FOUR babies. I have had four babies. If that doesn't seem crazy enough, I had all four in just eight years and the last two were born just twenty-one months apart! Needless to say my body has been through a lot of changes and a lot of literal ups and downs over the last decade.
Over the years I have shared a lot of workout tips and weight loss tips and talked about eating clean. Now, however, between having a business, a podcast and the four kiddos I'm also exponentially busier than I used to be. Consequently (and in the spirit of essentialism) I am all about getting maximum results for minimal effort! This post is meant to be my definitive guide to losing the baby weight by focusing on the things that will give you the most output for your input. The very biggest bang for you buck!
My tips are focused less on dropping a certain number of pounds and more about fitting back into your favorite jeans or just feeling good in your body. Talking about weight loss seems to be a bit taboo these days, but I don't think there is anything wrong with having an achievable goal to work towards. Keep reading for my SEVEN very BEST postpartum weight loss tips!
A Tale of Two Professors
When I was in college I took a class called Comms Law or Communications Law. This was in the early days of Rate My Professor and instead of consulting that resource, I selected my course based on the time that was most convenient for my schedule. Several of my friends took the same course that semester from a different professor. They had a largely positive experience and let's just say this was one of the most miserable experiences of my college experience! Their professor was super cool, they all learned a lot, and they all got a great grade. Conversely, I felt like my professor wanted to make my life a living nightmare. Looking back I'm sure that wasn't the case! But I do remember when I stumbled into her classroom, beaten down and broken by my failing efforts to bring my grade back up and asking for advice, her reply was simply, “well, some people have to take this class twice to get it.”
The moral of the story is that if I had taken the course from a different professor I could have learned the same material, gotten an A on my transcript, and done it all a much easier way. After this experience I became a die-hard Rate My Professor user to ensure I wasn't making my life harder than it needed to be! When it comes to postpartum weight loss and getting back into shape after having a baby, I apply this same logic. There are things that you can do to make losing the baby weight harder and things you can do to make it easier. I am all about easier and those are the SEVEN tips I am sharing today!
Tip #1: Clean Eating
My number one tip for losing baby weight is that eating clean will give you faster and greater results than eating whatever you want and working out every day. I'm not saying it is the most important thing, but that is also kind of exactly what I'm saying! This is a lesson I have absolutely learned the hard way! Taking the time and energy to make sure you are eating clean and healthy will give you really, really good results much quicker.
For me there is also a ripple effect associated with clean eating. It's the If You Give A Mouse a Cookie for losing the baby weight. If I am eating clean, then I have the energy to actually workout and then once I've worked out, I want to continue to fuel my body with healthy things. If I am eating junk it is much harder to do cardio and workout and be motivated to stay on track. It has to start with clean eating.
Tip #2: Add Resistance
Aerobic exercise or cardio is good for your heart health and increases your heart rate to burn extra calories. Adding or increasing cardio is especially effective when you follow tip #1 and have a healthy diet! However, resistance training and weight workouts and strength training are going to give you a MUCH bigger bang for your buck. Resistance training builds muscle and increases the amount of calories your body burns at rest! Building muscle boosts your metabolic rate so you burn more calories 24/7-not just when you are working out! Because of this, you will see faster, better results from the time you invest.
The very best shape that I have been in has been when I have been able to do cardio and strength training. But when you have a brand new baby or if you have multiple kids, finding the time for both can be TRICKY! So if you have to choose, choose weights. Maximize that 20 or 30 minutes you have and do some kind of resistance training. Resistance training has also been proven to decrease anxiety and depression, improve focus, and increase self esteem. Who doesn't want all of that?!
There are so many great strength training resources and programs out there from free Pinterest workouts and Instagram workouts to one of hundreds of quick Peloton strength workouts!
Tip #3: Banish the Bloat
One unexpected side effect of clean eating can sometimes be BLOATING. That is also one of those side effects that occasionally comes just from being a woman. (Yay.) Bloating can mask the results of all your hard work, so I am all about banishing the bloat!! A few years ago I discovered this HUM Nutrition supplement Flatter Me that is a magician at eliminating bloat and giving me a flatter tummy!
This is not a weight loss supplement. Flatter Me is a unique blend of clinically proven digestive enzymes that helps decrease bloating and breaks down proteins, carbs, fiber, lactose, and fats. But…it's not intense in any way. AT ALL. So you can totally take this supplement and not worry about being married to your bathroom for the day. If you are looking for healthy digestion and a flatter stomach, this is my recommendation.
