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How to Lose Weight After Having a Baby

An expert guide to getting back into shape.

Who hasn’t seen the pictures? The snaps of Miranda Kerr’s infinite legs gliding through the airport with baby Flynn perched on one hip, J. Lo sleek and six-packed in a Lanvin bikini after the birth of her twins and Jessica Alba with her sinewy arms toting her daughters to the park: They’re proof that women can come out of the postpartum fog as Mom 2.0, a leaner, faster, stronger version of their pre-pregnancy selves. If you’re not sure exactly how to begin, here are eight proven steps for working your way back to your pre-pregnancy bod — or better!

1. Get started while you’re pregnant

If you are still pregnant, it is normal to gain weight, but that shouldn’t allow you to throw caution to the wind and start eating chocolate cake for breakfast. You will have cravings, and you should indulge yourself from time to time, but prudence now pays back greatly later on. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can be a couch potato. Walk around the block once or twice a day. This will benefit you and the baby by getting your blood flowing and getting fresh air into your lungs.


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2. Get up and move

Most new moms are too sleep-deprived and overwhelmed to even think about exercise. That’s perfectly OK, most women’s bodies aren’t ready for serious exercise until six weeks after giving birth, anyway. So start by walking around the block, if it feels good and doesn’t cause or exacerbate bleeding, walk a little farther the next day. Do this until your six-week checkup, after which you should be ready to do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 3 to 5 times a week.

3. Nature gives weight-loss advantages

Once the baby is born, there’s an immediate loss of 11-13 lbs. Breastfeeding will also help you lose weight, using up to 800 calories a day. And after you’ve allowed your body to recuperate (about 4-6 weeks) so that you can start exercising, a little bit of weight training will go a long way to helping you lose weight.

4. Get plenty of rest

If your baby is sleeping, so should you. A baby’s needs can impose strange sleep cycles on adults and this can upset the metabolism and this makes it hard to lose pregnancy weight. Sleeping when the baby sleeps will allow you to avoid any long-term sleep deficits. That will keep your energy levels high and help keep sugar cravings for energy in check.

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5. Lift Weights – get strong

Weight training will go a long way toward speeding up your metabolism. However, instead of going to the gym or investing in a set of dumbbells right away, incorporate your baby into your routine. Hold the baby to your chest and do lunges, say, or do lunges behind the stroller as you walk. Or lie on your back, holding the baby above your chest, and slowly press her up toward the ceiling several times.

6. Watch calories and fat

Say no to empty-calorie foods like sodas and chips, as well as fad diets that eliminate entire food groups. Instead, fill your diet with a variety of nutrient-rich meals containing lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of low-fat dairy products.

7. Get with other new moms

Not only good for moral support and sympathetic conversation, but you can also see what other mothers are doing that works for them. A mom who is on a second or third child can impart a lot of wisdom to a first timer.Also, it might be easier to take up jogging or going through a video workout routine if you have some others in your situation doing it with you.

8. Start a regular exercise regimen

You already know that getting back to exercise should be a gradual process, but you can always start some simple exercises after you are through four weeks of post-partum. There’s a gap in your abdominal muscles right after giving birth.It usually disappears within four to eight weeks. Make sure this gap is closed before doing belly exercises.

 

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