Losing the so-called “baby weight” has garnered unprecedented attention in recent years. With celebrities, Instagram models, and the “no excuses” mom Maria Kang telling women it’s their own fault for not losing the fat gained during pregnancy making headlines, the pressure on moms is incredible.
First thing’s first—it’s natural and healthy in many cases to gain fat while pregnant. When the fat gain isn’t dangerously excessive, it’s the safety net your child needs to enter the world as smoothly as possible. Losing fat is an arduous task that requires time, commitment, and sometimes money. For most people, it’s a lot easier to increase the size of fat cells rather than shrink them.
Remember that there’s no such thing as “losing fat” unless it’s via cosmetic surgery which actually removes the fat cells. Otherwise, they just shrink and grow. Still, a lot of new moms want to feel better, and excess fat can drag them down. You need a healthy body full of energy to keep up with your new mommy role. Here are the six best, safest, and most proven ways of doing it:
- Adopt a lipotropic food approach to eating. Ditch the word “diet” as it applies to weight loss. Everyone has a diet, for better or worse. Choosing to eat lipotropic foods has been proven to help burn fat faster and more effectively, which helps with healthy weight loss. Plus, these foods are filling and delicious, such as lean cuts of meat (red and white), tuna and shellfish, parmesan cheese, yogurt, white beans and Brazil nuts. Lipotropic compounds work by breaking down the adipose tissue that stores fat, converting fat to energy, cleansing the liver of toxins, balancing hormones and minimizing the storage of excess fat.
- Start building muscle. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more effective your metabolism is. In other words, the more muscle, the more calories you’ll burn during all activities of daily living. Plus, increasing muscle size and/or strength naturally leads to an increase in bone mineral density. Many women are scared of “looking manly” and avoid strength training, but that’s a mistake. Women simply don’t have enough testosterone levels to “look manly.” You’ll just looked tone and burn fat faster.
- Work out with a group. Numerous studies have shown that when you work out with a buddy
- Breast feed. It’s the easiest, most encouraged way to lose fat as a new mom and it can’t be stressed enough. If you’re able to breast feed and/or pump, you’ll naturally burn more calories when you produce milk. As an added bonus, you’ll be encouraged to eat healthily when you know your diet is going directly into your child.
- Consider fasted workouts followed by high-protein after-workout treats. This doesn’t work for everyone, or with everyone’s schedule, but there’s strong evidence that a fasted workout (cardio or strength) can increase fat burned. The theory is that if you work out on empty, your body has no choice but to rely on fat instead of that just-consumed buckwheat waffle for energy. Just make sure you feed your muscles with at least 20 grams of protein right after a workout, especially strength training. If you don’t feed them, they can’t grow strong.
- Get intimate again. A low libido and poor sex life is commonly reported after giving birth. However, intimacy and all it entails can be a great workout and fat burner. More importantly, it will help you remain close with your partner during one of the most trying times of your relationship.
Don’t let anyone pressure you into “snapping back” to your pre-pregnancy body. Your body will never be the same, and that’s a good thing! It’s evidence of your role as a mom. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take some healthy short cuts to look and feel your best.