I was 31 years old when I got pregnant with my first child. And, I gained a whopping 45 pounds. On my small 5’3″ frame, that was huge! The second time around, two years later, I gained 48 pounds. Ugh! My doctor cautioned me about gaining too much weight but I honestly didn’t have the whole “I’m pregnant so I can eat anything” type of mindset. I swear! Regardless, once I had the baby, I made it my mission to lose the baby weight. Today, I’m sharing tips to lose the baby weight and share how long it takes.
How Much Weight Will You Lose Right After Birth?
First, recognize that we all gain weight when we get pregnant so you will naturally lose quite a bit right after you have the baby. Not only will you lose the weight of your baby but also a few more pounds with the water and placenta. Most women lose around 13 pounds and you may lose a few more pounds as you shed any retained fluid.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Baby Weight?
On average, it takes 6-12 months to lose the baby weight. After you lose the initial weight from birth, it is healthiest to lose 1-2 pounds per week. While we want to return to our pre-birth weight as quickly as possible, it isn’t healthy to lose weight too fast, either!
How to Lose Baby Weight – 4 Tips
There is only one way to lose weight and that’s to consume fewer calories than you are burning. Period. Therefore, you will need to start (or continue) eating less and/or burn more calories. If you’re already doing that, then you simply need to be patient and let time pass. If you’re struggling with working out like you used to pre-baby, you’re not alone! Here are 8 tips to losing baby weight:
Eat Less Food
The easiest way to eat fewer calories is to simply eat less food. If you don’t like counting calories, you’re not alone. That’s why I wrote the e-Book, 10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories because I get bored of counting calories. Download your copy free!
If you don’t want to restrict your diet too much, the easiest way to eat less is simply to put less on your plate. Your protein should be the size of the palm of your hand, carbs should be the size of your fist, and add all the veggies you want (limit any butter, cheese, or other high-calorie flavorings). If you do this for a week and you haven’t lost weight, cut back a little more with snacking and/or the number of meals you’re eating each day.
Our resting metabolic rate (or metabolism) is how many calories it takes to do normal things like breathe and use your muscles. If you breastfeed, you will naturally burn more calories because it takes energy to make milk!
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, breastfeeding moms burn an additional 450-500 calories a day. That’s why it’s so important to eat MORE food if you breastfeeding and are already at a healthy weight for your height.
So, if you breastfeed or pump, you will likely lose weight faster if you are also eating less food than when you were pregnant.
But, if you’re not breastfeeding, have no fear, there are many ways to lose baby weight!
Move More (Not Necessarily Exercise)
One of the best ways to lose weight, in general, is to move more. While exercising for 20-30 minutes daily is good for your heart, if you sit around the rest of the day, you aren’t burning as many calories as you can. The key to faster weight loss is to speed up your metabolism and one way to do that is to move more all day rather than in one “spurt.”
Here are a few ways to move more when you have a baby:
- Go for walks with the baby – If the weather is nice, my son used to love going outside to look at the cars, birds, people, etc. I made it a habit to walk daily with him at least one to two times a day. You can use the stroller but to burn even more calories, put your baby in a carrier such as this baby carrier or similar. Carrying around 10-20+ pounds while you walk will surely shed the weight fast!
- Put the changing table far away – You have to change a lot of diapers! Burn more calories by putting the changing table in another room than where you spend most of your day, especially if it can be upstairs or downstairs. Each time you have to visit the changing table, you’ll be burning more calories. Similarly, when you run to the store as you will do many times either to buy baby stuff or just to get out of the house, park your car further from the door.
- Dance – Put on some dance music and dance around with your baby or in front of your baby. They will be amused and you will burn some calories!
- Make Movement Habits – Make up a time you will do some movement. For example, every time you change a load of laundry, do 50 jumping jacks or 20 squats. Or, after you feed the baby or change their diaper. These are things you will do a lot every day and you can easily rack up 100+ squats or hundreds of jumping jacks a day.
Snacking is often the fastest way to gain weight. When you get hungry every 2-3 hours, it’s easy to grab a snack rather than prepare a meal. One way how to lose baby weight is to cut back on the snacks that are higher in calories. You can, of course, eat as much raw broccoli as you want but who wants to do that?
If you pre-portion your snacks, you can avoid overeating. So, grab a few small containers and add a few foods that total around 100-200 calories but will satisfy you. As you know, 100 calories of chips are like 10 of them that don’t fill you up at all. Plus, chips aren’t healthy anyway and it’s easy to mindlessly eat 300 calories’ worth.
Some good choices for snacks include fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, pretzels, whole-grain crackers, a small handful of nuts, and veggies. I personally love to eat an apple with one tablespoon of peanut butter, for example. It satisfies me until the next meal because it has protein and fiber which keeps you satisfied longer.
I hope this article has given you ideas on how to lose baby weight. If you’re struggling, know you are not alone. Having a new baby isn’t easy while you learn how to share your time with another human in your life. You’ll find your groove and a new routine in no time!