Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to Lose Extra Post Pregnancy Pounds

By Brandi M. Seals

Having a baby is a wonderful and exciting experience, but following the pregnancy unwanted pounds can linger. Most women gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pound for each pregnancy. Some go upwards of 75 pounds. Each person is different. What isn't different is the inability to easily shed all those extra pounds. New moms tend to only lose 10 to 14 pounds after the baby's birth. That leaves plenty of extra post-pregnancy pounds and they are often some of the hardest to lose. But with a little work and some determination you can start to work on sliming your waist.

It can be frustrating to try so hard to lose weight and see no results or limited results. Following pregnancy hormones can often take awhile to snap back to the way they used to be. During that time it may be very difficult to lose any weight at all because your body may still be telling itself to hold on to the weight. Try not to get discourage. Instead come up with a plan to stay healthy.

Eat Right
The first step in losing weight or otherwise just being healthy involves eating right. Make sure you get at least 1500 calories a day from a good food source.

A healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. The diet should also be low in trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. A good rule of thumb is that if it is made fresh you will avoid the added sodium, cholesterol, and fats that are often found in processed foods.

Try not to do a traditional diet. By limiting what you can have, people tend to feel deprived and may lapse. Instead, eat in moderation and focus on eating better-for-you foods.

Don't Weigh Yourself
It can be tempting to check how you are doing by weighing yourself. Try to avoid it most of the time. If you fluctuate up a pound or two it can be devastating and lead to comfort eating. Hide the scale if you must, but do not fixate so much on the numbers. It is more important to eat healthy and get exercise than it is to weigh a set number you have in mind.

Wear Clothes That Fit
You may still have to wear maternity clothes for a bit after the pregnancy. Don't be stubborn and insist you can fit in smaller clothes then you actually can. By stuffing yourself into clothes that don't fit, you could become depressed. Clothes that fit will go a long way towards giving you the confidence and motivation you need to shed the extra pounds. Don't underestimate the effect they can have.

It can be hard to get time to yourself to exercise, but make every effort to get some time away from the baby and be active. Get a babysitter for an hour every other day or let your husband handle everything while you work out.

To shed those pregnancy pounds get your heart pumping. You should strive for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise at least 4 times a week. More often would be better. Be sure that your exercise is vigorous enough that you get your heart pounding and your body sweating.

Aerobics are a great choice for new moms. The activity will help burn fat and calories and will aid in building muscles. Keep in mind that muscle works at a higher metabolic rate than fat and can burn more calories.

Whatever you do, make sure you like it. It will be easier to stick with it when you like what you do. Also try finding a workout partner or a whole group of friends to exercise with. They will hold you accountable and give you the boost you need to exercise on the days you just don't feel like it.

Breast Feed
In addition to saving money on formula and providing your baby with the food and nutrients you need for free, there are other unsung benefits of breast feeding. Women that breast feed their babies tend to lose their baby weight faster than those that do not. Keep in mind if you are breast feeding that the baby is being fed from your calorie intake. If you try cutting out too many calories too soon your baby and your milk production may suffer. Be sure to maintain a diet of 1500 to 1800 calories daily if you are trying to lose weight while breast feeding.

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