Pregnancy and Postpartum Weight Loss: Patience is Key
- August 17, 2021
Jump on social media, and you’re guaranteed to see ads targeting new moms with promises to lose the baby weight fast. There are so many different opinions on losing weight. Still, when it comes to weight loss after having a baby, any true expert will advise you that patience is critical.One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to be kind and gentle with your changing body—after all, you just grew a human. Add breastfeeding to the mix, and you are still the source of all your new baby’s nutrition. The last thing you want to do is add any stress by drastically cutting calories or crash dieting. It’s a normal feeling to want to return to your pre-pregnancy pants, but slow and steady wins the race when it comes to achieving a healthy weight.
What’s healthy weight loss look like after pregnancy?On average, healthy weight loss averages one to two pounds a week. But weight loss is rarely linear. You may find you drop a lot of weight immediately after birth, plateau for a few weeks, and then continue to lose. This is normal and to be expected.While breastfeeding does help some women lose weight because of the extra calorie burn, others may find that they hold onto a few extra pounds until they finish their breastfeeding journey or until baby is taking in less. This is completely normal and okay! The body may be holding on to extra reserves to make sure there are enough nutrients to provide all that is needed for your baby.Instead of weighing yourself, pay attention to how your clothes fit and how your body feels. The scale is not always the best indicator of progress.
What are some quick and healthy foods for new moms?One of the biggest barriers for women after having a baby is simply finding the time to prepare healthy foods. Sitting down to eat a meal happens a lot less often while eating something straight out of the fridge is a more common scenario. This means that having simple snacks you can grab on the go is vital for eating well.Snacking on healthy foods can be a great way to boost your energy and keep cravings away. You are much more likely to reach for a quick, sugary snack if you are starving because the body wants something to raise blood sugar fast. You can avoid this by keeping some of these healthy options in your fridge:
- Fruit and nuts
- Yogurt with granola
- Oatmeal with berries
- Whole-grain crackers and hummus
- Peanut butter and toast or celery
- Roasted chickpeas
- Hard-boiled eggs
More healthy weight loss tips for new moms
- Choosing whole foods coupled with an increase in physical activity will help you lose weight while also building muscle mass. More muscle helps boost metabolism (or how many calories you burn at rest). You don’t need to run miles a day. Just start by putting your baby in a carrier and take a walk!
- Focus on the quality of food, not quantity. Calorie counting can help some people, but it’s just another thing to worry about for many new moms. Plus, drastically cutting calories can impact your milk supply, precisely what you don’t want. Think about what you are eating: healthy fats, quality proteins, complex carbs, minimal sugar, and processed foods. Just swapping out processed foods for natural ingredients can make a huge difference while ensuring you provide adequate nutrition for your baby.
- Choose foods high in fiber and protein. High fiber foods keep your blood sugar< balanced, plus helps you remain regular to avoid constipation or postpartum hemorrhoids. Protein is another essential factor for keeping you satisfied between meals. Protein is critical for healthy weight management and for making sure you have the nutrients needed for breastfeeding.
- Don’t skip meals. If you don’t have time for a meal, just try to eat something every few hours. This helps keep blood sugar balanced and reduces cravings.