Post-Partum Weight Loss
The other big piece of news that I would like to share is the birth of my first born. My wife gave birth to our son (Evan) on December 6th. Both mom and Evan (and dad) are doing great! In the interest of this news, I will share some tips and information for moms out there that wish to lose their pregnancy weight.
Set Your Goals
Be reasonable here, too. There is nothing worse than setting goals that are too lofty for yourself, only to get overwhelmed and discouraged causing you to quit. Obviously give yourself some time to rest, relax and heal after the birth of your baby as your body will need it. Speak with your doctor about this as well and you can discuss with them what you, and they, feel is an appropriate time to start exercising again.
Most women should be able to resume daily walks days after their pregnancy if they had a vaginal birth. If you have had a C-Section, your road to recovery will be a bit longer, but again, I suggest speaking with your doctor regarding this.
My wife has already decided that she will resume exercise at the start of January. This way, she allows herself some time to rest and relax over the holidays before easing back into a workout routine. For the first few weeks, she will exercise about 3 times a week and then begin to transition into 4 to 5 days a week while also increasing intensity.
Consume foods that are high in protein like meat, fish, and eggs. High-protein sources give you that satiated feeling (feeling 'full') for a longer period of time and also contain higher levels of vitamin B12 which gives you a nice energy boost. Higher energy levels and feeling hungry less means you will, in the long run, consume less calories and burn more by watching your newborn.
My wife and I discussed our fitness plans long before our baby arrived. My wife knows that I like to have my workout done and out of the way in the morning before I go to work. On the flip side of that, my wife has expressed interest in also exercising, so I will help out by watching the baby if she needs to exercise in the evening.
I understand that not everyone may have schedules like ours where they can call in a spouse to babysit for them, but speak with relatives or friends that live near-by that could pop over to your house and watch the little one for an hour while mom exercises.
The act of giving birth, along with daily activities caring for a newborn can cause great amounts of internal stress within the body. Heightened stress levels can lead to unwanted weight gain. You can combat this with some alone time (refer to "Teamwork" above) or time for some meditation. Exercise also works well to fight stress and consuming foods high in anti-oxidants such as green tea, berries, and other fruits and vegetables can go a long way!
Yes, body flexibility is important, but that is not what I am referring to here. I am talking about schedule flexibility. Some new moms get hung-up on the idea that they need to exercise 60 mins a day to lose those baby pounds fast. This simply is not the case, nor is it practical. You are now not only looking after yourself, but your little one as well. If you have such a hectic schedule and only have 15-20mins to exercise, perfect! In the end, I always tell people that doing something is always better than doing nothing!
Don't Get Attached to Your Numbers
Immediately following your pregnancy, you will drop a lot of weight rather quickly. The birthing fluids, retained water, as well as the baby itself will cause you to feel like you are on top of the world in your weight loss. This will slow but do not get discouraged. You must keep a positive outlook and understand that the journey back to your pre-pregnancy body is not going to happen overnight and that positive attitude should help you immensely!
Drink Your Water!
Pregnant women retain water during pregnancy. I know it sounds backwards, but to remove said retained water, you should drink...lots of water! It will help your bodily fluid levels stabilize, not to mention it helps in milk production if you decide to breastfeed.
Speak with your doctor about any supplements you are safe to take, but listed below are the vitamins that you should be consuming, as well as a list of ways to get these naturally.
Vitamin A - lost through breastfeeding, consume spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and kale.
Vitamin C - also lost through breastfeeding, consume red peppers, oranges, broccoli
Vitamin D - stored in our fat cells and made naturally in our bodies from sunlight, can be tough to get during the winter months. This is also a tough vitamin to get enough from dietary sources so speak with your doctor about taking a supplement for this one.
Vitamin E - helps with circulation, found in nuts, seeds and eggs.
Potassium - helps lower blood pressure, found in bananas.