How to Lose Weight Post Pregnancy

Losing weight post pregnancy can be quite a challenge for many women.  In my own personal journey I struggled after having my 2nd baby figuring out how to lose weight in a healthy way.  Despite exercising and eating healthy I still couldn't manage to figure out why I still looked pregnant most days even at 8 months postpartum.  I had a stubborn belly bulge and bloating that just wouldn't budge.

I remember crying trying to figure out why it wasn't as simple as it was after my first pregnancy or why none of my clothes fit right anymore.  It was an emotional time to say the least.  As women I think there's a lot of pressure to "get your body back" however no one tell us that it will be as stressful as it often is.

One of the biggest things I've learned on my own journey is to give yourself grace and time.  Every new baby brings on new life changes and challenges and as moms our top priority should not be to "get our body back" but to simply live a healthy lifestyle with being a great mom as our top priority.

It takes time to lose weight post pregnancy and there are many ups and downs along the way.  Don't be hard on yourself and focus on long term sustainable weight loss vs. a quick fix!  As your body evolves and recovers the weight will drop if you stay consistent with positive changes.

Here's my Top Tips for Losing Weight Post Pregnancy:

1. Move Daily

We all know exercise is important when it comes to weight loss.  However, time is of the essence after having a baby.  We have a lot less time in our day to say the least so figuring out how to exercise can be a challenge.

My best advice is to make it a goal to move daily.  Take your baby for a walk in the stroller or carrier or do a short 20 minute home workout during nap-time like this one.  Whatever you choose, make sure its something that makes your body FEEL good.

If you're doing hour long workouts and putting added stress on your body you could be causing yourself more harm than good.  Exercise is healthy, but if you stress your body out to the max it will break.  Meaning it could cause adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance or worse.  Start small and work your way up!  Slow consistent and long term weight loss comes with slow consistent efforts.

2. Eat MORE Whole Foods

One thing I've found is that most women are not eating enough calories post pregnancy.  With all the demands thrown at you during this time in your life its easy to see why it would be difficult to find time to make nutritious foods.

On top of that the diet industry has told us eating less and moving more is the only way to lose weight - however that's simply not true.

As a post partum mom is vital that you're eating enough calories to fuel your energy demands.  Low calorie diets can be effective in the short term but can cause weight loss plateaus and a host of health problems in the long term.

Specifically for breastfeeding moms your body needs fat in order to produce milk, so if you're not eating enough your body will hold onto the extra fat in order to feed your baby.  Its really vital to your health and weight loss goals to eat MORE nutrient dense calories!

Now, you shouldn't just be eating ANY empty calories.  Focus on eating whole nutrient dense foods 90% of the time.  Eliminating processed foods and excess sugar is really key to losing weight in a healthy way.

Try to keep your plates filled with healthy protein options (such as grass fed beef, turkey, chicken or fish), healthy fats (ie. avocado, nuts/seeds, yogurt, olive oil, coconut oil, etc), complex carbs (ie. sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and oats) and lots of fresh veggies (all veggies are great)!

Check out my Simple + Healthy Meals for Real Moms Cookbook eBook for great recipes the whole family will enjoy!

Notice I said 90% of the time... this means you can eat sweets or your favorites 10% of the time (I try to keep this to 1-2 meals per week) but the key is to not restrict yourself!  There's simply foods you should eat more of and foods you should eat less of.

Don't fall into the "all or nothing" mentality that says if you don't eat perfectly 100% of the time you won't lose weight.  In my experience restrictions lead to binging which leads to quitting.  So, give yourself grace mama and take it one day at a time!

3. Make Sleep a Priority

This one is so underestimated!  Sleep is hard to come by as a new mom but it really is VITAL to your ultimate weight loss goals.  Sleep greatly affects your hormones which affects weight loss.

It may sound difficult (this one is always the hardest for me) but you have to sleep as much as possible.  I know it can be tempting to stay up late when you've FINALLY got your baby to sleep.  I know its nice to have alone time and to not have a child attached to you.  I know its nice to Netflix binge or scroll Pinterest or get those "to do's" checked off your list but don't let that temptation keep you from sleeping.

If you want to lose weight, make sleep a priority could be the thing costing you your health and weight loss goals.  Going to bed earlier, using a sleep mask, turning off the tv/electronic devices can all help with getting more restful sleep as often as you can.  And absolutely sleep when your baby sleeps.

4. Simplify Your Life

Having a new baby can cause a lot of stress on your body, your marriage and your life.  It can be incredibly overwhelming to try and "do it all" and those thousands of to do's can seem never ending.

