We’ve all seen the images: Victoria’s Secret models strut down the runway just weeks after giving birth. For the modern woman, however, it might seem like pure insanity to get back in pre-baby shape with the demands of motherhood taking up so much time. Yes, celebrities and models have images to uphold and can afford to work on their bodies for several hours a day, but that quick turnaround time certainly isn’t achievable for the average mom who just wants to be a MILF.
If you’re struggling to get started, here are ENTITY’s tips on getting back in shape after giving birth.
Trying to get a pre-baby body, believe it or not, starts before the pregnancy.
For many women, one of the great things about pregnancy is that they must gain weight. Between the midnight cravings and the fact that you’re eating for two, these instructions seem like great news. However, even if you’re supposed to sustain another life inside you, you shouldn’t overload your body with junk food while sitting on the couch all day.
Not only do you need to eat responsibly, you also “need to be physically active during pregnancy,” says high-risk pregnancy expert Laura Riley, MD, spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and author of “Pregnancy: You and Your Baby.”
“It has terrific benefits that are associated with a better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors. It’s a win-win for baby and for mom,” she says.
According to WebMD, the safest and most productive activities for expecting mothers are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary bicycling and low-impact aerobics. But of course, always ask your doctor to make sure you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby.
New moms are completely overwhelmed by their new miracle and it’s tough to carve out time to exercise or make nutritious meals. However, there are strategies to help you achieve your goals.
“It’s all about schedule and discipline,” says Julie Macklowe, a Manhattan social fixture and founder of the cosmetics company Vbeauté. “Kids have to be scheduled, so your life as a mom has to be better planned.”
Elizabeth Cutler, cofounder of model and celeb favorite, Soul Cycle, says via Harper’s Bazaar, “What happens is that once you’re a parent, you have to focus on your priorities. You have to be able to deliver your best, stay healthy and strong for your kids … You have to find your core again, your strength after a baby.”
Eating right and exercising can get difficult when you’re tired, overworked and stressed with a newborn. For this reason, it’s really easy to grow unmotivated. Fit Pregnancy tells the story of mother Carolyn Pione who felt she didn’t have the time or energy to exercise after she had a baby. However, some of her friends formed an early-morning running group and urged her to join. Eventually, she lost all her baby weight and she now runs in 5k races.
Really, it doesn’t matter what you do with your new mom group as long as you’re doing something together. “In my 10 years of experience evaluating what creates long-term health and fitness success, the single most important factor is having a support system,” says Wayne Andersen, MD, cofounder and medical director of Take Shape for Life (via Experience Life).
Having a fitness buddy can drastically improve the quality of your workouts. Not only will you be pushed to work out more frequently, you may even work out longer because you lose track of time!
Even though getting enough sleep may seem a feat as a new mother, it’s very important to your health and fitness. “Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you’re not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy,” says Shea Rarback, MS, director of nutrition at the Mailman Center for Child Development (via Fit Pregnancy). Additionally, strange sleep cycles can upset your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose weight, says Rarback.
So, take a nap when you can. If “sleeping when the baby sleeps” doesn’t work for you, see if anyone can babysit while you take a nap. This way, you’ll help keep your energy levels high and your cravings at bay.
It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Your body spent nine months growing a little human and is doing the amazing job of nurturing him or her. That’s an achievement of epic proportions and you should be proud of yourself! According to Dr. Jennifer Wider, physician and author, women spend too much time worrying about fitting certain beauty standards before and after pregnancy.
“We’re always comparing ourselves to the images we see in the media, trying to live up to some unrealistic body type,” says Wider via The Bump. “Women need to give themselves a break!”
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