6-Step Plan to Lose Weight After a Baby

Use real life strategies to slim down with kids in the house

new mom workout
JGI/Jamie Grill Blend Images/Getty Images

It may not seem like you have the time or energy to lose weight after a baby comes along. But if you want to slim down with a baby in the house, you can.  Really! I recently talked to a working mom who is losing weight with three children under the age of five.  Read her full story to find out how she did it, then use these simple steps to get your body back.

6 Steps to Weight Loss After a Baby

Once you’ve gotten clearance from your doctor to begin a program of healthy eating and exercise, take these steps to begin your post baby weight loss journey.

  1. Define your motivation.  If you know why you want to lose weight, you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan.  It helps to be specific and find reasons that are personal.  For example, if you’re losing weight because you feel social pressure to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, you’ll be less likely to stick to your plan.  But if you lose weight because you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after an exercise session, you are more likely to be successful.
  2. Set a goal.  Goal setting is the most under-valued part of the weight loss process.  Set S.M.A.R.T goals that are designed to help you manage the weight loss process in small steps.  This is especially important when you are trying to balance your needs with the needs of the baby. The goal setting process only takes 20-30 minutes, but can determine the success or failure of your weight loss journey.
  3. Combine diet and exercise.  Your post-baby weight loss plan will be more effective if you address both healthy eating and exercise. Determine your caloric needs to be sure that you are fueled properly for workouts but still reach the proper calorie deficit for weight loss.  One of the most common workout mistakes is overcompensating with food after a good workout.  In fact, many new runners fail to lose weight for this reason.
  1. Make a plan.  Your goals and motivation will help to determine the best plan for you.  If you are looking for a step-by-step guide for weight loss, consider one of my e-courses.  Both plans include ideas for home exercise sessions, which are especially important if you have a new baby at home.
  1. Identify obstacles.  People who lose weight successfully are people who have a plan for managing the roadblocks that will inevitably appear.  Make sure you take some time to identify your potential weight loss barriers.  For example, if you know that your husband may need to work late unexpectedly some nights, have a home workout DVD available just in case.  If your family is not supportive of your diet program, enlist the help of friends or find support online.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  2. Measure your progress.  You might evaluate your progress by stepping on the scale.  But remember, if you change your body composition, you may not see a change in your weight even though your body is getting leaner and more fit.  Remember to give yourself credit for doing simple things like eating more veggies during the week or completing your workouts.
Of course, you may need to adjust your program if you don't see the results that you want.  Keep in mind that healthy weight loss occurs at the rate of 1-2 pounds per week.
You might hit a plateau or go through phases when you are too busy or too stressed to stick to your plan.  That’s okay.  Go back to the goal setting phases and adjust your goals to accommodate your needs.

Continue Reading