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You are here: Home - Pregnancy - Postpartum

Jumpstart Your Metabolism and Drop Those Post-Baby Pounds

by Katlyn Joy | May 31, 2013 12:00 AM
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Giving birth does help you drop some pregnancy pounds all at once, after all you lose the pounds baby packed on in the last trimester, the placenta pounds and all those fluids that seemed to pool around your ankles the last couple weeks. However, pretty quickly, that weight loss will plateau.

Hormones once more are playing against you. Postpartum pounds are reluctant to leave and let's be honest; you are more than a little fatigued. So what are the best ways to get that stalled out metabolism on track and find your figure once more? Read on for some easy and quick starts to a mommy makeover.

1. Breastfeed baby.

You will burn several hundred calories a day just by nursing your baby, which is probably the easiest way to burn calories ever. After all you can sit in a rocking chair, even read a magazine while doing it. Breastfeeding moms can't skimp on nutrition however, if you want to keep a healthy milk supply. Experts don't agree with how many extra calories you may need as a nursing mother, but you should at least continue with your pregnancy diet to ensure your diet is healthy enough to sustain you and your milk.

2. Get through the newborn stage before actively trying to lose weight.

Your body needs time to recover from both childbirth and the adjustment to non-pregnancy. Hormones fluctuate greatly and you need time to settle back into your body. If you stress your body with extra demands now, you'll only set yourself back.

3. Sleep.

No, really! Women who suffer from a lack of restful sleep have a harder time getting their metabolism on track and losing weight after baby. Of course, the cruel joke is you have a new baby who doesn't care about when or whether you ever sleep. Guard your sleep. Get a white noise machine, a sleep mask, spray your pillow with lavender and make your bedroom an oasis. Whatever it takes try to get good sleep as many nights a week as possible. If a full night is out of the question, then try to nap when baby naps.

4. Get your groove back.

Want your body back? Then grab your honey and get busy. That's right, sex is a wonderful way to burn calories. Also it is an endorphin booster and if you feel good, your energy will be boosted making it easier to do less enjoyable types of exercise. Plus, your hubby will love it. Win, win.

5. Eat breakfast.

Skipping this meal will set your metabolism back. If you don't eat your first meal, your body sends out the message to store fat because you're trying to starve it. A good choice will include protein and fiber. Consider some lean breakfast meat, or a couple egg whites, some yogurt, whole grain toast and a glass of o.j. for instance.

6. Skip the energy drink and guzzle some green tea instead.

If you feel low energy, don't reach for a Red Bull but instead get a glass of green tea. The caffeine it contains is slowly released so you won't get that horrid let down energy drinks give you.

7. Snack wisely and do it a few times a day.

This may seem counter-intuitive but your body will function more efficiently if you don't allow it to go into starvation mode. Opt for three 75 to 100 calorie snacks each day. Make sure they aren't empty calorie snacks, and your tummy will thank you and so will your energy level.

8. Lift weights.

Weight training is one of the very best ways to boost your metabolism and get back into shape after baby. Opt for 20 minutes a few times a week. You can use small 3 to 5 pound weights. You don't need to be bench pressing with the football team or anything. Weight training tears muscles down, and when the body builds them back up your metabolism switches into high gear.

9. Hydrate.

Drinking plenty of water will help prevent constipation, which in a way keeps the weight down, and keeps your system cleared out. Additionally it's believed cold water will bump up the metabolism rate as your body attempts to warm itself. Plus, breastfeeding moms in particular can become dehydrated quickly.

10. Eat small and frequent meals.

Don't go more than four hours without eating in order to keep your body working most efficiently, which is hopefully what you've been doing since you were pregnant.

11. Include some spicy foods in your diet.

Spicy foods supposedly can boost metabolism and are good for the immune system as well.

12. Chill out.

Stress levels fight against metabolism levels. Take a walk, which can aid relaxation and burn calories. Read a book you enjoy. Watch a comedy and laugh. Get a message once a month. Just take care of yourself as you learn to take care of your little one and your metabolism will work with you instead of against you.

Katlyn Joy is a mother to 7 children, and a freelance writer. She earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Poetry, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and was previously an adviser to new mothers on breastfeeding through a maternity home program. She currently resides in Colorado with her family.

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