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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tips to Lose Pregnancy Weight Quickly

Your bundle of joy has arrived, leaving behind the bundle still strapped to your mid-section. Now what you ask? The 100 million plus babies that are born yearly leave 100 million plus women asking that exact question of how to lose the pregnancy weight. I too, after having my first child, was panic-stricken leaving the hospital in my maternity clothes that I was so sure I would never-ever need again. I was wrong, oh ever so wrong. We first timers live in a fantasy world that the baby is born, we go immediately right back to our pre-pregnancy size. However, I failed to realize that I gained 55lbs, but my baby weighed all of 5 pounds. So, where did the other 50 excess pounds come from? You asked, so here it is, it was from an extra bowl (or sometimes two) of cereal EVERY night after my dinner. Yes ladies and gentleman, after eating a full course meal, I still had room for cereal. I now ask myself how to lose the weight. Having a background in nutrition and weight loss consulting, it should be relatively easy to quickly lose the pregnancy weight.

Right? The basic science behind weight loss is calories consumed and calories burned. It’s essential to have 3 meals a day, with small snacks thrown in between meals to keep your metabolism running. The meals of course should be nutritionally balanced as well as portion-controlled. Snacks can be as easy as fruit, low-fat cheese, or heart-healthy nuts.

A lot of people prefer keeping a food journal to keep you more accountable. If you eat it-write it! There are a lot of great resources online for food plans geared towards weight loss. Find the one that best fits your lifestyle, which will be your number one priority in being successful with quickly losing the pregnancy weighrt.. If you’re breast-feeding, aim to eat around 2300 calories a day to ensure proper nutrition for yourself and your baby.

Exercise is just as equally important. Just being active, 5 times a week for 30 minutes lowers your chances of heart disease, heart attack, diabetes and other associated health risks with being over weight or obese. Start off slow, especially if you haven’t been active in awhile, or if you had any health issues during your pregnancy. A great investment is a heart-rate monitor. They come with and without the chest strap. They are a fantastic tool in helping you get to a fat-burning heart rate, without hurting yourself. They’re purchasable at Wal-Mart, Target, and sporting goods stores. It’s also important to keep track of your progress to celebrate your achievements.

Set small goals, and keep track of your measurements. I recommend measuring yourself at least once a month. Weighing yourself is up to you, if you don’t get discourages by the numbers, then weight yourself as much as you would like. If numbers can make or break your day, weigh yourself once a week, at the same time of day, wearing the same thing. Now, put your slimmest foot forward, begin losing, and start moving towards a happier, healthier you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tips to Lose Pregnancy Weight Fast

It’s the inevitable result of pregnancy cravings. You gained 35 pounds (or more) during your pregnancy but had an 8 pound baby. So, how to lose that pregnancy weight?

First and foremost, nurse your baby. Aside from all of the great health reasons for you and the baby, nothing drops that pregnancy weight fast like breastfeeding. Of course, for many new mothers returning to work, nursing isn’t a long-term option, so other methods are needed.

Invest in a sling or other baby carrier – being sure to test them out in the store for back support and comfort for both you and the baby – and start walking. In addition to helping you lose that pregnancy weight, babies love to be snuggled and the soothing motion can help put even the fussiest babies to sleep (even colicky babies). Malls are great places to walk any time of year, and many malls have special walking times and even some deals for early walkers to get in prior to regular business hours.

Another tip is to look at local gyms and fitness centers. Not only do many of them have a walking track, but also another really great method for pregnancy weight loss – the “Mommy and Me” exercise class. From yoga to water aerobics, a variety of great classes are available, so you can pick the one that fits your needs the best.

Don’t forget to check with local colleges and universities for fitness classes along with your hospital to see what they offer for post-partum fitness needs. If no one nearby offers a fitness class that fits your needs or schedule, there are exercise dvds specifically designed to help new mothers lose the pregnancy weight fast.

