You’re about to read everything that I wish someone would have told me when I started working on my post partum weight loss.
Before I go any deeper, here’s my before and after.
The first was taken 6 weeks post partum and the other, approximately 6 months post partum.
The difference is clear, isn’t it?
My Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Plan: Phase 1
My plan for losing weight post partum actually started well before my son was born.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know how out of control your body can feel sometimes.
Acne, pain, stretch marks, kicking – the whole 9 yards. It’s a tiny triumph to have some control over something even if it’s just weight.
For me, keeping my weight in check during pregnancy was 50% the key to success with post pregnancy weight loss.
PS: If you’ve already given birth, you can just skip this part and go straight to phase 2.
PPS: If you’re having a really difficult pregnancy, skip this part and go to phase 2.
Pregnancy is hard.
The last thing I want is for any woman to read this and think she has to do anything in this post. These are just suggestions based on what worked for me.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your pregnancy journey – you’re doing just fine!
1. Find a Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart
Click here to get my simple and proven weight loss plan
I figured that if I didn’t expand too much while pregnant, then I’d have way less work to do after the baby was born.
Less work? sounds good to me! Sign me up!
This pregnancy weight gain chart was crucial because it helped me to know exactly how much weight I could safely gain during each trimester.
2. Weigh Yourself With the Same Bathroom Scale
Armed with my weight gain chart, I weighted myself regularly.
To be honest, I don’t remember how frequently I did this but once a week is probably fine.
The key here is to use the same bathroom scale every single time.
Using the same scale allows you to have a consistent read of how you’re progressing with your weight gain.
If you use a different bathroom scale each time, your weight will look like it’s jumping all over the place (when it really isn’t) and it will freak you out.
Here is the bathroom scale that I used.
2b. Weight Yourself Around the Same Time Everyday
On a related note, I always weighed myself around the same time everyday (in the morning).
There are many factors that contribute to weight. Things like bowel movements, food eaten, water intake, etc.
Weighing myself around the same time everyday allowed me to have a consistent read over time.
The reason I chose mornings to weight myself is that my weight was generally lowest in the morning before I stuffed my face with all sorts of dodo and moin moin and yam…hmmnnn yammmm
Sorry…got a little distracted there.
3. Aim for 7,000 Steps a Day
I never went to the gym while I was pregnant.
…who am I kidding? I rarely went to the gym before I was pregnant and I haven’t been to the gym since my son was born.
However, I knew it was important to stay active so I bought a cheapie treadmill from my neighbor and put it by the dining table.
If you have dinner at our house, you will be looking at a big ol treadmill the whole time. Call it my twisted sense of humor but I think that’s just hilarious.
I used the treadmill daily to make sure that I hit 7,000 steps about 5 days a week on my pedometer.
Mine came free with our insurance but you can get a really good pedometer from Amazon.
I also danced a lot because it made me happy!
My Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Plan: Phase 2
The following steps have been key to my post pregnancy weight loss over the past few months.
4. Get Baby on a Schedule
This is easily the most crucial tip in this entire list.
Well before my son was born, my husband and I agreed that we love sleep…alot.
And we wanted to be able to sleep like normal people as quickly as possible after baby was born.
This desire led us to discover a book on Amazon called 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old.
Our parents were completely puzzled by the idea of reading such a book but we wanted to sleep so we didn’t care. We read the book, followed the steps, and we thank God every day for the results!
By 3 months, our son no longer needed night feedings.
By 4 months, he was sleeping through the night
And by 5 and a half months, he was able to put himself to sleep on his own.
I am able to write this post free of distractions because he put himself to sleep in his crib several hours ago. I can work, relax, and sleep because I know he will sleep through the night peacefully and wake up smiley and happy.
The only word that can describe my feelings about this situation is thankfulness!
We’ve bought this book for several friends because it has been such a blessing to us.
Here’s the exact copy we bought if you have interest: 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old.
5. Find an Efficient Way to Workout
With baby sleeping reliably through the night, I could also sleep reliably (on most nights) and workout in the mornings.
However, I quickly realized that I needed to be very efficient with my workouts. Otherwise, I wouldn’t see results quickly and I would feel discouraged.
