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I recently wrote about how I lost the baby weight by the 6 weeks postpartum. I am more than concerned that post makes the process sound easy. It’s not easy. Losing the baby weight is hard. Losing weight in general is hard. Keeping a fitness routine as a mom is hard. A gym is expensive and working out at home with kids is not fun.
Staying motivated to lose the baby weight isn’t the hardest challenge we will face as mothers. Managing our homes, keeping our children alive, dealing with the wining, protecting our homes from sheer destruction and attempting to be a decent adult who wears clothes is actually really hard too. As moms we are thrown into a whole new world of hurdles to jump over and it never ends.
Let’s jump into why specifically losing the baby weight is so hard. Here’s 5 reasons:
You’ve Got Some Bad Habits: Many moms don’t want to admit that their pregnancy eating doesn’t go away. The practice of giving into cravings develops into a normal way of eating, which doesn’t disappear when baby arrives. What happens when you are pregnant, and you give in to the intense need for pickles and fries, is you get used to letting cravings guide your eating habits. And, these habits are more often than not, full of not-so-healthy choices. As habits become normal, it’s hard to see them. I mention how to have a belly-only pregnancy as well as avoid swelling. All of these tips involve healthy eating and finding nutrient dense foods to satisfy cravings. A craving is your body crying for a nutrient…not a small voice begging for brownies.
You Gained More Than Anticipated During Pregnancy: Sometimes, the weight creeps up way faster than you realize during pregnancy. For me, this totally happens during the first trimester because I slip into a sick, hung over zombie that can’t stop eating. Believe me, I know how easy it is to scarf down ten pounds. Sometimes it’s like your body is just taken over. Gaining extra weight takes extra long to lose. The longer it takes to lose the weight, the more likely you are to give up before you get there. We all want instant gratification, and it’s so hard to eat celery when it doesn’t seem to be working. If you are at this point, where you know you gained too much, that means you need to give yourself more time to lose it. There are 5 foods to help you lose the baby weight and pump up your milk supply, which you can eat as much as possible of to help you get on track again.
Your Postpartum Workout Is Your Focus: After baby arrives, many moms focus on working out, when the main focus needs to be on nutrition. Your nutrition is going to effect your mood, how you feel and give your body what it needs to feed your baby and recover. It’s important to focus on your eating, then your workout. I wrote more in-depth post on why your workout to lose the baby weight isn’t working, but the main point is that your nutrition and eating habits are ruining the work you are doing. Most people have an inflated view of how many calories they burned because they feel exhausted and sore. Just because you are super sore, or dripped gallons of sweat doesn’t mean you burned a lot of calories. Working out is an hour out of your day. Eating is all day, so you must put your attention and discipline there first to really help yourself reach your goals.
The Baby: This one is simple. You have a new baby to care for! This is of course priority over losing the baby weight. As moms, we have to accept that some things are priority. I personally believe that my newborn’s needs are first. They are a helpless infant depending on you to care for them. As they get older, they can understand mommy taking time to workout and cook healthy meals. A newborn only understands love, care, food and comfort. This of course slows us down in our weight loss journey, and it’s just something we have to accept and work around the best we can.
More Babies: Another baby comes too soon after the previous baby. I know exactly how that feels. My babes are all two years or less apart. I’ve basically been pregnant or nursing for over 5 years. This puts a real kink in losing the baby weight because just as you start to get into your fitness groove and wean one baby, another one is brewing. Having multiple babies close together makes losing the baby weight very difficult because just as soon as it starts coming off, your hormones do a 180 and it jumps right back on. This is just a phase. It’s a beautiful phase of little ones, that will be over soon. It requires perseverance to do the best you can to stay healthy until you are out of the little baby stage. Babies and toddlers make losing the baby weight nearly impossible. Even if you have a gym to go too, lots of babies cry their heads off as you drop them off, and then you have to attempt to workout knowing your child is having a fit.
Basically, being a mom in general makes losing the baby weight really hard. Little people have needs that are important, and it is our job to take care of them, so taking care of ourselves comes last. But, the little years are short. If you can focus on nutrition and eating healthy, you will keep yourself in decent shape until you have some more time and space to fit in workouts. Nutrition is honestly the best way to manage your weight loss while juggling mommyhood. You can accomplish a lot with the right foods. Remember to check out the right foods to help you lose the baby weight, and you can also read some of the activities I found that worked well to keep my kids entertained while I fit a workout in.