It seems like whenever someone loses weight, people want to know how it’s done. I think people are hoping to hear there’s a miracle pill that they’ve never heard of or that there is a secret ingredient they can put in their salad that will make a difference. But typically, those who lose weight do it by doing the old tried and true: Eating less, moving more.
Like my first pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds during my second. And once the baby came flying into the world and water weight settled, I only had a little bit of weight to lose. But unlike my first experience, I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight in six months, rather than at a year or so postpartum. I had started working out again, in fits and starts, but I was thoroughly shocked to have “arrived” so quickly. So the burning question: How did I do it? Read on…
10 Tips for Losing Pregnancy Weight
1. Get moving. Although it’s tempting to lounge around all day when you’re fatigued from being up all night, make yourself move. Whether it’s a walk outside or a trip to the mall, getting off the couch is how calories are burned. Just loading small kids into the car is exercise. (And check out our tips for having energy when you’re sleep deprived!)
2. Set a goal. Whether it’s a goal to work out three times a week, pop in a workout DVD during naps every other day or run a race, setting a goal will give you a clear target to hit on your way to losing the pregnancy weight.
3. Eat. Make sure you eat. It’s easy to forget yourself when taking care of little ones, but skipping meals is a surefire way to overeat or give into unhealthy cravings with too-large portions. Regularly munching is key–just munch on the healthy stuff and only splurge sometimes.
4. Sleep. It’s hard to have the energy for exercise if you’re not sleeping, and it’s hard to sleep when you have a kid or several. But make sleep a priority. It helps everything in life seem a little better–makes you more patient and makes you less likely to rely on sugar for a quick pick-me-up in the afternoons.
5. Have a healthy go-to meal. Have a quick , healthy go-to meal that you love. Many days of the week I eat big salads for lunch. It’s super simple because I use pre-cut and washed salad mixes and bagged cut veggies to make it even easier to throw together. Add protein with cheeses, rotisserie or cooked chicken or beans (or all of the above), toss in a little dressing, and you’ve got a delicious meal.
6. Pay attention to why you’re eating. We eat for a lot of reasons other than hunger. Sometimes that’s okay–we all deserve a treat and a quiet moment now and then. But if you’re consistently hitting the fridge because you’re stressed or bored, you need to be aware you’re doing it!
7. Do laundry. Here’s some math for you: For each kid you add to the family, the laundry quadruples. I don’t even know how it’s possible, but it is. Laundry is a workout of its own.
9. Get lucky. And no, I don’t mean have sex. Although, hey, exercise! I mean, some women have a really easy time losing and maintaining weight; others not so much. I’m really lucky in that my body hovers around a certain weight without a ton of effort.
10. Don’t compare. There are some women who lose weight easily (see No. 9). Others don’t. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes some time and work. And don’t compare yourself to Ms. Perfect next door. Every body’s different, and you will get there!
Have you come out of the other side of the pregnancy weight-loss game? What tips and tweaks worked for losing the pregnancy weight for you? —Erin