Photo Credit: INFphoto.com; Mauceri/Donnelly/INFphoto.com
Whatever your baby-weight-loss mantra is -- "It tooks nine months to put it on, it will take that long to lose it" or "My baby is a miracle and I'm proud of what my body did" -- sometimes it just doesn't work and you feel insanely jealous of a mom whose pregnancy pounds seem to have melted off.
Turns out even celebs can fall victim to baby weight-loss envy. Christina Applegate hilariously turned to Twitter yesterday to vent about it. "Just saw a pic of Jessica Alba 3mths after giving birth. Happy 4 her for how amazing she looks but kind wanna kick her." Ha! (Not surprisingly, Alba recently revealed she's "not stressed" about losing the baby weight. Of course she's not.)
In real life Applegate is mom to 9-month-old Sadie and also stars in Up All Night, a sitcom about the all-too-relatable mom/job juggle. Applegate isn’t exactly looking terrible these days, but it's refreshing to see her honesty about the difficulties most of us have shedding those post-baby pounds.
Over half of moms (59 percent) worry about losing weight after pregnancy, according to a 2009 March of Dimes poll. Although it can be tempting to put a priority on dropping weight quickly, you need to give yourself a break, says Ashley Koff, RD, co-author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. Going slow and easy, setting attainable goals and staying positive will put you in the best mindset to eventually lose that baby weight -- healthfully. But how can you stay positive while still working on that new-mom muffin top? Read on for a few of Koff’s easy-to-implement tips:
Try to build health habits before delivery. We so know it’s tempting to spend every free moment on the couch when you’re carrying a baby, but Koff says eating well and exercising during pregnancy often pays off when trying to shed the baby weight after birth. "Right after you deliver is a hard time to take on new habits, so try to build healthy habits beforehand," suggests Koff, who recommends eating as many quality nutrients as you can during pregnancy (such as fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins) and exercising often.
Focus on your energy level first -- not the number on the scale. Of course sleep-deprived new moms aren’t going to feel their most alert in the weeks and months following childbirth, but Koff says your energy level is typically the number-one indicator that you’re on the path to good health, and eventually weight loss. Eating a small meal or snack every three hours and doing your best to choose whole food options, avoiding impossible-to-pronounce ingredients should keep you feeling more revived and get your body in the best condition to slim down.
Steer clear of dramatic diets. A quick fix might help you shed weight fast, but "isn't going to help you in the long term." They can negatively affect you and your breast milk, and rob you of essential nutrients you need to replenish after childbirth. Instead, focus on eating healthy food frequently, staying hydrated and getting as much sleep as your baby will allow.
Focus on a body part that’s always been cooperative. If you’ve never had a flat stomach in your life, you’ll feel frustrated and depressed if you pour all your energy into sit-ups and ab work. Instead, focus on a body part that’s always been more obliging -- and flaunt it. If your arms have always responded well to toning, work on them first and show them off. Seeing results will get you more motivated to keep working on the rest of your body.
Enlist support from your partner. New dads almost always have the best intentions, but sometimes the words they choose don’t exactly give you the psychological boost they need. Koff advises well-intentioned spouses to stay away from phrases like 'I love your new curves' because all a mom will hear is 'baby weight.' (When he's really just so into your big boobs...)
Click here for more advice on dropping the baby weight and here for inspirational baby weight-loss stories.