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“Mom bods” are totally a thing. We spend our whole lives learning to love the body that we have, only for it to dramatically shift into something totally different.
We have to learn to love our bodies all over again.
And that’s hard. Really hard.
Stretch marks, saggy skin, gaining extra pounds…it’s all part of the game. Plus, don’t forget about that baby belly that just seems to stick around no matter what you try to do.
You have a few choices – and regardless of what you decide to do, the important thing is that you learn to love yourself again. So you can lose that extra baby weight, or embrace it.
Regardless of what you decide – I want you to know that your body is beautiful (but it’s okay if you don’t believe that yet).
Now. If you’ve made the decision to try and lose that extra baby weight, I’ll show you some tips for a flat tummy after pregnancy.
Now, don’t think this means you can get that 18-year-old body back. Your body has changed (and that’s a GOOD thing!), but you can feel good about it again, I promise.
The hardest part of making it happen? Giving yourself time. If you can make a little time for yourself during the day, you will see results. Period.
Are you ready to get some simple tips for a flat tummy after pregnancy? If so, let’s get to it.
There may be affiliate links in this article. Please see my disclosure for more information.
The most important part of losing weight post-pregnancy is finding a workout plan that fits with your lifestyle.
If you’re dealing with a newborn, time is gonna be pretty limited. Be realistic with yourself about how much you can really do, and remember that working out for ten minutes a day is better than no minutes a day.
Before starting anything, you’ll want to set some goals. I personally like the SMART method because it makes you get very specific about what you’re doing. Here is a breakdown of what that looks like.
- Time bound
So here’s an example of what that would look like.
(S)“I want to lose 10 pounds via an exercise program DVD”
(M) “I will do a ten minute workout every evening. Once a week I will weigh myself so that I can document my progress”.
(A) “I will decide on a workout program (this one for postpartum moms is AMAZING) that I enjoy doing. I will ask my partner to watch the baby every evening at six PM for fifteen minutes. That way I have time to get my workout ready, started, and finished.”
(R) “I will never have my “old” body back, but I will be healthier and learn to love my body again.”
(T) “I will lose ten pounds three months”.
Here are a few more simple questions to get you ready for a change in your lifestyle:
- How much time am I able to devote to shedding the baby weight?
- What is my overall goal of reducing my baby belly?
- How do I intend to make this a lifestyle change instead of just a “fad” diet?
- Do I understand that this isn’t a “get fit quick” type mind frame but an overall step in the direction to better myself and my health?
(Whew! We’re going deep with some of the questions, right?!)
Once you can answer the questions honestly, it’s a big indicator that you’re ready to take the next step in getting rid of that pregnancy belly.
WILL A BELLY FAT DIET PLAN HARM MY MILK SUPPLY IF BREASTFEEDING?
This is a totally valid question.
Dieting while breastfeeding can be tricky, and excessive dieting CAN cause reduced milk supply.
With that being said, as long as you listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry and stay away from outright harmful stuff – a typical diet will likely have NO impact on milk supply.
Definitely take a look at this article if you’re seriously considering dieting, but there’s a couple of takeaways I wanted you to be aware of.
- Don’t diet before baby is 2 months old.
- Eat at least 1500-1800 calories per day.
- Don’t lose more than 1.5 pounds a week.
- Breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. Remember that breastfeeding can help with post-baby weight loss.
- Slowly reduce your caloric intake
If breastfeeding is important to you, tread carefully when it comes to an extreme diet or exercise routine. You can definitely discuss it with your doctor, or there’s a REALLY awesome course that I recommend that shows you how to lose weight (including that baby belly) and still keep your milk supply where it’s supposed to be at. It helps you lose weight safely – and that’s the most important thing of all.
You can find it here, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Related: Postpartum Necessities
QUICK TIPS FOR A FLAT TUMMY AFTER PREGNANCY
Remember – losing weight requires a lifestyle change. That’s why a lot of diets don’t work. You lose the weight, but you gain it back once you resume your normal eating habits.
Either way – here are some tips that’ll help make the transition to being healthier easier.
REMEMBER IT’LL NATURALLY GET BETTER
Your stomach is going to naturally shrink quite a bit. Remember that MOST women don’t get back to their pre-pregnancy weight until 6 months after baby, so cut yourself some slack.
