How to Lose the Baby Weight after Pregnancy

How long do I have to wait to exercise after birth?

You MUST get permission from your doctor before beginning this program or any exercise program. Your doctor will usually recommend that you don’t exercise until 6-8 weeks post-partum. You can begin pelvic floor movements (check out Lindsay’s Blog to see what she does after the first week) and begin walking within a few weeks. Once you resume exercise do it gradually, use light weights and slowly work up to your ability. Most importantly, don’t get frustrated!!!

If you gave birth to multiples you may have to wait a little bit longer. Again, listen to your doctor.

Your body is still getting back to a state of normalcy 6-9 months after giving birth. So you must be cautious and listen to your body while working out to any of the Moms Into Fitness DVDs. Watch Amy (beginner) on Postnatal Boot Camp, Boot Camp 2 and Core Fitness for Moms.

*Make sure you test yourself for diastasis recti (a somewhat common condition that happens during pregnancy but usually goes away).

What if I have never worked out? Or it’s been a really long time…

What better time to start than now! You can’t do anything about the past, but you can do a whole lot about the future! Exercise will make you feel better and increase your energy. So get started now with the beginner 10 minute routine in Boot Camp or Stroller Pump Level 1!

Can I workout if I am breastfeeding?

Yes, but there are a few things you need to do: consume about 500 more calories per day, wear a supportive bra and consume more liquids. You should expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week until you resume your pre-pregnancy weight, then 1/2-1 pound per week.

Please refer to Breastfeeding and Weight Loss below.

5 Quick Tips to get your Stomach back!

Yes! Once the uterus is back to its normal size, the remaining pooch is weight gain and loose muscles. But it’s possible to even look better! Follow these 5 steps to make it happen:

  1. Do a variety of exercises. There is no such thing as spot reduction, even the abs. So toning all over is a must!
  2. Bump up your cardio. These are exercises that make you huff n’ puff! All moms have fat overlying the abdominal muscles. The ONLY way to get rid of this fat and see the muscles is through exercise and caloric reduction (to learn more about caloric reduction please click on Find your Metabolism)
  3. You must watch your nutrition.
  4. Give it time! You were pregnant for 9 months!
  5. Most importantly, train your Inner Core! Toning the abdominal muscles from the inside-out helps pull the waistline in like a corset. You will find this on the CFS Method, Core Fitness for Moms and Boot Camp 2 DVDs.

Also, you need to make sure you do not have Diastasis Recti (a separation in the abdominal wall) before continuing with abdominal training. Please refer to What is Diastasis Recti?.

Should I work my abs every day?

NO! Your abs need a break just like any other muscle and you could possibly build your ab muscles and make them bigger. Lindsay’s suggestion – bump up your cardio to see those underlying ab muscles!

How often should I workout?

Minimum is 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have 30 minutes, break it up throughout the day. Studies show short, intense bouts of exercise burn just as many calories!

Diet or Nutrition?

You need to watch what you eat, especially if you want to see results quickly! Nutrition is half the battle. Your body is a fat burning machine following pregnancy so take advantage of it! Make sure to read the MIF newsletter for easy tips on weight loss or check out the Weight Loss Program. If you are Breastfeeding please refer to Breastfeeding & Weight Loss below for specific nutritional needs.

What if I only have 15 minutes?

Studies prove short, intense bouts of exercise provide the best results. And one of the quickest, most efficient workouts is through interval training. There are great calorie-burning-benefits in just 10-15 minutes.

Try warming up followed by 1 minute of the following exercises: reverse crunches, squats, push-ups, supermans, front lunges, triceps dips, reverse lunges, Pilates push-ups, squat jumps, plank.

Or try Postnatal Boot Camp or Boot Camp 2, which offers these 10 minute workouts. You will not only boost your metabolism with these toning exercises, but feel great!

What if I plan on getting pregnant again?

Make sure to lose the baby weight in between having kids or the weight will keep adding up. Studies show if you get your body back between having babies, you can resume your old body quickly!

Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

Meal Plans while Breastfeeding

You can use the FREE meal plans while breastfeeding and lose weight. If Moms Into Fitness calculated the 1200 Calorie Meal Plan for you please add 2 snacks consisting of protein, carbohydrates and fat – about a 200 calorie snack. If Moms Into Fitness calculated the 1500 Calorie Meal Plan for you please add 1-2 snacks consisting of carbohydrates, protein and fat. If the 1800 Calorie Meal Plan was calculated for you please add 1 snack of carbohydrates, protein and fat consisting of about 200 calories.

In Phase 2 of the Meal Plan you will need to add 1-2 proteins, 1 carbohydrate and 1 full fat dairy.

*Please note that you should always eat to satisfaction while breastfeeding! If you are truly hungry at any point you need to add a snack (make sure it has protein in it) or disregard the meal plan until you are done breastfeeding.

Losing Weight safely while Breastfeeding

The most common question…Do I need to follow a low calorie diet? You can lose weight while breastfeeding without following a low calorie diet. But to lose weight safely while breastfeeding there are a few guidelines you need to follow.

According to the ADA if you are breastfeeding you need to add about 350 calories to your daily caloric needs for a singleton baby. This is without exercise. If you are trying to lose weight while breastfeeding the best way to monitor this is weighing yourself every Monday morning and if you aren’t losing ½ – 1 ½ pounds/week you may be eating too many calories (or in some cases not enough). At the same time you must make sure you are consuming enough liquids and protein. And make sure you are producing enough milk. You must eat to satisfaction to continue your milk supply! As well as drink water to thirst.

Did you know you need more protein during breastfeeding than during pregnancy? And that you should eat about the same number of calories as you did in your 2nd trimester?

Keep in mind your weight can stay steady over the course of several weeks to maintain enough fat needed for breast milk production. It’s safe to lose about a lb. a week while breastfeeding. Although for smaller women or women with a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) it should be closer to ½-1 lb. a week.

It is always best to speak with a Lactation Specialist about breastfeeding and weight loss. Or check out the La Leche League, the leader in breastfeeding information.

You can find your specific caloric needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding by visiting www.mypyramid.gov and clicking on pregnancy and breastfeeding. Or click on the Moms Into Fitness Metabolism Calculator and add around 350 calories. The Subcommittee on Nutrition during Lactation advises 1500-1800 calories/day without exercise. Lindsay advises you to monitor your progress every Monday…if you are not losing 1/2-1 lb. you may need to modify your nutrition by either adding or subtracting calories (just make sure you subtract the “not-so-good-for-you” calories like cookies and chips and keep the protein and carbs!) If you find you are not losing any weight and you feel you are eating really well, you will more than likely see a weight loss by adding calories. For some women, especially small women, the body holds onto fat storage because it feels it is not getting enough. By feeding your body more your body will release the fat storage.

Track your progress – Receive a free progress tracker by signing up for the MIF newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Check out Moms Into Nutrition ($1.99) for specific information on pregnancy, post-pregnancy and breastfeeding nutrition and weight loss. Or check out Lindsay’s new book For the 9 Months of Pregnancy & the 5 Months to get your Best Body Back… available on Amazon.com and in your local bookstore!

Lindsay’s Breastfeeding Weight Loss journal

If you are interested in learning how Lindsay lost her post-baby weight check out the Lindsay Brin Blog. You’ll see her blog and if you click on “Getting my Body Back” you will also find her breastfeeding food journal. There is no “1 size fits all” recipe for weight loss and breastfeeding, but you can find Lindsay’s personal breastfeeding menu on her blog.

Lindsey Brin
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