given you the green light it’s time to ease back into exercise. One of the best ways to stay active is by simply walking!
I’m a huge fan of walking or just being active daily and many of our experts agreed that walking can really help you get back in shape.
When walking Julie Winterton explained that it is important to watch your form, “Walking is always good, but if you are walking tall, with the tailbone tucked under and the chest high, then you will be engaging the core every time you move.”
4. Prevent diastasis recti
There are also exercises that you can do to prevent Diastasis recti, which is when the right and left half of the abdominal muscles separate (a relatively common occurrence with childbirth).
One exercise you can do is a normal crunch but Samira explained that they should be performed differently, “When doing curl-ups, instead of lacing your fingers behind your head, cross your arms over your rib cage and use your fingers to push your muscles toward the midline of your body. This helps prevent the obliques from pulling on the rectus abdominus.”
5. Strengthen the transverse abdominus
Another muscle that new mothers need to concentrate on is the transverse abdominus (TVA). This muscle pretty much goes around your stomach like a belt keeping everything tight.
One of the best ways to tighten this muscle is simply breathing properly says Tysan Lerner a personal trainer who specializes in weight loss for moms. Some great exercises that Tysan prescribed to tighten the TVA are:
Inhale to expand belly out, exhale a little bit to draw the navel in slightly, then slightly more on the next little exhale. Each time you slightly draw your navel back, imagine an elevator descending down six floors toward your spine, drawing back one flight at a time, and pausing at each floor for a moment before reaching the bottom floor.
Do 10 repetitions and three sets every day.
Belly Breathing on All Fours
Kneel on all fours. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Inhale and expand your belly toward the floor (activating your diaphragm).
- Hold your breath and draw your navel to your spine, pushing all of your organs out of the way (activating your TVA).
Lift your pelvic floor (the muscles that stop you from going to the bathroom).
- Exhale forcefully as you continue to draw your navel in without rounding your back.
Repeat 6 to 10 times.
6. Burn Calories
After tightening up your core you can then start to concentrate on quick calorie-burning workouts (nothing too strenuous too soon)! The type of workouts that will have your EPOC ramped up. Quick workouts that work the entire body with little rest between sets!
Lose Baby Weight: For C-Section Mothers
For the moms out there that had a C-section, there are many things you can do as well to help flatten your stomach aside from everything mentioned above.
The most important thing is to start slow and make sure you are cleared to exercise! There is no hurry, so be patient when coming back!
7. Be Patient
Our experts couldn’t stress enough the importance of starting slowly and being patient as Julie Winterton said, “Exercise is best a little & often, to avoid strain. Start off gently & build up as the wound heals. “It can be as simple in early stages of wound healing as just lying on your back & curling the chin down to meet the chest. This can be built up over time.”
8. Go Slow
You should start slow with core strengthening exercises, C-Section Moms need to make sure that they’re starting slowly with a core training program.
“A great place to start core training is with isomeric abdominal squeezes. Mom should tighten her abs for 20-second intervals and repeat 10-15 times, building up to several sets of 10-15 reps. Mom should also make sure not to protrude her abdomen during core exercises, instead, encourage tightening while pulling in” prescribes Dan Flores a master trainer and lifestyle consultant from NYC.
Lose Baby Weight: Smart Nutrition
9. Don’t Cut Calories Too Fast
Of course, the key to getting a flat stomach all comes back to proper nutrition. That being said, all of our experts (ourselves included) made a point of saying not to cut calories too quickly. Doing this can hurt not only yourself but your child (if breastfeeding) as well.
Cut calories slowly and make weight loss sustainable!
10. Omega 3’s
Lastly, you can add some omega 3’s to your diet in order to help you heal faster as Julie Winterton prescribes, “Don’t neglect your Omega 3s, these are a great natural anti-inflammatory, and will help the wound heal more effectively. You should start taking these as soon as 2 weeks after the birth. Good sources are fish and flaxseed oil.”
No matter what, get your physician’s clearance and start slow when coming back from having a child, and always remember to cut calories slowly!
It is not realistic to believe that you are going to lose the weight you gained in 9+ months in as little as a month.
Strengthen your core with our expert tips and stay on a sustainable diet and you will get to where you want to be with hard work and patience!
Take care of yourself mom, you are way too important not to!
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