Let’s face it, you just gave birth and are adjusting to a new life, but what about that baby belly? No need to panic – you should be back in shape in about 2 months. If those extra pounds are still there after that, it’s time for new measures. Tummy bulge, muffin top, that baby pouch, whatever you want to call it, is not flattering, and all new mommies want to get rid of it. But after giving birth, this can be one of the most difficult areas to sculpt and tone.
There is no quick fix. Losing weight after pregnancy takes hard work, dedication, sometimes unconventional approaches and techniques. Leaving aesthetics aside, it is very important for your health to get rid of excess fat around your waistline. Here are some nutritional tips to consider, if you want to flatten your baby belly for bikini season and to look fantastic all year round.
You have to get serious with your diet if you want to be a fit mommy. What you put in is what you will get out. You can exercise until the cows come home but if your diet consists of unhealthy foods, the baby weight will stay there, and that bulge will not budge. Here is some advice from women who lost weight after having a baby.
1. Salt In Excess Is Worse Than The Devil
Excessive amounts of salt cause water retention and bloating – and after 9 months of pregnancy, bloat is the last thing you want to feel! The recommended intake is 1,500 mg or less per day. So cook with less salt, stop adding extra salt to your food at the table and start reading those nutritional labels when you go to the supermarket. You’ll thank yourself in a couple of weeks.
2. Reduce Your Sugar Intake As Much As Possible
Eliminate sweetened drinks and candy from your diet. Sugar hardly adds any real nutritional value. If you have a sweet tooth, this may take some time and effort, but it takes sacrifice to flatten your belly. Switch to drinks that are low in sugar or, even better, just drink more water and tea (Matcha will give you a helping hand in your weight loss efforts). You will eliminate hundreds of calories from your daily diet by cutting sugar alone.
3. Fast Food Fuels Fat And That’s That
These meals contain thousands of empty calories and are not recommended if you want to lose that baby belly. Just one meal with french fries covers your entire day’s recommended caloric intake. Fast foods are full of things that are bad for you, they are high in fats, calories, sugar, and cholesterol. If you can’t totally avoid eating on the go, there are always healthy menu options that you can choose but they are usually limited, so you have to be vigilant.
4. Avoid Alcohol Like The Plague
This might yet be the hardest one of all… But, do you really want to flatten your tummy? Well, there’s no way to sugarcoat this: Avoid alcohol! Alcohol is high in two things, and these are mainly sugar and calories. There are about 43 calories in a single beer, 85 calories in one glass of wine and 185 calories in a martini. Keep in mind that these calories are what are called ‘empty calories’, they have zero nutritional value.
5. Dairy Sure Is Yummy But No Good For The Tummy
While rich in calcium, dairy adds a lot of bad fats and carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight after pregnancy, it’s best to avoid or significantly reduce the intake of dairy products like ice-cream, whole fat milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese.
6. Cutting Carbohydrates Will Reduce Belly Fat
Diets low in carbohydrates are proven to lead to fat loss. Avoiding some carbs, such as those that are present in white bread, pasta and baked goods will have a significant impact on your quest to flatten your baby belly. Consider lessening your carb intake to 50 grams per day. This will not only keep you satisfied but will propel your body to start burning fat for energy.
7. Give Your Metabolism A Jolt
Reducing the intake of foods that are bad for you are only one part of the solution if you want to lose the baby weight. You will have also have to accelerate your metabolism. Exercise is important, but there are things you can do nutritionally to improve the way in which your body burns fat and uses energy. The first tip is to eat more whole foods. However, eat smaller portions and more frequently. Starving yourself or eating less is never a good idea. This actually slows down your metabolism and will make it much harder to lose any weight at all.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You must never skip breakfast as this will send a message to your body to conserve its energy just in case no more food comes in for a while. So it’s important to start your body off right with a nutritious meal in the morning and set your metabolic pace for the day. Instead of eating three large meals per day, consider breaking that up into smaller meals with healthy snacks in between (emphasis on healthy) to maintain a higher metabolic rate throughout the day – 5 to 7 small meals a day have been shown to accelerate the metabolic rate.
8. Power Up With Protein And Fiber
Eating foods that are rich in protein and fiber will help to boost your metabolism which is vital if you want to flatten your baby belly. The theory behind this is that protein found in meats primarily takes a longer time to be digested. This requires more energy which the body produces by burning calories. So you need to include meat in your diet but from lean sources which are more nutritional in value. Fiber from fruits, vegetables, and beans also helps to increase metabolism. It is recommended that you consume between 2 ½ to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
9. Keep Your Diet On Track
Tracking what you eat and how much you eat is essential if you want to drop that extra baby weight. If you are conscious about your portions and the nutritional value of the foods you are eating and you record your meals, you will be able to manage your diet like a professional. There are endless resources on the internet which outline the nutritional values of different foods and even whole meals. To make things even simpler, there are many mobile apps that you can download on your phone that will keep a track or diary of your meals for you.
10. Just Stick To The Plan, Even When It’s Tough
Planning your meals will set you in the right direction to flatten your baby belly in a healthy way. As they say, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. So once you are armed with the knowledge of what it takes to make healthy meals, then you are well on your way to success. It is a good idea to cook and portion out your meals for the week, ahead of time. This will save you a lot of time and prevent you from making those bad food decisions when you’re hungry.
Despite what you read or see on the Internet or in the media, there are no magic tricks (except eating fresh pineapple as your last meal of the day), pills or potions that will help you lose weight after pregnancy and keep it off. The reality is that it takes hard work and dedication to the cause. This is not a quick fix but a lifestyle change. In order to achieve something you’ve always wanted, you have to do things that you have never done or, if you have, get back to those healthy habits. Follow these tips, and you will achieve that fit mommy status you’ve always wanted.