Losing the Baby Weight – A Healthy and Mindful Approach
We totally understand the desperation to lose the baby weight. To re-gain control of your body after months of giving it up to someone else. Our society is geared towards seeing new Mums ‘bounce back’ to their pre-baby selves immediately after giving birth. It is no wonder that we all feel some pressure to lose the baby weight as soon as possible.
From experience, postnatal weight loss happens differently for every woman. Some women do lose the baby weight very quickly, some lose it very slowly.
Here are our tips to positive postnatal weight loss.
Move from Desperation to Acceptance
The key to postnatal weight loss is to shift your focus from ‘bouncing back’ to creating a healthy and strong body after baby. Take time to appreciate your body and the miraculous process it has just been through. Your body has stretched and grown in ways you may not have ever thought possible. It has shown incredible strength and intelligence. Don’t beat yourself up because you may have a few new lumps, bumps, stretch marks or scars.
Next time you stand in front of a mirror look yourself in the face and say “I am proud of my body. I appreciate my body. I am grateful for my body.” Once you start to create this positive attitude and respect for your body, you will naturally start to make choices that will align with your weight loss goals. The key difference is, that your weight loss will happen from a place of strength and not desperation.
One of the biggest barriers to postnatal weight loss is mindless eating. Motherhood is a roller coaster of emotions. In addition, there is the boredom that comes from being stuck at home for a large chunk of the day, sleep deprivation and that constant need for a pick me up and a severe lack of time to sit and enjoy a proper meal. So how can we tell you to eat mindfully? Rather than asking you to appreciate every mouthful before you devour it, try to concentrate on these three tips.
- Snacking Between Meals. When you reach for a snack between meals, stop and take 3 deep, slow breaths. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or if there is something else you need. Are you tired? Do you need to rest? Do you need emotional support? Are you bored? If you aren’t sure what is driving your desire to eat, try a cup of herbal tea or if you can get out of the house for 10 minutes.
- Stop Eating When Full. Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full is one of the simplest ways to lose weight. It involves slowing down your eating enough to notice the point where you start to feel full. As soon as you start to feel full, stop eating. Wait to see how long it takes for you to feel hungry again. It should be around 3-4 hours.
- Avoid Late Night Snacking. Night time is when fatigue tends to hit us. Our melatonin levels rise, to get us ready to go to sleep, so we feel a drop in our energy levels. When we feel our energy levels drop, we often naturally try to bring them back up by eating. So night time is a prime time for mindless over eating.Try to eat an early dinner and stop eating by 8PM. If you are breastfeeding and feel ravenous late at night have a simple smoothie with banana, almond milk and vanilla. This will help to keep you full whist still promoting quality sleep.
Focus on Whole Foods
There is no need to overcomplicate what you are eating. You already have enough to worry about. We love practical, simple advice and it doesn’t get much more simple than this. Focus on eating whole foods. As much as you can avoid packaged, processed foods. Whole foods contain a range of nutrients that are designed to support your body.
All of the recipes in the Nourished Mummy Project are made with delicious whole foods and macronutrient balanced to take the stress out of what you should be eating and when.
From the moment your baby is born into this world, you are tired, and probably will be for the next five to twenty years. The more sleep deprived you are, the harder it is to make good choices around food and the less motivation you have to exercise.
So how do we cope with such a lack of sleep with a baby that needs feeding and changing during the night? Here are some simple hacks for sleep deprived Mums.
- Meditate: 20 minutes of vedic meditation is equivalent to four hours of deep sleep. So if you can start to include a meditation practice into your day, you will see a huge improvement in how tired you feel. Try the guided meditations or postnatal yoga classes in the Fit Mummy Project App.
- Weekend Catch Up: Use the weekend to catch up. Schedule an extra sleep-in, in your diary or lean in to your community and ask them for support so that you can have a nap.
- Skip your afternoon coffee: The caffeine from a shot of espresso can remain in your body for several hours, depending on how quickly you metabolise food. If you drink a cup of coffee late in the afternoon, it will affect the quality of sleep you have at night.
- Go to bed early: Sounds simple, but despite feeling tired all day, a lot of new Mums still stay up till 10 or 11 o’clock at night. If your baby wakes multiple times during the night, then try to go to bed when your baby goes to sleep. I know this isn’t ideal, as you also need some baby-free time to your day, but sleep, especially at the start, is the priority. This isn’t a long-term plan, just a way to help you to feel good and refreshed each day.
- Eat Dinner Early: Our bodies can’t rest and digest. So if you are going to bed early (see point two), then you want your body to be focussing on restoration, not digestion. So eating a light dinner at least one and a half hours before you go to bed will mean that you can get a deeper night’s sleep.
Moving your body is vital to postnatal weight loss. But more importantly, moving your body daily will help you to feel stronger, more energised and more confident. We love the Fit Mummy Project App for high quality postnatal workouts that can be done in your home in just 15 minutes a day.
There is a range of workouts to chose from including early postnatal workouts, strength and fitness workouts, yoga and barre classes plus guided meditations to help you to feel calm and centered.
The life of a Mum is stressful. Even on the most perfect days, there are so many elements that you can’t control. More and more Mums are still working either full-time or part-time. And yet, we still seem to carry most of the load when it comes to household chores, arranging family events and raising our children to be beautiful, kind, strong, intelligent human beings. No wonder we may feel a bit stressed or overwhelmed from time to time or even all of the time!
When you are stressed, your body will hold onto fat for survival reasons. It is a mechanism left over from cave man times, when stress meant that we would often have to fast or flee. If you are trying to lose weight, it is a great idea to try to reduce stress as much as possible.
Three simple ways to reduce stress in your life are:
- Meditation or Yoga Practice: Just 20 minutes of yoga or meditation a day can significantly reduce your stress levels. Try the guided meditations or postnatal yoga classes in the Fit Mummy Project App.
- Deep Breathing: One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your stress levels instantly is to focus on extending the length of your ‘exhale’. Slowing down the length of our exhale helps us to activate our parasympathetic nervous system and communicate to our bodies that we are safe. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then take 10 deep, long breaths focusing on increasing the length of your exhale.
- Simplifying your Life: If you feel you have too much going on and can never keep up, then set aside some time on the weekend to do a life audit. See what you can give up for the short term and what you can incorporate in order to feel calmer and more relaxed during your week. Remember, this is just a phase and it won’t last forever. Make the best choices you can to feel good now and allow yourself to let go of some of your obligations.