October 13, 2013

Tips for Losing Weight and Toning Up After Baby

As a mother, I fully understand that joys that come with pregnancy as well as the post-baby blues. I’m not talking about postpartum depression (although the baby blues can lead to that), but rather the sadness that many new mothers feel when they look in the mirror shortly after the baby is born.
While I didn’t experience the post-baby blues with my first son, I did with my second. I had lost a substantial amount of weight before I got pregnant with my youngest and was actually within 10 pounds of my high school weight. Therefore, once I had my son, I was ready to get started on a weight loss plan. However, due to having a c-section I was limited to what I could do for six weeks. Looking in the mirror in the mornings as I got dressed was sometimes all it took to make me cry. I couldn’t help but miss my pre-pregnancy body and wonder if I would ever get it back.
If you are feeling the same way, then don’t stress because you can lose the baby weight and get your pre-pregnancy body back. By counting calories and exercising regularly, I was able to lose all my baby weight and then some within six (6) months of having my littlest guy. However, I still have just a little bit of extra cushion around my mid-section that I want to get off.
The truth is that I’m happy with my weight, but I’m just not as lean as I want to be. Therefore, I’m embarking on a new journey to help me get where I want to be (fitness-wise). Regardless of whether you are like my and just need to tone up or if you have a lot of extra weight to lose, the tips below will help both of us (if we stick to them):
·         Eat Clean – This is a really big one for me. As I said earlier, I lost all of my baby weight (plus 10 extra pounds) just by counting calories. I liked this method because I could eat what I wanted as long as I stayed under my calories for the day. So, now that I’ve dropped the weight and am working out 3-5 times a week, it’s time to get serious about toning up. The only way I’m going to tone up is to change my diet. I don’t believe in fad dieting, so I’m actually planning on making this a lifestyle change. Basically, I’m going to cut out 90% of the processed foods that I’ve been eating and focus on eating more fruits, veggies, nuts and unprocessed meats. In addition, I’m going to trade in my soda for water and other all-natural drinks. Clean eating will not only help drop weight, but it will also help lose inches and promote better digestion too.

·         Eat Healthy Snacks – I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time snacking during the day. Well, I can snack – but when I do it’s usually disastrous to my diet, so I usually just eat three meals a day with maybe one snack. This isn’t healthy. Since I will be eating a clean, non-processed diet, it is important that I eat healthy snacks all throughout the day. Healthy snacks keep energy levels up and the metabolism going.

·         Start Using Protein Shakes – Anyone looking to lose weight and get fit needs to be exercising on a regular basis. For those of us who want to tone up, it’s important that we lift weights at least 2-3 days a week and do cardio on the “off” days. I’ve been doing this for about 8 months now and have noticed results. However, I haven’t been drinking a protein shake after my workouts. This is something that I am going to start doing. Protein shakes give our body the protein it needs to better build (and tone) the muscles. Therefore, I need to be drinking protein shakes after my weightlifting workouts for maximum results.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your weight loss endeavors, the tips above will help you achieve the results that you’re after. I just hope that you don’t give up in your quest for a healthier/fitter body because you’ve had children. Be proud of the fact that you’ve carried children and know that you can get your pre-pregnancy body back with some hard work and determination!