The pressure to return to your pre-pregnancy weight can feel overwhelming. It’s important to approach this goal with a steady progression and avoid crazy, overly restrictive, diets. It’s very normal to need 6-12 months to lose all of the weight you gained during pregnancy.
The New You
Before jumping into a new diet or exercise plan it’s important to accept the permanent changes your body may experience after pregnancy. The way your body looked and, in many ways, felt is not likely to return to a 100% pre-pregnancy state.
Your body just went through one of the most traumatic, and beautiful, experiences known to man. You birthed a human person. Things are going to change, and it’s very normal.
You may not reach your exact pre-pregnancy weight, your hips may be wider, belly softer, and your waistline may retain a few extra inches.
It’s going to be okay! You won’t be limping across the street like a circus animal, drawing laughter and stares from hysterical on-lookers.
For the most part, no one will notice these permanent changes unless you tell them. And even then, most aren’t going to care. It’s going to feel like a big deal and glaring difference, to you, but most permanent body changes are not dramatic enough for anyone to notice.
See Also: How to lose 50 pounds or more
When To Start Dieting
I’m not going to name, names (damn you, Beyonce!), but some celebrities have set the bar really high for losing weight after pregnancy. Within weeks of giving birth many are back to looking glamorous and picture perfect.
Some of this is Photoshop, retouching of pictures to make them look better and thinner then they actually are. While others are genuinely able to return to their pre-pregnancy weight rather quickly. What you don’t see is how little they eat, and how much they exercise each day.
They have a persona, a public image, that needs to be maintained. They feel pressure to do things that are not only unhealthy for most people, but can be unhealthy for their baby.
It’s not a race, and you don’t have to compete with a celebrity, your sister or any of your friends. Lose weight at your own pace, and let the health of you and your baby be the focus of your dieting decisions.
Generally, you shouldn’t even consider dieting to lose weight within six weeks after giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding you should wait at least two months before starting a weight loss diet.
The amount of food and calories you consume is directly correlated to the amount of milk you produce. If you aren’t eating enough it will reduce what you’re able to produce for your baby. Interestingly, breastfeeding has proven beneficial to weight loss because of the calories you burn producing milk.
There isn’t any shock value, quick and rapid weight loss, with breastfeeding but it will help you slowly drop excess body weight in the weeks after giving birth.
Recommended Diet Changes
Not long ago you were eating for two people, dramatically consuming excess calories at all hours of the day. This didn’t just create a physical pattern that was acceptable it created a psychological behavior pattern that was considered “normal”.
It can take time for you to mentally accept your new, lower calorie, eating behavior. If you decide to be too restrictive, it can create a feeling of extreme food deprivation. The contrast between how you used to eat, and how you’re expected to eat post-pregnancy can make dieting feel like a punishment.
You’ll want to slowly reduce your calories over the next weeks and months instead of shocking your system with an new ultra-low calorie eating plan.
Start by reducing your weekly calories by 100, continuing a steady 50-100 calorie reduction each week for the next few months. Reducing 100 calories per week won’t even feel like a diet, but six weeks from now your total daily calories will be considerably lower after a steady weekly reduction.
Eat More Of This
– Lean Protein
– Whole fruit
– Low Fat Dairy Products
– Whole Grain Foods
– Drink Lots Of Water
Eat Less Of This
– Fast Food
– Fried Foods
– Simple Carbs (Cake, Candy, Ice Cream)
– Fruit Juice
- Exercises that burn the most fat
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