That’s what I did.
No, it’s not a lie.
No, I’m not exaggerating.
10 days after the birth of my son … MY. BELLY. WAS. GONE.
Shocked? I was too.
I know there are lots of resources out there that claim to offer the perfect solution or program to help you lose your pregnant belly in X amount of time. Trust me when I say that over the last 8 and a half months, I’ve given this a lot of thought. Particularly after receiving a countless number of compliments about how I look post baby (not gloating, just stating the facts) and after seeing my weight on the scale go back to exactly what it was before, even though I’m still breastfeeding.
And I believe I have a solution. But not like the others out there.
Mine’s more reasonable.
More difficult but more effective.
More manageable over the long term.
It’s not easy and you have to be committed to it.
So here’s how to lose your pregnancy belly FAST…
BEFORE you get your pregnancy belly
For ladies that care about their figure (ahem, hem … I guess that’s all of us), the first pregnancy is downright scary. You have no idea how your body will handle the pregnancy, how you’ll be able to look like a sexy pregger and not a balloon, and how you’ll manage to lose all that baby weight when your little one finally arrives.
Well, guess what?
[tweetthis]Losing your pregnancy belly starts before you even have one.[/tweetthis]
Pregnancy is HARD on our bodies. It’s even hard on a fit, healthy body never mind a loosy-goosy, haven’t-seen-a-gym-in-a-year, no-idea-what-vegetables-taste-like kind of bod.
[tweetthis]The best thing you can do for your post-pregnancy body is take care of your pre-pregnancy body.[/tweetthis]
- Eat well. I mean it when I say that this is really the be-all, end-all. Consider all other points useless if you don’t eat right. I talk more in-depth about this a little further down.
- Do cardio. Don’t like the gym? Find something else to do to get your blood flowing. Jog, walk, swim, go out dancing, have sex!
- Tone. I never tire of seeing the shocked looks on people’s faces when I tell them, “No, I don’t lift weights.” I hate weights. Maybe it’s hereditary, maybe it’s from my gymnastics, dance and karate days, maybe it’s all of the above, but yes, I’m naturally muscular for sure. BUT, let’s go back to point #1. Diet. For sure, it’s at least partially my diet. A big part! If you’re eating Big Macs and Cheetos, you ain’t gonna look toned. EVER. So when I say tone, I’m not talking about weights. Although, if you’re down, lift ’em! Rather, I’m talking about stuff like the plank, abs, pushups and band work – all exercises you can do at home.
- Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Get lots of it. I am a huge advocate of sleep. And I’m proud to say that because I place it in such high priority in my life, even as a new mom who’s working and running her businesses, I have yet to find myself at a point of sheer exhaustion and total malfunction. We need sleep to stay healthy. Experts say catching forty winks is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to our health, weight and overall wellbeing.
Alright, so you’ve got a good thing going on. You’re not pregnant yet. But you’re physically ready.
WHILE you have your pregnancy belly
There are two of you now. But you’re not eating for two! Here’s where so many of us make our mistake.
You get pregnant.
You’re excited – elated, in fact.
Your body is working triple overtime to make another human being.
You’re not drinking.
In other words…
[tweetthis]When you’re pregnant, you feel entitled. Damn straight.[/tweetthis]
Entitled to have that tub of ice cream from Baskin Robbins.
Entitled to have seconds at dinner.
Entitled to sleep more and do less.
As you should!
But you can do all these things and still maintain at least some form of control during your pregnancy. And this control is what will make it possible for you to lose your pregnancy belly fast.
The key is BALANCE.
I’m a huge believer in balance…
Balance between work and play.
Balance between saving money and spending it.
Balance between nights out and nights at home.
Balance between exercise and rest.
Drum roll please…
Balance between going off the deep end and maintaining good health.
But it’s hard when you’re pregnant, right? We feel so entitled to do (or not do) and eat (or not eat) anything and everything we want that we totally forget about balance. It’s difficult to stay in control when you’ve got one cooking in the oven!
- Your hormones are all out of whack
- You’re an emotional rollercoaster
- You’re annoyed by the fact that your entire life has already done a 180 despite the fact that you’re still sans baby (while your husband’s hasn’t changed in the slightest)
- You have no idea how your body’s going to handle the pregnancy
- You don’t know what’s “good weight gain” and what’s “bad weight gain” because regardless, you feel fat every day
What is a poor pregger to do?
[tweetthis]To lose your pregnancy belly fast, you need to keep your sexy shape while you’re rockin’ the belly.[/tweetthis]
Here’s what I did and what I recommend:
- Eat well during the week, let loose on the weekends.
