Month: December 2018

Postpartum Weight Loss: 7 Daily Habits To Help You Shed That Baby Fat

Postpartum Weight Loss: 7 Daily Habits To Help You Shed That Baby Fat

You’re basking in the bliss of new motherhood, but those baby pounds just won’t drop. What can you do? Adapt these 7 Habits to aid postpardum weight loss.

The average woman should gain around 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. The amount you gain depends on your original weight pre-pregnancy.

After giving birth, you do lose some weight, however, your body won’t look the way it did before getting pregnant.

Are you ready to lose those baby pounds? Now is the time to do something about it and adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Need some motivation? Keep reading to learn about 7 habits that can aid postpartum weight loss.

Where Does All the Baby Weight Go?

First thing, don’t be discouraged. Your body just did an amazing thing–you created a life and brought it into this world. For that, you should applaud your body.

Wondering where all that baby weight goes? Here’s a breakdown of the weight you gain during pregnancy–assuming you gain 35 pounds and you’re at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy:

  • 8 pounds: Baby
  • 2-3 pounds: Amniotic Fluid
  • 4 pounds: Blood and other body fluids
  • 5-9 pounds: Fat, protein, and nutrients
  • 2-3 pounds: Breasts
  • 2-5 pounds: Uterus
  • 2-3 pounds: Placenta

As you can see, the weight you gain during pregnancy is needed to nourish your baby in utero and prepare your body for birth and breastfeeding.

How Much Weight Will I Lose Postpartum?

You’ll probably lose 10 to 12 pounds after giving birth. That’s the weight of your baby plus the placenta and other fluids.

A few days postpartum, you can expect to lose an additional 5 pounds of water weight.

If you’re breastfeeding, it will help your uterus contract back to its original size faster. You can expect your uterus to shrink back by about 6 weeks.

However, you may still look pregnant after a couple of months postpartum. Your abdominal muscles have stretched out, so you need exercise and time to get back into shape.

How Long After I Have the Baby Can I Begin a Weight Loss Plan?

Don’t expect to get back into shape a week or two after having your baby. In fact, it’s best to wait until your 6-week postpartum appointment so that your doctor can clear you for working out. You want to allow your body to rest for the first few weeks so that you don’t cause further injury or strain.

Make Realistic Goals

Remember that it took 9 months for you to gain the pregnancy weight, so you should expect around the same time to shed it. And if you gained more than 35 pounds, you might need longer to lose the weight.

You should aim to lose about a pound every week or two. If you lose the weight gradually, you’re more likely to keep it off and maintain your weight.

Losing Weight While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can help you lose the weight quicker. That’s because you can burn between 300-500 calories a day from breastfeeding.

However, you should wait at least six weeks before dieting if you’re breastfeeding. You want to first establish a regular milk supply, and cutting calories can affect your supply early on.

Habits to Aid Postpartum Weight Loss

Ready to start on your postpartum weight loss plan? Here are 7 daily habits to adopt.

1. Create a Workout Plan

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

This may be obvious, but it’s important to create a workout plan and to follow through with it. Before you start your new fitness regimen, you should decide how often you want to exercise and what times and days you can do it. With a little one in tow, it’s not going to be as easy to drop by the gym whenever you want.

Set a schedule based on your baby’s schedule. If your baby sleeps well through the early morning, you can wake up early and workout. If you prefer evening workouts, you can put your baby to bed and then go to the gym during that time.

Do what works for you. Some women find it easier to work out at home instead of the gym. If you have a gym room, you can exercise there or if your apartment has a community gym.

You can even workout in the comfort of your living room. The best thing about exercising is that you can customize your workout based on your needs. If you can’t find the time for longer workouts, you can try mini-workouts throughout the day.

Stick with It

Once you set a workout regimen for the week, you want to stick with it. You can team up with another workout buddy so you can motivate each other and work out together.

You can also join an online community for motivation and for workout tips and advice postpartum.

Another tip is to use fitness apps or a smartwatch to track your workouts and progress. There are many apps available that track your weight loss and send out reminders and motivations to help you reach your goal.

Set Mini Goals

It might help to set mini goals to help you get to your larger, overall goal. If you want to lose 20 pounds overall, you can set 4 mini goals to lose 5 pounds. That way, you can reach your mini-goals faster and will be motivated to keep going.

2. Drink More Water

Drinking water can help you lose the weight faster. Studies show that your resting energy expenditure goes up by 24-30% when you drink water.

Another study showed that women who increased their consumption of water to over 34 ounces a day lost 4.4 more pounds within a year.

