7 Tips to Losing Pregnancy Weight

| August 20, 2010 | 1 Comment

Every few months I get a phone call from a friend or a friend of a friend asking for fitness advice.  Many of these calls come from other mom and the questions almost always boil down to one simple question.  How do I live a healthy lifestyle while raising my three kids?  The answer is simple.  Even before my last child was born, I knew I wanted to get right back into running marathons, but I also knew how time consuming it was to have a newborn in the house. So, I sat down and made a list of the things I would have to do in order to lose the pregnancy weight and work in a regular fitness routine.

  1. Set a reasonable goal. Reasonable is different for everybody.  Unreasonable is easier to define.  It is unreasonable to expect to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes the day after your child is born.  It is probably unreasonable to expect to lose all of you pregnancy weight in the first month.  Some women might lose it within three months some might lose it in six and for some it might take a year.  For me I didn’t set a weight goal.  Instead, I signed up for a marathon that I would need to be ready for eight months after my son was born.
  2. Remember that food is fuel. I don’t believe in dieting.  I don’t believe in cutting carbs or protein or fats.  Instead I like to think of my food as fuel.  Who wants their lives to be powered by Coke, donuts and pizza?  In order to get a handle on my nutrition, I started a good diary.  You can use one of the free online diaries that count the calories for you and will calculate your needs as well.  Once you see the numbers you will be able to decide whether the 150 calories from two Oreos is worth it or if you might enjoy a yogurt with berries instead.
  3. Make your workout a priority. Schedule a workout into your day – every day.  Block out a certain time everyday that becomes your time.  For most moms this means getting up early and getting a workout in before your husband heads to work.  For some it means joining a gym that has day care.  Sometimes it means working within your babies nap schedule. Sometimes it means waiting until the end of the day to find some time for yourself – personally, this is the least attractive plan for me because it is so easy to skip it at the end of the day when you are just too tired, too busy, or your husband had to work late. But you should do whatever works for you.
  4. Mix it Up I have watched so many moms set rigid rules for themselves and then just give up.  “I must run every day. I must do the Jane Fonda video every day. I must take the hardest class my gym offers.”  Don’t get trapped into the must.  The only must you have is to find something active that you enjoy and do it everyday.  This might mean biking one day, swimming the next, or taking the baby for a walk through the park the next.  Whatever it is, it has to be something you enjoy.
  5. Get a partner. One of the best times of your life for making friends is when you are a new mom.  There is so much to share with other new moms.  So start a play group but don’t make it just a play group for your baby.  Make it a weekly date to going hiking or walking or rollerblading.
  6. Have fun. If you are not enjoying a routine, don’t do it.  There is so much available in our area for active people.  Don’t settle for something you don’t enjoy.  The Maryland Sportsplex has adult futsal leagues. Several area gyms, including the YWCA, offer Zumba classes.  There are running clubs, bicycling clubs, dance classes, adult softball and basketball leagues.  Find the activity you enjoy and join in.
  7. Don’t take the guilt trip. I thought about putting this has my number one tip but decided that it would be best here, as a reminder that your health, both physical and mental is important to your child.  A happy, fit mom is going to be a better mom in the long run.  Your child may cry as you are walking out the door for a yoga class but he will not be scarred for life.  Your fitness is a gift to you and your family.

One of the things I loved about having a fitness and nutrition plan laid out for myself was that it became a safety net.  If I started eating poorly or stopped working out regularly, I could fall back on this plan and start over.  I didn’t have to just give up and continue on the short road to poor health.  When these new moms call me for advice I give them my list, wish them luck with their new adventure and then I remind them that while being able to fit back into their jeans is a great goal, the ultimate goal for a fitness plan should be to live a better quality of life for the long haul.

Freelance writer, Ann lives in Severna Park with her husband and three children. When not at the gym or running outside, she spends every free minute chasing a four-year-old or running her older children to soccer fields all over two states. She can be contacted at [email protected] Read more by Ann at Ann’s Running Commentary

Category: Just For Fun, LIFE IN THE AREA, Sports

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