Post Pregnancy Fat Loss Tips For Moms

Fit mom holding her baby and a dumbbellIf there is one thing that unites all mothers it is the weight gain that occurs during pregnancy and then persists after birth.

On average a woman gains about 35 pounds during pregnancy, and in addition to the extra weight stomach muscles are weakened as a result of stretching, which leaves the tummy fat looking loose. Many mom’s never manage to get back into their old clothes, but if you are not breastfeeding there is really no reason why you cannot regain your pre-baby figure with a little bit of hard work and some dieting. Generally when someone claims to have “tried everything to lose weight” after giving birth this usually means they have tried to lose weight by:

  • Going on a fad diet plan that leaves them feeling exhausted and hungry all the time
  • Taking diet pills all of which fail to do anything without a proper diet and exercise regime
  • Joining a commercial gym, then failing to workout on a regular basis due to family commitments
  • Buying home cardio equipment but not using it frequently or intensively enough
  • Joining aerobics classes and fitness clubs
  • Try crazy fad diets that leave you feel tired and sick
  • Doing pointless ab exercises for hours on end

So, if this sounds like you, then know that you are not alone. The real reason why many women fail to lose weight after giving birth is that none of the above methods, no “diets” or workout routines will ever help you lose weight on their own. Weight loss requires a complete system that takes into account nutrition, diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors.

As a mum you do not have as much time for yourself so you cannot spend 2 hours in the gym with an hour relaxing in the sauna like you used to. Children come first and need your attention. So, how do you get fit and slim again?

Fast Intensive Workouts

Luckily the best way to lose weight is to workout quickly. Gentle, slow paced exercise, such as walking, jogging or cycling slowly are not as time efficient at burning fat as fast and intensive workouts. Follow these general rules:

  • Exercise at least 3 times per week to a high intensity, ideally exercise daily
  • Exercise for at least 45 minutes, ideally for 60 minutes a day
  • Perform full body workouts, such as squats, lunges, push ups
  • Use weight training methods such as shoulder press, curls, deadlift
  • Perform intensive interval training with short sprints followed by recovery exercise

Sensible Eating Habits

The other factor to lose weight is to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet that will encourage weight loss. You may still think that fat is the problem, but it is not. The real problem is sugar and refined carbohydrate, processed food and junk food. Follow these dietary rules:

  • Never skip breakfast
  • Stop eating bread, cakes and cookies – no excuses
  • Eat more eggs at breakfast
  • Eat more protein for lunch and dinner – chicken, turkey, fish, lean meats
  • No junk food, candy, sugar, soda, chocolate or fast food
  • Only eat low GI vegetables and fruits
  • Drink water when thirsty
  • Drink coffee before exercise

Start Exercise as Soon As Possible

Woman exercising, performing a lungeExercise is vital as soon as possible after birth. Only by exercising the abdominal muscles be strengthened again, and more muscle helps to raise metabolism and burn fat too. Also exercising helps prepare the body for future pregnancies.

If you want to lose your mommy tummy then the answer is to follow our simple rules on how to lose weight. Only with a healthy diet and regular exercise can you regain control of your midsection. Pull those muscles in and burn that fat off with sensible eating and exercise, not creams.

The only way to lose weight quickly and keep the weight off is to follow a tried and tested routine. Buying expensive cardio equipment or diet pills will not help, but following a nutrition and exercise program will give good results. Learning how to do as many different healthy weight loss exercises as possible will help you to get in shape. Once you have learned how to exercise properly and intensively at home on your own you are in a much stronger position to get fit and lose weight.

It is certainly possible to lose all the baby fat quickly – just look at celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Heidi Klum or Kerry Katona. Just be prepared to sweat, a lot!

Breast Feeding – Considerations for Health

For breastfeeding mom’s losing weight is possible as although you need to take in additional nutrition to produce milk you can still burn fat if you stick to a healthy diet and start exercising. Exercise is not a problem once you have recovered from childbirth and daily workouts will get you back in shape.

Some Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast feeding is good for both your health and your child’s.

