Diet & Nutrition Fitness

Post-Pregnancy Health and Fitness – Real Solutions for Getting Fit

Hey, I know it’s not easy to lose weight following a pregnancy…

I’ve been there myself, struggling through months of no progress, sleep deprivation and raging hormones.

It sucks.

The idea that women can easily “bounce” back to their pre-pregnancy bodies after giving birth is pure nonsense. Except for a minority of women with incredibly lucky genes, the majority of us have to work really hard to regain our figures and, even then, we have to accept our bodies will never quite be the same.

However, a fit mom is a happier, healthier, more confident person.

And in my case, it also made me a much better mom.

Three Real Solutions for Getting Fit:

Efficient, Effective Workouts

One of the first mistakes I made was to “ease back into it” with low intensity exercises. You can start training a few days after a normal delivery or six weeks with a C-section. The trick is to challenge your body – not just go through the motions!

Post-pregnancy, women need to rebuild critical lean muscle loss in order to jumpstart a lagging metabolism. Any workout that combines cardio and strength training is ideal; something they can easily fit into their often hectic, time-strapped schedules. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is the best solution. No special equipment or gym membership needed…just 3-4 days per week, 30-45 minutes a day. It’s quick, fun and extremely effective at burning calories and fat continuously for up to 24hrs after exercising.

The best part – you start at your own pace and level, gradually building your speed and strength as you go along. You get out of it what you put into it…it’s that simple. The harder you push yourself, the greater results you’ll achieve. Try it. You’ll be amazed.

For god’s sake – EAT!

Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you should not “diet” post-pregnancy. Your body needs nourishment and sufficient fuel to repair and regenerate damaged tissue and muscles. Dieting for the sake of losing a few pounds is counter-productive to your fitness goals. This is especially critical if you’ve started exercising again.

It’s vital that you consume enough nutrient-dense calories each day – carbs, protein and fat. Restricting calories is almost as bad as eating empty calories – really! Your body will adapt to the demands you place on it and will, in turn, start functioning with a slower metabolism. This is not ideal for fat loss, which is what you ultimately want – not just numbers on the scale.

Start with moderation – 80% clean, nutritious food; 20% careful indulgence. Steer clear of fad diets and don’t deprive yourself! Listen to your body…if you’re hungry, make a healthy choice, preferably a lean protein, whole grain carb snack. Fill up on the good stuff: fruits and vegetables – the very building blocks of good nutrition.

And, lastly, don’t be impatient. Healthy weight loss comes through consistency and self-control. Here are my top tips to get you started.

Rest, Recovery & Sleep

One of the main reasons many women fail to lose weight after pregnancy is due to lack of sleep, overwhelming stress and crazy hormonal changes. Sometimes it’s not within your power to change or alleviate these conditions. However, for your health and overall well-being…you must.

Getting adequate sleep is vital to your body’s ability to repair and rebuild itself. Sleep deprivation is also linked to weight gain and can lead to a higher risk of chronic health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Stop trying to be “SuperMom” and allow others to help out, even if for only a few hours so you can take a well-needed nap.

Long periods of stress (i.e. the first year after giving birth, in particular) messes with your adrenal glands, affecting proper hormonal function. Adrenal fatigue is a very serious, yet often overlooked, disorder causing a wide range of physiological symptoms, making you more susceptible to illness and injury, as well as anxiety and depression.

Every day find ways to reduce your stress levels, be it reading, meditating, yoga or exercising (YES!!). Physical activity releases vital neurotransmitters, like serotonin and norepinephrine, giving you that amazing feel good factor. Maintaining healthy neurotransmitter levels – less stress, clean eating and exercise – also helps counteract fat storage, encouraging weight loss.


Be the healthiest, fittest version of YOU!

You got this…

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DR J 2211 – Rachael Jezierski, PhD