What Is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight After Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2022
What Is the Fastest Way to Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
With mindful eating, regular exercise, and breastfeeding, it is possible to lose 500 grams each week and return to your original size and shape.

With mindful eating, regular exercise, and breastfeeding, it is possible to lose 500 grams each week and return to your original size and shape, but this will take time and dedication.

Five tips for losing postpartum weight safely and effectively include:

  1. Diet:
    • Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet throughout the pregnancy and continue with the same commitment postpartum.
    • Do not crash diet until your baby is at least six weeks or older because this could affect milk production.
    • Burning fat too quickly (more than one and a half pounds per week) can cause the body to lose water and lean tissue.
    • An average woman needs about 2,000 calories a day, and breastfeeding women should add an extra 400 to 500 calories to their diet.
    • Consume food in moderate portions and choose foods that support weight loss such as:
      • Fruits and vegetables: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, apples, and pears
      • Whole grains: Brown rice, barley, and whole wheat bread
      • High-fiber foods: Oatmeal, quinoa, and millet
      • Legumes and lentils: Kidney beans, lima beans, and peas
      • Lean proteins: Chicken
      • Cold-water fish: Salmon, sardines, and tuna
      • Low-fat dairy products: Milk and yogurt
      • Healthy fats: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados
    • Eat five to six small meals a day with healthy snacks in between (rather than three larger meals).
    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
    • Avoid processed, canned foods, junk, and oily fried foods such as cakes, fast foods, frozen meals, and salty snacks; instead, keep healthy snacks handy.
    • Avoid or limit drinks such as sodas, juices, and other fluids with added sugar and calories.
  2. Regular exercise:
    • After approval from your doctor, try to add exercise to your daily routine for 20 to 30 minutes a day.
    • Initiate with exercises designed to strengthen weakened core and back muscles such as modified crunches or brisk walking and light bodyweight exercises. Over time, add running, core exercises, and pelvic floor exercises including Kegels.
    • Gradually increase the intensity of exercises but never to the point of exhaustion.
  3. Plan realistically:
    • Changes in the body caused by pregnancy require rest and recovery. Following the weeks and months postpartum, let yourself rest and heal as much as you can.
    • Make realistic goals for losing weight every week and work out accordingly.
    • Slowly and steadily regain the pre-pregnancy body without having to stress about it.
  4. Team up with your partner:
    • Support from your partner is vital to maintaining healthy habits.
    • Go for a walk instead of watching TV after dinner and commit to choosing healthier foods together.
  5. Think and stay positive:
    • Every step counts, so do not avoid the little things, find out the activities you love and enjoy.
    • Everyone deserves a treat. Try to eat healthy 80 percent of the time, but do not deprive yourself one time in a while.
    • Focus on your goal and cherish the amount of weight loss you have done so far rather than grooving over the pending numbers.
    • Be patient and gentle with yourself as you accept the changes in your body.

When you are tired or sleep less than eight hours, the body releases cortisol and other stress hormones that can promote weight gain. Hence, get adequate sleep of at least eight hours.

What does pregnancy weight consist of?

According to the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women within a healthy weight range with a single baby gain approximately 25 to 35 pounds or 11.5 to 16 kilograms during pregnancy consisting of:

  • Baby weight: 7.5 lbs
  • Placental tissues: 1.5 lbs
  • Uterus: 2 lbs
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 lbs
  • Breast tissues: 2 lbs
  • Blood volume: 4 lbs
  • Maternal fat and protein stores: 7 lbs

How much weight do you lose after giving birth?

Pregnancy is a journey that changes a woman’s body in a lot many ways, ranging from hormonal changes, mood swings, weird cravings, and stretch marks to adding pounds to the original weight. A woman of average weight gains between 25 and 35 lbs during pregnancy.

One area that almost every woman might feel tempted to work on improving after delivery is her postpartum belly and weight loss.

Some amount of weight is lost naturally (approximately 13 lbs) immediately after childbirth (whether delivered through vaginal or cesarean delivery) including the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluids.

In another week postpartum, a woman will probably lose a few more pounds due to the initiation of contraction of the uterus and abdomen to return to their original sizes. However, the belly might still look as it was during pregnancy (round and swollen).


Conception: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Embryo See Slideshow

How quickly can you lose pregnancy weight?

Although the uterus and abdomen will start to contract to their pre-pregnancy sizes after a week, it will take about six weeks for the uterus to contract fully. At six weeks, a woman may have already lost the weight she gained during the pregnancy.

  • A reasonable weight loss of one pound or 0.5 kilograms a week is possible through proper diet and regular exercise.
  • However, as per an estimate, it might take six months to one year to return to the pre-pregnancy weight, no matter if a woman is breastfeeding or not.

Does breastfeeding help you lose weight?

Women who breastfeed shed about extra 500 calories per day compared with those who don’t because the body uses stored calories (fats) from pregnancy to produce milk for feeding the baby. This calorie-burning boost is enough to help some new moms get back to their pre-pregnancy weight without doing much else.

  • Moreover, breastfeeding stimulates the release of hormones that help shrink the uterus and belly and affect your mood and appetite.
  • However, most women eat more than usual while breastfeeding because of increased hunger (completely normal), which in turn makes them hold onto that last 5 to 10 lbs of baby weight.

Do not ignore your appetite or deliberately try to cut back too much on food intake while you are breastfeeding, which could potentially put a damper on the milk supply or invite postpartum mood swings.

Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

Dan Brennan When Does Postpartum Belly Go Away WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/when-does-postpartum-belly-go-away

Losing weight after birth safely Pregnancy birth & baby: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/losing-weight-after-birth-safely

Losing weight after pregnancy MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000586.htm

Stephanie Watson 8 Tips For Losing Weight After Pregnancy WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/8-tips-for-losing-weight-after-pregnancy