#1 – Don’t rush
This is the #1 most important rule to shedding post-pregnancy pounds. You grew a baby for nine months, so you need at least nine months to recover before even considering weight loss. In the meantime, make good choices to nourish you and your baby without stepping on a scale.
#2 – Breastfeed for as long as possible
Breastfeeding moms use approximately an extra 750 calories per day while nursing which can speed weight loss. But if you’re breastfeeding and still holding on to extra pounds, don’t be discouraged: the breastfeeding hormone, prolactin, can also stimulate appetite and cause fluid retention. Stick with it. Since prolactin levels drop between 4-6 months, moms who breastfeed long term are more likely to experience the weight loss benefits.
#3 – Skimp on sweets
An occasional treat is fine, but exhausted moms often reach for cookies and candy for comfort and a quick snack. When you’re craving sweets, choose seasonal fruit or food lightly sweetened with nutrient-dense sweeteners like raw honey, grade B maple syrup, or unrefined cane sugar (rapadura). Don’t cheat yourself with white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which is the fastest way to disrupt hormones and insure weight retention. Find quality alternative sweeteners here.
#4 – Eat fat
Adding saturated fats such as butter and other whole dairy products from pastured animals, coconut oil, nuts and avocado to your diet provides fat-soluble vitamins your body needs for steady and strong metabolism. A diet rich in fat will also boost energy levels and help prevent a reckless appetite.
#5 – Cut the carbs
While you don’t want to completely eliminate any macronutrient from your diet (fat, protein, carbohydrates), you can reduce foods made from grains and and starchy vegetables like potatoes and bread in order to cut unnecessary calories. If you are eating grains, do so in moderation, and be sure to prepare them properly to reduce their phytic acid content.
#6 – Fill your plate with 80% veggies
It’s common knowledge that veggies are good for you, but pairing your protein and fats with a plate of greens is a great way to avoid unnecessary carbohydrate calories and still feel satisfied at meals. Top lightly steamed greens with a generous pat of butter for optimal nutrient absorption.
#7 – Hydrate!
Your body is 70% water, so it is essential they you stay hydrated for optimal metabolism and overall body function. Enhance your filtered water with electrolytes by adding a pinch of high quality sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Choose cultured drinks like kombucha and water kefir to get beneficial bacteria too.
#8 – Exercise according to your body’s needs
Start slowly and choose something you enjoy, like walking, swimming or yoga. Build the amount of time you exercise and the intensity over time, but most importantly, listen to your body – aim to feel energized after workouts. If you’re feeling drained, you’re doing too much.
#9 – Sleep, nap, rest
When you’re sleep deprived, your metabolism won’t function properly. You’re also likely to make poor food choices when you’re over-tired, like stopping for fast food or grabbing a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate for instant gratification.
#10 – Make time for you
Take time to relax to minimize stress. Chronic stress can actually trigger overeating, and it can also interfere with your body’s metabolism. Most importantly, happy mama, makes for a happy family – no matter what size your jeans.
Any tips you’d like to share on losing the baby weight? What’s worked for you?