  • It can help you to lose weight
  • Reduces risk of breast cancer
  • Hormones released when breastfeeding help the uterus contract (reduces waistline)
  • Reduces risk of child becoming obese
  • Less change of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • Research shown that breastfed babies are more intelligent
  • Mothers suffer less depression and “baby blues” if they breastfeed
  • Passes on anti-bodies to the child
  • Better nutrition that formula milk, so makes bigger and stronger babies
  • Less chance of baby developing allergies and intolerances to dairy

When breastfeeding you do need to eat a lot of healthy food, plus drink more water than usual and take plenty of more rest. Breastfeeding women require around 600 Calories a day more than normal and these calories have to be healthy – lots of green, fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses, protein, plus a lot of water. So this of course does make it harder to lose fat. Also, if you start an intensive fitness plan you will need to remember to hydrate thoroughly.

The Loneliness of Motherhood

Emotional eating is one of the major causes of weight gain, and new mothers are susceptible to loneliness and depression.

A survey carried out by Mother and Baby magazine, and reported in The Telegraph, interviewed 2000 women and concluded that just over 53% of mothers feel lonely and isolated and about two thirds of them feel disconnected from a normal life. While tiredness has always been part of early motherhood, isolation has recently started to become more common between new mums.

When a woman leaves work to have a baby, her life changes abruptly, it is like being in a different universe, as old friends without children tend to drift away, grandparents normally live far away, neighbors are not always available to help and other mums are not always your “cup of tea“. Also, as babies are very demanding, it is difficult to restore the old social life back.

On average first time mums spend 90 minutes a day with other adults, which involves going along to play groups, where mums can meet other mums. In most cases mums of newborn babies goes along a playgroup feeling very tired and the babies are too small to enjoy themselves. So, it ends up being a frustrating exercise. Although it is a good idea to go to play groups when you feel ready, as it is a great way to meet other mums and share your experiences. In this way you don’t feel alone and you realize other mums are going through similar experiences and you can learn from one another. It is great when you get to know other mums that you identify with, and a new friendship is formed.

Women that live in the countryside have even less social life than city mums, as they are more isolated and there may be no many activities available for mums with newborns, whereas city mums can go to shops more easily and meet up with other mums in town.

These days mums are left by themselves to look after their new arrival, as grandparents tend to live far away in most cases. Having to look after a newborn by oneself can be very hard for new mums and the taboo of postnatal depression make mums keep their frustrations and desolations for themselves. Pressures from society discourage mums to discuss solution for ‘baby blues’ and postnatal depression, so mums tend to put on a brave face in fear of being misunderstood by others.

People tend to assume that mums and babies bond straight away and mums are quite happy looking after their little bundle of joy. However, in reality mums feel physically and psychologically drained as new babies are very demanding, and sleep deprivation takes its toll, making it hard for mum to enjoy quality time with baby.

Luckily the maternal instinct kicks in, making mums pull it through and some how be capable of caring for their new arrival. Having said this, the more support the mum gets the smother is the adaptation to motherhood. There are many organizations that can help. See the links below for further help with coping with motherhood and guidance about postnatal depression.

175 Comments on “Post Pregnancy Fat Loss Tips For Moms

  1. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Queen, you just need to carry on exercising and eating a healthier diet. Remember, a healthier diet must also involve eating less food – too much of any type of food is unhealthy. As for where in Namibia – location should not make a difference, you can lose weight anywhere!

  2. Hi there,

    I joined the gyn a fourtnight a go and so far i have only had 3 rest days, I am eating healthy, still breastfeeding at night a year on (child no 3). I am doing gym workout, spin classes and toning classes with some circuit work too. I know it is only 2 weeks but i have not lost any weight and i have a generous 28lb to loose when will this happen? My husband also joined the gym at the same time and has done a bit less than me and so far he is 5lb down. What am i doing wrong?

  3. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Sarah, just stick with it. 2 weeks is a very short time in the grand scheme of things. As you get fitter you will be able to work harder and burn more calories. Have you also adjusted your diet? Remember, a gym workout may only be burning an extra 300 Calories – this is the same as a sandwich. You must look at your diet too.

  4. Hello. I am 5’9″ and I have lost over 25 pounds doing all that is above. I look great, except the tummy. I look like I am just starting to show. It is very unsightly considering I am now at 125. I can’t go any lower, I am technically under weight now. I should be at least at 128 for my height (I am a small frame). I see you suggest exercise. I workout 30-40 min a day and burn about 220 -300 a day as I am maintaining. I eat very well, I do resistance upper, lower and abs using planks, ball crunches and all the suggested stuff. How do I maintain if I have to workout more? If I workout more I am going to have to eat a lot more. I already have a daily budget of 1762 which I actually struggle with since I have gotten to be so good at eating healthy. hehe. Anyhow, so one can burn fat and maintain and actually get a result? I am skeptical. How does that work?