If you let it that stress can become chronic and can wreak havoc on your entire body, damaging your gut (we'll talk more about that in a minute), your hormones and ultimately stalling your weight loss.

De-stressing and simplifying your life is really important to your weight loss goals - please DO NOT write this tip off.  Stop feeling guilty for asking for help, start saying "no" sometimes and stop trying to put so much on your list.  Do whatever you can to simplify.  Instead of having a mile long to-do list try to just simply have 3 things to accomplish each day - that's it!  Don't overwhelm yourself during this time in your life, ask your spouse or family members for more help and take time for self care.  This is one thing I wish I would have done sooner on my own post partum journey!

It really is key to just slow down and focus on staying healthy, sane and taking care of your baby during this season of your life.

5. Heal Your Gut 

Your gut health is one of the most important things you can focus on to lose weight and get healthy.  An unhealthy gut flora and inflammation is one of the key markets of disease and weight gain.

Now, when I talk about gut health I don't simply mean that you have good or bad digestion.  Your gut health is incredibly complex and affects your entire body.   In fact, its estimated that 80% of Americans have leaky gut which is a condition where the permeability of your gut lining is compromised.

It can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, IBS, headaches, allergies, depression, anxiety, Autoimmune disease, thyroid problems, acne, Psoriasis, low energy, joint pain, mood issues, weight gain, and autism.  If you have even one of these symptoms it can be a sign that you have gut permeability and a huge reason why you're failing to lose weight.

So what can you do to heal your gut?  First you must lower your stress levels.  Chronic stress, sleep deprivation and lifestyle factors can cause leaky gut.  You must also remove inflammatory foods from your diet (foods such as sugar, hydrogenated oils, alcohol, fried foods, gluten, traditional dairy products, processed/white flour and starches are highly inflammatory foods).  Inflammatory foods will be different for each individual however its important to know there are some basic common foods that are inflammatory in a majority of people.  Its also important to know that what is inflammatory for one person may not be inflammatory for another.  For example I may have a highly inflammatory reaction to dairy and you may not experience any problems with it.  However, you may have an inflammatory reaction to quinoa - something that is very healthy for me.

It's important that you start to take notice of which foods are giving you inflammatory responses after eating them and start to slowly eliminate them.  You don't have to eliminate them forever but just for a short time so that you can start to heal your gut lining.

Its also important to introduce anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Some great anti-inflammatory foods include: coconut oil/coconut products, extra virgin olive oil, bone broth, raw cultured dairy such as kefir, yogurt and grass fed butter, Kombucha, nuts/seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds and grass fed beef, lamb and wild caught fish high in omega 3's.

These foods combined with a diet high in fiber (ie. lots of veggies and fruits), is a great way to start healing your gut!  I also recommend getting on a high quality probiotic to help re-introduce good bacteria into your gut.

6. Change Your Mindset

Having a healthy mindset around health and fitness is vital!  Focus on the small things you can do each day to move toward your weight loss goals.  This mindset switch from feeling like you need to do everything to knowing that the small things are the most important is a HUGE factor in reaching your goals.  In fact, my clients that keep a positive mindset and focus on the small wins they accomplish each day are the ones who always have the most success!

If you let yourself have a negative mindset around your health goals and you're constantly feeling like you're doing something wrong, well then, you're probably going to speak that into existence.

We like to blame big picture things like not perfectly tracking our macros or eating a smidge too many calories for our failures but the reality is that its always the more simple things that deter us from reaching a goal!  Its the small daily habits we create that make the BIGGEST impact on our life.

Focus on the small daily wins that will get you closer to your goals because that is what will fuel you to keep going.

Instead of being frustrated that your baby interrupted your workout, be excited about the fact that you completed half a workout for the first time in months!  Instead of being upset that you didn't have a healthy lunch, applaud yourself for making the time to have a healthy breakfast and dinner that day.  Do you see what I'm saying? Its a simple mindset switch that can keep you from "falling off the bandwagon" simply because you had one slip up.

The reality is that we are all human, we are never going to get this perfect and anyone even those people with perfect bodies are not perfect.  This journey is all about striving for progress not perfection!  And at a season in your life when that is hard - well you've GOT to give yourself grace girlfriend.  Keep doing your best and working towards being the best version of you each day!


If you're looking for more tips, advice, workouts and recipes to help you lose weight post pregnancy be sure to join my free 3 Day Butt + Gut Challenge for Moms!  Click here to join.

Click here for your FREE GUIDE - 3 Secrets to Lost Post Pregnancy Bulge

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