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Tips for Losing Weight After Pregnancy

Nov 15, 2007
Every woman gains weight when she's pregnant, and many women lose all the extra pounds soon after the baby is born. For others, though, every new child adds an additional 10 to 25 pounds that seems almost impossible to get rid of.

If you know that you tend to put on weight during a pregnancy because you never really lot the extra pounds after your last baby was born, it's a good idea to discuss the issue with your doctor during your prenatal visits.

She'll make sure you're getting the nutrition you need, and will help you avoid gaining more weight during the pregnancy than you should. However, with the various hormone changes, weird food urges, and the lower rate of exercise that most of us get when we're carrying a baby in the womb, it's not always easy to follow the doctor's advice. If you have "morning" sickness all day long, ice cream is sometimes the only thing you can get yourself to eat.

So, what do you do to get rid of the extra pounds after the baby is born?

First of all, have one more talk with your doctor. Make sure that you don't have any lingering nutritional deficiencies, such as anemia, that a diet could make worse.

If you find yourself eating "comfort food" to counteract unhappiness or stress, ask your doctor to check to see if you have post-partum depression. Depression is common after a child is born, and it often causes people to gain weight, but it's treatable - so there's no reason to let it drag you down. If it's a problem for you, talk to your doctor.

If you're going to breastfeed, getting nutritional advice from your physician is particularly important. Fortunately, nursing your new baby may actually help you lose the extra weight - but under any circumstances you need to make sure you don't short-change the baby (or yourself!) by going on a crash diet.

With your doctor's approval, you'll want to get back into normal daily routines as soon as you can. Don't over-do, of course, but start moving again if you tended to sit a lot during your pregnancy. Habits are easy to build, and difficult to break.

To help you get back into walking for exercise, think about getting a front carrier or sling so you can take your baby with you on short walks through the neighborhood instead of always putting him in the stroller. The baby will enjoy being close to mom (it's a great way to put a fussy baby to sleep), and you'll have more fun, too. And you'll lose more weight when you walk because you're carrying the baby.

Since you now have a new family, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about healthy eating, so all of you can feel your best and be as healthy as possible. If you've slipped into sloppy eating habits during your pregnancy because cooking right just seemed like too much trouble, now is the time to snap out of it and put those veggies back on the menu.

Eat a big salad at the beginning of every meal, and make them fun - with lots of variety and taste - so it starts to become second nature. Be sure you always have more veggies on your plate than anything else, as well, because that way you'll be able to fill up and feel satisfied without being tempted to weigh yourself down with the calories that hide in bread, pasta, red meat and desserts.

The one thing that will be the most helpful to you is to remember that the way you eat now will influence your new baby's health for many years to come. Many people have discovered that they have a hard time losing weight until they realize their own eating habits may be hurting their kids.

Doing something for yourself might feel like a bother and too much work, (especially if it means cooking a real meal instead of grabbing a pizza), but doing the same thing for people you love is fun and feels completely worthwhile. Of course, your baby wont be eating those veggies for a while, but you'll want to get in the habit now.

Like most people, you'll probably discover that it's easier to stay committed to your baby's health than your own. It's just human nature. Fortunately, good eating habits help both of you stay healthy, and it will help you lose weight.

If your baby grows up in a household where good, wholesome food is always a high priority, and where sweets and other treats are only given only on special occasions, your child will grow up strong and healthy. If you take the time now to learn how to eat right, you'll naturally lose your extra weight while you eat those veggies, and the whole family will benefit from your efforts.
About the Author
Too tired to cook healthy meals every night? Cook once a month, fill your freezer with your own delicious, home-cooked meals, and eat good every day! Learn how at EasyDoesItDiet.com
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