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Nancy, well done for losing 25 pounds, that is a great achievement!

    If you are doing a lot of exercise then yes, you do need to eat more to gain some weight. You may need to increase your protein intake to help build more muscle though. Do you get much protein at the moment? Really you should be eating protein with each meal – eggs, chicken, fish, seafood, pork, beef etc. Also eat more pulses (beans and peas) and nuts. Keep your diet varied and healthy, but also more balanced.

  6. Hello,

    Thank you for your kind reply. We do focus on protein via why powder, shakes, P2 bars, as well as a lot of chicken and healthy portions of other meat when we have it. We eat a ton of Chobani greek yogurt too, hehe.

    However, my husband and I have been mindful of keeping that protein up and sometimes we need to tweak as all do. My protein intake from last week was 113.8g

    So, if I am understanding correctly, I can still burn off the baby belly that is still there while not loosing any weight? I think I was under the impression in order to lose the fat, I would have to decrease my weight which would be very unhealthy. From what I have read, I would just need to up my cardio if my baby belly is not coming off with my current cardio? Believe me, the belly has come way down, but I still have a good sized pooch that looks as if I am just starting to show or as if I have given birth! The rest of me looks trim and fit, it is just the belly bulge that looks weird against my nice new thin bod. It really bums me out as I have been working so hard over six months and that thing is still hanging there.

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    Maybe do more core exercising to improve the strength of the abdominal muscles, this may help tighten the area up. Just keep doing what you are and maintain a healthy diet. All you can do is keep working at it. If you gain as much muscle as fat lost then your weight will remain stable.

  8. Thank you

  9. I had a baby 4 mths ago and my main problem is my stomach.I don’t really want to loose much weight.I don’t hv any where to do sprints or access to excercise equipments,the only thing I hv is a skipping rope.How effective can skipping and sit ups be? What advice can u give me?Thanks in advance…

  10. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Adanna, skipping and sit ups can be very effective. If you add in squats, lunges, push ups, back extensions, mountain climbers and jumping jacks then you can develop a good workout. Start with gentle jogging on the spot to warm up, then do the jumping jacks, then squats, then go through the other exercises in your preferred order. Then repeat the cycle as many times as you can or aim to exercise for a set time, like 20 minutes, 30 minutes etc.

  11. hello, I am a first time mom, my baby girl is now 8 months….and I still can fit into my regular jeans….I started working out but I am still not happy with the way I look…I feel like all this mid section weight is killing me! I breast feed her until now….I didn’t feel like it helped a lot….My friend who just had her baby 2 months ago, is down to her normal weight….she must not can’t afford not to eat…HELP PLEASE…

  12. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Wendy, now that you have stopped breastfeeding it is time to nail that diet and increase the exercise too. Follow a very lean diet, reduce portion sizes, stop all junk food, cutting out alcohol for a while will help too. Remember, it has been well over a year since you were able to do much exercise or diet, so make a long term plan. Do not worry about your friend losing weight so quick, some people are just luckier than others!

  13. Hiya, I need a bit of help! My little boy is now 11 months after a c-section, I can fit into my pre-baby jeans with a bit of a squeeze! However I still cant lose the excess jelly bit on my stomach, it has tightened up a bit but nowhere near how it used to be, am I being impatient or is there any more home exercises I can add to my daily rountine? I go brisk walkng for 90 mins everyday, do 100 sit ups in the morning and cycle on my bike at home for 45 mins in the evening. I have Coeliac disease so Im already on a very strict diet as it is so I really cant cut out anymore :(

  14. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Carla, maybe try more bodyweight exercises, such as mountain climbers, squats and lunges, back extensions and push ups. All these will help to develop muscle. Healthy diet and plenty of exercise is the way though, just stick to the plan and keep pushing yourself.

