Winning at Post-Natal Weight Loss: Six Simple Strategies for New Moms — Part 2Written by Susan Peach
A healthy pregnancy almost always involves weight gain. But now that baby’s here, you’re probably wishing those extra pounds would hurry up and disappear! While it won’t happen overnight, these six simple tips can help you lose that extra weight in a healthy way. (If you’ve missed part 1 of this article, or want to read part 3, you can find them both at http://www.mambomoms.com/articles.html)
3) Drink plenty of water. You will probably be very thirsty if you are nursing your baby and you should drink as much as your thirst dictates. But even if you’re not breastfeeding, lots of pure water is important in your quest to shed those pregnancy pounds.
First of all, water has no calories, so when compared to other beverages, it’s hands down best bet in terms of weight loss. Diet soft drinks and other low calorie beverages may have only a couple of calories, but your body craves pure water in order to be able to function properly. Besides, many people are concerned about artificial sweeteners used in these products, and caffeinated diet drinks may increase fussiness in your baby if you’re nursing. Go ahead and indulge if this is something you just can’t live without, but make sure you’re not doing it at expense of your water needs.
Secondly, water is helpful in process of burning stored body fat. Studies have shown that not drinking enough water can hinder your weight loss efforts because liver has to work harder to metabolize waste when your body is not properly hydrated.
And finally, drinking enough water will help you feel full so you eat less. This is especially true if you’re eating lots of high fiber foods such as whole grain breads and cereals. The fiber in whole grains will absorb water, making you feel full longer.
Other liquids are fine too, such as juice, milk (dairy or substitutes), and herbal teas. But do try to stay away from those empty calorie soft drinks and anything that’s labeled “beverage,” “punch” or “drink” instead of “juice.” And even though they may be considered healthful, watch your intake of pure fruit juices. Juices contain nutrients that your body needs, but they are a very concentrated source of sugar as well. Whenever possible you are better off to eat a piece of fresh fruit and drink water for thirst.
You should also try to limit your intake of coffee and caffeinated tea. Doing so may help both you and your baby regulate your sleep habits. Some babies get very fussy and hard to settle when mom is breastfeeding and drinks caffeinated beverages.
Winning at Post-Natal Weight Loss: Six Simple Strategies for New Moms — Part 3Written by Susan Peach
A healthy pregnancy almost always involves weight gain. But now that baby’s here, you’re probably wishing those extra pounds would hurry up and disappear! While it won’t happen overnight, these six simple tips can help you lose that extra weight in a healthy way. (If you’re looking for parts 1 and 2 of this article, you can find them both at http://www.mambomoms.com/articles.html)
5) Get moderate exercise on a regular basis. Of course, you should get go ahead from your doctor first, and you will likely need to wait longer if you’ve had a caesarean birth, but most new moms can begin a gentle fitness program very soon after their baby is born.
Exercise is definitely one of those things that most of us feel obligated to do and few of us seem to enjoy. In fact, for many moms, having a new baby seems to be a great excuse not to exercise. After all, you’re legitimately busy, sleep-deprived, and probably a bit nervous about leaving your precious bundle with someone else while you head to gym. But wait! Who ever said you had to pump iron, punch a bag or jump around in a fitness class for an hour to get your exercise?
The whole key to sticking with a fitness program is to choose an activity you enjoy. If you enjoy hiking outdoors, why not invest in a baby carrier so you and your baby can do this together? There are all kinds of baby trailers on market now so your baby can join you on a bike ride or even a cross country ski outing if these are activities you enjoy. If swimming is fun for you, why not offer to take a friend’s teenager to pool. She can sit close by with your baby on pool deck while you do a few lengths, and then you and your baby can enjoy a leisurely lunch or cup of tea while teen gets a chance to play in pool in return for helping you out. Yoga classes for moms and babies are also popular now, and this can be a very enjoyable and relaxing way to spend time with your baby while you exercise.
For new mom who wasn’t active before pregnancy, gentle forms of exercise such as taking a stroll are ideal. If you can find another new mom close by to share this time with, your walks will become a pleasant activity that you look forward to, instead of part of your dreaded post-natal fitness program. If your health unit or community nursing program offers a drop in program for new moms you will be able to connect with other moms there. Or perhaps you’ve stayed in touch with a mom you met in your pre-natal classes. As you start to feel more energetic you can increase length and intensity of your walks. Ans if weather is bad you can always walk around mall and enjoy sights.
Gentle dancing or rocking while holding your baby is also excellent exercise that both of you can enjoy. When your baby is fussy or tired and nursing her doesn’t seem to be helping, why not put on some music and introduce her to your favourite dance steps? She won’t mind if you don’t get steps right, she’ll just enjoy being close to you while you move, and you’ll get fitness benefits. Most babies will enjoy dancing with you even when they’re not tired and cranky. As she gets older your dance dates will probably be greeted with giggles and squeals of delight.