Drinking water can also help curb your appetite. Research shows that drinking water before breakfast can decrease the number of calories you eat for that meal by 13%.

Drinking water can help fill you up and you can end up consuming fewer calories. And if you’re breastfeeding, you need to drink more water to replace the fluids you lose while nursing throughout the day.

How can you tell if you need to drink more water? A good indicator is the color of your urine. If your urine is dark-colored, you should be drinking more water.

3. Prepare Meals and Snacks Ahead of Time

Depending on your schedule, you can make this a daily habit or a weekly habit. Meal prepping your meals and snacks ahead of time can save you time, money, and effort. It can also help prevent you from binging on junk food when you’re hungry or craving certain foods.

If you do it weekly, you can pick a day of the week–Sunday is usually best–to make all your meals and snacks for the week. You can cook one or two large dinners and store it in the fridge or freezer for the week. You should separate the meals according to the days of the week.

You can also prep your snacks. You can make yogurt parfaits with Greek yogurt and fresh berries. You can also make overnight oatmeal for breakfast. For snacks, cut up veggies and fruits and place in small containers or plastic bags.

It can be difficult to find the time to make yourself a meal with a baby. This way, you’ll always have something to eat on hand throughout the week. All you need is to invest in some plastic containers or some type of container to separate your meals in.

4. Walk with Your Baby

Another daily habit to adopt–take daily walks. If you take a brisk walk, you can count it as a part of your daily exercise.

Depending on your neighborhood, you can opt to walk to nearby stores instead of driving. If you need milk, you can take a walk to the nearby grocery store. This is a great way to burn calories, and it’s also an environmentally-friendly choice.

You can also show your baby the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Point out the trees, the birds, and the color of the sky. You can push your baby in the stroller or put them in a baby carrier so you’re on the go.

You can also add walks to your daily schedule. Park far from the store so that you take a mini walk through the parking lot.

If you have a two-story home, go upstairs to change baby’s diaper. This way, you’re always moving and active.

5. Set Limits

There are some foods you should limit if you want to shed the pounds. Candy and soda, for example, you can do without.

However, instead of cutting out these foods, you should replace them with healthier options. For example, instead of drinking soda at dinner time, you can drink fruit-infused water. This way, you won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of your favorite sweets.

Other healthy substitutions include replacing candy with sweet fruits such as cherries or bananas. You can replace chips with celery or cut up cucumbers.

Another thing you can do is get rid of all the junk and processed foods in your house. Do an inventory of your fridge and pantry. Get rid of unhealthy foods and replace with lots of fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy items.

6. Don’t Skip Meals

Another word of advice: don’t skip meals. You should especially not skip breakfast. The old adage is true, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

When you wake up in the morning, you have low blood sugar from not eating the night before. You need breakfast to raise your blood sugar and give you that energy boost in the morning

If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to feel tired throughout the day. You’re also more likely to overeat later in the day to replenish the calories you lost. This makes it harder to control food cravings to avoid overeating.

Even if you don’t feel hungry in the morning, you should at least eat a small, healthy breakfast like yogurt or boiled eggs.

If you eat your regular meals throughout the day, you can maintain your energy levels and have better control over your cravings.

7. Get Some Rest

One-third of us are not sleeping enough. Sleep has become a luxury these days. Many times you hear new parents boasting about how much sleep they didn’t get.

However, getting enough rest is an important form of self-care. It’s true that not getting enough sleep can affect your weight.

In fact, sleeping enough hours during the night is just as important for losing weight as eating healthy and working out. When you’re sleep-deprived, it affects the decision-making part of your brain–the frontal lobe. You’re less likely to make healthy decisions about what you eat.

Research shows that sleep-deprived people were more likely to snack late at night. They were also more likely to pick high-carb snacks.

If you’re tired, you have less strength to say no to food cravings. You might go for that chocolate bar or ice cream cone when you know you shouldn’t.

What’s more, lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that makes your body hold onto energy. This means that your body is more likely to hold onto fat which means a slower metabolism.

Studies reveal that people who slept less throughout a two-week period lost 55% less weight even with the same caloric intake. They were also more hungry and less energetic throughout the day.

How much sleep do you need? Experts say you need between 7 to 9 hours every night.

This can be difficult postpartum with the baby up constantly and your neverending list of things to do. You can at least rest when the baby is napping and sleep when the baby sleeps at night.

Final Advice for Shedding That Baby Fat

Our final advice for postpartum weight loss is to stay focused and not give up. As long as you’re making steady progress, keep going to reach your goal.

