Despite what magazines and celebrity stories would have you believe, postpartum weight loss takes time. “Bounce back” culture can leave you feeling like you’re supposed to rapidly shed pounds postpartum, but not losing weight after having a baby is more common than you might think. While most women lose around 13 pounds during childbirth (from the weight of your baby, your placenta, and amniotic fluid), it can take six months to a year to return to your pre-pregnancy weight.
Postpartum weight gain can happen for a number of reasons, including fatigue and lack of time for a regular exercise routine, or even underlying health conditions like PCOS. The good news is that with good nutrition, exercise, and a little bit of patience, it is possible to drop most of the weight you gained during pregnancy.
In this podcast episode, we are joined by Personal Health Coach Amanda Lauren who gives us 5 top tips to help us sustainably lose weight postpartum. She talks us through how to strengthen the mind-body-food connection and find habits and solutions that are enjoyable and easily incorporated into your lifestyle with no deprivation, no diets and no guilt.
Tip 1: Protein
We have got to focus more on protein. People think eating an egg is enough to meet your protein requirements and it’s simply not.
You want to be eating at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. For the typical person, this will be at least around 90 grams of protein.
For a lot of us, when we think about losing weight, we automatically think we need to eat less. So you might eat a salad with a little bit of chicken or maybe not even protein at all. But if you’re trying to build muscle and if you’re trying to have a lot of energy, you really want to have a protein forward day.
A high protein breakfast, which is super important, might look like three eggs or two eggs with some extra egg whites. It could be chicken sausages, ground meat, doing a breakfast hash or taco bowl or something like that. If you’re more of a sweet person, add a heaped scoop (20 to 30 grams) of protein powder, preferably a cleaner brand and minimize the fruit in there. Aim for a really protein forward type of breakfast.
Tip 2: Snacking
Try to eliminate, or at least limit the snacking.
A lot of the snacking that we do, we’re not even aware of. It’s so important to really be intentional and mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth because every bite counts. It would be so much better to use your bites for when you are intentionally eating because it’s something you really want and really enjoy.
Guilt happens when we eat things that really are not in line with what we truly want. Mindlessly grabbing treats can lead to guilt. Instead, you can say to yourself ‘I haven’t had Snickers in a long time. I’ll have one. I’m gonna enjoy it. I’m gonna really savor it and then I’m gonna
be done.’ That is a much better approach to having treats.
Snacking throughout the day is definitely not helping your weight. It’s definitely not helping your metabolism or your metabolic health. It’s also preventing you from really making those
intentional and mindful decisions.
Tip 3: Develop an Eating Window
Try to eat according to your natural circadian rhythm, which is going to mean going at least 12 hours overnight without food.
Establish an eating window where you cut yourself off at the same time every night, ideally at least two, if not three hours before you go to bed, and then can you start 12 hours later the next day. These are just guidelines and it’s not about striving for perfection, so if you do this more times than not, it’s still going to have a positive effect.
Tip 4: Eat volume
The way that you can eat more and weigh less is by loading up on veggies and some fruits as well, especially berries. Veggies are some of the most nutrient dense, but also some of the smallest calorie foods.
Nor everybody loves veggies, so doing this can be difficult but you can dress them up in so many different ways. You can load up your chocolate or vanilla smoothie with veggies – don’t think that veggies have to be something savory as you can easily add them into something with a sweet profile.
If adding dressings to salads means that you’ll eat more of them, that’s totally fine. It’s still important to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Just be wary of dressings made with inflammatory fats such as sunflower, canola and other oils of that nature. Herbs, spices and homemade pesto can all help them to taste more exciting too!
Tip 5: Move your body
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking your baby round the block or if you’re running errands all day – just make sure that you are not sitting.
This is particularly hard for all of the moms out there that have desk jobs and sit all day long. Think about if you can climb the stairwell every hour or two, or if you can walk while having a phone call.
Also try to lift some weights. Lift something heavy or do a Juna workout. The protein that you’re going to eat will help you in combination with moving your body, and especially with lifting weights, to make more muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism goes, the better you feel and look in your clothes and it’s just a win-win.
Moving your body is a commitment to prioritizing yourself and the sooner you can get
into that habit, then it makes it much easier to prioritize yourself in other ways.
Move your body in a way that feels good for you and be consistent with it because those results add up. Just like every bite counts, every time you move your body, it all adds up. So if you focus on moving to feel good because it gives you that endorphin boost and it wakes you up, you’re more likely to be consistent with it.
04:00 – “There is a one size fits all diet. It turns out, it’s called the ‘put yourself first’ diet.”
08:33 – “If you’re trying to build muscle, if you’re trying to have a lot of energy, you really want to have a protein forward day.”
18:26 – “Guilt happens when we eat things that really are not in line with what we truly want.”
22:40 – “Let’s not fear being a little bit hungry for the right reasons.”
34:11 – “The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism goes, the better you feel and look in your clothes and it’s just a win-win.”
42:47 – “Be conscious of what you’re doing. Make conscious choices and own your choices, whether that’s having a treat food or having a rest day, just own it and enjoy it.”
More about Amanda:
Amanda struggled with health issues from a very young age and experienced persistent digestive problems. Left to her own devices, she turned to her diet and lifestyle choices to try and heal herself.
After finding what worked best for her body, she was able to adopt a style of eating that supported and nourished her body without any restriction or deprivation. Amanda is always mindful that health incorporates happiness as well as the absence of illness. She believes that we all have the power to optimize our health through our everyday choices.
Despite being a mom to three young children and working full time, she has still been able to maintain her approach to health because it fits easily into her busy lifestyle. As a health coach, her passion is guiding clients through their own transformation, so they too can have the body, emotional state, and life they deserve. Amanda has recently been certified as an Integrative Pharmacy Specialist and coaches clients on how to make healthier choices to reduce the amounts of medications that they need.
You can learn more about Amanda’s coaching services here: https://www.amandalaurenwellness.com/
You can also find her on Instagram: @amandalaurenwellness