“Hey, you look great!” “Wow, you don’t even look like you just had a baby!” I heard comments like that a lot after Jade’s birth. However, I didn’t feel great. I felt like I was still carrying extra weight, not from having a baby, but from before Jade’s birth. While everyone else complimented my figure, I just wanted to lose baby weight.
Sometime after Lily’s birth, I started dealing with stress by eating. Chocolate solves everything, right? But all that extra chocolate settled around my waist, leaving me with extra weight before I got pregnant with Jade—weight that stayed around after she was born.
As I attempt to lose baby weight now, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve found and am going to implement in my life.
Eating to Lose Weight
1. Choose healthy options. This doesn’t have to mean giving up all my favourite foods in order to lose weight. It can mean a simple shift in the way I cook so that some of my favourite recipes aren’t as fattening. For example, I can cut back on sugar in my baking, use whole wheat breads and pastas, avoid trans fats, eat more fruits and vegetables, etc.
2. Eat slowly. My dad always talked about this, as meals in my home growing up were a family affair. Dad didn’t like it when we gulped back our food and dashed away from the table. Eating more slowly allows your stomach more time to digest your food—and to inform you that you are full before you overeat. It can be hard to eat at all when you have a baby to hold or toddlers requiring attention, but let their demands help you eat more slowly instead of making you feel rushed into scarfing back your food.
3. Drink lots. I’m really bad about this, but drinking lots is important both for weight loss and for breastfeeding. Water can help you feel more full so you are less tempted to snack. I usually avoid juices, as they have extra calories (but I haven’t been able to give up sugar in my coffee yet!).
More Tips for Losing Baby Weight
1. Choose a lifestyle. Losing weight isn’t going to work if I gain it right back again as soon as I finish my diet—I need to change my habits (including how I deal with stress) in order to lose that belly fat and keep it off. I’ve seen lots of fad diets in the news, but as my mom (who just finished a few university nutrition courses and has always been interested in nutrition) says, many of those diets aren’t healthy and won’t work long-term.
2. Exercise. Along with eating healthier, I need to get more active. My husband is always asking me when I’ll try to get back into swimming or biking, and perhaps with the girls starting school this week, I’ll be able to find a time to fit that into my routine. I also try to get out for a walk with them, to encourage them to be active as well. It’s not the same as a cardio workout, but it’s better than nothing.
3. Get some sleep. It may seem strange that sleep can affect weight loss, but if you’re eating for emotional reasons like me, then having enough sleep can help you feel good about yourself and not grab that extra cookie. Plus, if you’re tired, you don’t feel like being active. And your body releases stress hormones that can make you gain weight instead of losing it.
How Long Does it Take to Lose Baby Weight?
I’d love to hope all of these tips will help me quickly, but I know it’s not. These are lifestyle choices that will take time to implement—and that’s okay. I’ve heard it said that it took nine months to gain that weight so give yourself nine months to lose that weight.
How did you lose baby weight and how long did it take? What other weight-loss tips would you add to this list?