However, I also really love their Daily Cleanse! You take this supplement from HUM nutrition every morning and it just helps you stay regular and clean junk out of your system. Perfect if you just had a weekend away or a birthday and you're looking for a reset. A major added benefit of this detoxifying supplement is clearer skin and fewer breakouts. Yes, please!
I totally love both and both supplements earn raves from other reviewers.
Tip #4: Don't Drink Your Calories
If you're a long time Mint Arrow bestie, you know that I have a total sweet tooth and love my after dinner treats. If we are going out or ordering in, I would way rather spend my calories on a yummy dessert or splurge on a really delicious crusty bread versus a sugary drink! Many people don't realize how easy it is to drink your calories. And those mindless calories add up quick!
That said, if a yummy sweet drink is your JAM then by all means, go for it! But if it's not a huge deal to you, save on your drink calories and put them toward something you'll really thoroughly enjoy.
Tip #5: Go To Bed
Getting plenty of sleep is crucial to any successful weight loss plan. One of my favorite books is Essentialism and it taught me that sleep is the new black. A lot of executives and CEOs especially at dot-coms in the Bay Area preach this and pride themselves on getting plenty of sleep. Getting adequate, quality sleep is an important part of any weight loss plan. High quality sleep improves brain function and gives you more energy to work out and make good choices.
Tip #6: More Snacks
I know, I know, you don't believe me. This one may seem counterintuitive but I promise it works. Like if I want to lose baby weight why would I eat more? You aren't eating more, you are eating more frequently. So please snack! When I started counting macros a few years ago, learning to snack was my biggest takeaway. If I skip snacks when counting macros (or even when I'm not) I am dead meat. Once I get hungry (or hangry) I make dumb nutritional choices or start overeating at my three meals. My snacks are absolutely key and essential to feeling full and satisfied all day. Eating three small meals and one to two healthy snacks is a way better strategy and also helps keep your blood sugar levels stable to help you lose weight.
I tried intermittent fasting and absolutely HATED it. It felt like I was starving myself and it did not work for me. Having small consistent meals (and calories) throughout the day is the secret sauce for me. And snacking is not the enemy. Snacking is KEY.
Bonus tip: Treat Yourself to Activewear
It is always fun and exciting for me to get new activewear to keep myself motivated or treat myself when I achieve one of my goals! Having new workout clothes to put on before a sweaty workout gives me something to look forward to, especially when I'm trying to lose some baby weight. Nordstrom has long been one of my favorite destinations for activewear, workout shoes and my very favorite no-show socks! Shopping for activewear at Nordstrom is even better and more rewarding thanks to FREE shipping and FREE returns, BOPUS, curbside pickup, and The Nordy Club where you can earn points with every purchase!!
Game Set Match
Matching workout sets are very in right now! I absolutely love that the high waisted leggings and cropped tank meet up perfectly providing full, but very cute coverage. The exact print I bought is sold out which is a major bummer, but there are seven super cute colors to choose from. These items have earned tons and tons of near-perfect reviews! The leggings are totally squat proof, ultra super soft and comfy, and very obsession-worthy. The top is very flattering and absolutely perfect for all your low-impact workouts.
A Dreamy Hoodie
This is one of THE softest hoodies I have ever worn! The reviews are absolutely insane because it is so good. It is worth every single penny and MORE because it is such a workhouse. No pilling, no signs of wear, even after tons and tons of wears and washes. The moisture wicking jersey is so soft and warm without being bulky. It is the perfect light layer to throw on pre or post workout or if you're doing an outdoor workout, like I was up at Lake Arrowhead, for wearing during your workout!
Buzz-worthy Running Shoes
I have been a longtime die-hard Nike or Adidas fan for forever but had heard so many amazing things about these new waterproof running shoes that I had to pull the trigger. So glad that I did because they are like walking on clouds. They are so comfy and I am super into the knotted elastic laces that make these super easy to slip on and off. In case you missed it, I am all about things that make my life easier! These are a 10/10 for me. I love them and cannot wait to test out the waterproof functionality one day. These would be perfect for a future rainy Disneyland day. (Going to Disney on a rainy day is one of my favorite family tips for smaller crowds!)
Tried and True Tips
After having four babies and a lot of trial and error, these are my SIX very best tips for losing the baby weight! Everyone's body and experience is different, but these six things work faster and more efficiently for me than anything else I tried. They are my tried and true tips that work whether you have one kid or two or FOUR.
Do you have any postpartum weight loss tips you want to add?