Best weight loss tips after pregnancy
Eager to get back into shape now that you're no longer pregnant? For long-term success – and to keep yourself feeling good along the way – keep these tips in mind.
Don't start dieting too soon
Your body needs time to recover from labor and delivery. Give yourself until your six-week postpartum checkup before you start watching your calorie intake and actively trying to slim down. And if you're breastfeeding, experts recommend that you wait until your baby is at least 2 months old before you try to lose weight. (If you're a nursing mom, you may also want to read our article on a healthy breastfeeding diet.)
Starting a diet too soon after giving birth can delay your recovery and make you feel more tired – and you need all the energy you can muster to adjust to life with your newborn. In addition, if you're nursing, dieting can affect your milk supply. If you're patient and give your body a chance to do its work, you may be surprised at how much weight you lose naturally, especially if you're breastfeeding.
Be realistic about weight loss
Keep in mind that you may not be able to return to your exact pre-pregnancy weight or shape. For many women, pregnancy causes permanent changes such as a softer belly, slightly wider hips, and a larger waistline. With this in mind, you might want to adjust your goals a bit. For a reality check, see our photo gallery of real post-baby bellies.
Postpartum exercises: Introduction
There's no magic pill to help you lose weight: A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to shed the pounds – and to keep them off. And it's important to exercise while trying to lose weight to ensure you're losing fat instead of muscle.