3 Things to Know About Losing the Baby Weight

By Nikki M

Sure, you enjoyed your pregnancy. Your skin was glowing, your hair was extra shiny, and you were giddy with anticipation for the new baby. But now that the 9 months are up, the last thing you want is to be asked how many months along you are. High on top of your list? Losing the baby weight.

Weeks turn to months, and you’ve barely made progress. You already know that proper diet, exercise, and decent sleep lead to weight loss. You're doing all these things right (or at least trying to) . . . So why isn't the scale recognizing your efforts? Here are 3 things you need to know about losing the baby weight:

Every Body is Different

It was true before pregnancy, and it's certainly true now — it's all in the genes! Some will shed the weight effortlessly within weeks. Some will go through the whole 9 months on, 9 months off shebang. Some will have to exercise day and night to see results, some will eat anything they want and not look like they just had a baby.

Rather than being upset at how unfair life is, focus on your own progress and achievements. First things first: toss those celebrity-postpartum-body tabloids, unfollow "inspirational" Instagram fitness accounts, and stop obsessing over your pre-pregnancy photos. What might be motivational at first may soon do more damage than good in the long run.

Do what works for you. If it requires you to be on a strict regimen, so be it. But be wary of anything too drastic—you don't want to do anything potentially dangerous, whether it's with your diet or exercise. Listen to your body. As much as you want instant results, sometimes a slow, relaxed course of action is most effective (and sustainable!). Besides, stress can cause weight gain! Why not try something like yoga? It's incredibly easy, extremely relaxing, and truly effective.

The Truth about Breastfeeding and Weight Loss

They say the weight will melt right off when you breastfeed. Some women even claim being slimmer than they were pre-pregnancy! While that may be the case for some, the rest will notice an unyielding few pounds (okay, ten) clinging on while they nurse.

First of all, think of what breastfeeding is about: You're nourishing your child by providing them with your milk. All your milk's nutrients come from the food you eat. If you don't get enough of those nutrients, your body will take it out from your stores to make sure your little one thrives. Not getting enough calcium? No problem, it'll be taken out of your bones. Skipping on the protein? Your lean tissue has a ton! You won't see the horrible effects right away, but years down the line, you'll experience a ton of deficiencies and health problems.

Onto the last 10 pounds: As long as you're nursing, your body will make sure it can produce the healthiest possible milk. That requires fat. But don't worry! By the time you wean your little one, your body will no longer have use for the extra fat. With good habits, you can lose the last of the stubborn weight in no time.

Your Body Won't Be Exactly the Same

You might lose all the weight (and then some), but you'll notice that not everything's the same. Your skin may be looser, your breasts may have sagged, and there could be a distinct lack of muscle tone. Your abdominal area may never look the same way it did, with permanent stretch marks and shifted muscles. Your feet may have grown a whole size, and no, they're not shrinking back anytime soon.

While muscle tone can be achieved with some weight training and stretch marks can be lightened a bit with some special creams, realistically, getting your body to look the way it did before pregnancy may only be possible with cosmetic surgery (even then, it's not a guarantee!).

Instead of cursing your new body, embrace it. It's way better. It carried and nourished your child for 9 months, and will continue to go above and beyond to raise and care for your little one. Besides, if you've always wanted an excuse to shop for a whole new wardrobe, this is it!

What was your postpartum weight loss experience like? Was it a walk in the park, or a walk through hell? Share your stories with us in the comments below!

Tags : health   fitness   weight loss   

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