After nine months of being in a body that's constantly changing, you're psyched to finally meet your kid and embrace #MomLife. At the same time, there's so much focus on celebs' post-baby bodies and how fast they've "bounced back." When someone like Adriana Lima walks the runway just weeks after giving birth, it can feel like there's some kind of secret or magic bullet to dropping the baby weight quickly. But here's what you can realistically expect when it comes to weight loss after birth, according to experts.
Not all of the experts agreed that all of the weight had to come off within six months. However, 12 months seems to be the upper limit for how long it should take for women to lose all of their pregnancy weight. That means women who started out at a normal BMI before pregnancy should aim to return to a normal BMI, and women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy should aim to return to their pre-pregnancy weight, and then continue losing weight, if possible, Nicklas said.
The first month postpartum is when your body is still in the early stages of recovery. Your doctor will need to clear you off before you start any postpartum weight loss plan. You can start with gentle walks around your yard or outside your home area. Walking betters blood circulation and it prevents blood clotting especially if you had a C-Section. A 10-15 minute walk with or without your baby is an excellent way to slip back into your previous workout routine. Although it is a light exercise if you experience some discomforts like increased bleeding you should stop and check with your doctor.
To keep weight gain within a healthy range, a woman should certainly not be "eating for two," experts say. A woman needs "close to zero extra calories in the first trimester," Rasmussen said. "The body makes a lot of immediate changes in response to pregnancy [in the first trimester], but these changes don't require a lot of calories," Rasmussen told Live Science. Even so, a lot of the "overgain" that women experience happens in that first trimester, she said.
And although a weight gain of 25 to 35 lbs. for someone with a normal BMI may sound like a lot — certainly, a newborn baby doesn't weigh that much — those extra pounds do serve a purpose. As illustrated in the infographic below, pregnancy pounds also come from the placenta, the growing uterus and growing breasts, and increased blood and fluid volume in the woman's body. And yes, added fat also weighs in.
Keep your exercise regimen interesting. Variety is the key to both promoting a healthier you and keeping you motivated. When you do the same exercise day in and day out, you put yourself at a higher risk of injuring yourself. You are also more likely to become bored, thus making it harder to find the motivation to keep exercising. While at the gym, switch between machines, join a fitness class, and add some resistance training into your schedule.
This was especially true when it came to feeding. Originally, I told myself we would breastfeed―exclusively. I had built up the idea in my mind that this was the correct way of feeding my child, and that anything else was somehow cheating. Plus, I love the connection it brought us, and so many of my favorite early memories are just my baby and me (at all hours of night), as close as two people can be as I fed her from my breast.
McFaden chose to embrace her body in its current post-baby state. She implemented rest days and proper nutrition before easing back into her familiar routine. “Listen to your body—if you feel tired, take a nap; if you’re hungry, eat,” she says. “Try your best not to stress over weight gain or body changes. The time flies, so just be present and enjoy quality time with the beautiful baby you just created.”
"I thought that breastfeeding would be the magic solution for postpartum weight loss. It seemed to be for friends of mine, who were fitting back into their former wardrobe after only a month or two. My baby is 13 weeks old, and I still have at least ten more pounds to lose. I've started exercising, and it seems to be helping. I just had unrealistic expectations about how long it would take."
I think one of the biggest reasons I struggle with losing weight is this one. I get stressed out extremely easily, and it’s a good day when I’m in bed before midnight. I know that if I were to adjust these two factors even just a little bit, I would be more successful. Stress is linked to weight gain, as is not getting enough sleep. Sleep is when your body works to repair itself!
Holding on to pregnancy weight can lead to serious health consequences down the road, putting moms at risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. And losing the pregnancy weight is important not just for new moms, but for babies, too. Going into a future pregnancy at a higher weight can put both the mom and the developing baby at risk for medical complications, such as gestational diabetes and hypertension.
A good friend of mine told me about a friend who struggled with infertility. Her friend decided after many years of trying to live life childless. In this decision, she also promised herself that she would make it the best life possible; otherwise, the choice would be too hard. Her words stuck with me. Perhaps, the time had come to give up. I began the process of letting go of becoming a mother.
