Any of you that have had a baby knows it’s hard to lose the baby weight! For most of us, the weight does not come off without extreme effort on our part.
So many mothers state the turning point in their weight gain happened while they were pregnant and, since then, they were never able to get to their goal weight.
Your body changes drastically during and after pregnancy and things that worked before to help you lose weight may no longer help.
If you’re struggling to lose the baby weight but feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, here are 8 habits you should consider breaking to help you reach your goals.
1 – Getting to Bed Late
When you aren’t getting to bed on time and getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep, it throws your body off it’s schedule, lowers your metabolism, weakens your immune system and more.
This makes it very hard, if not impossible, for you to lose the baby weight.
I know that as a new mom, this is impossible to avoid. All mother’s are sleep deprived the first couple weeks after having a baby and we either get to bed late or wake up every couple hours to feed the baby.
Either way, it doesn’t yield a good schedule for our body and this is perhaps one of the hardest habits to break as your baby gets older
You have to get your baby on a schedule where they’re sleeping through the night. Most babies take weeks before they’re able to do that and that’s if you’re lucky.
A common schedule for me after each of my sons were born was to have the final feeding of the night between 10-11 then wake up again between 3-4:30 for the first feeding of the day.
If you’re having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night, or you’re waking them to eat at night, I would recommend you stop! Unless your baby is underweight or needs extra help, he or she shouldn’t need to wake at all during the night after they’re 6-8 weeks old.
I was able to get each of my sons sleeping through the night within 3-6 weeks after they were born.
I did it by laying them down for bed and, if they woke during the night, I gave them a binky and let them fall back to sleep. If it’d been more than 6-7 hours since the last feeding, or the binky didn’t soothe them, then I did get up to feed them.
Extreme sleep loss is part of being a mom, but it doesn’t have to last more than a couple weeks.
Once your baby starts sleeping through the night, make sure you’re sleeping as well!
2 – Going for Low Fat or Fat Free Products
When you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is eat foods with fat in them…right? After all, when you’re trying to lose fat, the last thing you want to do is eat high fat foods.
Not really though, there are actually good fats and bad fats. Your body needs the good fats to be able to function. Good fats do all of the following and more:
- Support Cell Growth
- Give You Energy
- Aid in Nutrient Absorption
- Keep You Warm
- Protect Your Organs
So we don’t want to completely cut out fats but we should at least go for low fats shouldn’t we?
Again that’s a common misconception.
Many people think eating low fats will help you lose weight but, in reality, a good percentage of low fat foods are loaded with sugars to give them a good taste.
Those sugars cause your body to store more of the food you eat as fat and, as a result, low fat will actually cause more fat to be stored up and it’ll be fat that your body will have a hard time using for all the things listed above.
Instead of low fats or trans fats, the kind of fats you want to be eating are healthy fats.
You can find these in:
- Nuts & Seeds
- Sugar Free Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
3 – Eating Dinner Late
This has been a popular debate for years. Does eating dinner/food after 7 or right before bed make you fat? Many people claim it doesn’t and say a calorie is a calorie! As long as you don’t overeat you’re fine.
I don’t believe this and let me tell you why.
With this mindset, eating a 500 calorie meal of a cheeseburger and fries has the same effect on your body as having a healthy 500 calorie salad with all your greens, eggs and meat for protein.
Do you think your body is going to treat these foods equally because they’re the same amount of calories?
Of course it’s not!
The cheeseburger and fries doesn’t have the nutrients the protein and salad has, so your body will be able to use less of it.
Coming back to eating dinner late, when you eat right before bed, your body is more likely to take what you’ve eaten and store it as body fat.
This is because it doesn’t need it for energy or anything else right then, so it stores it as fat until it is needed.
The problem with that is, your body will use whatever it can for energy before resorting to stored fat. So, as you keep on eating, the new food is what your body will use first.
If you eat enough, your body will never need to resort to the stored fat for energy.
If you continue on this cycle, your body stores more and more fat and it’ll start to feel impossible to lose the baby weight.
I think a good rule of thumb is to eat at least 3-4 hours before you go to bed.
