Okay, I’m going to go ahead apologize now – the title of this post is a little misleading! I DID in fact lose all of my baby weight 4 weeks after birth, but it took 9 months to do so. I stayed active my entire pregnancy, which was key to quickly shedding those pregnancy lbs. I never stopped moving. And breastfeeding probably helped a tad 😉
First, let me say, after your baby is born, try not to worry about squeezing back into your skinny jeans for at least a couple of months. You’ve been through so much physically and mentally! You’re a rock star. And you probably aren’t sleeping much. Give yourself a much-needed, well-deserved and very long “dieting/exercising” break. Your doctor will probably tell you the same thing. Mine told me not to think about exercise for 6 weeks, and I had a pretty uncomplicated, natural birth.
That said, I was so happy to see the pounds shedding away so quickly. I was eating whatever I wanted, not exercising, and dropping pounds like flies. My dream come true! I am not blessed with “fit” genes and have always had to work really hard to stay in shape. My “eating whatever I wanted” approach was balanced out by breastfeeding, which among many other perks, burns about 500 calories per day. Also, staying in shape during pregnancy helped to make my labor, delivery and recovery so smooth. Read about all of the benefits of staying fit during pregnancy here.
I wasn’t SUPER active during pregnancy, i.e. I wasn’t running marathons or doing Iron Man competitions, but I walked about 2 miles a day and did a ton of pregnancy yoga. A healthy diet, walking and prenatal yoga every day was all that it took to stay fit. Another huge bonus was that it kept the pregnancy pains away. The moment a day went by without a walk and some yoga, I instantly felt achy in my hips and lower back. I was also in pretty good shape when I became pregnant, which helped me to safely continue along that path once I became pregnant.
If you’re pregnant and reading this, after clearing it with your doctor, add these two things into your daily routine:
Go outside and walk. While at work, I would make sure to take a break in the morning and the afternoon to go on a 20 min walk, which ended up being about 2 miles total. It’s so important to get up and move during the day, especially while pregnant, and especially if you have a desk job. I always came back refreshed and re-energized, even on the days that I felt like it was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. It seems counterintuitive, but walking gave me way more energy! Pregnant or not, getting outdoors and walking every day is good for your health.
My husband and I would also go on a local, super easy, hike most weekends. I HIGHLY recommend this! Not only would we feel rejuvenated from hanging out with Mother Nature, but we would connect and talk more than we had in several days before. There are no distractions or cel phones, just time to walk and chat about everything on your mind. We planned everything from baby nursery logistics to our next vacation plans to retirement plans on those trails 🙂 If you happen to live on the Peninsula (San Francisco Bay), our favorites are Edgewood Park & Natural Reserve or the Crystal Springs Regional Trail. If you are nowhere near there, do a search for local reserves with trails. There will most likely be some cool trails nearby!
Do Prenatal Yoga. Daily! You don’t need to be an experienced Yogi or have ever done yoga before. Prenatal yoga is so gentle and feels AMAZING. I often still joke that it is my favorite type of yoga practice, haha 🙂 I LOVE yogaglo.com because it allows you to easily filter search for the type of practice you like best, experience level, length of course, area of body that ails you, etc. … all in the comfort of your own home. I did go to a yoga studio on occasion, and those classes are awesome as well (especially to meet other moms-to-be), but I’m more of a DIY person and prefer the convenience of yoga on the go.
If you are post-delivery and looking for some quick ways to shed lbs, the above tips will work for you, too! Also, I am OBSESSED with the Beach Babes at toneitup.com. Their workouts are super efficient, fun and girly but tough (they will kick your man’s butt and leave you sore for days). You can do their workouts on the go, as they make everything easily accessible from any device. They host a plethora of fitness challenges every year, typically an 8 week training program that you follow along with their hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s a fun community that’s all super involved on social media, and many fans coordinate meetups. I have been doing their workouts from home, hotels, parks, you name it, before, during and after pregnancy (but not much after the first trimester). Love love love love them. And my buns have never been perkier, no joke!
How have you been trying to stay in shape? I would love to hear your tips!