However, motivation is often a stumbling block, particularly when you have so many other new things occupying your time. Working with a friend or a small group helps keep you on track during tough times. A reward system can help with all of these methods, using small rewards for meeting manageable goals to keep motivation strong. Losing pregnancy weight fast isn’t a matter of doing just one thing, but a number of small steps in combination.T

Friday, February 6, 2009

You Too Can Have a Healthy Pregnancy Without Gaining Unnecessary Pounds!

I’m going to be completely honest with you. Before I had kids, I didn’t give any thought to my weight at all. On average, I weighed between 125-130 pounds and this was perfect for my 5’ 5 frame. I could literally eat anything that I darned well pleased and I maintained my weight. I guess you could say that I was a lean mean cheeseburger and fries eating machine. I didn’t put any effort into my weight, didn’t exercise a bit and didn’t care about diets and other stuff like that. Then, something happened that changed all that. I got married, pregnant and soon afterwards I gained a lot of weight.

It wasn’t the baby’s fault and I certainly don’t blame her for it. It was totally my fault. I simply ate the way I had before, religiously took my pre natals vitamins, and hoped for the best. By the end of it all, I gained over 50 pounds. And although my midwife complained a bit at the beginning of my pregnancy about my weight gain, she didn’t seem to worry that much about the excessive weight gain and told me that I’d lose it eventually.

After I had my daughter, an 8lb 7 ounce bouncing baby girl, I immediately lost 35 pounds of the 50 but couldn’t seem to lose any more. Then again, I didn’t really try that hard. I didn’t exercise much and kept up with my old eating habits. Within 2 years, I got pregnant again and gained you got it ---another 50 pounds. Again, I did exactly what I did before. I ate for “two again”. I ate everything I wanted and also indulged in treats and lots of them.

After my 8 lb 9 ounce son was born, I vowed to lose the weight and after two years of hard work, I lost 40 more pounds. I was doing great and then I realized that I was pregnant again. This time I decided to do something different. I was determined not to gain 50 pounds that pregnancy so I read everything that I possibly could on eating healthy, not gaining too much too soon and tried to develop my own healthy eating plan. However, as much as I tried, I just couldn’t control myself. I would slip into old patterns.

By the time I went to my first midwifery appointment, I had gained another 10 pounds. I was crushed. I was desperate for knowledge and I even read quite a few nutrition books but they were specifically geared for the baby that was growing inside me. I found very little information on what I should be eating and how to workout safely during pregnancy.

One day while surfing on the net, I came across a cool book called Pregnancy Without Pounds. I was skeptical at first but was persuaded by the fact that the author had 15 years of experience as a Health and Nutrition Coach, a Masters Degree in Holistic Nutrition, a Personal Training Certificate and a Psychology Degree. Plus, she offered a generous 30 day money back guarantee so I figured, I couldn’t lose.

I read the book right away and it immediately changed my perspective. I started paying more attention to the “quality of food” and also changed my mindset about the “eating for two” myth. I stopped eating junk and started filling my body with healthy food. At the end of that pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds and my son was a whopping 8 lbs 13 ounces, bigger than any of my other two. During that pregnancy, I had a ton of energy and felt great. And, only a few months after the birth of my son, I am 10 pounds away from my goal weight of 135 pounds. Plus, I’ve developed healthy habits to last a lifetime.

In Pregnancy Without Pounds, you’ll get quality and solid information that you can use right now. No medical mumbo jumbo. Just good and informative reading. You’ll learn all sorts of information like how to avoid unwanted excess pounds, how to exercise to get fit and toned (even if you hate exercising), how to minimize stretch marks and cellulite, eliminate food cravings, fight acne, feel sexier and much more. You’ll even learn how to have an easier delivery.

