Tuesday

How to Lose the Baby Weight

How to Lose the Baby Weight
even after a C-section

Congratulations on finally having your baby! I hope the birth went well and you’re beginning to recover. I know how shocking it is to come home with your baby in hand - yet still look six months pregnant. Trust me, I’ve been there, too! 

It’s frustrating walking around looking and feeling pregnant after you’ve already had the baby, plus you’re more exhausted than you ever realized you could be. I remember days where I couldn’t even string words together to make a clear sentence. Taking care of two in diapers was no picnic. I can’t imagine what my friends who have four, or even six, kids dealt with. More power to them! 

So, let’s discuss recovery and how the heck you can lose your baby weight! 

Losing baby weight is no walk in the park. I’m not going to beat around the bush. Seldom will you find a mom who gives birth and the next day she looks as if she never had a baby – though I have seen it on occasion, and I will admit it was hard for me to not want to punch that mom in the face. All joking aside, most females will have a belly and carry extra weight. Losing that definitely takes work, but it's not as hard as you think.


Seeing Your Abs Again



Baby Bells 2
Ab shot taken after second C-section
Strengthening and tightening your core back to its original shape will take time. Exactly how long depends on whether you had a large baby or a C-section. If you had to undergo abdominal surgery, you’ll need to wait to begin ab activation until your doctor clears you. Regardless, everyone who has had a baby should add rehabilitation exercises to her recovery process. The core takes a beating during pregnancy and birth, and it needs extra love and care during the post-natal period. 

Here are five core strengthening and rehab exercises that will reawaken your abs. Doing these will not get rid of the fat, but it will strengthen and tighten the core muscles, as well as your glutes. This approach will also help prevent back injury. If you did the Baby Bells: Fit Pregnancy videos during your pregnancy this will be a faster recovery process for you. 

So many mothers end up with a bad back because they have a weak core following the birth of their baby – and then they carry their baby every where. The back takes the brunt of this work and misery sets in. Let’s combat this issue before it happens!


Mini Plank



High Plank or Plank Variations



Bird Dogs



Quad Rocks



Now that you have exercises to practice that will pinpoint and activate your abs again, we can discuss losing the baby weight so you can see those ab muscles!

 Losing weight, especially after having a baby, can take determination and dedication. Being sleep deprived and caring for a newborn is not a recipe for weight loss. During this time, your body will want to hold on to the weight, so you will have to be smarter than your hormones. You will have to multi-task and be organized in order to really get a handle on achieving your goals. 

If you’re nursing your baby, you may notice a severe increase in appetite. This appetite can be so voracious that some new moms actually gain weight. Then, there are a few new moms who drop gobs of weight due to the increase in their metabolism and just can’t eat enough. If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t fall in the category of dropping weight effortlessly. Don’t worry - neither did I


Stress can also be a killer during this time. The main stress escalates from loss of sleep and adjusting to your new schedule of caring for a newborn. The last thing you want to do is add more stress by worrying about your weight. I suggest you go about your weight-loss process in a calm and relaxed way. But you will need to focus and plan ahead. Here are some tips to get you started on losing your baby weight.


Nursing Snacks


Middle-of-the-night munchies during nursing are very real. I’ve heard of new moms finishing a whole pizza while nursing their hungry baby. Keep water next to your bed, or wherever you are nursing, at all times. Also keep a small cooler nearby and keep it stocked with things like grapes, seeds, and hardboiled eggs. Reaching for these foods during your starving time will keep your monstrous appetite at bay. This will also help you get the nutrients you need instead of filling up with empty carbs.


Walk



Walking every day with your baby is one of the best ways to lose weight. Not only can pushing a stroller be challenging, but walking also helps relieve stress. You will find yourself standing taller as your abs become stronger. 


Strength Training




I know it’s a shocker to see this paragraph in this article. (That was supposed to be a joke, by the way.) Anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written or seen any of the videos I’ve created knows I'm a huge advocate for strength. Once you are cleared by your doctor to start exercising, embarking on a strength program is an absolute must. 