Are you ready to lose that weight and look and feel your best? Learn more about how we can help you be the happiest and healthiest you can be through diet, exercise, and motivation.

Gym Or Home Workout: Which Type Of Routine Suits You Best?

Gym Or Home Workout: Which Type Of Routine Suits You Best?

Are you happy working out at home, or do you have to be among others as you get toned? Here’s how you figure out whether you’re a gym or home workout person.

Many people ask themselves whether they should choose a gym or home workout. They may have limited budgets or time, or strict ideas on what they need from their exercise regimen.

If you are weighing the pros and cons of gyms vs. home for your fitness schedule,  there are many factors to take into account. Not only should you think about what kinds of movement you prefer, but you should also think about what motivates you and what inhibits you. You want to choose the best way possible to stick with your program!

Here are 15 questions to ask yourself to determine the right fitness regimen for you.

1. Do You Need The Presence of Others?

It’s hard to slack off and watch TV at the gym.  The presence of other people with similar health goals can be motivating.

There is also a healthy competitive spirit at the gym. By measuring your progress against others, you may push yourself more to work harder.

If you thrive on the opinions of others to get moving, you may wish to exercise at a gym instead of at home.

2. Have You Recently Had a Baby?

If you have recently had a baby, you are probably juggling the urge to get rid of the baby fat with exhaustion, child care, and breastfeeding. Getting out of the house may be more of a challenge than it’s worth.

In this case, you may want to start exercising in the privacy of your own home. You will be able to jump up if the baby cries, and you won’t have to compare yourself to a lot of skinny minnies in spandex.

On the other hand, if your gym has babysitting services, going out to work out can be a much-needed break for new moms.

3. Do You Work Irregular Hours?

Maybe you work the late shift and get home in the middle of the night. Maybe you need to jump in transglobal calls at odd hours. It can be hard to schedule training at the gym when real life and work worries get in the way. Not all gyms are open 24 hours a day, either.

Some people’s careers are so demanding and time-consuming that it is hard to schedule any time during the week to get to the gym. When they get home, they may just want to collapse. For these people, maybe a weekend routine or activity is best.

If you are simply too busy to be able to commit to a daily routine at a gym, you can make sure you have an inviting place to work out at home whenever possible. Invest in a treadmill, stationary bike or a set of free weights and keep them in your study or garage.

That way, you can pick up the weights or jump on the treadmill at any time you have the energy, day or night.

4. Are You Shy About Your Appearance?

Maybe you don’t like your current weight. Maybe you are ashamed at how little muscle you have in your arms and legs, and you want to bulk up more.

Going to the gym can be intimidating for people who are inhibited about how they look. They may refuse to go at all, which of course is antithetical to the goal of getting on a fitness regime.

If you are low in confidence about your physical body, start off with an at-home fitness program. You can lose weight and get into shape with exercises or even a private trainer. You will start gaining self-esteem in no time.

5. Do You Have Young Kids at Home?

It can be difficult and expensive to get to a gym when you are taking care of small children. Even though some health clubs have child care, your kids may have other ideas.  Some children enjoy the playgroup at sports clubs and other venues, and some would rather relax in the comfort of their own houses.

Exercising at home allows you to save on babysitting while keeping an eye on the youngsters upstairs. You are also setting a good example,  that health is an important priority in your family. They may even want to join you!

6. Do You Need to Get Out of the House?

If you are a stay-at-home mom or you work remotely, you may realize that some days you never leave the house! Signing up for a gym or fitness classes can force you to leave your abode. That’s good for not only your physical but your mental health.

A change of scenery can also be inspiring. A different environment plus exercise for even 30 minutes per day can clear your mind and reset your attitude if you are otherwise housebound.

7. Do You Work Out with Your Partner?

If you like to work out as a couple,  your decision of gym or home may depend on your partner’s preferences. You can work out either place, so long as you agree.

Working out with a spouse or friend can push you when your energy flags,  and pass the time if you get bored. They can inspire you. They can also annoy you-which is actually another great method of motivation!

Gyms sometimes also offer family memberships so you might be able to save some money as well.

8. Do You Want to Meet New People?

If you lead an isolated lifestyle or have moved to a new location, you may want to spend your free time meeting new people.  The gym is the new singles bar, church or community center.

Many gyms organize meetups on weekends like hikes, softball games and other healthy excursions. There are even more casual ways to meet people, like at the juice bar after your work out. You will have an opportunity to meet people with similar health goals.

