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I need to lose weight!
There I said it.
I never thought I would, as pre-pregnancy I was one of those annoying people who could eat what they like and not put on weight.
But now, I’m several dress sizes larger, a bra size I never knew existed, a body shape I don’t recognise as my own and am just carrying too much weight for my height.
Read more: Healthy Snacks for Tired Mums – a list of delicious but super healthy snacks to keep you from reaching for high sugar starchy snacks, even when you’re at your most tired
And that’s … ermmm … 3 and a half years after giving birth!
How on earth did that happen?
Well like loads of mums I put on weight during pregnancy. Most of this was from polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), but it left me a very strange shape and looking back, I think really left me out of touch with my body.
Then despite trying to eat healthily the sheer exhaustion of the first months and going back to work took their toll. I learnt to keep going on starchy white carbs and sugar!
And then you’re trying to encourage a toddler to eat.
And you eat what they’re eating. And what they haven’t eaten because it just seems wrong … how crazy are we? … to waste it!
And you want to do baking with them, because it’s fun and you want them to learn how to cook and they really want more than anything to make fairy cakes. Again.
And then there’s the little things like jam & the odd biscuit that they can eat because they run around non-stop … except of course when you’re trying to get somewhere quick … but you really can’t …
And then you really didn’t get puddings sorted today this week this month and you’re all having ice cream.
And suddenly three and a half years later my clothes don’t fit. And they’re the ones I bought to replace the previous pre-pregnancy lot that didn’t fit. And, and, and …
… I need to lose weight!
But … and it’s a big but … I believe passionately “diets” are a bad thing!
For so many of us, they create a dangerous love-hate relationship with food and our bodies that encourages yo yo diets and binging and worse.
I really believe food should be enjoyed and that the true “secret”to weight loss is to plan meals around food you love that is also healthy and to sit down with your family and really savour this food.
And then of course just to be more mobile.
Which doesn’t mean going to the gym – which I hate, hate, hate! – but walking as much as possible and focusing on exercise we actually enjoy.
And finally, I am convinced we all need to relax more.
We’re all buzzing around on adrenalin which makes us crave sugar and then leaves us wiped out and craving more sugar to get going again.
So I’ve set myself a target and I am going to try and reach it by just enjoying healthy food, being more mobile and relaxing properly.
And the target is that I will be able to fit into a beautiful blue 1950s dress I inherited from my great aunt. Pre-pregnancy it was far too big. Right now I can’t do the zip up. At all!
So I am not trying to starve myself back to my pre-pregnancy weight just lose enough weight to have a healthy BMI and feel comfortable in my body. Which for me I think will be about 5kg.
To help me on my way, I’ve made a list … of course 🙂 … of healthy weight loss tips. None of them are earth shattering just the common sense stuff I need to remind myself of.
Tips to Lose Weight Post-Pregnancy
- Eat a good “slow release” breakfast as early as possible e.g. porridge
- Don’t skip meals – world won’t come to an end if baby cries for 5 minutes while you eat
- Drink loads of water
- Walk for 20 minutes AM + PM to help banish the blues that make you crave sugar
- Walk rather than drive whenever you can – to the shops, on the school run, to work etc
- Sit down & relax when you eat to reduce adrenalin which causes sugar craving
- Stock up on fruit & veg you love for snacks
- Stock up on low GI healthy snacks that you really like e.g. oat cakes
- Oats are great for keeping your energy levels up – also great for breastfeeding
- Eat wholemeal bread
- Plan meals so you don’t just throw something unhealthy together
- Eat plenty of fibre but keep an eye on pulses in early months as can cause colic
- DO NOT eat children’s left overs – a little bit of waste is not the end of the world!
- Avoid diet sodas – many contain aspartame which has side effects
- If you love sodas make your own bottles of pure juice & fizzy water
- Keep a small supply of good chocolate & enjoy a very small amount every day
- Banish all other biscuits & chocolate from the house
- Organise 20 minutes me-time every day & do some exercise you love
- Bake muffins & cookies for the kids with yummy low GI spelt flour
- Fill your freezer with healthy ingredients so you can cook healthily quickly
- Grill rather than fry food
- Find a tasty alternative to all those calorific “little” extras that sneak in
- Some “low fat” brands are full of sugar & salt – better to enjoy a little good quality dairy
- Plan & freeze lots of fruit rich puddings for your kids so it’s not ice cream every day
- Eat slowly & really digest so stomach has time to know it’s full
If like me you feel like you lost touch with your body post-pregnancy but absolutely don’t believe in faddy diets, I do hope these tips help … I’d love to hear your tips and how you get on … do share …
And if you’re looking for more practical health tips for mums juggling too much do check out our other Healthy and Wellbeing posts …
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