By purchasing Pregnancy Without Pounds, you’ll have access to a great program that works. You’ll be encouraged and motivated to have a healthier lifestyle. So, if you’re truly serious about not packing on the pounds and having a healthier pregnancy, I highly recommend this book and give it two thumbs up!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

5 Tips to Lose the Baby Weight

Having a baby is a joy and a blessing that exceeds all others. Now that your bundle has arrived, and you are fully entrenched in ‘mommy mode’, you are probably now worrying about losing the 10 or 20 pounds that you packed on during your pregnancy. For most of us, taking time every day to go to the gym is just not an option – what, with taking care of a newborn, a home and a husband, who has time for the gym?
Luckily there are small things that will make a big difference in loosing your baby weight.

Let me share the 5 best with you:

1. Eat sensibly and stay active – Fad dieting just doesn’t work. You might lose a few pounds but as soon as you revert back to your old diet, the pounds will come right back. The key to success is to not skip meals to save calories, and eat a well balance diet that contains lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and protein and no fat, sugar or empty calories. Furthermore, you need to stay active to lose weight. The more you move, the better you will feel and the quicker you will drop those unwanted pounds.

2. Follow your baby’s eating habits - Your baby will eat when he is hungry and stop when he is full. This is an excellent example for mom to follow too. Not only will this help you to loose your baby weight fast, but it becomes a lifelong lesson in proper eating habits. Experts say that to recognize fullness, you should eat slowly and pause several times during a meal, to allow your body to signal to you that it is full.

3. Exercise with Baby – Forget the gym, you can exercise at home in short intervals all day long. Carrying around a 10 pound baby is hard work. Make it fun and dance with your baby, do the laundry with your baby in a baby carrier. As your baby begins to age, you can involve your little one in at-home exercises that can be as fun as dancing or as unstructured as hide and seek. If you have stairs in your home, even better! Stair climbing is a great way to increase your heart rate and burn fat.

4. Use a smaller plate – Instead of cutting out food groups and drastically reducing the amount of good foods that you eat, use a smaller plate and eat smaller portions. If you are cautious about your intake of fats and carbohydrates, you will lose weight and keep it off. Fill your plate with healthy vegetables and complex carbohydrates. As a guideline, a serving of meat or pasta should be no larger than the size of your closed fist.

5. Maintain a food journal – Writing down what you eat and when you eat it allows you to see where your trigger points are (times of day when you are more likely to binge eat or crave junk food). It also allows you to see your own successes. This is an excellent way of monitoring your goals and your habits and will further your ability to lose all your post baby weight. A recent study proves that women who kept a food journal lost 80% of their baby weight in a 6-month period, compared to only 44% of women who didn’t keep a food journal.

10 Tips to Keep Weight Gain in Check During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, especially if it is your first and you are new to the whole experience of being pregnant, once of the biggest challenges is gaining enough weight to keep your baby healthy. However, most woman gain more weight than is required, which can lead to health issues for both mother and baby, and makes it extremely hard to lose your baby weight.

Not to worry! There are some easy and sensible tips that you can follow that will help you keep your weight in check during pregnancy.

1. Eat Breakfast – Whether you feel like it or not, eat breakfast every morning. It helps to jumpstart your metabolism each day and will fend off unwanted pounds. Additionally, if you add a complex protein to your morning diet, such as peanut butter, it gives you and your baby a boost of protein to start the day.

2. Add 300-500 calories – You want to add 300-500 calories to your diet each day while you are pregnant, to ensure your child is receiving the proper nutrient levels. However, these should be good quality calories and not employ ones. Add more fruit, vegetables and protein to your diet and do away with colas, caffeine and food items high in sugar or fat.

3. Snack between Meals – Having healthy snacks throughout the day between meals makes sure that your body always feels full and satisfied and less likely to binge eat on fatty foods. Snacking also means that you will eat smaller amounts of food at each sitting and this helps to keep the unnecessary weight off.