4 – Not Drinking Enough Water
Most people don’t drink enough water. As a general rule you should be drinking half your weight in oz of water every single day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces of water a day or almost 9 eight ounce glasses.
Staying hydrated helps you lose weight because it increases the amount of calories you burn.
If you drink water before a meal, it helps to reduce your appetite as well.
Numerous studies have been done showing that people who drink a lot of water are more likely to lose weight quicker.
5 – Eating your Food Fast
Before I had any kids, I was one of the slowest eaters you’d ever meet. After my sons were born that changed and I got in the habit of eating pretty quickly so that I could get everything done that I needed to.
I didn’t realize that this was working against me in my goal to lose the baby weight.
Did you know that it actually takes your body 15-20 minutes to realize it’s full?
Have you ever gone out to dinner and felt fine so you kept on eating; then 10-15 minutes later feel like you were so full you could explode?
If you keep on eating until your stomach feels full you’re much more likely to overeat because you have a 15 minute window in which you’re full but don’t yet realize it.
Plan your meals so that you can take your time, use it to catch up with everyone on how their day went.
6 – Mindless Snacking
Most people snack mindlessly at one point or another. Maybe you’re watching a movie, browsing the internet, or reading a book.
It’s so easy to have food there that gives you something to do at the same time.
You snack mindlessly without realizing how much you’re actually eating and before you know it, the whole bag or package is gone along with half the days recommended caloric intake.
I’ve seen so many great tips to help people avoid overeating through mindless snacking.
One of them, from Dawn Jackson Blatner, is to only eat food when you’re sitting at the table with a plate.
If you want to snack on something, great! Just grab a plate, get exactly how much you plan on eating, and sit at the table while you do it.
You’ve taken the mindless part out of it and remain in control of exactly how much you’re eating.
I do try to stick to this for the most part, but I’m one of those people that does really like having a snack or two while I watch a movie.
On occasion, what I like to do instead is to grab a bowl and add a small amount of food to snack on. Once the bowl is empty, I have water, or ice chips to chew on for the remainder of the movie.
7 – Drinking Sodas/Beer/Other Soft Drinks
There are so many ways sodas, beer, and other soft drinks make it harder to lose weight.
Soft drink consumption is increasing every year and it’s estimated that most people drink about 44 gallons of soda alone a year.
If you add alcohol numbers, you get people drinking approximately 25 gallons a year for a total of 69 gallons a year of empty calories.
It’s no wonder obesity rates are increasing with those numbers.
You get about 100-200 calories for every can that you drink and at 69 gallons you’ve got about 2 cans of soda plus a can of beer every single day. That’s anywhere from 300-600 extra calories that you aren’t getting anything out of every single day.
Drinking this amount for a year rounds out to almost 30 extra pounds just from the soda and beer. You haven’t yet added in weight you might be gaining from other foods.
On top of the increase in calories, the high sugar content will cause your body to store more of the food you eat as fat.
I know it’s hard to go without soda or beer if it’s something you’re used to having. I’m not recommending you go cold turkey, but it would help immensely in your weight loss endeavors to cut back to only a couple a week or at least half what you’re drinking now to start with..
That could add up to a couple thousand calories gone a week without a bit of exercise.
8 – Skipping Meals
The last habit to break when you’re trying to lose the pregnancy weight is skipping meals. I’ve heard so many women say something along the lines of, “I’m skipping lunch because I want to lose a couple pounds”.
What often happens is, you skip a meal, then 2-3 meals later you’re starving and you binge on everything you can get your hands on.
I’ve been there. When you get to a point where you’re starving, you lose a lot of your self control and food you wouldn’t usually eat looks mouth watering.
All the weight you may have potentially lost in skipping the meal is eaten, plus more while you’re binging.
The best way to combat the potential of binging is by eating on a schedule.
If you eat at approximately the same time every day, that is when you’ll start feeling hungry and your body will grow to expect food at those times.
Portion out your meals so that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs without adding extra you don’t really need.
Do you have any other habits that made it hard for you to lose the baby weight? What do you think of the ones listed here? Let me know by leaving a comment below!