Ever wonder how some women can go to the hospital, pop out a baby and be in their pre-pregnancy jeans when the leave the hospital?
I did too. And the short story here is that it is RARE for that to actually happen and is usually in women who are under 20 years old. The younger your body, hypothetically speaking, the easier time you're going to have bouncing back from an uneventful delivery.
So what, if anything, can the rest of us do to 'get back to normal' in the least amount of time possible? I'm going to share my Top 5 Postpartum Weight Loss Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. BUT, I'm going to do it in the form of five different articles so that you have time to ponder, absorb and implement each of them into your life. With these five easy tips you can EASILY drop 10 lbs by the time I've released all 5 articles!
First up we're going to concentrate on expectations. Wait, WHAT? Yup we're starting there because that's the #1 Weight Loss Mistake of ALL Time!
Keep in mind your body has been providing for a growing human for the past nine months. Now if you took advantage of the old wives tale of 'eating for two,' then chances are you gained WAY too much weight over the course of your pregnancy. The average woman only needs to eat an additional 350- 500 calories per day after the first trimester; NOT an extra 1500-2000! Not to mention, if you are one of the millions of women who started off overweight, you really only needed an extra 100-150 cal/d starting the second trimester.
So let's assume you were of ideal weight for your height, but ate for two and now have around 50-60 lbs of pregnancy weight to lose. There have been countless studies done to determine the 'best' way to lose weight fast, but in the long run, slow and steady wins the race. If it took you nine months to get the weight on then it's reasonable to plan for nine months to get it off, right? As a general rule of thumb our expectation level versus our performance level RARELY, if ever, match up to each other. And this is why there is a 95% fail rate in the diet and weight loss industry. We simply 'think' we should be able to get the weight off fast, but fail to realize that our 'thinking,' or our expectation is WAY off from what reality can actually deliver.
So am I telling you that you'll take nine long whole seemingly never ending months to lose all of that weight?! Well... maybe. Depending on your current physical condition (i.e. did you have a c-section, forceps delivery, long hard labor, short 'easy' labor, etc...) you may be able to lose it faster or you may need to cut yourself a break and take a bit longer.
No matter where you're starting from the key to weight loss success is to have the right tools, have the proper REALISTIC expectations AND to implement the tools and adjust your expectation level if needed. By combining the essential weight loss tools you'll be setting yourself up for long term weight loss success; NOT just rapid loss with even more rapid gain back!
In short, the most realistic expectation for postpartum weight loss is pretty much the same as the industry standard of 2 lbs/week on average. Now while this may feel like it's going to take forever, let me assure you that the 'AVERAGE' part of that statement is where you need to focus. My results have been that MOST women will lose 15 lbs in their first two to three weeks (some lose as much as 30 pounds in their first 30 days) and then the numbers vary greatly from there depending on starting weight, dedication, fitness level, etc...
So the good news is that you can get fast weight loss results in a fairly short period of time initially, and then you slow down to ensure that the weight stays off for good. The worst thing you can do to your self is to expect to lose 50 lbs in two months and then not gain it back. That type of expectation is unrealistic and usually requires the use of dangerous drugs or crazy crash diets. Neither of which I support or encourage - they're both detrimental to your long term health and they very rarely result in long term success!
Just ponder this: turtles live an average of 55 years (small turtles that is) while rabbits live an average of 5 years - do you want to be a turtle or a rabbit (make sure you're looking at that beautiful baby you just brought into this world before you answer that question!).