Fatigue, lack of sleep, poor eating habits and lack of time for exercise are all challenges faced by new mothers immediately following the birth of their child. It is easy for a young woman to fall into the trap where she says, “I’ve put on a few (or twenty or thirty) pounds, but that’s ok because I’ve just had a baby.” A program of healthy eating and exercise doesn’t need to be aggressive to be effective, and unless you have a pre-existing health condition that precludes it, you should be able to return to your pre-pregnancy weight within 6 months. The other myth that a young mom tells herself is that there isn’t time for exercise. She focuses her time and energy on her baby and takes care of her needs secondly, if at all. I will show you some quick and easy tips you can apply to help take off that pregnancy weight.
Breast feed and Increase your Metabolism!
Your BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate is a measure of how well your body burns calories while it is at rest. Increase your BMR and you increase your daily caloric requirement. With a higher BMR, you can drop weight by eating the same amount of food you eat now. Increasing your lean muscle mass will increase your BMR. So does breastfeeding. Breastfeed your baby, and your body will transfer more of its energy from stores of fat into baby milk, causing you to lose pounds. You can drop another 5 lbs during the first three months just by breastfeeding.
Take Extra Protein With Your Meals
Recent studies in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that you can lose weight and build muscle by adding protein to your diet. 100-120 grams of protein per day for a 150 pound person is a good target. Fantastic sources of protein include liquid egg substitute (just as high in protein as eggs without the added fat), lowfat cottage cheese, chicken or turkey breast and yogurt. The American Medical Association and the FDA both say that aspartame, the sweetener found in Equal or Splenda, is safe for both pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. Drink two glasses of water before each meal; think about adding a soluble fiber like Benefiber to one of the glasses. This way, you will fill up faster and stay full longer. Instead of eating 3 large meals at 700 calories each, try eating 5 or 6 meals of 300-400 calories each; you will be less hungry in between meals, and you’ll be less tempted to overindulge.
Cultivate a Healthy Self-Image
Failing to take care of your self-image can lead to over indulging and can contribute to thethat keeps you from working out. Self esteem is important. Get plenty of rest and take a multivitamin with a B complex to help keep up your strength for your exercise routine. Shop for new jewelry, add a fancy diaper bag and some accessories. Take some time to go out with friends. Get help from your partner – make sure he carries the diaper bag now and then.
Plan your Work-Out Time
Talk to your doctor before you start a workout program. Yoga is one of the easiest and safest ways to build lean muscle and increase flexibility. Many yoga classes are available which let you bring baby and yoga is a great way to improve core strength. Walking or jogging is a great exercise to do with baby, and a great way to get in shape. Get a nice running stroller. Jogging strollers have bigger wheels and are more stable than regular baby strollers. Some companies make double joggers for moms with multiple babies. Buy a good pair of running shoes and talk to your doctor before you start.