Wellness Wednesday: Postpartum Weight-loss

pic1 5 weeks postpartum. I couldn’t resist a little boogie board action with kids on a hot summer day!

In all of my pregnancies I didn’t gain a lot of weight. I gained enough to have healthy babies and enjoy eating, but I didn’t go overboard. This is the major reason I have been able to bounce back quickly. And since I have been asked by many people how this has happened with baby number 4, I decided to share my not-so-secretive postpartum weight loss tips. So to not gain an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy as well as shed the pounds after here is what I did/do.

1) Stay active
I am an active person and always have been. I spent my life playing sports, dancing and riding horses. Being busy and active is what I am used to and what makes me feel good. You could say I am addicted to that “feel good” that comes from using my body. When pregnant I really don’t feel good, but for me it is all the more reason to work out. My walks and spin classes were usually the best I would feel all day. Towards the end pregnancy walking became tough because of my back but I was able to spin up until I gave birth. I would also stretch regularly (For more on my fit pregnancy click here).

After having the baby the doctor advised me to stay away from intense exercise and I did. I wanted everything to heal properly. However, as soon as I felt up for it I began going for walks with the stroller. The mileage and pace increased as my strength did. Eventually I moved back up to jogging… Even while pushing a double BOB (by the way this something I never thought it would be a blessing to do)!  Now I can’t wait to return to my favorite Soul Cycle spin classes.
Weekends often call for family exercise. Here is a recent trip to our local farmers market. I push the stroller while the hubby makes sure the boys are safe on scooters or bikes.

Most importantly, pick exercise you love. I am music driven so anything I do I want loud, fun music. I want to enjoy my workouts. If I don’t enjoy it I won’t do it. My time is so limited that the 40 to 60 minutes I set aside as “me time” better be enjoyed.

pic3 On our recent trip to the beach I forgot my tennis shoes. My husband suggested barefoot beach jogs. It was hard, but I loved it! Can’t wait to do this more.

2) Don’t deprive yourself
I don’t believe in depriving yourself. Believe it or not I have been eating a lot of dessert (maybe too much 🙂 ). However, if I have a decadent dinner and dessert I try to be very healthy for breakfast and lunch. For me it is all about balance & moderation. I have also found that if I am too restrictive then I will go overboard. I did this a lot in my twenties. Now if I want that cookie or some pizza I go for it. I just don’t do it at every meal or eat the whole box.

3) Preservative free
I am not gluten free, but I am preservative free. I used to get A LOT of stomach aches as well as suffer from IBS (I know TMI), but when I started to pay attention to what was in my food and following an all natural diet these issues mainly went away. So if I am going to eat bread it is fresh baked baguette. Besides, this is the best tasting bread anyway so why waste calories on average preservative loaded bread? 🙂 Also, by following an all natural diet (99 % of the time) I focus more on eating fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. This, in turn, not only makes me look better, but feel better as well.

4) Low salt
During this past pregnancy I had a big problem with salt. If I ate a dill pickle (all natural of course 😉 ) I would almost immediately get a headache. And so it went with any food that had a lot of salt. It made me become very aware of just how much salt is hidden in a lot of restaurant food. Since having the baby I have continued to follow a low sodium diet and not only is it a much healthier way to live, but also helps with bloating.

5) Don’t obsess
Now this is very, very important when it comes to losing the baby weight. Yes, you should be aware, but don’t beat yourself up or starve yourself. You will just end up cranky and frustrated. I know because I put a lot of pressure on myself after having my first baby. I wanted to go right back to “normal” and I was worried I never would so I tried restricting my calories. This would always inevitably cause binge eating at some point because as a nursing mom I was hungry! It would also lower patience and when you have a newborn (and possibly others) you need all the patience you can get. Even now my days are so busy that I don’t always eat a proper lunch. Well guess what happens? By the time 4pm rolls around I am edgy and tired. I have found it is so important to have a lunch packed with super foods.

6) Keep your fridge & pantry stocked with healthy options
I always have easily accessible fresh cut fruit, veggies and nuts. This way when I get hungry for a snack this is what I grab. This is also great for your kiddos.

So there you have it, my non-expert tips for maintaining a healthy weight during and after pregnancy. Again, not an expert (nor do I have a perfect body), but I am happy to try and answer any questions related to this topic. xx

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