Tips for the First Time Mom:

Everything no one thought to tell you about pregnancy and motherhood but should have

Losing that Baby Weight


Every new mom wonders how to lose the weight gained after having a baby. There are a number of companies out there that try to cash in on this market, selling special diet pills to new moms that cost more than they are worth, by far. The bad news is there isn’t a magic pill to help you lose the weight. The good news is losing the weight is easier that you might think. Getting back to pre-baby size takes time and patience, but it is possible.

Here is one of the most important things about losing this weight that all new moms should know before they deliver:

A breastfeeding mother is more likely to lose the weight than a bottle feeding mother.

Here is why. When the body is working to produce milk for the baby it pulls more nutrients and burns more fats than it normally would. Think of it as a built-in fat-burner. That doesn’t mean a formula feeding mom can’t reap the benefits of this as well. Consider two scenarios:

  • A new mom decides she wants to breastfeed her baby but after weeks of failed attempts switches to bottle. Despite the failure she still pumps for a month before giving up completely. She lost all of the baby weight before the baby was 6 months old.
  • A new mom decides that because of her crazy schedule it is best to formula feed her baby. There is nothing wrong with this decision, but it took her more than a year to get back to her pre-baby weight after hard-core dieting.

These two scenarios are not random. They both happened… to me. In fact I became so obsessed with trying to lose the weight after the second baby that I spent more money than I would like to admit on diet pills that didn’t work. The following information is what I learned through my research and trial-and-error.

One Thing Everyone Should Know

No one, and I mean no one, will lose the weight and keep it off without finding an exercise routine that works for them. Exercise is one word that everyone dieting dreads because the first image that comes to mind is taking an hour to go and work out at a gym lifting weights and running on treadmills. The truth is this is great for some people but it isn’t for everyone. That is why diets fail. Especially for new moms. After all what new mom has time to run to the gym to workout when there’s a baby to take care of?

I have said it before and I will say it again. Try yoga. The best time to get started is while you are still expecting. There are a number of videos on YouTube that cater specifically to pregnant women and they are a great way to relieve stress and back pain. In fact if you suffer back pain during pregnancy and the doctor gives you a brochure with exercises to do at home, they are all yoga poses.

Once the baby is born yoga is a great way to get active again in your very own living room. In fact, I would recommend checking out Tara Stiles Yoga Solutions videos on YouTube. She can walk you from beginner to advanced at any pace you desire. Just remember there is no one requiring you to do every pose exactly as directed. Yoga is only successful for you if you manage the poses to the best of your own ability. The rest will come with time.

And just like any exercise routine, yoga isn’t for everyone. Find what works for you.

Losing Pounds the Easy Way

For those new moms who read this before delivering the baby, you are in luck. If you follow my advice losing the weight should be easier than it would be if you found out after.

Even if you plan to formula feed, pump for one month. You don’t have to do it often, but you should have a schedule for it to prevent issues such as mastitis. Just one month can put your body into the right fat burning mode to get you started.

Eat healthy. This doesn’t mean you have to eat veggies and fruits and tiny portions. It means eat smart. If you want to lose weight try to keep your daily calorie intake between 1500-1700 per day. There are online calculators that can help you determine a reasonable number for you. Eating healthy means making smart decisions. Frozen yogurt over ice cream, chicken instead of pork chops. Even some in a bag instant dinners are okay to eat as long as you read the label and choose wisely. And they taste better than you expect.

Exercise. No one is immune to this. Even if you manage to successfully lose the weight, unless you exercise it will not stay gone.

Losing Pounds Late

Just because I use the word late doesn’t mean it is too late. It will be harder to do this if you aren’t breastfeeding but don’t despair. You will have to be more strict with yourself. Here are the keys to making weight loss successful.

  • Write down everything you eat. Everything. There are downloadable apps for phones, spreadsheets and programs on the computer, or a good old-fashion notebook, but whichever way you do it, don’t cheat. You had one cracker. That doesn’t really count right? Wrong. One cracker can be anywhere from 5-50 calories depending on the brand. Those calories count. I use Cron-O-Meter to track what I eat, my vitamin intake, and my caloric count for the day.
  • Set realistic goals. You can’t say you want to lose 50 lbs in a month. It isn’t realistic and will only crush your hope when you aren’t on track. Don’t set yourself weekly goals. Just find an end goal and work toward it.
  • The key to successful weight loss is in incremental changes. If you suddenly start eating half the calories (or less) than you were eating before your body will go into starvation mode and stash everything away. That will reduce your likelihood of weight loss. Cut out or back on one thing at a time. Eat a lot of sugar, try cutting back on the sweets first. After a few days of this move on to something else like alternatives to high saturated fat chips.
  • Drink lots of water. You hear this all the time and no one wants to drink as much water as a healthy diet calls for. The good news is there are now sugar and calorie free drops (such as Mio) you can put in your water to give it flavor. It might even help you drink it faster.
  • Exercise. I talked about this already and don’t want to beat you over the head with it, but you won’t succeed long-term without some level of exercise.

This scale tracks up to 4 people’s weight, tells water and bone weight, and tracks BMI.

Make sure you have a dependable scale at home. There are even some on the market that can help you. You set the weight loss goal, tell it your age and height, and step on for a starting weight and the scale will allow you to save each check (usually up to 10) and tell you were you are on the path to your goal. A dependable scale is incredibly important to knowing where you stand. It’s also important to remember that weight will fluctuate. It will go down a pound or two, then up, and back down. It’s the overall weight loss that you should keep track of, not the daily.

I can’t promise results, but I can tell you that in each case this is what I learned and what worked for me. It takes more than just this knowledge to succeed. It takes determination as well.

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3 comments on “Losing that Baby Weight

  1. Pingback: Weight Loss Wednesday | Tips for the First Time Mom:

  2. Pingback: URL

  3. hqrealestatedeals.com
    August 16, 2013

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Thanks for sharing!

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2013 by in Pregnancy and tagged , , , , .
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