Winning at Post-Partum Weight Loss: Six Simple Strategies for New Moms - Part 2
A healthy pregnancy almost always involves weight gain. But now that
baby's here, you're probably wishing those extra pounds would hurry up
and disappear! While it won't happen overnight, these six simple tips
can help you lose that extra weight in a healthy way. (If you've missed
part 1 of this article, or want to read part 3, you can find them both at
3) Drink plenty of water. You will probably be very thirsty if you are
nursing your baby and you should drink as much as your thirst dictates.
But even if you're not breastfeeding, lots of pure water is important in
your quest to shed those pregnancy pounds.
First of all, water has no calories, so when compared to other
beverages, it's hands down the best bet in terms of weight loss. Diet soft
drinks and other low calorie beverages may have only a couple of
calories, but your body craves pure water in order to be able to function
properly. Besides, many people are concerned about the artificial
sweeteners used in these products, and caffeinated diet drinks may
increase fussiness in your baby if you're nursing. Go ahead and
indulge if this is something you just can't live without, but make sure
you're not doing it at the expense of your water needs.
Secondly, water is helpful in the process of burning stored body fat.
Studies have shown that not drinking enough water can hinder your
weight loss efforts because the liver has to work harder to metabolize
waste when your body is not properly hydrated.
And finally, drinking enough water will help you feel full so you eat less.
This is especially true if you're eating lots of high fiber foods such as
whole grain breads and cereals. The fiber in whole grains will absorb
water, making you feel full longer.
Other liquids are fine too, such as juice, milk (dairy or substitutes), and
herbal teas. But do try to stay away from those empty calorie soft drinks
and anything that's labeled "beverage," "punch" or "drink" instead of
"juice." And even though they may be considered healthful, watch your
intake of pure fruit juices. Juices contain nutrients that your body needs,
but they are a very concentrated source of sugar as well. Whenever
possible you are better off to eat a piece of fresh fruit and drink water for
You should also try to limit your intake of coffee and caffeinated tea.
Doing so may help both you and your baby regulate your sleep habits.
Some babies get very fussy and hard to settle when mom is
breastfeeding and drinks caffeinated beverages.
Drinking lots of water is one of those things that seems easy in theory,
but in practice it can be difficult to accomplish. One effective strategy to
help make sure you get enough is to place water bottles strategically
around the house. You can buy small plastic bottles of water by the
case at the grocery store or you can buy the refillable type of bottle that
you might take to the gym or on your bike.
Put a bottle anywhere you spend time during the day: near your
favourite nursing chair (put several here-you'll probably use them all!),
near baby's change table, on the bathroom counter, on top of the
washing machine, on the kitchen counter, on your desk, on a shelf near
the front door, beside your bed, on the kitchen table, etc. Each morning,
spend 3 or 4 minutes making the rounds collecting yesterday's empty
bottles and replacing them with fresh ones. This way, you'll be more
likely to drink lots of water because there will always be some close at
4) Breastfeed your baby if at all possible. Depending on the age and
weight of your baby, you can use around 800 calories a day producing
milk for her. Besides the host of other benefits that breastfeeding affords
both you and your baby, quicker postnatal weight loss is one advantage
that all new moms welcome. Even if you are returning to work or can't
breastfeed full time for any reason, any amount of breast milk is good for
your baby, and as a perk, will help you use up additional calories for as
long as you are able to continue.
In addition, breastfeeding releases natural hormones that help you
relax. Since the hormones released when you are stressed can
contribute to weight gain, it only makes sense to counter this with
activities that help you relax. Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to do
this, and you and your baby will also benefit in so many other ways. If
you need more information or support with breastfeeding, visit La Leche
League International on the web at http://www.LaLecheLeague.org
In part three of this article you'll learn ways to burn extra calories easily
and enjoyably without sweating it out at the gym. You'll also learn the
secret that savvy new moms use to effortlessly burn up to an extra 200
calories a day -that's 2 pounds a month with no extra effort!
Susan Peach is a retired La Leche League Leader, a dance and fitness
instructor, and mother to two teenage boys. She is also the creator of
Mambo Moms, a fun and gentle Latin dance based fitness program that
helps new moms get back in shape while spending quality play time
with their babies. Find out more at www.mambomoms.com">http://www.mambomoms.com