Any woman that has experienced the joy of carrying and delivering a baby knows, all too well, the challenge that lies ahead.
Losing that stubborn baby weight seems like a daunting task ESPECIALLY if you have been up for days or months (18 months to be exact…thank you my beautiful daughter) pulling the Mommy night shift!
Fear not! That weight will come off, but you need to set your mind right first! Here are my tips for dropping those extra pounds.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Keep in mind that the average amount of weight gained during pregnancy (for a normal BMI of 18.5-24.9 pre-pregnancy) is about 25-35 lbs. Of that weight, the total stored fat is only about 6-8 lbs for breastfeeding and delivery. The rest is placenta, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, blood supply and an increased uterus.
That being said, if you indulged a little too much “eating for two”, try not to get bogged down with societies demands of what you should look like and how fast you need to take that weight off.
I can’t stand hearing stories about celebrities that dropped all of their baby weight just weeks after delivery. If you had millions of dollars to hire a nanny, personal chef and trainer (no offense colleagues), you’d drop that weight too.
For the rest of us…I suggest trying to lose about 1-1.5 lbs per week. Slow steady weight loss is the key for keeping it off! Creating a calorie deficit is the only way to do it! That doesn’t mean I want you starving yourself. You must fuel your body for working out and taking care of that precious bundle you just delivered.
Start immediately by eating clean and staying hydrated!! Lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean red meat, eggs, nonfat dairy, legumes, etc.) and GOOD carbs (steel cut oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, veggies) should be consumed throughout the day.
Do not skip meals! I can’t tell you how many women try to starve the weight off and then complain that they have no energy to workout. Dropping below 1500 calories per day can be dangerous. Based upon your weight, age and height, you can calculate your daily calorie expenditure.
There are many free Apps available to do just that. I have used FitCal .
Keep in mind that this is a “ball park” number and you must fuel your body according to how much exercise, if any, that you get. Bring in only good fats if possible (olive oil, fish oil, coconut oil and the like).
Try eating several times during the day. I prefer eating a lean protein (4 oz.) and good carb every 3 hours or so. Front load your carbs in the morning and at lunch and you can taper those off in the evening. Do not go carb free!! Your body needs that fuel source for energy and proper bodily function.
Keeping a good protein in your system keeps you in a positive metabolic state and satiates your hunger. Try to eat your last meal two hours before going to bed. Refer to a registered nutritionist if you need more help getting started.
For your workouts, ease into a program once cleared by your doctor.
Weight training is essential for maintaining lean muscle and increasing strength.
Cardio alone will not tone you up. Moderate weight training, 30 minutes, 2-3 days per week, for starters. Shoot for total body workouts (squats, lunges, hip thrusters, bench press, push ups, kettle bell swings, dead lifts and core work) and don’t waste time between sets. 30 seconds of rest and get back to work!
Strength circuits are great because they are efficient and more fun typically. Hit your cardio AFTER strength sessions for 15-30 minutes. See the sample workout below.
On “off” days…cardio should be done daily for a minimum of 45 minutes at a moderate intensity. Take that sweet baby with you if you can’t get a sitter! Working with cardio intervals is your best bet.
After a 5-minute warm up, work in a zone of 75-85% of your Target Heart Rate for 30 seconds to 1 minute, slow down to a recovery heart rate (55-65% THR) for 1-2 minutes and repeat about 8 times.
Finding a local mommy boot camp or a trainer that will allow you to incorporate your baby into your strength circuit is a great idea!! Most importantly, stay positive and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or are way too tired.
Listening to your body is very important and the key to long-term success. Stay focused and diligent with your healthy eating and you’ll lose those stubborn pounds in no time!! Good luck and train smart!
Strength Circuit (2-3 days per week, 3 sets, 12-15 reps, moderate weight)
No rest between sets, complete one set of each exercise, rest 1 minute, repeat 2-3 times
Kettle bell Hip thrusters – 30 seconds to 1 min
Barbell or Goblet Squats – 12 reps, 65% 1RM
Romanian Dead Lift (Bar or DBS) – 12 reps, 65% 1RM
Push Ups – 12 reps
Walking lunges – 12 reps each leg
Bent Over Row (Bar or DBS) – 12 reps
Bicycle Crunches – 30 reps
Hanging knee raises – 10 reps