Lose the baby weight for good
By: Roma Patel
Losing weight after pregnancy is a hot topic for moms everywhere – including me! I recently had our second baby and have been searching for ways to shed off the pounds. It’s even relevant for some of our favorite celebrities – Blake Lively and the hilarious (and, very relatable) Chrissy Teigan. It’s certainly not glamorous but totally doable with patience and persistence. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women who gain more weight than what’s officially recommended (25 to 35 pounds for those within a healthy BMI range), then it’s likely you feel pressure to figure out how to lose weight after baby, pronto. That’s why we tapped into fitness expert, Madeleine Conti. She’s a personal trainer, nutritionist and a close friend who helped me get back into shape. We recently chatted about post-pregnancy weight-loss:
What is a healthy amount of weight loss per week while breastfeeding?
A healthy, well-nourished breastfeeding mother can safely lose up to one pound per week. Keep in mind that breastfeeding is taxing on the body (15-25% increase in energy expenditure for milk production), so it’s incredibly important to nourish your body consistently and with wholesome foods throughout the day. It can be tempting to utilize this increased energy expenditure to lose body fat quickly, and although it may be great for your body’s aesthetics, it will take away from nourishing your baby’s growing body, which is kind of the whole point of this, right?! You have one chance to establish a solid foundation for your child’s body – approach your diet with this in mind!
Given new moms have busy schedules, what’s the optimal amount of time you suggest to workout each day? How should moms balance cardio and weights?
Windows of time are going to pop up in spurts, especially until your baby is on a normal sleep schedule. My best advice is to do 15-minute circuits of 3-4 full-body exercises that challenge both your cardio and muscular endurance. If you can fit in one to three of these sessions per day, you’ll be well on your way to getting back (and surpassing) your pre-pregnancy body.
One of the easiest things to do as a new mom is taking a walk with baby in the stroller. Can you lose weight by walking? Be honest!
Absolutely! Any exercise is good exercise. Although, I highly suggest supplementing with a resistance training regimen, even if it’s only one or two days per week. Resistance training is a form of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. Resistance can be provided in the form of body weight, gravity, resistance bands, weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.), TRX, etc.
Any specific advice on losing weight in hips, thighs, and arms?
Sadly, spot-reduction of body fat is (nearly) impossible, unless we’re talking about medical procedures like liposuction. However, if your diet is clean and consistent, you’ll notice body fat in your problem areas diminish more quickly than if you were to only implement an exercise routine.
How do you get rid of the pooch and muffin top?
Tying into the previous topic of discussion, a clean and consistent diet of lean protein, colorful vegetables, and healthy fats will be the surest way to rid your body of the pooch and muffin top!
What happens after breastfeeding? Is it easier to lose weight?
After you wean your baby off breastfeeding, you’ll have to wean yourself off the increased calorie intake as well. This is the time to kick your weight loss into high gear! Calculate how many calories you’re expending per day (resting metabolic rate + exercise) and subtract your calorie intake (via nutrition) from that number. Have a positive number? Good! Based on this number, you should be burning some amount of weight on a weekly basis. (Just make sure the number isn’t over 800 – that would be too gnarly of a diet for your body to handle for a long period of time).
Often times I’ve heard it’s harder to lose weight after the second baby. Is that true?
In terms of the physical aspects of losing weight, there shouldn’t be a difference. However, the mental game plays a huge part in your success. You’ve gone through a pregnancy, had a child, breastfed, weaned, and gotten your body back – and now you’re doing it again. You’re stepping into this pregnancy with a vivid painting of how difficult the entire process was with the last child. This is why journaling your first pregnancy is smart – you can remind yourself of how you felt along the way, which should help ease the mind for the second pregnancy.
For more information:
Madeleine’s coaching expands beyond the gym – she will help you assess your nutrition, work/life balance, and everything in between. Learn more by visiting Madeleine Conti.