And if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll lose even more of the baby weight just from doing that.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR EATING
As moms (especially NEW moms), we’re often too busy to listen to our own bodies. As a society (at least in the US) we’re taught to finish all of our food, and we’re given outrageously huge portions. Becoming mindful of your eating requires a mindset change, and it’s something different from what we’re all taught.
I personally struggle with snacking. I snack when I’m bored, tired, and sometimes stressed. This can definitely become a much bigger problem – such as using food as comfort the same way we may be comforted by a partner that is close to us.
You need to understand your relationship with food while being kind to yourself.
If you’ve found that maybe you eat in excess (Thanksgiving doesn’t count!), you need to start keeping track. The next time you reach for some crackers, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. If you’re not, then don’t eat.
There’s another important mindset thing here.
You need to make sure that you avoid looking at eating mindfully as somehow missing out. Eating mindfully does not dictate the foods you eat or how often you eat them. Eating mindfully just means enjoying foods when you’re hungry and have the ability to recognize when you’re choosing to eat because of the satisfaction it’ll give you instead of eating because you’re hungry.
Awareness is one of the first (and most important) things you need to make a change in your life.
So get mindful about your eating!
EAT FOODS HIGH IN FIBER
You’ll want to be getting between 15-20 grams of fiber every day. You can get this from eating fruits, veggies, legumes, bread, and whole-grain cereal.
Not only is fiber pretty filling (so you don’t have to eat a ton of it), it’s going to help regulate your bowels. Which is super important postpartum!
DRINK MORE WATER
If you’re heard this once, you’re going to hear it over and over again. It’s funny how we tend to try and find a more complicated solution to the problems we’re having, but it’s often the simple thing that’ll make the biggest impact.
If you’re not breastfeeding, the typical recommendation is 2L a day, which is 8 8oz cups of water. Of course, this varies by things like weight and activity level, but it’s a good starting point for a postpartum mom who is NOT breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding momma’s need to consume MORE water, approximately a whole QUART extra (which is 32oz). Remember, water intake includes drinks, fruits, veggies, and other foods that contain a lot of water.
REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE
I love orange juice. Soooo much. After my second child, I was consuming around 3-4 8oz cups a day (I know it’s terrible). One day I came to terms with how unhealthy that was and decided to stop drinking it entirely.
And guess what? Over the next two months, I dropped ten pounds. I literally did NOTHING else but cut the orange juice out (not that I ate a lot of other sugars anyway). All bodies work differently and you may not drop ten pounds, but MOST of us eat a lot of excess added sugar, and it’s really not good for us.
Studies have shown how weight gain is linked to processed sugar. Stick to natural sugars that are in fruits and veggies, although you want to make sure you don’t overdo it with these either.
I also wanted to add..if you start watching your sugar intake, you’re probably going to be shocked at the amount of sugar in everything. It’s in almost everything, and it’s ridiculously hard to get away from.
You may also experience withdrawals if you decide to quit it immediately, so definitely talk to your doctor before doing anything extreme. Cutting down your intake (without quitting) can still help with your weight loss, and make you healthier. I promise it’s worth it.
SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN
As a mom, I hate this piece of advice. Everyone who has ever had a child (and even those who haven’t) always tends to give this as their “go-to” advice. “Sleep when the baby sleeps“.
And while I get what they’re saying and the importance of it, there’s a lot of things that have to be done as well when the baby is sleeping, too. Not to mention, when baby is only sleeping in twenty-minute blocks, there’s hardly time for adequate rest for you.
So I’m going to tell you to sleep when you can. Take the moments when you need them and ask for help from others if you need some extra rest. Even just having someone sit with your newborn for an hour or two so that you can have a quick nap is totally fine and can do wonders for your mind and body.
Here’s the thing. There are a few hormones that are affected by your lack of sleep.
Basically, lack of sleep makes your body less responsive to insulin. This means that the body is unable to release fatty acids that produce energy.
So your glucose stays high and extra fats and sugars make you pump out more insulin. This excess in insulin eventually leads to storing fats in the wrong places.
LEPTIN & GHRELIN
Not getting enough sleep also affects some hormones that are responsible for feeling hungry. Leptin makes you feel full, and ghrelin stimulates hunger and increases fat storage.
