Are you putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to squeeze into your size 10s only months after giving birth?
Most mums don't reach their pre-pregnancy weight until their babies are 1 year old. Dropping those extra kilos takes time, especially when you're caring for a new baby and getting accustomed to a new schedule.
Be kind to yourself, focus on a healthy lifestyle, take it one day at a time and become a healthy role model for your child.
Our three-step guide will help you find your waistline again without sacrificing time with your baby, or losing your mind!
Step 1: Start exercising now.
Get moving, pop bub in the pram and walk, slowly if you are less than 6 weeks postnatal, but after 6 weeks, once given the all clear by your Doc, try adding some intervals; for example jog or fast walk for 30 seconds and slow it down for 60 seconds, continue this sequence for 20 minutes. For fitness exercise classes where you can bring your bub along try PhitMums-n-Bubs.
Getting some type of exercise will help you feel alive again
Step 2 : Eat Smart
Eat smart by choosing foods packed with nutrients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein and healthy fats. And remember, set time aside to eat, don’t let yourself get hungry because this is too often when you’ll grab for unhealthy sugar laden rubbish. Your food choices will either energise you or make you feel sluggish. I’m pretty sure you know junk food won’t energise you!
Keep healthy snack available, ie in the car, try a handful of almonds, or a carrot.
If you aren’t convinced to eat health, consider this; you are a role model to your children and what you eat and your relationship with food, (including while breastfeeding) will influence your children relationship with food and what they eat.
Step 3: Stress Less
When you're worried or feel like you have no control over what's happening in your life, your body reacts by releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream. When you're in physical danger, these hormones give you the strength to run from enemies. But if the stress is in response to frequent emotional demands, as is the case with mums, these hormones build up and cause fatigue, listlessness, irritability and weight retention or gain. High levels of cortisol can make you crave fatty, sweet, salty, crunchy foods.
My mother always tells me that I should sit down more and stress less, apparently the ‘mess’, which I so often feel compelled to clean up instead of resting, will wait for me… She is right. So when bub is sleeping, or playing happily, take the opportunity to sit down for a moment, instead of rushing around getting dinner ready or popping washing on the line. Remember, “The Mess Will Wait For You”.
On those days that you have loads of energy, do a cook up and freeze meals ready for those days that you’ve hardly had a chance to go to the toilet, not to mention make a fresh meal.
It’s ok to ask for help, get hold of a regular babysitter and use the opportunity to read a book in a café, get your hair done or simply take a walk outdoors without the extra ‘precious cargo’ in toe.
Sleep! Get more, sleep when your baby is sleeping and/or go to bed earlier, even if it’s only a couple of times each week. Schedule it in and hit the sake before 10pm!