Weight loss isn't easy, especially for a mom who’s tired and sleep-deprived from caring for a child, on a tight budget, and can't afford expensive gyms and weight loss programs. We don’t have enough time, energy or motivation, but we keep thinking about that one huge, glaring, in-your-face question: “How do I lose all the post-baby weight?”
Not too long ago, I was asking the same question. I didn't have enough time to get "all the things" done, and was sick and tired of thinking about my to-do list because the thought of one more exhausting day just tore me apart.
Mom stress can stop you – or motivate you
But guess what? My stress and exhaustion was exactly why I decided to lose the weight and become healthier. I wanted to live as long as I could see my kids grow up and grow old with my husband.
It took me more than a year to lose all 40 pounds I gained during my second pregnancy. I was patient and committed to making small changes each day, which helped me return to a healthy weight range and have the energy to enjoy time with my baby and get the most out of
being a mom. Here, I'm breaking down my weight loss journey – with tips on what helped (and what didn’t).
You need both diet and exercise
No fad diet or extreme weight loss program can take the place of sensible, consistent diet and exercise. Both play an important role in weight loss, and work better than any so-called “slimming secret” that only focuses on one.
I started working out at the gym, and followed a low-carb, high-protein diet. Eat fresh, whole, nutrient-dense foods that are high in fiber. Avoid:
- White flour, sweet spreads, cakes, biscuits, pastries and other baked goods
- Any type of plain sugar, high sugary drinks, fruit juice, soda
- Fast-food and highly processed food like chips and mixes
It’s hard to find time to go to the gym when you’re taking care of a baby, but you can sneak in a workout at home with YouTube videos and mobile apps. Also, consistent cardio is my secret, and that includes running after my little one.
Don’t use breastfeeding as an excuse to overeat
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both baby, and can consume about 500 calories a day. It may help you lose weight, but… not if you are overeating. Some moms – including myself – gained more pounds while nursing. Yep, it happens.
Breastfeeding isn’t an excuse to eat double portions of everything. You don’t need a lot of food, just more nutritious food like lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and lots of fluids like water and milk. So I repeat, do not overeat. That’s what happened to me, and it wasn’t good.
Be realistic – and kind to yourself
I'll be real and honest with you. Weight loss after pregnancy can take time, and you may not go back to your pre-baby weight straight away. That's because our bodies change and the amount of weight we lose after giving birth may vary.
To be honest, I felt the pressure that many women feel to get back to their pre-baby weight as fast as possible. But I was also enjoying every moment with my baby! Don’t let the pressure ruin your day, and your experience of being a new mom.
There is no shame in taking longer than you think to lose the baby weight and go back to your vibrant, healthy self. Moms are tired, even when we get enough sleep. Sometimes, we’re too busy to exercise as often as we want to, and sometimes we just really need that cupcake. We’ve all been there.
Be patient with yourself. Some days you feel incredibly overwhelmed, like you’re on a sinking ship. If that's you, my dear, then you need to know that this post was made for YOU. Take a deep breath. Inhale positivity and exhale all the negativity. Don’t listen to the pressure, and cut yourself some slack.
That will actually give you more breathing space, and improve your focus, motivation, joy, and productivity. See, I can feel your shoulders relaxing already! Soon you'll lose all your post-baby weight before you know it. And hey! If I can do it, so can you.
About The Writer
Michelle is an anti-losyang, almost 40-ish mom who likes to write about parenting, fashion, events, beauty, fitness, tech, travel and ramblings that can make other people laugh, cry and relate. 12-time Blog Contest winner awarded by Nuffnang PH and other reputable brands. She's also a licensed physical therapist who decided to be a WAHM and yaya of 2 little brats. She's really good at losing her keys and so many other things. She's a mom who wants to reassure other moms that it's perfectly okay to be imperfect and whatever they have is priceless and irreplaceable.