So when you’re sleeping less than 6 hours a day, your body produces LESS leptin and MORE ghrelin. Basically, you’re more hungry!
When you aren’t sleeping enough, cortisol levels go up. Cortisol makes you want to eat more food, and it unfortunately makes it more likely that the fat will be stored in your stomach area.
It can also inhibit the breakdown of fat for energy and increase the breakdown of muscle.
As you can see, there’s a LOT of negative things that come with not sleeping enough. Give your body the rest it needs, and that’ll help you get rid of belly bloat.
EXERCISE AFTER PREGNANCY TO REDUCE THE STOMACH
You knew that was coming, right? As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t a quick way to get rid of the baby belly.
There are a TON of exercise options and classes out there. When I say a ton..I mean A TON.
It can be mind-numbing to filter through them all and try to find value in what they’re offering versus what you’re trying to accomplish. In fact, most of the classes and gyms out there aren’t even tailored to anything specific necessarily…They just offer classes or memberships that give you no real structure or plan, just access.
You need more than that.
You deserve more than that.
And especially postpartum – you will need something that is specifically tailored to you and the changes in YOUR body because baby-makin is different than any other experience.
So you have a few options.
- Ask your doctor for an exercise regime
- Check out this course (Katie does AMAZING things for postpartum moms and gets amazing results!)
- Hire a personal trainer
- Read some blog posts
- Find a free YouTube video (this one is pretty popular)
I definitely like the YouTube option – and the nice thing you can do that anywhere.
Personally though, I prefer to buy courses. I’m distrustful of what I find on the internet (there’s soooo much misinformation), and I like to have everything I need in one place.
. Here is a little more info about my favorite postpartum course.
Related: Powerful Self-Care Tips for New Moms
THE POSTPARTUM CURE – a breastfeeding and belly fat diet plan for moms
Not only was this course created for moms who are breastfeeding and undergoing all the trials and tribulations that a new mom faces, but it was created by Katie Pickett, a Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist who understands and has been where you are.
The Postpartum Cure Course is unlike any other course out there. It’s created in such a way that works with your timeframe and schedule while still showing you how to get results.
You don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to join a gym, and you don’t have to stress out about finding the time to make it happen. Each course was designed to be concise (because we’re all busy), detailed, and to the point. There’s no fluff – only positive directives and suggestions on how to achieve your goals.
And just in case you need a bit more information, here are the titles for the sections that you’ll be completing and learning about once you enroll in The Postpartum Cure:
- 5-Day Jump Start: Gentle Steps To Help You Jump In
- 10-day reset
- Healing Nutrition for Recovery + Breastfeeding
- The Postpartum Cure MINI
- Ab rehab + Core Restore Program! 3 weeks!
- Losing The Baby Weight: Meal Plan and Recipes
- Going Back To Work After Baby
- Workouts To Lose The Baby Weight After 6 Weeks Postpartum Checkup
Keep in mind that these are just the titles for the sections. Each section has individual learning modules for you as well, offering you so much insight, structure, planning, and more!
This is one of the most comprehensive postnatal courses for new moms that I’ve ever seen. It not only addresses ways to recover better, but it also gives great nutrition advice for breastfeeding, how to lose the baby weight, how to transition back into work after having a baby and great workouts to get rid of that belly and shed that extra baby weight.
If you’re looking for “just” a belly fat diet plan, don’t. You’ll get so much more than this from The Postpartum Cure course.
And another AMAZING benefit of this course is that you also get access to a phone app and a private Facebook group as well to ask questions, learn from other moms who are feeling the same things as you are and be surrounded by people who are trying to accomplish what you are as well. It’s a great way to expand your “mom tribe” to find a whole other support system!
DO PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
These can definitely help with toning and giving you a flat tummy after pregnancy. Some new moms feel that their pelvic floor is wrecked after having babies, but it definitely is not something that you’ll have to put up with forever.
You’re definitely going to want to tone these up. Aside from the potential flat tummy effect, this can help with problems like incontinence and make sex more enjoyable.
Your pelvic floor muscles are the same ones you use to stop yourself from urinating all over the place. The nice thing about these exercises is that you can do them discreetly.
Nobody is going to notice you squeezing this muscle, which is why it’s one of my favorites. Do sets of 10-15 as often as is comfortable.