How can I Lose Pregnancy Weight?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2018
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It is often repeated that women should not stress too much about losing weight after pregnancy, especially immediately after having their babies. If you think about it, you didn’t instantly gain weight in huge amounts when you got pregnant; you gained it over a nine-month period. Expect that it will take about this time to lose pregnancy weight and get back to your pre-pregnancy shape. You can also expect your body to be slightly altered by pregnancy. Even if you weigh less than before you got pregnant, you may still have difference in tightness of stomach and breasts, which are natural outcomes of stretching the skin significantly.

There are some people concerned that they cannot adequately lose pregnancy weight if they are nursing. This is inaccurate for most people, provided you are getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet. Nursing exclusively usually gives you a calorie loss of about 500 calories per day, and it also helps return your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. Additionally, it is the healthiest choice for your child, and if you can nurse, you are giving your child significant protection and his/her intended food source. Don’t fear nursing as a bar to weight loss goals.


Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet weight loss treatment that will immediately result in the ability to lose pregnancy weight. Some women lose pregnancy weight very quickly, especially after a first child and others may have to work at it more. Losing weight boils down to two main things: eating a healthy diet and getting exercise.

Some experts recommend that your weight loss goals, especially after the first six weeks should be approximately a pound a week. Losing significantly more than this may not be wise especially if you have a nursing child. If you seem stuck at a weight and aren’t losing, you should take a good look at your diet and your activity level. Most studies suggest that you do not need to continue to eat the same amount as you did when you were pregnant, but if you’re nursing you should make sure you aren’t “starving” or feeling gnawing hunger regularly.

A few ways you can cut calories and still feel sated is to choose foods with high nutritional value and lower calories. Dairy products, for instance, should be of the low or non-fat variety. Eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains and an adequate amount of protein. If you follow diets recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture, and adhere to suggested portion sizes you’re likely to lose pregnancy weight.

Additionally, you should be getting exercise daily, and once you’ve recovered from labor and delivery, you can choose more strenuous activities. Work on getting aerobic exercise from things like biking, walking, jogging, swimming, or aerobic dancing at least three to four times a week, and on days when you aren’t working out strenuously, at least engage in some small activities like taking walks. You can also do a small amount of strength training or stretching on alternate days. Invest in a good pilates DVD for instance, which will help you build lean muscle and restore your figure.

If you do not lose pregnancy weight despite a healthy diet and regular exercise, talk to your doctor. Sometimes women may have water retention that persists after pregnancy, and a few women find they have low levels of thyroid hormone, which can directly affect metabolism speed. Addressing these issues may soon have you on the path to losing pregnancy weight.



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