You’ve become a mum and while you’ve achieved so much, there’s one more challenge looming in the distance. Losing. Your. Baby. Weight.
This is different from any pre-baby plans to shift half a stone. Rather than rush it, it’s much better to work with your body and go through these five clear stages to getting your body back.
1 From the start
While this isn’t a time to lose weight, it’s never too early to start being healthy after you’ve had a baby: ‘Don’t think of it as dieting – a new mother should never worry about dieting – but think of it as putting the best food in your body so you feel energised and healthy which will help you look after your new baby,’ says celebrity trainer James Duigan. In the last month of your pregnancy stock your cupboards and fridge with fruits and vegetables, bags of nuts and seeds, lean protein like chicken and fish, starchy carbohydrates like bread and pasta and good dairy sources like milk and yoghurt. And limit yourself to two cups of coffee a day (even if you’ve been up all night) as too much caffeine will disrupt your sleep.
2 After six weeks
‘This is the time you can think about some gentle exercise,’ says trainer Lee Mullin from Bodyism (www.bodyism.com). ‘Pram walking is one of the best exercises there is so get out for a walk every day if you can.’ It’s gentle, works all the major muscle groups, is a great fat-burner and the fresh air will do you and your baby good.
3 After 12 weeks
According to Lee, this is when you can step up your exercise efforts, if you feel up to it of course. Make your walks longer and brisker and start a new exercise class.
4 By six months
By now you can return to exercising as you were before you got pregnant. If you exercised regularly before and even during your pregnancy then there’s no reason why you can’t start exercising in a similar way. If you didn’t exercise much before pregnancy but want to start to lose your baby weight, then start slowly and find a low impact, enjoyable exercise like yoga or aerobics.
5 By nine months
You know that old saying, ‘nine months on, nine months off’? There’s a lot of truth in it.
‘It takes nine months to put the weight on and it takes that much time to take it off,’ says Lee. By around nine months you can start to diet and exercise as you would have done pre-pregnancy. Although you may find that you don’t have to – your baby may be crawling around now and will be keeping you so busy the weight will come off fairly quickly around now. If it doesn’t, don’t despair. Just keep eating healthy foods and limit sugar and coffee.
What are your tips for losing the baby weight? Let us know in the comments box below.