As much as these tips can help anyone wanting to lose weight healthily, I do think they are especially helpful for new mums, as it can be really challenging trying to balance your new-found duties as a mum, while wanting to put your weight loss high on the agenda. Below are 7 tips for new mums who would like to lose some post-baby weight and a little bit about why I’m keen to share my experience and tips.
1. Make your health a priority, too
I say this because I felt terribly guilty about wanting to find time to exercise or plan my meals in advance. A part of me kept thinking it could be time better spent – washing bottles, entertaining my little one or Googling whether a baby could die from hiccups (yeah, I really freaked out when my daughter first had hiccups. I chilled out when a midwife asked me “what would you do if you had hiccups?” my reply was “nothing”… and there was my answer!). If you have put on weight during pregnancy, it’s normal to want to lose that – especially if you feel unfit from it (as I did) or down about it (as I did). Plus, if you’re feeling your very best, that can only be a good thing for those around you surely?
2. Attend mum and baby fitness classes
These classes are great for entertaining your baby and it means you can exercise without having to find someone to look after your child. You’ll also meet other like-minded mums.
3. Go for a walk
Most babies love a little stroll in the buggy and I always found my daughter would drift off to sleep on walk too; plus its great exercise for you and a gentle way to improve your fitness.
4. Buy healthy ready meals
Make it all a little easier for yourself and have some healthy ready meals around for occasions when you might not have the time or energy to cook.
5. Take note of recommended serving sizes on packets
Checking to see the recommended serving size on various foods was a real eye-opener for me. You don’t need to follow the suggestions exactly, but it’s a handy guide if you think that your portions sizes may be a little on the large size.
6. Snack on fruit and veg
It’s good for you and isn’t time consuming to prepare.
7. Sleep when you can
Sleep is just as vital to healthy living as eating well and exercise. If you’ve planned to go for a walk or exercise when your baby is sleeping, but you’ve had a particularly bad night/night’s sleep – just have a kip too.
Why I’m sharing weight loss tips for new mums
During the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy, I really suffered with ‘morning’ sickness (I’m still angry it’s called that, when mine would literally last all day). For a while I thought I might surprise everyone, and myself, by not gaining too much weight when pregnant. “Maybe, I’ll actually lose weight”, I remember thinking one day… well, the fact that I have this blog reveals what happened next.
I ended up putting on 5 stone (and it was probably a little more than this, as I stopped weighing myself once I found out I was pregnant and only weighed myself a month after having my daughter). My little girl weighed around 7.5lbs – there was really no need to eat the way I did in the end! I was both amazed and disgusted at how much I had gained.
At the time I wasn’t too fazed (marvellously) by how much weight I wanted to lose. I had hoped a lot of it was water retention – pah, as if! What am I, a camel? And because I had lost almost 50lbs in time for my wedding in 2013, I thought I’d be able to lose it with ease. I lost two stone relatively quickly but then I stayed the same weight for over 9 months. It was really frustrating and a lot of it came down to not being able to get my head around my new life as a mum and how it could fit in with eating better and exercising regularly – to put it simply, I was just so tired!
At that time I did a few online searches for new mum weight loss tips and didn’t really find any guidance on how to put healthy eating and exercise into practice; and so that is why I’d like to share my experience and tips with anyone interested.