Not only will strength training help you lose baby weight, but it will also help you become a strong mom. Being a mom is hard enough. If you are physically weak, it will only make motherhood that much more challenging. Having the strength to take care of your baby while he or she grows is a must. Between transporting the huge jogging strollers, lugging the car seats around, and wearing your baby as a backpack or frontpack, I don't know how moms survive without injury if they are not strength training for this continuous athletic event! Motherhood is like a 24/7 interval training obstacle course that presents both physical and mental challenges.

Getting started on a strength program can feel daunting and overwhelming, but you don’t have to start big. Begin with just a few exercises in a balanced way. Many of my pregnant moms use the Baby Bells videos I created for fit pregnant moms. Many are able to resume to these workouts at four weeks postpartum. 

For those of you who are learning about this type of training for the first time, here is what I recommend: focusing on just basic exercises, in addition to the ones I discussed above, such as squats, deadlifts, push-ups and rows would be great place to begin. 

Here’s a sample program to add to the “Ab Activation Exercises” exercises provided above. You can utilize these patterns after you are cleared by your care provider to begin strength training. Approach these sessions as practice and do them every other day. If your body begins to feel very strong you can move up to two day in a row with one day of rest. 


Week 1

2 Sets

Deadlifts 8 reps
Push-ups 5 reps
Body Weight Squats 8 reps 
Kettlebells Rows or Suspension Training Rows 8reps

Week 2

3 Sets

Deadlifts 10 reps
Push- ups 5 reps
Goblet Squats 5 reps
Rows 8 reps

Week 3

4 sets

Deadlifts (heavier than week before) 6-8 reps
Push-ups 5 reps
Goblet Squats 5 reps
Rows 8 reps

Once you feel stronger and confident with these exercises, I would suggest any of the popular more beginner DVDs I’ve released such as The Kettlebell Body and Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells. These DVDs and videos have both new and seasoned moms raving about getting stronger and looking and feeling better than even before childbirth. This was my experience as well with these type of programs. You will be amazed with the great effects of strength training.

If you're really serious about exercises the proper way, you can check out our ongoing online classes and programs, Lauren's Playground, you can stream. We've released online classes for all levels with a community you can be apart of that has many new moms losing weight and gaining strength they never knew they had. 

Eat Real Food



I’m not going to lie. This could very well be the most challenging part of losing the baby weight. Eating real food sounds so simple, doesn’t it? 

The truth is, there’s no magical program or one way to eat. I personally like to take a very balanced approach with the new moms I work with. Since they are dealing with a combination of sleep deprivation and adjusting to a new schedule, approaching nutrition in a realistic way is the most sustainable way to go. 

To make this as simple and easy as possible, I’m going to list a sample day of eating.

Meal 1:

2 Eggs
 Handful of spinach or arugula
 Corn tortilla

Meal 2: 

Grass Fed Whey Protein (FIT 365) shake with unsweetened almond milk, half of a banana, and 1 tsp of peanut or organic almond butter
OR
Organic sprouted grain toast with organic peanut butter on top

Meal 3: 

Chicken salad made with mustard, Vital Salt, avocado, celery

Meal 4: 

Large green Salad
Small amount of lean chicken, fish, or steak
Roasted potatoes or corn tortilla

Meal 5:  

If still hungry - banana and 1 scoop of peanut butter





Stress Reducing Activities



Finding time to relax as a new mom may be difficult. However, with your baby sleeping most of the time in the beginning, surely you can find fifteen to twenty minutes once a day to dedicate to stress reduction. Taking the time to do it will pay off in how you feel overall.

Here are the best ways to reduce any tension or stress to allow you to be a calmer new mom.

  1. Listening to Soulscapes music in a quiet room with your eyes closed. 
  2. Taking a warm shower (or bath once you’re cleared by your doctor).
  3. Writing in your journal.

So, there you have it. An action plan on how to lose the weight after having your baby. You will not only lose the weight with this approach, but you will discover muscles you never knew you had. Don’t be surprised if you end up stronger and in better shape than you did before your pregnancy. It’s not uncommon, in fact it’s very common with the ladies that stumble upon my efficient programs or the moms I get to work with personally.   If you feel you need extra help I'm available for distant coaching consultations or you can look in to our online classes at Lauren's Playground. I can help you with both nutrition and training programs. Email me at kbellqueen@me.com. 

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