Weight loss after pregnancy is possible, but it does take time. There is no secret to losing the weight. It takes a commitment to yourself and your family, to concentrate on eating healthy foods and including physical activity in your daily routine.
Focus on eating real food. Fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. They will provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel satisfied.
Avoid temptation. Surround yourself with healthy foods. If junk food poses too much temptation, keep it out of the house. If you have a hard time getting your family on board with this one right away, keep a cabinet with the foods you want to avoid and stay away from it. Gradually introduce them to healthier options including them daily into snacks and meals while slowly fazing out the junk.
Portion control. You may want to trade traditional larger meals for smaller, more frequent meals. Don't skip meals or limit the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, though - you'll miss out on vital nutrients. Most plates today are way oversized. Try using a salad plate for your five to six smaller meals and divide it into three sections - half for vegetable, half for healthy carbs, like whole grains or fruit, half for lean protein.
Try to steer clear of emotional eating or eating out of boredom. If you find yourself in this situation, distract yourself with something else. Go for a walk, call a friend, or take out your favorite magazine.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Once you get the OK from your doctor, start including exercise into your daily routine. Start slowly, and include your baby. Take your baby for a walk in the stroller, maybe invite some other moms to join you and get some important socialization in there too.
Stay hydrated. Don't forget about water. It is very important to keep hydrated before, during and after exercise.
Set realistic weight loss goals for yourself. One pound a week is a healthy and reasonable goal to shoot for. It may take six months or even longer to return to your pre-pregnancy weight - whether you're breast-feeding or not - and even then, your weight may be distributed differently from how it was before pregnancy. Be gentle with yourself as you accept the changes in your body.
Above all, take pride in your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy the new addition and have fun while you incorporate health and fitness into your day.
Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-3549. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.