4. Stay Active – Many women cease to exercise during pregnancy, especially during the 3rd trimester. Unfortunately, this only increases the odds that you will gain unwanted pounds during your pregnancy. If you stay active, you will actually feel better all throughout your pregnancy. Exercise can be as easy as taking a walk each night after dinner, going to the mall for a few hours where it is climate controlled, or taking yoga or aquatics class for pregnant women.

5. Choose Healthy – Many pregnant women have cravings, and although it is sometimes impossible not to indulge those urges it is best for the entire duration of the pregnancy to choose healthy foods. Leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grain breads, rice, potatoes and proteins are important to you and your growing baby.

6. Eat Fresh – One of the easiest ways to watch your weight during pregnancy is to buy fresh and eat fresh. First, this means you are eating foods that are very high in nutrients and vitamins; good for you and baby. Second, if you have to go out and do a little shopping each day to buy fresh, it means you are getting out and getting exercise. It may seem like a pain but look at it this way. Each day you can spend 10 minutes in the supermarket or once a week, you can spend an hour. Your pregnant body and your back will most often prefer the former choice.

7. Avoid Junk Food – Instead of chocolate ice cream, try frozen yogurt. Instead of potato chips, try cheese and crackers. Adjusting your mind to eat healthier, without compromising taste is the key to avoiding junk food during pregnancy. Your mind may be telling you it needs a chocolate bar, but neither your baby nor your hips need it.

8. Look Pretty – When you look good, you feel good. Depression about appearance and weight gain during pregnancy is common. However, if you make an effort to get dressed everyday, do your hair and put on a little lip gloss, you will instantly feel better about your state. This will help you avoid binge eating during low times.

9. Get Out of the House – Staying inside makes you depressed, and becoming depressed leads to overeating. If you can get out of the house at least once every day, you will be more active, less isolated and much happier.

10. Drink Lots – Throughout the day, drink plenty of juice and water. This provides your body with the fluid intake it needs, keeps your skin fresh and radiant and also keeps you filling full. If you feel satisfied, you are less likely to eat all the time.

A sensible dietary plan, one that is rich in nutrients and vitamins is essential for a growing baby. Striking a healthy balance is the ticket to delivering a healthy baby without gaining too much weight that you will struggle to loose months and sometimes years after your child is born.

10 Tips to Fit into Those Pre-Pregnancy Favorite Jeans

One of the most comforting things, after 9 months of a massive belly, water retention and an aching back is to get back into that favorite pair of worn-in blue jeans. The truth is, however, that most of take months to get back into our pre-pregnancy clothing. It just doesn’t have to be that way…

During Pregnancy

1. Healthy Weight Gain – One of the easiest ways to get back into your normal clothing is to be conscious of your weight during pregnancy. The average woman should gain between 25-30 pounds during a full term pregnancy and this weight gain is important for baby development. However, most women gain in the 40-50 pound range and this is not necessary. It just makes it that harder to loose after the baby arrives.

2. Stay Active – Just because you are pregnant, does not mean that you have to give up being active. There are many ways to exercise aside from going to the gym and taking part in rigorous aerobic classes. You can stroll around your neighborhood every day, do yoga and stretching exercises, walk the dog, and many other simple forms of staying active.

Post Pregnancy

3. Breastfeed Your Baby – Some women swear that breastfeeding is the magic formula for loosing weight. It works for some women and not for others. However, because you are extra careful what you put into your body while you are nursing your time, you naturally eat better and this helps the weight to come off.

4. Choose a Sensible Dietary Plan – Eat a daily diet that is high in protein, vitamins and nutrients each day. Lots of leafy green vegetables, fruit, meat and egg proteins as well as milk are all essentials to loosing weight after pregnancy.

5. Walk it Off – Walk anywhere and everywhere you can. Instead of driving, walk to the corner store, to the post office and to the mailbox. Take the baby out for a walk at least twice a day, either in the stroller or in a baby carrier. Whether you are in the house or out at an appointment, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. All of these are easy to do, and take no time at all.

