Five Baby Steps to Losing Baby Weight for Good
Our son was three when it happened. A lightbulb moment so bright it was like someone had shone a searchlight on the issue (that issue being cellulite, baby belly, bingo wings and a general sense of ‘is this really my body?!). I realised I was still wearing the drop-crotch hide-everything pants I’d been rocking in pregnancy . . . and my baby was now three. This wasn’t baby weight. It was just weight.
The Emotional Weight of Baby Weight
It was coffee-and-carb rollercoaster weight. It was ‘so tired I can’t get off the couch’ weight. It was ‘this is what a body looks like after two babies’ weight. It was the weight of my own self-image. It was the weight of expectations (‘you’re a mum now, what did you expect?). It was the weight of all those extra layers of clothes designed to hide the mum-lump and the expanded hips (we’re talking singlets under tops in case the tummy flab should ever be revealed and frighten the general public, strategically placed drapey scarves, and more of those drop-crotch pants than should be allowed in any woman’s wardrobe. Seriously. We live on the Gold Coast. Where it is HOT. But back-sweat and boob-sweat was a small price to pay for the full-body lockdown I convinced myself was sartorially masking my ‘flawed’ mum bod).
Shifting the Mind Before Shifting the Weight
WTF? Was this seriously my life? Was I destined to hold onto this baby fat forever? And how the hell had three years passed without me getting back on top of my own fitness?
And so it started. The quest to lose the baby weight after Baby Number 2. With one child in primary school and one at daycare, finally, finally that post-baby body transformation would be mine.
And it can be yours too. Here’s how I started. (Baby steps. Because a baby is what got us into this mess, right? Well, a baby plus several years of ‘I deserve it’ excuses.)
Right, let’s get into it. How to get your groove back and uncover your true athlete inside. Let’s do it.
Five Baby Steps to Losing the Baby Weight
Start with the 1 per centers
The sips of soft drink. The square of chocolate that turns into a block. The sneaky handful of chips. The muffin on the run. The teaspoon of peanut butter that’s so overloaded it’s more like a tablespoon. The lollies at a birthday party. The ‘mum’s medicine’ glass of wine when the kids finally sleep.
All these little bits that seem like drops in the ocean can soon add up to a tidal wave of empty calories. And you’re not even enjoying it! Sneaking snacks, mindless eating, chowing down in the car – you’re not even aware of what you’re consuming, so how ‘bout we cut it out, hey? Far easier than a complete nutritional overhaul and pretty damn effective when it comes to reducing calories with little effort.
Pack yourself a lunch box when you do the kids’ lunches
So now you’re not eating on the run or starving all day to hoover up the contents of the fridge at night, you’re going to need to plan your food. Don’t cringe, we’re not talking chicken-and-broccoli meal prep. We’re talking a simple lunchbox.
Remove the decision making from your daily eating, and you’ll remove the opportunity to make the wrong decisions. Simple, hey? Pack your lunch box when you pack the kids’ and make sure you put the same consideration into the contents of YOUR lunch as you do for theirs. That means high quality protein, some slow release carbs, healthy fat, a whopper water bottle, and if you really need it, a snack-size portion of something sweet to tide you over till dinner. (For the healthiest snacks to attack the 3 o’clock munchies, click here.)
Then don’t eat anything other than what’s in your lunchbox tomorrow. So simple. So effective.
Stop eating the kids’ leftovers
You are a warrior. And warriors do not go into battle without proper fuel. No army ever won on a diet of cold chicken nuggets and a smear of mashed pumpkin. Come on, aren’t you worth more than picking bits off the kids’ plates? You’re better than that. You’re an athlete, running the gauntlet every single day of school run, home life, work, family and the million mental post-it notes you’ve got to keep in check (buy nappies, sign permission slip, return library books – you know the drill).
You don’t eat someone else’s trash. End of.
(On a side-note, real leftovers from a bangin’ dinner make a killer lunch. Check out our favourite meals that taste even better the next day: smoky beef brisket, chicken curry, and chicken & leek pie do double duty for lunch.)
Time for some harsh realities here. Are you really making the best choices to fuel your day? Or are you hiding behind excuses? Feeling frumpy does not have to come with the territory of motherhood. Being #tiredAF doesn’t equate to speed dialling Uber Eats. Take a moment to look at what you eat, when you’re eating, what triggers any cravings or binges, and what you need to do to remind yourself you are better than that.
You are so powerful, you haven’t even tapped into half of how amazing you can feel.
Imagine if all your cells were zinging from nutrition, flavour and energy. No bloat. No munchies. No energy slumps. But you gotta get real with your current habits first, so you can zero in on what needs to change.
Pick up your protein
So many women are not hitting their protein quotas each day. And apart from the muscle-building, energy-lifting, hormone-regulating benefits of protein, if you don’t eat enough you will crave other foods like an insatiable sugar monster. No kidding. Sort your protein and you’ll reduce cravings and between-meal snacking.
As a guide, aim for around 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. More if you’re training hard or have a physical job – we eat up to 1.8g per kg of body weight, but that’s just us. Great sources of protein include:
- Red meat
- Poultry – chicken and turkey
- Dairy products (go for the full fat, not lite versions which often have more sugars)
- Beans and legumes
- A quality whey protein isolate formula (check for minimal fillers or sweeteners)
NOTE: The raw weight of your protein source is NOT the amount of protein it contains. A 150g raw chicken breast contains about 26g of protein.
No detox teas. No juice fasts. No shortcuts. Just 5 simple strategies to start shiting that baby weight – and your athlete mindset – so you can lose the fat for good.
Want to workout but can’t get the energy to get off the couch? Check out our 5 Workouts When You’re Tired AF for simple sessions you can do without even leaving the house.