I’m going to preface this post by throwing this out there…Living Contently is not a weight loss blog, and it is not my intention for it to become one. However, as a mom getting healthy and staying healthy is a priority for me and a necessity for my daughter. (If mom is healthy and well, then baby has a better chance of being healthy and well.) So, even before Grace was born, I created a plan to get back on track with my health and fitness once she was born. I am glad to say that that plan worked, but it wasn’t without a good bit of effort. So, if you’re working on losing baby weight or just want to get healthier, I have a few tips that worked for me and may help you too.
On delivery day, I had officially gained 22 pounds. To date, I have lost 34 pounds, which includes all of my baby weight and then some. Obviously some of that came off immediately following Grace’s birth, but the majority I had to work to lose. I know everyone’s body reacts differently to being pregnant and even to giving birth, so I’m not saying that anyone else should be able to lose the baby weight the way I have. But, I am sharing a few tips that helped me (someone who has always struggled to manage my weight) lose the weight and get back on track with my health and fitness goals.
1.Create a Plan to Lose the Baby Weight
I don’t think it’s necessary that you walk out of the hospital the day after delivery already working on a health and fitness plan, but I do know for me knowing what my intentions were by that point helped. I decided before giving birth that I’d give myself a month to adjust to caring for a little one, learning to nurse, acclimating to less sleep, etc. before I’d really start working on a committed health plan. In that month leading up to working on diet and exercise, I ate when I was hungry and tried to make healthy choices to make it easier when I really dialed in my nutrition. After the first month, I planned to start the eating plan that accompanies the 21 Day Fix, and when I was cleared to work out again, I would start the workouts. Having this plan in place helped me easily transition into a more regimented health and fitness system than I had been on in nearly a year.
I’ll just throw this out there too. You don’t have to go with a “big name” plan like the 21 Day Fix. You just need to find something that works for you. Maybe you’re a calorie counter or a food tracker, do that. For me, the Fix was an easy way to get great nutrition, moderate my intake, and get a good workout in each day.
2. Start Moving
While I didn’t have the go ahead to workout at a higher intensity until 6 weeks, I could do some light walking from day one after giving birth. So, I did. Obviously immediately after having Grace walking a loop around the floor of the hospital wing I was on was about enough exertion, but within 3-5 days, Grace and I were already taking walks around the block. Those were minutes of exercise that I cherished and a way that I was already getting my body moving again. It’s true that nutrition is the biggest component when it comes to losing weight, but getting active plays an important role, too. After I was able to start the workouts, I stayed active by fitting in the scheduled workout for each day and periodically got a good walk in too.
3. Stay Hydrated
I can’t tell you enough how important drinking plenty of water is as a new mom, especially when nursing. But, it is also important for reducing inflammation throughout your body, eliminating toxins, and even aiding in weight loss. As soon as I started tracking my food intake, I also began tracking water and aimed for at least my weight in ounces each day. Some days were better than others, and I could definitely tell a difference when I wasn’t getting enough.
I truly believe that my choice to breastfeed was another component that helped me lose my baby weight relatively quickly. I understand that this isn’t an option for everyone and that it doesn’t always help mamas lose weight even when they do choose to nurse. However, it is something that helped me, so I felt it was worth noticing.
5. Listen to Your Body
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at following this advice, especially now that I have a baby to take care of too, but it is so important to listen to your body when you are trying to lose weight, particularly after having a baby. There were (and still are) days when I am hungrier and need to up my intake a bit, which can be difficult thinking that eating more will hinder my progress. But, listening to my body and giving it what I need so I can give my baby what she needs is more important than any number on a scale.
No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, remember that it’s not just about numbers. It’s about making healthier choices to lead a healthier, happier life, and what more could you want to give your little one? If you are trying to lose the baby weight or are just on a mission to live healthier, I hope these tips have helped, and I’d love to hear from you! What are your best tricks for losing weight and getting healthy?
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