6. Exercise Every Day – If you are able to get out to the gym, do it! It gives you a break from the new baby, gives your husband a chance to bond with baby and allows you to mingle with other adults for an hour or so each day. Taking aerobic or aquatic classes is a fast way to get back into those beloved blue jeans, especially if you can maintain an elevated heart rate for at least 30 minutes each day.

7. Drink Lots of Water – Your body loves water! Make sure to drink at least 32 ounces of water each day. It keeps your body hydrated, it is good for your baby if you are breastfeeding, and it keeps your body feeling full and satisfied.

8. Stay Away from Sugar – Sugar and junk food are deadly when it comes to loosing post-pregnancy weight. Also, they are not good for your baby if you are breastfeeding. The act of simply cutting sugars and junk food out of your diet will result in a loss of 5-10 pounds in a few months without even thinking about it.

9. Abstain from Alcohol – Although alcohol will not contribute to weight gain, certain ingredients will impede your ability to loose weight quickly.

10. Eat Often – Eating 5 or 6 small meals every single day is better than 3 large meals. Eating often keeps your metabolism high so your body burns fat longer and continuously. It also keeps you feeling full so you are less likely to binge eat throughout the day.

Healthy Weight Gain during Pregnancy

The first thing that should be said: it is critical to gain weight during pregnancy. The weight that you gain while pregnant is essential to your unborn child’s health and well being. However, it is important that you understand the boundaries of healthy weight gain during pregnancy, as too much weight gain is not healthy either.

While you are pregnant, you are the only source of nutrition for that baby growing in your belly. It is also very important if you are planning on breastfeeding as your extra weight is stored and used for breastfeeding after the baby is born.

Have you ever wondered where the extra weight is distributed during pregnancy? Let’s take a closer look:

 The average baby weighs 7 to 8 pounds
 Placenta weighs 1 to 2 pounds
 Uterus gains 2 pounds
 Amniotic fluid weighs 2 pounds
 Maternal breast tissue weighs 2 pounds
 Maternal blood weighs 4 pounds
 Fluids in the maternal tissue weighs 4 pounds
 Maternal fat and nutrient stores weigh 7 pounds

So what your body NEEDS in weight gain comes to an approximate 29 to 31 pounds. Taking that into consideration, let’s now look at how much you should gain during a healthy pregnancy:

 If you were healthy before pregnancy and within a normal weight range for your height and body type, you should typically gain 25 to 35 pounds
 If you were underweight for your height and body type before pregnancy, you need to gain 28 to 40 pounds.
 If you were overweight for your height and body type before pregnancy, you should gain 15 to 25 pounds.

Of course, these factors are different for every pregnant woman but are general guidelines of what average women, with varying body types and levels of pre-pregnancy health should gain. Of course, if you are having a larger baby, or multiple births, your circumstances would be different.

Part of healthy weight gain during pregnancy also involves putting the weight on at a healthy rate, in each trimester of pregnancy. Ideally, you want to strive for the following goals:

 3 to 5 pounds in the 1st trimester
 1 to 2 pounds each week in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
 1 to 2 pounds each week in the 3rd trimester

 5 to 6 pounds (or more in some cases) in the 1st trimester
 1 to 2 pounds each week, during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters

 1 to 2 pounds in the 1st trimester
 1 pound per week in the 2nd and 3rd trimester

It should also be noted that some women experience difficulty gaining weight in the first trimester, primarily due to morning sickness and related issues. Luckily, this is the time when your baby needs fewer calories and nutrients so don’t let it worry you overly. Just be certain that even during these times, you are providing your body, and your growing baby, with the essential nutrients and vitamins.

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy should be done at a slow and steady pace, over the entire 9 months of the pregnancy. In most cases, healthy pregnancy is simply a matter of eating properly, staying active and keeping a positive frame of mind about the weight gain. Know that your body needs all that you can give it, from a healthy perspective, to nourish your baby and assist in proper prenatal growth and development.