“The best thing you can do for your belly is to give up processed foods. A study in the journal Food & Nutrition Research found that our bodies burn only 50 percent as many calories digesting processed foods as they do real foods. So it’s like eating twice as much, even if the calories are the same!” — Mark Langowski, celebrity trainer and author of Eat This, Not That! for Abs
We defined two breastfeeding variables. The first breastfeeding variable was a binary measure of exclusive breastfeeding, which was defined as a woman reporting feeding her infant breast milk exclusively (either breastfeeding or bottle feeding of expressed breast milk) for at least the first 3 months of the infant's life. For exclusively breastfeeding women, the comparison group was women who reported not feeding their infant any breast milk as well as women who reported non-exclusive feeding of breast milk, during the first 3 months. The second breastfeeding variable was a binary measure of non-exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months, defined as a woman reporting non-exclusively feeding her infant breast milk (either breastfeeding or bottle feeding of expressed breast milk) for at least the first 3 months of the infant's life. The comparison group for non-exclusively breastfeeding women included women who never breastfed and women who breastfed non-exclusively for less than three months.
“When clients come to me, many of them have been through the diet wringer. They’ve tried every fad and gimmick and, of course, they’ve failed to maintain long-term success. The key to weight loss is to never feel like you’re on a diet, because diets don’t work. If you feel deprived, you will never make it past a few weeks. The only way to achieve long-term weight loss is to learn to appreciate food as fuel and slowly replaced processed food that cannot properly energize the body with real food that can. After a while this will become second nature and won’t feel like a daily struggle.” — Laura Burak, MS, RD, CDN
Red wine can actually be good for your health, thanks to the antioxidant resveratrol, which studies have shown is good for your health and could help you lose weight. But any more than one glass, and you’re opening yourself up to extra sugar, empty calories, and a boozy buzz, which may inhibit your ability to make healthy food choices. If you’re out to happy hour, stop at one glass and opt for club soda (which is calorie free) or water with lemon instead.
Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., … Howell, A. (2011, May). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: A randomized trial in young overweight women. International Journal of Obesity (London), 35(5), 714–727. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/
Every time I see one of these, there’s always someone that chimes in and says it totally is – often someone selling the resources for the program. I’m always curious about them, so I jump on Google, and I see that although there were a few people who had no ill effects from the diet, many, many others say that their breast milk supply dropped significantly.
In a perfect world, you had planned for your pregnancy in every way possible. This included getting down to your ideal weight beforehand. But for many women, this isn’t realistic. Pregnancy, while an exciting time, can turn into a weight dilemma for women who are already overweight. This is because of the inevitable weight gain associated with having a baby.
A key shortcoming of the literature among U.S. women is selection; that is, women who choose to breastfeed their infants are systematically different than those women who do not choose to breastfeed their infants on important confounders. Because it is not possible to randomly assign breastfeeding status to women, we use propensity score matching in a national cohort of U.S. women to estimate the effect of breastfeeding on postpartum weight loss. This approach allows us to balance the distribution of covariates between women who do and do not breastfeed, similar to what would be achieved in a study using experimental methods. We hypothesized that women who breastfed for at least 3 months would have greater postpartum weight loss, and would have greater probabilities of returning to their pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) category and returning to their pre-pregnancy weight, relative to women who did not breastfeed or breastfed for less than 3 months.
“Even though a smart diet is key, exercise can help boost your body’s metabolism to shed fat. Through health care providers often recommend brisk walking or jogging, these exercises may not help you see the results you want. Instead, try interval training. Here’s how: While performing your usual walking or jogging routine, intersperse faster paces periodically throughout your workout. In other words, you may be walking at your normal pace for 2 minutes and then begin a slow jog or fast walk for 1 minute. After the faster speed, return to your slower speed and continue this alternation for 20 minutes. Research shows this type of exercise can stimulate metabolism, melt fat and push your fitness status to the next level.” — Dr. Sean M. Wells, DPT, PT, OCS, ATC/L, CSCS Owner and PT, Naples Personal Training, LLC
Girl, you look great. I love your theory on making losing weight positive and accepting your flaws as they are. Until this year, this was very difficult for me to do. As I have started to live a more healthy lifestyle, it has just become apart of my life and it’s almost impossible not to be positive about it. Also, living in Utah makes it easier to be healthy because there are so many outdoor activities! I’ve been getting into biking this summer and it has really changed the game for me. I enjoy hikes as well, but I do love those high cardio workouts. Anyways, thank you so much for sharing! Love the beautiful Utah views in your photos. I’m just on the other side of the mountain from you in PC!
False. The extra baggage is from a condition called diastasis recti, a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles. When the muscles separate, the connective tissue joining them stretches sideways and becomes thinner. So now the weak connective tissue is supporting the organs instead of stomach muscles, says Julie Tupler, coauthor of Lose Your Mummy Tummy. "To get your abs back after baby, think the three C's — cardio, core, and clean eating," says Druxman.