If you have friends at the gym, you are also more likely to return on a continuous basis. Fitness can become one of just many shared fun times.

9. Are You Trying to Lose Weight?

Overweight people are sometimes embarrassed to start working out in front of others who may be more fit. Although everyone will tell you not to worry, if it prevents you from showing up it is a problem.

Some gyms are focused on weight loss and are more likely to have a clientele with goals similar to yours. Alternatively, sometimes you will have more luck with the initial fitness push when you start working out at home.

After a little time with regular exercise and good nutrition, you may start to feel confident enough to integrate some group activities into your regimen. Many gym rats started out as overweight: they will describe to you how they used to hate going to the gym, and now they love it!

10. Do You Have Special Physical Needs?

Maybe you are recovering from an injury. Maybe you have a sensitive back or a sore shoulder. Maybe you are developing arthritis or other age-related weakness.

If you have special circumstances which might risk your well being, you are better off working out at a gym or at home with a personal trainer. You need guidance on the right kinds of exercises to do to prevent you from hurting yourself.

A professional coach or physical therapist can guide you in ways that strengthen the body part in question without risk of additional injury or strain. They can spot you if you are hesitant about certain moves.

11. Do You Like A Certain Kind of Music?

Some gyms blast loud music non-stop. You may love that! Or it might send you screaming for the hills.

You can always wear headphones if you like a specific kind of music to get you going or to block out the noise of others. However, if you prefer to blast Gregorian chants first thing in the morning while doing your sit-ups, you may be better off in the privacy of your own home.

12. Are You On A Strict Budget?

Gyms vary widely in price depending on the services they offer and the location. There are fancy gyms with pools and spas, located in high-end real estate markets, where the monthly membership fees can be high. There are also plain nuts-and-bolts gyms which just provide the basics.

Working out at home can be more cost effective because you save yourself those high monthly fees. However, paying for something sometimes ensures that you actually do it.

If you want to save some bucks, working out at home is a great option so long as you actually stick with the program. One alternative is to hire a coach to come in once per week to create a program you adhere to the rest of the time. They will check up on your progress and adjust your routine as you improve.

13. Do You Need Extra Encouragement?

Sometimes when you work out alone you can just give up. If you get tired or it hurts, there is no reason to keep going! And the refrigerator is just inches away, full of enticing snacks…

If you are pushing through an aerobics class at the gym, the teacher is probably hollering words of encouragement throughout. If you are bench pressing an extra heavy weight in the gym and you are struggling, the words of encouragement from the trainer and your fellow gym members can make all the difference.

Working out with people gives us an extra kick. It’s often too easy to throw in the towel when you are home alone, unless you have a coach by your side urging you to do your best.

14. Do You Crave Variety?

Boredom is a big enemy of fitness. Some people need to shake it up often, or else they just get bored and quit.

If you choose a gym and you are inclined towards boredom, make sure there are lots of different activities. Do they offer a range of fitness classes like Pilates, yoga, and TRX? Do they have a pool, tennis courts or cycling?

If you are working out at home,  shake it up. Go for hikes or run outside in nice weather. Use videotapes of different workouts and change your soundtrack often. You can even work out in different rooms of the house.

Changing your exercise routine is not only good for you mentally, but it is good for you physically. It is healthy to work out different muscle groups and alternate between endurance, cardio, and weight training.

15. Do You Want Nutritional Advice?

Most exercise programs work best when they are supplemented by a diet. You will find many different opinions on the best diet plan for your specific goal: to lose weight, build muscle, or address specific health issues.

If you decide you would be happier at a gym, choose one with someone on staff who can help guide your nutritional regimen as well as your exercise program. Many trainers and coaches can advise on specific diets, foods to avoid, and perfect portions. Other gyms even sell nutritional supplements and other items which are better for you than snacking on junk food at home.

If you are working out at home, you can research the many resources available which advise on the best methods to achieve your nutritional goals. You might also work with a coach who is also educated on diet.

Gym or Home Workout? Either or Both May Work For You

If you are trying to decide whether the gym or home workout is right for you,  you need to look at your personal preferences, goals, and priorities. But be flexible! Your life may evolve over time.

You may want to go to a gym after working out at home for a few months and losing weight. Your child will soon be old enough to want to participate in a playgroup. You may learn ways to go through your circuit at the gym quickly and efficiently in a way that works with your tight schedule.

Whatever you decide, there is always an option which will work with your specific lifestyle, family, and budget. The important thing is to just do it.

For more information on working out and living right, check out our blog.

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