5 Tips for Regaining Your Natural Weight After Pregnancy

Intuitive eating
Women's health
Mother with baby in her arms

Are you a new mom looking to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight? You're not alone in this journey! Fortunately, it is possible to regain your natural weight after childbirth with these 5 tips:

1. Ditch the Diets

Childbirth is a physically demanding experience, and after giving birth, your body needs energy to recover properly. Embarking on a restrictive diet is counterproductive. Not only is it exhausting and detrimental to milk production, but a drastic diet will likely result in failure, as it does in 95% of cases. Instead, aim for a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein-rich foods.

2. Practice Mindful Eating

Your body is an incredible machine that can send signals when it needs energy and when it's had enough. Train yourself to recognize these signals and respect them. Allow yourself to eat when you feel a slight hunger, as this will prevent overeating at the next meal. Conversely, learn to leave some food on your plate when hunger subsides to avoid eating more than necessary. Listening to your body will help you regain your natural weight and, most importantly, maintain it.

3. Breastfeed

Note that it is possible to regain your natural weight without breastfeeding. However, breastfeeding facilitates the process. The breast milk you provide contains energy, which comes from none other than... you! In fact, a mother expends about 210 calories to produce one cup (250 ml) of breast milk. Breastfeeding leads to an additional expenditure of approximately 330 to 400 calories per day. Moreover, breastfeeding has its share of benefits, such as protecting the baby's health, strengthening the bond between mother and baby, and reducing the mother's risk of certain cancers.

4. Get Moving with Exercise

Combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity enhances weight loss gained during pregnancy. Additionally, exercise allows you to spend time outdoors with your baby, preserve muscle mass, and reduce stress levels. Choose an activity that you enjoy, one that allows you to move for pleasure rather than obligation.

5. Patience!

It takes about 6 weeks for blood volume and uterine size to return to normal. Therefore, it is advisable to wait 1 to 2 months after childbirth before embarking on a weight loss journey. Furthermore, for weight loss to be maintained in the long term, it should be gradual. Keep in mind that weight gain occurred over 9 months, so it is entirely normal for the return to your natural weight to take several months as well!

As a new mom looking to regain your pre-pregnancy weight, it's important to follow these 5 tips for a healthy and sustainable journey. Avoid restrictive diets that can hinder your postpartum recovery and milk production. Instead, adopt a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein-rich foods. Practice mindful eating by listening to the hunger and fullness signals from your body. If possible for you, breastfeeding can facilitate weight loss while providing benefits for both you and your baby. Supplement your efforts with regular physical activity, choosing an activity you enjoy that allows you to spend quality time with your baby. Finally, be patient and realize that returning to your natural weight may take several months, just like the weight gain during pregnancy. Give your body time to recover and take a gradual approach for sustainable weight loss. Congratulations on your role as a mom, and take care of yourself in this new chapter of your life.

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist