WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR MOMS - LOSING THE BABY WEIGHT NATURALLY WITHOUT EXERCISE
Updated: Jan 26
I've seen many questions about losing the pregnancy belly on social media over the years. We all want to know the average time it will take to lose the baby weight to either get hope or be comforted by the fact that other moms are in the same boat and that it may take some time.
Oh dear Mama, I have been there. Three times over! You can't wait for the baby to be out so that you can just fit into those jeans again... and then the jeans don't fit. You fantasised about exercise all throughout your pregnancy, but now you don't have the time or the energy.
They always say breastfeeding does the trick, but not all of us are able to do so and it not everyone loses weight that way.
So the jeans don't fit and you have a few new stretch marks... How on earth are you going to lose this weight without going out of your mind?!?! I'll tell you...by taking small manageable steps, making small adjustments that will help you lose it over time. It's all about gradual changes, not shocking your body into losing some weight quickly and then gaining it back again. You can do this naturally, without a specific exercise routine and without taking any drugs.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and my tips should not be taken as medical advice. Speak to your healthcare professional about these things :)
WE'RE ALL DIFFERENT
If you want to make life easier for yourself, don't judge and don't compare. Just don't. We are all different in every single way. To make things even more interesting, every pregnancy and recovery time is different for the same mom. I seemed to recover faster with my boys than with my little girl.
Some people thrive on vegan diets, and some do poorly. Some feel weighed down by meat; others are lactose-intolerant or gluten-sensitive. Some people love to run; others feel more energy from rowing or swimming. We are all biochemically, metabolically, physically, and genetically quite different. Each of us has to listen to our own body and honor its uniqueness. Your body will never make a mistake. So learn what real foods and exercises your body thrives on, and make them the foundation for your healthy life. - The Daniel Plan Team
HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
I genuinely thought that I'd walk out of hospital wearing my regular clothes. Turns out I was still in maternity outfits for a couple of weeks. This is normal, Mamas. There are definitely a blessed few who get right back into their jeans, but for the majority of us it takes time. It takes six weeks for you uterus to go back to its original size. Give it time.
It's easy to lose track of time, to forget to plan because you're too busy and to skip a meal because there are seemingly more pressing things. Your body needs fuel and skipping meals won't do your body any favours. Eat, dear Mama.
If you're having a hard time planning and going to the store to stock up on healthy food, consider meal replacement shakes. Although there is no true replacement for a healthy meal, having a shake is better than not eating at all.
By simply cutting down on your standard portion size, you may lose some weight. Use a side plate in stead of a large one. And make sure to stack up on the veggies.
When we snack, our blood sugar remains stable and we will be less likely to over indulge at mealtimes.
I know you know, so I won't go on and on... they say a litre per day for every 30kg that you weigh. Before you have a snack, drink a glass of water to see if the craving goes away.
EAT MORE FIBRE
Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer, it helps with digestion, lowers cholesterol and aids in weight loss. Good sources of fibre include oatmeal, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and beans.
EAT MORE PROTEIN
Protein fills you up much more than carbs do, and also keep you feeling full for longer. It is also better for burning fat, as well as helping with muscle building. You can eat food like dairy products, nuts, lean meat, and seafood.
TAKE THE STAIRS INSTEAD OF THE ELEVATOR
Try to make an "exercise opportunity" out of routine daily tasks. Take the stairs or don't park your car at the shop entrance. Every extra step you take in a day counts. Just check with your healthcare provider what level of activity is allowed in your case.
GO FOR WALKS WITH BABY
If you have a fussy baby this tip can be of double use. I don't know of a baby that wouldn't like going for a walk in the stroller or carrier. Burn some extra calories, get your vitamin D (sun) and some fresh air while your baby relaxes in the stroller or carrier.
GET RID OF EVERY UNHEALTHY SNACK IN THE HOUSE
If it's not there it cannot bother you. Get rid of it all. If you really feel like having that chocolate and if you're willing to drive to the store to buy it, then it's absolutely worth having. Sometimes when something isn't easily accessible, we manage to shake the craving with more ease.
STOCK UP ON HEALTHY SNACKS
Don't get caught without healthy snacks. When we snack on the good stuff, we're less likely to crave the bad stuff. Make sure to have some easy to grab items with a long shelf life.
DON'T MUNCH WHILE PREPARING DINNER
Goodness, this is me preaching to myself. I can consume a whole extra meal, while the food is still in the pot! Make sure to snack in-between meals so that you're not completely famished before dinner.
DON'T EAT THEIR LEFTOVERS
Me again! Repeat after me: "I do not need to eat the children's leftovers!" Put the leftovers in containers for later or throw it away immediately after dinner, so that it doesn't just sit there asking you to dive in. Eating food that you do not need is just as wasteful as throwing it away.
MAKE BETTER FOOD CHOICES
We cannot always control what is available to eat, but we can make the best choice in every situation. Here are some suggestions:
Choose wholegrain over refined foods
Choose lean meat over fatty cuts
Choose low-fat dairy over full cream
Choose water over fruit juice or sugary soft drinks
Choose fresh herbs and spices over-rich sauces
Choose baked over fried food
DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages can contain crazy amounts of sugar and fat. These are called “empty calories” as they do not offer any real nutritional value, but ramp up your daily calorie count. If you really have to, stick to having alcoholic beverages only over weekends.
DON'T CUT OUT ANY FOOD GROUP
I am careful of any diet that completely eliminates any food group. When we are deprived we tend to want the forbidden food even more. Rather have all things in moderation. Have the really bad things in small portions on an irregular basis.
