You’ve probably heard about that “once you’re postpartum, you’re always postpartum”, and that is very true from the physical sense as it pertains to us personal trainers or your physical therapist, your body will always be a postpartum body and you should treat it that way. But what about when it comes to nutrition? Are you always going to need the same nutrition once you’re postpartum? No. Is what you did to lose weight before you were postpartum going to work afterwards? Probably not (and it’s going to keep changing as your life changes!).
Some women will lose weight very easily after they give birth. Their bodies are in full “recover and heal” mode and are burning all the calories to help the body heal and produce milk. Other women, I’m one of them, have bodies that hang on to all the body fat for all it’s worth! The reason is an important one, protection. Your body is protecting itself from malnourishment and protecting your baby by continuing to produce milk (even if you’re bottle feeding sometimes your body will still be in protection mode until you’re totally done producing milk). Neither of these women are doing anything wrong or right, your body is doing what nature intends, the problem is that we don’t always like it and that’s ok. It’s ok to not feel comfortable in your body and want to feel better!
Losing the baby weight is sometimes the 2nd most stressful part of being postpartum (pick your first one: sleep deprivation, feeding a baby, balancing life with a new baby, your #1 might be any of those or more). But in seriousness, it is something some people focus on even before they give birth, they have a plan to get back to workouts, or start workouts or cut down on their carbs so they can lose all the fat right away. And when your 6 week appointment comes you realize you’ve been starving and snacking and 6 weeks has flown by and you’re not even rested enough to have any extra energy to burn in a workout and all those plans to cook healthy meals and “hit it hard” in the gym have taken a backseat to survival and loving on your new baby. All of those aforementioned things are important, but so is how YoU feel and how YOU feel in your own body. So how do we balance that out? Why do so many woman get it wrong when it comes to working towards fat loss postpartum? Easy, your body is different, your needs are different and your expectations are not realistic.
I see 3 major mistakes that most postpartum women make when trying to lose the weight and here they are:
They cut their calories too low and end up starving, not realizing how much they’re snacking and end up overeating by the end of the day/week.
They cut out a whole food group (like carbs) and end up overeating on everything else because they don’t know how to balance out their intake to be nutritious for your body which can help cut cravings and reduce snacking.
They think that breastfeeding burns a lot more calories than it really does and they overeat regularly.
So what can you do about it? You can find a balanced way to eat, one that includes all the nutrients you need but also one that is tailored and personalized for you. I recommend to most new moms that they wait until 3 months postpartum if they’re not breastfeeding or 6 months if they are (in order to have your milk supply well established) before you cut calories drastically. Even if you’re not focused on producing milk, your hormones may not be regulated enough to put yourself into more bodily stress. In order to lose weight you must be in a caloric deficit (eating less calories than your body needs) in doing this your body is going to be in a small state of stress, good stress, but still stress. Add that positive stressor to a body that is already stressed from having recently given birth and having hormones that are still going haywire and you’re setting yourself up for the perfect storm of being in a stressed state and your body backfiring, not cooperating and making it a much more difficult endeavor than it needs to be!
You’ll want to make sure that you take care of your hormones when you get into a fat loss phase of life either to protect your body as it heals and/or to protect your milk supply. When I’m working with moms who pump or breastfeed then our number one priority is to make sure they keep their supply but also that they can keep losing, which is totally possible! My number one suggestion is “Water”, my number 2 suggestion is “water” and my number 3 suggestion is “a few more calories” to keep the supply up but low enough to still see fat loss.
I know that feeling your best is very important for your self-esteem but also for how well you can mother your children and participate in your family, I’ve been there myself. Fat loss is a great goal when you’re ready and there are many options out there for you to follow. My primary piece of advice when talking with moms about finding a fat loss program that works is to make sure that you’re not doing something “cookie cutter”, that it is tailored to your own body and needs and my second piece of advice is to find one that includes real food that you get to choose and one that teaches you how to keep going and make it a lifestyle when you’re “done”.
The StressLess Lifestyle is just that, but there are other ways out there too. In the StressLess Lifestyle all members (or Exclusive 1-on-1 clients) get their macros (protein, fat and carbohydrate needs) calculated specifically for them, by me. We begin with carb cycling, a way to eat more carbs some days and more fats others, because we all love carbs but we also know that higher fat is helpful for hormonal function so we combine both to get the best of all nutritional worlds!
The JumpStart is for new members and it is 7 weeks of videos plus all the live videos from me and then you are a Lifestyler after that and keep going with nutrition adjustments by me and changes to lifestyle as needed. I teach along the way, we do live Q &A and we have daily accountability. It is important for me that everyone understands how to incorporate real food because if you ever stop having nutrition guidance, you’ll need to know how to do it on your own!
We don’t start regularly but we do start the next cycle SOON, so keep following social media to find out when.
Go to www.stressless-lifestyle.com/pricing to register
Always feel free to reach out to me via email: email@example.com or follow on social media @nicci_stressless @thestresslesslifestyle I love answering questions and helping you feel your absolute best!