It happens all the time: A celebrity has a baby, and then a few weeks — or days, it seems — later, we see a picture or video of her looking like she had never been never pregnant. We compare our previous post-baby weight loss to hers, Google her diet secrets, and tell ourselves we're going to look as good as her as fast as her the next time we have a baby.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get back to your pre-baby weight as fast as you can, but it's important to make sure you're not setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, and that you're losing weight the healthy way.
Dispelling Hollywood Mommy Myths
While Hollywood mommies might provide a few good post-baby diet tricks in the latest E! Online or People Magazine article, they almost always leave a couple of important facts out.
First, celebrities have a lot of money and usually get a lot of help. We don't usually hear much about their nutritionists, personal chefs, personal trainers, nannies, and other staff that help them eat right and have time to exercise. Second, and most importantly, it is simply easier for some women to lose their pregnancy weight than it is for others. Keep this in mind as you start your weight-loss journey.
The Healthy Way to Weight Loss
A lot of celebrity get-thin-quick tricks not only fail to help you lose weight, but they can also be harmful to your health. Slow and steady—and healthy—will ultimately help you win the weight-loss race. Consider these tips:
Eat healthy—Before you even think about dieting, think about what you're eating. Good nutrition is important for you (and your baby, if you're nursing), so pick foods that are packed with nutrients and low in calories and fat, like whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, beans, milk, yogurt, and produce. If you are breastfeeding, stock up on “super foods” packed with DHA—an essential omega-3 fatty acid that boosts your baby's brain and nervous system. Many like salmon, sardines, and tuna, but for those concerned about ocean-borne contaminants found in many of those foods, there are also vegetarian sources of DHA.
Consider breastfeeding—Breastfeeding is not for everybody, but if you choose to do it, not only will your baby reap the benefits, but you will, too. Breastfeeding can boost your baby's immunity and provide a number of other health benefits, and, according to numerous studies, it can help you lose your pre-baby weight faster.
Keep hydrated—Drinking water is one of the important things you can do after baby is born. Getting enough each day keeps you from getting dehydrated, makes you feel full, and, according to some studies, may even help boost your metabolism.
Forget about extreme dieting—So, we're giving you post-baby weight-loss tips, and we're telling you not to jump into a typical diet? Yep. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods after baby arrives can actually cause you to stress out and overeat as a result. Focus on eating everything in moderation—even the not-so-healthy things you might crave—with an overall emphasis on a well-balanced diet. Keep a variety of healthy, energy-providing snacks on hand—like carrot sticks, apple slices, or wheat crackers—and try not to let your daily caloric intake drop below 1,800. (For more tips on creating a personalized eating plan, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov). We’ve designed the MommySlim meal plan around this concept of portion control with nutrition, to ensure you feel full and satisfied with your meals that contain the optimal amounts of nutrition and calories needed for new mothers.
Get enough sleep—Fatigue causes your body to release cortisol and other stress hormones that can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Try to nap as often as you can and sleep when your baby sleeps.
Get moving again—Exercise is just as important as diet when it comes to losing pregnancy weight. It helps to fight off depression and stress, and can even help you sleep. Do regular aerobic and strength training exercises to burn calories, build muscle, and keep your bones strong. Start by walking your baby in a stroller and gradually work your way back up to all the exercises you did before he or she arrived.
Free your mind—Stress associated with a new baby can keep you from exercising and make you forget your diet. It can also make you feel tired, listless, and irritable, even cause you to retain weight. Baths, massages, exercise, reading, listening to music, surfing the web, or simply spending some time outside are great stress busters. Hire a babysitter every once in while. And, above all, don't be afraid to ask for help.
Have patience—Lastly, but most importantly, don't rush into a diet plan or an aggressive exercise regimen. Every woman is different, and there is no magic weight-loss timetable to follow. Focus on your health and on bonding with your new bundle of joy.
Our plan - MommySlim is a comprehensive weight loss program designed specifically to help new moms lose their baby weight the right way, using a realistic diet plan. Designed by the makers of the popular WonderSlim plans, MommySlim uses portion-controlled meal replacements and WonderSlim meal supplements. You'll be able to enjoy delicious, nutrient-packed shakes, breakfasts, entrees and even desserts, as you go through your journey. Learn more about MommySlim and how it works.