During pregnancy, delivery, nursing and taking care of a newborn, your body is under a lot of stress. All of these “tasks” cause your body to change in different ways. Many, if not most, women gain a few pounds during that time, which is perfectly normal. However, now that your baby is growing and thriving, you might feel the desire to get your old body back. Here are a few tips that might help you on your journey:
Focus on your diet
If you’re trying to lose weight, your diet will affect 80% of your success. Mothers need a lot of the right nutrients (at least 2,000 calories, more if you’re still breastfeeding), so focus on a clean diet instead of counting calories. Try to consciously keep your fat intake lower to speed up the weight loss process. Foods high in fiber and low in fat are your best choice. Fresh fruit and veggies instead of cookies for snacks are also great. To reduce sugar intake, avoid sodas and other sugary drinks while getting enough natural sugar through fruits.
If you haven’t had any physical activity in quite a while, make sure to start slowly with baby steps. Walking is a great activity that’s easy on your body, yet it will still get you moving and burning calories. Also, you can easily do it with your kid in a stroller or baby sling (the latter ever adds some extra resistance to you). Grab a practical fitness tracker that will measure your step and activity time, so you can monitor your progress and properly increase your step numbers. Aim for a 10% increase every week if you feel comfortable.
Build your strength
Strength training is not only very efficient for your fitness, but also for your time. HIIT sessions usually only last for 20-30 minutes, which is great for busy moms. And if you have some extra space at home that’s not overrun by toys, you can set up a little strength training corner. You can get barbells online, and most other equipment, as well as information on them, so you don’t need to leave home for shopping. With barbells, you can perform a bunch of strength exercises for the back, shoulders, arms, core and legs. Plus, they are “skinny” and can fit in any corner of your house. Strength exercises will speed up your metabolism, help you lose weight and tone your muscles.
Spice up your cardio
Once you have managed to build up some endurance and strength, you can make your cardio sessions a little harder to prevent plateauing. For instance, you can spice up your sessions with some hill intervals to put some extra work on your glutes, hamstrings and quads. To finish on the right note, do some walking lunges and pushups. If you can’t perform these properly, you can find easier versions of the exercises. For instance, you can do inclined pushups or rest on your knees.
If your kid is still at the age of breastfeeding, and you’re able to provide them with this natural food, don’t hesitate to do so. Breastfeeding is a natural way to provide your baby with all the nutrients they need, but also help your body burn more calories. Of course, not every woman can or wants to breastfeed, and that’s a-okay. If you don’t breastfeed, you can rely on all the other mentioned strategies to lose baby weight and get back in shape.
No one in their right mind expects you to look as good with a baby as you did before. After all, your body performed a miracle and went through many, some irreversible, changes. But if you feel the need to improve your fitness, use these tips above freely and you’ll see the first results in no time.