How to Lose the Baby Weight - The Easy Way

1:47 PM

I was at a wedding on Saturday and a few friends commented that I looked "thinner than ever" which actually hasn't been an uncommon observation over the past while. In fact, since Oliver was born 9 and a half months ago, I've been blessed with tons of positive feedback about my post-birth appearance. I'm glad to say it has nothing to do with calorie restriction - I think weight-obsession and body image issues are some of the ugliest challenges out there, and trying to eat less than an ideal amount never ends up pretty - if anything I probably have a reputation for eating a lot, and often. No, I have some easy tricks to getting back after the big push. Here are a few:

1. Gain the right amount during pregnancy. My midwife recommended the upper end of 25 - 35 lbs, for my pre-pregnancy weight. I gained 30. It comes down to indulging in healthy choices (for you and your babe) and not using pregnancy as an excuse to eat an entire ice cream cake. Or as an excuse not to get up and take a walk. If you gain a healthy amount of weight, it will be less of a trick getting rid of it, and you won't be left saying "Okay, there's my 8 lb baby, now where is the other 45 pounds?"

The next 3 are actually constituents of the attachment parenting philosophy. I may or may not have just finished reading "Beyond the Sling". I will list them in order of obviousness, from most to least.

2. Wear your baby. I don't suggest dusting off the dumbells or returning to the gym right after giving birth, but carrying a baby around most of the time is a nice, gentle way to ease into exercise. The nice thing is, your "weights" keep increasing in size, so in 6 months from now you'll be lugging around 18lbs instead of 7. Not bad. Think of yourself as still pregnant, and your moby wrap is your skin - keep your baby on you often (while you do errands, while you cook, while you do your makeup).

3. Breastfeed. Nursing your newborn burns an average of 500 - 1000 calories a day, which is equivalent to going for a 20 hour walk (I've been close). Or, put differently, you can lose 2 lbs a week without changing anything else. Not a bad diet strategy - and it's nature's way of helping you lose the weight without eating less (because why skimp on all the beautiful nutrition you're taking in?) and, really, without even trying. Every time you nurse it's like you got on the treadmill - did half an hour - and miraculously cooked and served a healthy meal for your child too. Well done, mom.

(On a side note, I was a little creeped out today to find that the ingredients in the frozen dessert topping, Cool Whip, are almost identical to infant formula. Milk, sugar, oil... the main difference is that infant formula has fake nutrients like iron added to it. So if someone makes a vitamined version of cool whip we can give it to babies?)

4. Co-sleep. It may not be the sexiest suggestion I've made on here (probably most of my suggestions aren't) but allowing your baby to sleep in your room allows for everyone to get more sleep. A well-rested mother burns calories more efficiently, and probably is more awake to make better eating decisions too. When you're exhausted your body is flooded with the stress hormone, cortisol, which makes all of your other hormones (including the ones that are supposed to keep you at an ideal weight) out of whack. So for the first while when your little one is surviving on a whole lot of breastmilk, let the boob be close for him or her, and every one can get some shut eye.

I hope these suggestions help! It's been nice for me to not have to buy any new pants...

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  1. Great list! I did them all except for #1...gulp... I gained 60 lbs with my daughter and 55 lbs with my son !!! oops! lol
    But, I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight with both of them within 5 months, and by the time I was done nursing (at 18 months) I was actualy 15 lbs thinner then before getting pregnant.

  2. Nursing is amazing for weight loss - wow!


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