By Bernadette Villanueva
The human body is an incredible machine capable of doing the most fascinating things. You can breathe 30,000 times a day, or regenerating an entirely new skin every two to three weeks.
But growing another human inside your body is one of the most amazing, but challenging things. Your body adapts and goes through so many changes and it’s no surprise that many women find it hard to lose baby weight after pregnancy. With new roles and responsibilities of becoming a mom, losing weight is likely the least priority, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are seven practical things you can try to achieve your pre-baby weight:
1. Breastfeeding is good for moms too!
Breastmilk is not only best for babies, it also has numerous advantages for mommies. Breastfeeding burns 500 calories daily, helping you lose weight faster. According to the World Health Organization, it also aids the uterus to go back to its pre-pregnancy size and reduces mothers’ risk of having post-partum depression, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
2. Drink lots of water
This might sound too simple but that’s also why it’s often overlooked. After giving birth, add a few more to your regular eight glasses of water. Studies have shown that drinking enough water helps facilitate weight loss and replenishes the water needed by your body to produce milk, which goes back to our first point.
3. Sleep like your baby
Getting enough sleep is one of the biggest challenges of new moms. Lack of sleep leads to physical exhaustion and contributes to retention of post-pregnancy weight. So, try to get as much sleep by matching your baby’s sleeping schedule.
4. Plan your meals by cooking in batches
Getting back into shape amidst all your parental duties is a huge feat that requires more energy. You need healthy meals that are easy to prepare and always available. Cook big servings of your favorite casseroles and soups, store them in small containers in the fridge, and simply reheat on demand. This will avoid frequent fast food deliveries. If you can’t find the time to sit for a full meal, stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, whole grain bread or crackers, cheese, yogurt and vegetable juice.
5. Step it up
Childbirth takes its toll on you, so be kind to your body and start with the easiest exercise possible, walking. Walk to the neighborhood grocery, take turns with your spouse to walk the dogs, and take the stairs whenever you can. It is a great way to burn calories, boost your metabolism, and improve blood circulation.
6. It’s time to add weights to your cardio
Once you get the doctor’s clearance to workout, go for resistance training and incorporate weights into your routine. Weightlifting burns belly fat faster than cardio exercises. A study published by Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise journal shows that weight lifting burns fats instead of lean body mass. It even helps slow down bone mineral density loss on lactating mothers. And who says you always have to go to the gym to train? Try these home workouts that are totally doable anywhere!
7. De-stress with Yoga
If you’re looking for an alternative way of getting back to shape, yoga can be your best friend. It helps you gradually lose weight and tones muscles around the belly. It also comes with perks like relieving lower back pains and managing stress. Yoga also improves your posture which could have suffered from the additional weight during pregnancy.