My solution to this was to find a workout program that fit into my lifestyle.
My criteria were as follows:
- No equipment needed
- No gym going
- 30 minutes or less
I found a workout program that met these criteria (and so much more) on a site called Darebee.
I did their 30 Days of HIIT on medium intensity about 4 times a week and it worked like a charm.
6. Breastfeed (if you can)
People say that breastfeeding helps with post pregnancy weight loss.
I don’t know if it’s true.
What I do know is that breastfeeding saves me a lot of time.
I don’t have to mix anything, cook anything, or wash anything.
Baby is hungry? I pull off my shirt, he eats, I wipe his mouth and we’re good to go.
It’s a real time saver and I don’t take it for granted at all.
That said, not every mother can breastfeed and I just want to reassure you that you can lose weight post partum regardless of whether you breastfeed or not.
If you can breastfeed, that’s great. There are many benefits to doing so.
If you can’t breastfeed, that’s okay too.
Don’t feel bad or any kind of way about it. You’re still a good mom and you’re still the best mom for your child.
7. Get on a Safe Calorie Deficit
Something else that helped with my post pregnancy weight loss was to get on a calorie deficit.
A calorie deficit is eating just a little less than what the body requires so that it burns fat to make up the difference.
This is not something I recommend or take lightly – I’m just sharing because it’s something that I did.
I was very worried about going on a calorie deficit because I am breastfeeding.
I didn’t know if a calorie deficit would affect my milk supply and I sure didn’t want to find out.
I did a lot of research and discovered that I would be okay as long as the calorie deficit was small (about 200 calories per day).
That’s about 1 less slice of bread at breakfast.
I was still scared but I figured I could probably skip the extra slice of bread and be okay! Lol
This is how I calculated my safe calorie deficit for post pregnancy weight loss.
- Calculate how many calories needed to maintain my weight
- Add number of calories baby burns by breastfeeding
- Subtract 200 calories
- Eat that many calories per day
8. Keep Track of Food and Calories (if nothing is working)
I went through periods during my post pregnancy weight loss journey where I was doing all the right things but wasn’t losing any weight.
It was frustrating (to put it mildly).
During those times, I tracked my food for a day or two to see what I was doing wrong.
Most of the time, the culprit was snacks.
I would eat an entire cup of cashews several times a day because, well, it’s healthy right?
But alas…do that four or five days in a row and that pot belly of mine was going nowhere!
I don’t like the idea of tracking everything I eat but I do appreciate being able to do it from time to time. It allows me to see if I’m inadvertently sabotaging my own weight loss.
The app that I use to track my food and calories is called Lose It. You can use the website directly or download their app (I have the free app on my iPhone).
9. Calculate a Realistic Goal
My personal goal was to lose all my baby weight within 6 months.
The tool that helped me to ensure that this goal was realistic is the same app from above – Lose It.
It has a “goals” feature where I put in my starting weight and my goal weight.
The app then told me how long it would take to reach my goal weight based on what I was eating.
This was an important exercise for me because I wanted to know that my goal was realistic.
Just the knowledge that it was possible to be back to (my) normal within 6 months was highly motivating.
It really encouraged me to eat smart and keep up with my workouts even when I was traveling.
10. Celebrate Small Wins
Being a Type A personality, I am very motivated by goals.
Each time I hit a milestone, I found a small way to celebrate.
For example, when I fit back into my skinny jeans, I posted this picture on Instagram.
PS: follow me on Instagram! 🙂
PS: follow me on Instagram! 🙂
When I hit my goal of reaching my pre-pregnancy weight well ahead of schedule, I treated myself to a $100 shopping spree at TJ Maxx.
These mini rewards honestly didn’t do much to motivate me to reach my goal (just merely having a goal was all the motivation I needed).
However, they were nice little treats to reward myself for a job well done.
Which, honestly, I think every woman should do more of.
Regardless of where you are in your post pregnancy weight loss journey, I hope you always celebrate a job well done.
It doesn’t matter how close (or far) you are away from your goal.
You’ve carried and birthed a whole entire human being.
That’s a huge accomplishment. Celebrate that, keep working hard, and you will reach your dream body.
Please share this post with somebody. I hope it helps as many new moms as possible.