DON'T DEPRIVE YOURSELF
I cannot possibly the only one, but as soon as I know I am not allowed something, I want it even more. Have what you want in moderation.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Ha ha ha!
PLAN AS FAR AS POSSIBLE
Try to take some time at least once a week to plan meals and stock up on supplies. Online shopping is your friend.
FIND NEW WAYS OF REWARDING YOURSELF
"You deserve a brownie!" No you don't. You deserve a special outing or a long bubble bath or something else that will not make you feel guilty or compromise your weight loss goals.
FIND NEW WAYS OF COMFORTING YOURSELF
I think I speak for most women when I say we reach for the food cupboard whenever we're sad, scared, unhappy, stressed or overwhelmed... or when we have PMS for that matter! I would like to encourage you to find new ways of comforting yourself. Perhaps start by drinking a glass of water or even coffee or tea, and then message a friend, say a prayer or write in your journal instead of devouring an entire batch of brownies.
WORK ON GETTING YOUR PORTION SIZES RIGHT
Do some research about the best portion sizes to lose weight according to your body and age. Eating too much or too little can be detrimental to weight loss.
STOP EATING WHEN YOU'RE FULL
I think for many of us this is a valuable skill to learn. From a young age, we get brainwashed into eating everything on our plate.
USE SMALLER DINNER PLATES
Just the psychological effect of eating from a very full plate is powerful. Rather use a fully stacked side plate than a massive plate with just a little bit of food on.
DRINK A GLASS OF WATER BEFORE MEAL
It will make you feel fuller and eat less.
HAVE A LOOK INTO THE DIET TYPE FOR YOUR BLOOD GROUP
I don't follow the blood group diet religiously, but I have found that I feel much better and my digestive system works better when I eat more or less according to it.
Type O blood: A high-protein diet heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy.
Type A blood: A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains - ideally, organic and fresh.
Type B blood: Avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy. No chicken.
Type AB blood: Foods to focus on include tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoked or cured meats.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU EAT BEFORE GOING GROCERY SHOPPING
We are more tempted to buy rubbish food when we are shopping on an empty stomach. When we feel satisfied we will be less inclined to want the bad stuff.
You will know what works for you. Twice in my life, I gained 8kg without realising it - my clothes aren't tight-fitting, so I only became aware when it was too late. I now weigh myself a couple of times a week, because my theory is that it's easier to lose one kilo than eight! If you are more inclined to become obsessive over your weight, decide to weigh only once a week.
VARIETY VARIETY VARIETY
Besides the fact that it's boring, I find that my weight loss stagnates when I eat the exact same thing every day. Spice it up... literally and figuratively.
WHEN AT A PARTY
Parties are special occasions and if you feel than you would like to have something nice, look around carefully and single out the naughtiest, most wonderful item on the table. Then have one small piece and enjoy every second without feeling guilty afterwards. As for the rest of your plate, choose the healthiest options available.
Apart from the many health benefits of intermittent fasting, you can also lose weight. The very best book on intermittent fasting that I can recommend is DELAY, DON'T DENY by Gin Stephens. She did a mountain of research and has a very relaxed (and liberating) approach to a concept that might seem restrictive.
There are different types of intermittent fasting. Here are some examples:
Fasting two days a week (also called 5:2)
Fasting 16 hours of the day and consuming food during 8 hours (also called 16:8)
Fasting 18 hours of the day and consuming food during 6 hours (also called 18:6)
Fasting 20 hours of the days and consuming food during 4 hours (also called 20:4)
Now the idea of fasting might be daunting, but think of it this way - if you don't eat anything after dinner (20:00 at the latest) and only start eating again at noon the next day, you have fasted for 16+ hours.
While you're fasting, you can have the following:
Unflavoured, unsweetened black coffee or tea
No artificial sweeteners, no gum, no breath mints
During your "eating window" you get to eat whatever you like. Obviously you need to apply common sense and listen to your body. If you eat rubbish, you're not going to feel very well. Therefore, eat healthy food that will provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to function. It is not necessary to count calories or eat "diet food."
Visit your mobile app store for a variety of timing apps. It can help you get into the swing of things in the beginning. Also, search Facebook for the group DELAY DON'T DENY.
Intermittent is not a diet or a short-term solution. While your body is taking a break from digesting food, it has time to work on itself. It is a lifestyle with many health benefits such as:
reduce insulin resistance
lowers blood pressure
lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
beneficial for heart health
improved mental clarity
autophagy - the body's way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Priya Khorana)
it may prevent cancer
it may help prevent Alzheimer's disease (also referred to as type 3 diabetes)
it can lower oxidative stress and inflammation
it may help you live longer
looking and feeling younger
appetite correction - you learn to recognise actual hunger and how to stop when satisfied
your body learns to use stored fat for energy, instead of burning the calories that you consume (yes, you will lose weight and look leaner without losing muscle mass)
Now it is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional before making such a lifestyle change, but intermittent fasting is definitely not for you if:
You are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you are under 18 years old
If you are underweight
If you are a type 1 diabetic
If you have a history with eating disorders
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL ALREADY!
Look deep into my eyes, dear Mama. You are beautiful! Now! Not one day when your jeans fit. Right now!
Unfortunately, the world does look at appearances and we get judged. The truth, however, is that people look at the overall picture you portray, not just your figure. Wear flattering clothes, accessorise, make at least a bit of an effort with makeup. These things don't have to cost much but can make a huge difference in how you feel and how others perceive you.