Now that you’ve had the baby, you are ready to feel more physically fit, more confident and better than ever. So, where do you start? It is a combination of eating well and establishing a consistent exercise routine.
The most basic formula for anyone trying to lose weight is calories in (what you eat) must be less than calories out (what you burn/your metabolism). Ask your doctor how many calories you need each day. A healthy diet with daily exercise will help you shed those extra pounds.
Remember, your body needs time to recover from childbirth. If you lose weight too quickly, it could take longer for you to recover. Allow yourself until your six-week checkup with your doctor before trying to start a weight-loss routine. If you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least two months old before you try to lose weight.
To help get you started, here are some tips from the fitness professionals at LifeWorks of Southwest General, the hospital’s premier health and fitness center.
Nutrition (focus on healthy eating)
• Drink plenty of water—it is recommended to have eight glasses of water each day
• Avoid fast food, artificial sugars and lessen processed foods
• Avoid mindless snacking
• Do not skip breakfast — if you are in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit, a low-fat breakfast bar, low-fat yogurt, a bagel with peanut butter, or a piece of cheese and a whole grain roll
• Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages — too much caffeine can cause dehydration, headaches, stomach distress and difficulty sleeping
• Pack healthy snacks to munch on for quick energy, such as bananas, raisins, string cheese or dried fruit
Exercise (consult with your physician prior to beginning any exercise program)
• To start exercising, commit to twice a week. Once you have established an exercise routine, you can increase to three or four times a week.
• Don’t overdo it. A walk around the neighborhood is beneficial for both mom and baby.
• Strength training is as important as cardio. Have a fitness professional help design a program that is right for you, and start off with strength training twice a week.
• Schedule your exercise as if it is an important date — no standing yourself up.
• Get a workout buddy — it’s easier to go through it together
• Join an exercise class — this will make it fun and motivating
LifeWorks of Southwest General. Visit Lifeworksfitness.net to learn more.