  15. Hi,

    I’m 24 and had a c-section 7 months back. I have been giving my baby expressed breast milk ever since but don’t seem to have lost any weight. I’m told breastfeeding should aid in weight loss. Anyway I’ve started a protein rich/low carb diet now and interval training but I feel quite drained of energy and still hungry by the end of the day and I’m worried my milk’s started looking a bit ‘watery’. I’m worried that the milk for the baby is going to be less nutritious now. But also I thought the body uses body fat to produce milk, why is that not happening with me? I have plenty of body fat! I weigh 90kg (pre-pregnancy weight was 60kg) and I’m 5″6. I was wondering if you could give us a simple diet plan for a breastfeeding woman should eat…. It would be a great
    help. Thank you.

    Ps my baby was severely premature and still has a very slow weight gain but on the other hand, I’m ballooning which is not good for me either as I had severe pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and doctors have advised me to keep my weight down as I’m at risk of developing hypertension in later life.

  16. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Soniya, breastfeeding mothers need only eat a normal, balanced and healthy diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Cut out all junk food. If your weight is ballooning you must be taking in far too many calories every day. Just eat 3 proper meals a day and snack on fruits. Try not to consume lots of bread to try to get more energy as this is not very nutritious. Drink water only too, no soft (sugar) drinks.

  17. Hi, I’m 26 and have 2 children on of 2 and 1… I used to be a size 8-10 before children and now am a 14-16 I have dieted and not a big eater. I don’t eat cakes, sweets or any fatty foods. I love fruit and veg fish and red meat and my last meal is at 6. I have 1 fizzy drink a day the rest is water. I am very active I go to yoga once a week, and walk 2 miles once a week pushing a Doubble buggy. I also have a rowing machine that I do 10 min bursts threw out the day. I walk everywhere and it’s. Just not coming off I was 15 stone but am now 12 and half but I wanna lose another 2 stone and tone up my tummy have you any ideas as my weight loss has stopped…

  18. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Emma, sounds like you have made great progress. Losing 2 1/2 stone is excellent work, you should be very proud of that. First suggestion – stop the fizzy drinks completely. That would be a very simple change to implement. Try to do more exercise. While yoga once a week and walking is good, you should be able to increase your workload a little to get fitter and stronger – this will help burn off more fat.

  19. I had 3 daughters in 3 1/2 years. I did not gain a lot of pregnancy weight. 20 pounds the first, 8 the second, and 11 the third. I feel like I cannot get my stomach to shrink back this time. I have always fluctuated with my weight. I started with a trainer doing circuit weight training twice a week. I am drinking a lot more water, and do not eat a lot of fried foods, or sweets, if any. However mommy does enjoy a big glass of red wine after dinner. Not feeling very attractive, and have had a couple people ask if i am pregnant again. my self confidence is not high right now. Any tips to flattening the tummy quicker?

  20. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Debbie. Firstly, exercise more. 2 sessions a week with a personal trainer is excellent, but to get fit and tone up you need to do more. Aim for at least 5 sessions a week. You could do steady cardio like running or swimming on the other days, or repeat the workouts that your trainer teaches you. Diet is a big factor – it is more about how much you eat than the specific foods. Try to reduce those daytime and evening snacks – try to stick to the main 3 meals of the day.

  21. I just had my 3 baby I gained a lot of weight while I was pregnant I have done everything to lose weight and it still won’t come off from exercising to calorie counting to not eating what can I do to get back down to my normal size

  22. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Danielle, what have you tried so far? I cannot believe that you have done “everything” as there are so many things that can be done! How many calories a day were you consuming? What exercise were you doing, how often and for how long?

  23. I Just had my second baby and i gain the same as my first that is 45 pounds i lost all my weight with my first child with my second child i can loose weight i don’t if is the depo shot but i been eating healthy and i cant go to my normal size feel so depressed

  24. MotleyHealth says:

    Aurelia, are you exercising? You need to moderate your diet, start by keeping a food diary and then highlight all the foods that you should not be eating. Take 3 meals a day, no snacks. And get active.

  25. kelly yang says:

    hello there! my name is Kelly Yang. I had a baby 15 months ago and I am trying so hard to lose weight here and there but I know myself, I just can’t do it. My weight is 140 I want to get back to 120 at least. I’m so stressed about my weight especially my stomach. It’s like I excercise almost every day, jumping jacks, walking, jogging on the treadmill, crutches, sit ups. I did lose about 2 pounds and then the next day I gained it all’s like a Back and forth thing so I don’t know. please help and thank you so much!

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