Erica Ziel is my new fit-mama friend. After she hosted a panel I was on, she sent me her Knocked-Up Fitness workout DVD. Now she’s sharing even more of her expertise. Today, it’s about why you need to be patient when it comes to getting your pre-baby body back. As a mom of three, she knows a thing or two about this, so read on, mamas! —Erin
I love when moms are inspired to get into shape quickly after baby, but there are so many factors that can greatly affect how long it takes for you to accomplish this. First, stop comparing yourself to the celebrities out there who are back “in shape” within the first 3 weeks! If you had a personal chef to cook for you every day and a trainer who made you work out two hours a day, then maybe, just maybe you could do it that quickly, too…
Reality check. As a new mom, your body is going through so much! Did you notice that it took you nine full months to take on your beautiful pregnant body? Well then, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not coming off in three weeks.
The very best advice I can give you is this: BE PATIENT! Yes, you can have your pre-baby body back—even better, if you ask me. The key is to take it slowly. Focus on your day-to-day goals such as getting active every day and eating healthy, rather than the frustrating, “I still can’t squeeze into my jeans!” and “What’s with this muffin top?” mental chatter.
Why does it actually take time to bounce back? It’s not just about the weight!
7 Reasons Your Body Needs Time to Bounce Back After Baby
1. Nine on, nine off. Your body just needs time to adjust back, remember that nine months I mentioned…
2. Body movin’. Your hips and rib cage take time to move back to where they were. Being active really can help this.
3. Weight on it. Your weight may not be that different after baby, but you’ll feel mushy. So now it’s time to focus on putting back on some muscle mass, which also happens to help speed up your metabolism—which means you burn more calories every day! Yay!
4. Loosey goosey. Skin takes the longest to recover, but the sooner you start strengthening your deep muscles again and eating healthy, you can help this along. You have to wait for your skin to rejuvenate underneath and be tight against your muscles. This takes time, and lots of it!
5. Account for breastfeeding. That good ol’ muffin top—gotta love it—is usually the last area that women finally notice shrinking, due in part to breastfeeding. Your body must hold onto some extra fat (usually a good 5 to 10 pounds for most) to produce good nutritious milk for your baby. So don’t get too carried away with the cardio and calorie burning just yet.
6. Account for slowing breastfeeding. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, be sure you are super aware of your food intake. Cut the extra sugar and high-calorie food for several days so you don’t put weight back on. Pay close attention to how hungry you really are and that you’re not just eating because you’re used to eating so much food. Because unless you instantly up your exercise at the same time you quit nursing, you’ll actually gain weight.
7. More kids, more recovery. Don’t be surprised if after each pregnancy it takes your body longer to recover.
So keep up the hard work, mamas! Take it day by day, incorporating exercise and healthy eating habits as much as you possibly can. Even small amounts of exercise can add up, so give it a go and do 10 minutes here and there if you can’t squeeze in an entire 30-minute workout!
Thanks to Erica for the reminder! Don’t forget, her DVD is great if you need those short workouts you can sprinkle into your busy weeks! —Erin