After nine months of kicks and turns it’s finally time to meet your newborn! However, there’s also nine months of self-indulgent build up to work on. I’ve received a lot of inquiries from first time mothers struggling to loose the “baby belly”. Being pregnant can easily be used as an excuse to go for a second (or third) serving, but keep in mind that what you eat today will show up in due time. Women tend to collect fat in the abdominal region when pregnant, follow these tips to help banish your belly for good.
- Slow and steady: if you’re like me, hitting the gym after the delivery of a baby sounds normal. However, you must be patient. It can take up to a year to lose the weight and tone the belly back up. Pregnancy causes your abdominal muscles to stretch and your uterus to expand; it is recommended that you hit the gym lightly to avoid hurting yourself. The amount of time it takes to see results also depends on your pregnancy, whether or not you did a cesarean and your own body.
- Consume the good stuff: I often say, “Motherhood is the best exercise any woman can get” and that’s because the amount of energy and attention required to run after your little one is quite the calorie-burner. A healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and vegetarian substitutes will help you lose the baby weight while providing energy. Here’s a guide to a well-balanced meal: fill half of your plate with vegetables or fruits, a quarter with whole grain, and a quarter with lean protein.
- Breastfeed: did you know that breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract and shrink back to its pre-baby size? Aside from offering health benefits to the newborn, statistics show that women who breastfeed lose up to 300 calories more (daily) then those who don’t.
- Breathe, stretch, shake: find the time to exercise and get your heart pace going. Fitting 30-60 minutes of cardio into your day is a great way to burn belly fat. You don’t have to leave home, simply find at-home exercises that will allow you to keep an eye out on your newborn while focusing some time to yourself. Some recommended activities include squats, lunges, and push-ups.