Mummy says…Look at any celebrity or female sections in a newspaper or magazine, and it won’t be long before you see the stories about celebrity women who have found found a “heaven sent” method for losing baby their baby weight, or who are at the very least vowing to lose the weight as soon as possible.
As nice as these stories are, they’re also incredibly unrealistic for most women. These celebrity women have the funds and staff that allows them to focus completely on their body. Us ordinary mums don’t have the same level of luxury, but it can still be incredibly difficult to see these amazing post-baby transformations, and not think “why can’t I lose the baby weight like that?”
The truth is losing the baby weight without a personal chef, nanny, and fitness trainer is very difficult indeed. Here’s why, as well as a few ideas about how you can return to your post-pregnancy self…
#1 – Lack of inclination
You may be carefully measuring your portions, reading nutrition advice, making sure that you’re eating all the right foods, diligently cutting out sugar… or you could be snuggling your new baby.
For most parents, given the options, thinking about your weight goes onto the backburner. Those early few months are precious, and a few excess pounds fade into the background as you’re enjoying motherhood.
The best way to combat this is to opt for a new diet plan that’s as simple as it can possibly be. No careful measurements, no need to go to to six different supermarkets to collect all the ingredients you need for breakfast if you opt for something simple, easy to follow, and that won’t consume half of your time.
#2 – Hormonal mischief
When you’ve just given birth, your hormones are in overdrive and can take a few months to settle back to something even resembling normality. The hormonal surge you experience is extremely problematic for weight loss, especially given the huge control that hormones have over our appetite in general.
While it is possible to battle through these hormonal changes, it’s important to note that you’re fighting a very tough, very determined battle. There may be occasions when you have a bad day, and can’t quite resist that craving, but give yourself a break, your hormones are still running wild and fighting them on top of parenting a newborn is nigh-on impossible all the time, so be generous with your expectation.
#3 – Sleep deprivation
New mothers know the world of sleep deprivation all too well; the exhaustion that sits deep in your bones and never seems to ease no matter how many quick naps you take.
As well as generally making every day blend into one another, sleep deprivation also has an impact on your hormones. Yes, once again, hormones are to blame, and this time it’s a hormone called cortisol.
When you are sleep deprived, your cortisol levels become elevated. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone”, and it’s a hormone that causes your body to panic. It is very difficult to lose weight when your cortisol levels are heightened, as your body is essentially constantly preparing to flee danger. Excess cortisol has been linked with weight gain, so trying to lose weight while your cortisol is high due to sleep deprivation is very difficult.
This information should encourage you, not dishearten you. There’s not a lot you can do about the sleep deprivation that comes with life as a newborn, and your cortisol levels will likely rise as a result. However, what you can do is go easy on yourself when it comes to weight loss; there’s a hormonal war raging inside of you, so don’t expect miracles, and just do whatever you can.
If you do want to actively try and lower your cortisol, then, aside from sleep your best options are soothing activities such as yoga and meditation.
Losing the baby weight is a difficult task, and one you should be prepared to go easy on yourself when contemplating. Your body has changed, and it will continue changing for the next few months. Your hormones are struggling. And, frankly, you have other priorities in your life, such as caring for and loving a newborn!
Despite what newspapers like to suggest, losing the baby weight isn’t a goal, or something you feel you should vow to do. Give it time, adjust to motherhood, and make small but effective changes that help you towards your overall goal.
Have you any tips for losing the baby weight?