- Maintain a little restraint.
- KEEP working out! Just take it down a notch so you’re not overexerting yourself.
- Drink a ton of water. (This should keep water retention in your body at bay and hopefully help you avoid swelling or edema.)
AFTER you give birth
Okay, let’s get one thing straight here. My regimen below, DID NOT START until 2 months AFTER I gave birth to my son. No way in hell was I doing anything except breastfeeding and sleeping in the first two months. My whole point here is that if you were in good health BEFORE you got pregnant, and if you maintained some form of balance WHILE you were pregnant, then guess what? Those unwanted pounds AFTER you give birth will fall off so fast your head will spin!
Most soon-to-be mamas and new mamas think after they give birth is the hardest part. But actually, if you gave two sh*ts about your bod before you got pregnant and if you maintained some form of healthy eating and exercise while you were pregnant, well then this part is easy!
You see, the first two parts of my “How to Lose Your Pregnancy Belly in a Week and a Half” program are the most important. That’s the key. And I believe it’s where so many of us go wrong.
[tweetthis]If you’re fit before pregnancy… And fit during pregnancy… Then you’ll be fit after pregnancy in no time.[/tweetthis]
Okay, so my belly was gone in a week and a half. BUT! (And this is a big but.) It didn’t exactly look like the toned, flat, bikini stomach I was used to seeing in the mirror. Sure, the belly was gone…but the skin was all loosy goosy nasty! In other words, I still had work to do. But unless I decided to wear a bikini outside on brisk fall walks, no one was the wiser. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t determined to abolish all that jiggle!
Here’s my after birth routine.
Wait a second…this looks awfully familiar.
It’s the same as the BEFORE routine. Yeah, go figure. But there’s a few revisions you should know.
- Eat well – and more, if you’re breastfeeding. Again, check out the details of my diet down below but eating healthy should be your top, top priority if you’re determined to get your full figure back. If you’re breastfeeding, get used to ALWAYS BEING HUNGRY. And I mean, ALWAYS. I am literally never full. Not after breakfast, not after lunch, not after dinner. Not after seconds, or thirds, or dessert. Not ever. Although you’re burning hundreds of calories a day making milk for your baby, this doesn’t mean you need to pack in the midnight snacks and give up on our body for the next year. Again, back to balance. Be reasonable. Treat yourself but don’t go crazy. Eat more protein, veggies and fruits. Have seconds at dinner and forget the cookies before bed. And mama, best of luck because when you’re always hungry, this is extremely difficult to manage.
- Do cardio. Get back to it – whatever “it” is for you.
- Walk. Having a baby is the best excuse ever to go walking. Even when your wee little one is a newborn, fresh air can be very beneficial (for you too, Mama).
- Tone. How else do you think you’re ever going to see those ab muscles again? Tone, tone, tone. Nothing crazy, but regular ab strengthening exercises every day can go a long way.
- The plank. I don’t think very many people know how insanely good the plank is for your body. Not only does it work your abs, but also your arms, shoulders, back, butt and legs. And the best part is you can do it anywhere!
- Abs on the foam roller. You can get a decent foam roller for $30. It’s so easy to tuck away behind a couch somewhere and pull it out whenever you want. Next time your little one is doing tummy time, why not do a little tummy time of your own?
- Sleep. You’re a parent now. Of course there is an endless sea of things to do but guess what? If you don’t get enough sleep, none of those things are going to get done anyway. Sleep deprivation can have horribly negative effects on your daytime function. You owe it to your baby, yourself and your partner to get enough sleep. You’ll be a better mama, a better wife and a better YOU. Plus, let’s not forget the objective we’re talking about here…you’ll be in a better position to shed the pounds if your body is as well rested as it can be. So if baby’s up till midnight and waking every two hours to eat, stay in bed till noon. Feel like you could use a nap? Lie down when your little one does to catch up a bit. Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t feel guilty about it. You need it. You deserve it.
The best diet…for your body, your health and your state of mind
Like I said earlier, what you eat on a daily basis is more than half the battle when it comes to getting back that sexy bod of yours.
And you want that because…
[tweetthis]There’s nothing hotter than a fit, toned mama![/tweetthis]
I’m going to tell you about my “daily diet”, and by “diet”, I’m referring to what I eat, not a predefined program that I follow, and by “daily”, I’m referring to most days, as in what I eat when I’m at home – not out at a restaurant or on vacation.
Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie
(Banana, apple, pear, kiwi, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, almond butter.)
