How to Loose weight quickly after Pregnancy and Feel Good in your skin
Unlike many other articles of its kind I am not going to go into detail on the obvious disclaimer here, which is: it takes 9 months to make a baby, and so you need to give yourself and your body time to get back to a new normal. Whilst the former is true, undeniably so, it's also true that after a baby, the identity shift can be so destabilising, especially when you look in the mirror and cannot recognise your body, that these small tips that I'm going to go into, really can go a long way, making you feel like you again. And that's important.
After three entirely different post-partum experiences, I can say that it's not easy to get back to a place where you mentally have the space to focus on you again. With my first, I wasn't in that place for a long time. But now, after my third, I've come to this space a lot faster, and so I recognise that getting there can take time. And you will come to it once you are ready. And when you are, this is the article for you.
If you want to lose weight and even if you don't but just want to wake up feeling good and like yourself again, here are the things that worked for me:
1. Start a Meal Plan
One of the main ways to lose weight is accountability - holding yourself accountable to eating well, exercising and so on. And when you have limited time and limited energy, the best way I've found to ensure you're eating wholesome and nutritional meals that you actually enjoy and are calorie controlled, is through a meal plan. Weight loss when it comes down to it is not as complicated as we like to make it out to be. Burn more than what you consume. And if you don't have time to exercise following a delivery, then the best thing you can do is control your diet. There are many options around, and you need to choose the right one for you, particularly if you are nursing. I am currently nursing and on a low-calorie meal plan (1100-1400 calories a day), which I do add my own sauces and condiments too for added taste and enjoyment, and I do eat on top of it if I crave something. For me, it's very important not to deprive myself as food is a large source of my daily joy.
2. Buy New Clothes
This is my number one tip for any post-partum mum and something I personally struggled with, as I refused to let myself accept that my body was just so different and kept buying clothes that were my old size thinking I'd snap back quickly (RIP to those dresses still lying in my wardrobe three years later).
After a baby, it's inevitable that your body would have changed from what it was before. And whilst I have no doubt that you can get back to what you were before, in the interim, instead of trying to fit into tight jeans, buy yourself a temporary wardrobe so you can wake up and actually fit into your clothes and feel comfortable and hence feel GOOD. Having a few new basics after delivery that you're excited to wear and feel good in, is such a mood-changer. I live in oversized shirt dresses post delivery, with chunky jewellery and good shoes, as well as co-ords, because co-ords are minimal effort and are always a 'look'. You'd be surprised by how much of a game-changer buying new and larger sized clothes is.
3. Get a Fitbit
If you're able to workout that's excellent, and I wish I was one of those people who was easily able to find the energy and desire to work out after 9 months of little to no hard exercise. But, I've always found it a struggle to go straight back to the gym, mainly because of how intimidated I've felt by it all. So, in order to feel like you're somewhat moving and progressing towards losing a little bit of the weight, start walking. Getting a step-counter or a Fitbit will make the whole process a little bit more exciting. Again, it comes down to accountability, and knowing how much you're moving can definitely motivate you more. I'd say if you want to lose weight do a minimum of 10k steps a day, and if you're really able to aim for 20k. And if you can't get in 10k, whatever you do is better than nothing.
4. Buy a weighing scale
I know this is a controversial one, as many people find it uncomfortable post delivery to focus on their weight. Plus, weight does not always move even when you're losing weight, so it's important to not be too obsessive over it. I am talking about what is currently helping me, and as a person who has never believed in owning a weighing scale, I knew after this delivery I wanted to track my progress. It's been two weeks on a meal plan and it's only in the last four days that I've seen the number move since I delivered four week ago. And this has been hugely motivating, and hence I feel having a weighing scale is really making me feel like I'm working towards a goal. But as I said, my relationship with my weighing scale isn't an obsessive one.
5. Go on Daily Walks
Not only will this help your step count, but mentally, carving out a little bit of time in your day where you can escape the confines of your room or your home, or even your family if you need the space, is just so important and a total mood-changer. For me, my walking time happens after I've fed the older kids dinner, and it is where all three of my kids can be together with me seamlessly, as I put my newborn in a baby carrier. This is a total mood-changer for me. As the other two are occupied with my husband and their scooters, I'll put on a podcast and just walk and listen. It is truly my daily escape, and I come home ready for bath time, with a renewed energy to get through the struggle that can be bed time.
6. Invest in Great Skincare
Whilst clothes may not be at the top of your list right after delivery, you'll be amazed by how good you feel investing in good skincare, which you can use every night before sleeping to make your night time routine a little more exciting. I'm talking overnight masks (nothing I love more), a nice exfoliator, perhaps an at-home peel. The mask I am currently in love with is the Meso Overnight Mask by 111 Skin, I also love the Jetlag Mask by Summer Fridays which I also use as an overnight mask. If you're looking to shop for some exciting new skincare, and make-up too, head to Cult Beauty.
7. Buy Compression Underwear and Leggings
I have around 4 different types of compression underwear. One is a REAL struggle to get into, and when I wear it I literally feel it digging into my stomach (perhaps because it is a size too small), but overall, it's just not comfortable to wear. Compression underwear is supposed to be tight, but you should be able to breathe. Find the right one for you, I recommend Spanx and Marks and Spencer. They really suck everything in, making you feel like your core is nice and tight. For me, compression underwear post delivery is not about looking slimmer, it's about feeling like you actually have a core. And wearing one religiously definitely helps firm things up quicker. I believe you can start wearing compression underwear around 2 weeks post delivery, but always check with your OB. Some prefer the Belly Bandit, but I personally have found compression underwear easier to wear. I have however, invested in the Belly Bandit Mother Tucker compression leggings, which are super high-waist and suck everything in. If you find wearing the underwear too taxing on a daily basis, you will live in these because they're so comfortable and also easy to get on, whilst achieving the same affect of tightening your core much faster.
8. Post-Partum Massage
If you are able to find a post-partum massage specialist I cannot recommend this enough. I was not in the space to focus on myself and my body for quite some time following both my first and second deliveries. But for my third, I knew I wanted this to be a priority and so I did my research prior to delivery. The first 40-days following your delivery are the most crucial in terms of recovery, and if you're able to do a regular post-partum massage within those first 40-days it can really help not just your healing and recovery internally, but also your weight loss. I lost around 7kg within the first 2 weeks, which I credit to this. But I was not so focused on the weight, but more the internal healing that was taking place. And I mentally felt so much better knowing I was investing time in my own self-care, something I had not done before, and it has really been a mood-booster.