3 Best Ways to Lose the Baby Weight
Easy ways to lose the baby weight and get back in shape. Plus: Easy, healthy recipes and snacks for moms!
OK, Heidi Klum gets her runway body back about five seconds after giving birth, and you're feeling the pressure to squeeze into your size 10s before returning to work. Listen to us: Most moms don't reach their prepregnancy weight until their babies are 1 year old. Dropping those extra pounds takes time, especially when you're caring for a new baby and getting adjusted to a new schedule. So don't be hard on yourself. "Just focus on a healthy lifestyle now," advises Pamela Berens M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. "Take it one day at a time and become a healthy role modelfor your child." Our three-step guide will help you find your waistline again without sacrificing time with your baby — or losing your mind.
Step 1: Move It, Mama
Start exercising now. Decades ago, doctors liked to keep women physically restricted after delivery — no more. Short 10- to 20-minute relaxed strolls once you're home from thehospital — even for Cesarean-section moms who aren't on painkillers — are good for you, says Dr. Berens. For more formal workouts, Dr. Berens recommends waiting six weeks. "You're not going to feel well before then," she says. "Six weeks gives your body enough time to heal after labor and delivery."All those diaper changes and midnight feedings aresure to have you frazzled, and stress can actually prevent you from losing weight. Exercise is a tried-and-true stress-buster. "Getting some type of exercise will help you feel alive again," says Dr. Berens. "You'll lower your risk for both postpartum depression and obesity."
How Hard Are You Working?
Use this guide to gauge how much effort to put into your stroller workout. Aim to work out between a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 3 to 7. Remember: When doing the stroller walk, you shouuld be able to speak to your baby without gasping for air.
- No effort
- Light effort
- Very easy/comfortable
- Light to moderate effort
- Moderate to strong effort (you become aware of your breathing)
- Strong effort (you can't comfortably carry on a conversation
- Very strong effort (you can only talk in short sentences)
- Challenging (you can't utter more than a phrase at a time)
- Unable to talk (You can only keep up this intensity for very short shuprts)
- Maxed out (lightheaded even)
Stroller Coaster: An Easy 26-Minute Workout (No Babysitter Needed!)
We asked Kristen Horler, the founder of Baby Boot Camp, to design a quick, easy stroller workout for new moms of any shape or size. "With this workout, you can go at your own pace because it doesn't matter what fitness level you're starting at," says Horler, whose popular Baby Boot Camp classes are offered nationwide. "Plus, there's no guilt about leaving your baby." In the beginning, do this 26-minute stroller workout three times each week. If you're breastfeeding, nurse your baby before the workout so you won't have to stop along the way.