Check it out…
So I have those two glasses there. And the bowl beside them? That’s my little guy’s ration. He loves it too. Honestly, I can say with absolutely surety that this is my favorite meal of the day.
Lunch #1: Salad
(Green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, baby spinach, cucumber, tomato, mushroom, extra virgin olive oil, and squeezed lemon or balsamic vinegar depending on my mood.)
When I first started eating this way (I’ll explain why in a minute), I really missed my lunchtime sandwiches. But now? I don’t feel right later in the day if I’ve missed my salad for lunch.
Lunch #2: Eggs and Sweet Potatoes
(Other than a few spices on the potatoes, these are the only two ingredients – oh, and coconut oil.)
Yeah, that’s right. I have two lunches. Or at least that’s what I call them. Here’s where I change it up though. One day, I might have eggs and sweet potatoes because Hubby offers to make it for me (this is a daily for him). The next, I might scrap the sweet potatoes and eat just the eggs. Some days I eat the yolk, some days just the whites. Other days, I might avoid the eggs altogether and have an afternoon snack of veggie leftovers from the night before, rice cakes or mixed nuts. And if I’ve got leftover turkey breast or chicken, I usually throw this into my salad as a protein kicker and an extra fill-me-up.
Dinner: Mixed Veggies (fried, barbequed or steamed) and a Protein (chicken, beef, lamb or seafood)
When it comes to veggies, anything goes. From leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower to carrots, turnips and squash, I love it all. We usually cook up some kind of assortment to keep things interesting because if there’s one bad thing about this diet it’s the fact that it gets pretty damn boring after awhile. As for protein, we usually barbeque – and in the winter, fry or bake.
So what do you notice about this diet?
- There are no grains.
That’s right. And I’ve said “grains” and not “carbs” because too often people use these terms interchangeably. But in fact, fruit has a ton of carbohydrates in it – not to mention the sweet potato, which I have a couple times a week. So, my diet isn’t “carbless”, it’s grainless. And as a matter of fact, I’m not totally grainless. Usually once a week, we make quinoa and once in a very, very, very blue moon, we make rice or pasta (usually brown rice, spelt or kamut pasta).
- Dairy’s out.
Humans are the only animals on the planet who drink milk from another species (as adults). There are a whole host of reasons that many doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and dieticians advise against the consumption of dairy – cow’s milk in particular. Just a few: it doesn’t benefit exercise performance, it isn’t a great source of calcium, there’s no evidence that it’s actually good for your bones, it’s loaded with saturated fat, and it can actually exacerbate stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies. For me, my stomach just can’t take it on a daily basis. And my stomach issues are the fundamental reason I eat the way I do. I went through such pain and discomfort in the past and realized that it was grains (primarily wheat) and dairy that were my issues. But even though I can’t eat any other way, I also choose this diet because of the way it makes me feel…like a million bucks!
- There’s an overload of vegetables.
Damn straight. Here’s where all the nutrients are, mamas! I challenge you to go 2 weeks eating a ton of vegetables (replacing grains and carbs) and report back about how you feel. I guarantee that afternoon crash will be non-existent. That tired, lethargic feeling you’re usually battling on a regular will dissipate. And your energy levels and overall clarity will be sky high. Seriously. I wouldn’t eat so many veggies if they didn’t make me feel so damn good.
- There are TWO lunches!
Absolutely. C’mon, I’m a breastfeeding, working out, active mama here. I’m starving most hours of the day. There’s no need to feel guilty about an extra meal in the day when you’re eating super healthy. Something else to keep in mind, when you’re reaching for seconds on a huge bowl of pasta, it makes sense to attempt to refrain yourself. But when we’re talking about lean protein and fresh veggies, the more the merrier! It’s a different kind of full. You could have thirds and fourths and still feel 100% satisfied without getting “the Itis”.
At first it’s hard. But it gets easier.
Like anything else, the beginning is the most difficult. We don’t like change. We like things to stay as they are.
[tweetthis]To get results in life, we have to be willing to work for them.[/tweetthis]
I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat this for you: this lifestyle is the pits in the beginning. But give it just TWO WEEKS. That’s it. And if you’re not fully converted, you will be soon. It’s really hard to turn back when you feel like such a better version of yourself.
To sum it all up…
No, there’s no quick fix to lose that pregnancy belly.
My approach is about BEFORE, DURING and AFTER.
It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
Sure, my advice will help you lose your pregger belly, but there are so many other reasons to consider it too.
Did you lose your pregnancy belly fast? How?