Let me start this post by first clarifying the title: there’s a reason it’s about losing baby weight “as a new parent” instead of just “as a mom.”
Believe me, the baby weight doesn’t only apply to mom.
Sure, moms will naturally have more weight after carrying a child – that’s just biology.
But what it doesn’t factor in are the first few weeks or months where both mom and dad are sleep deprived. And in many cases, being sleep deprived leads to less exercise and consumption of food that’s probably not good for you.
So this is a post for mom AND dad. 🙂
And I know that not all dads will gain weight during their partner’s pregnancy, but many do. (It’s what some refer to as ‘sympathy weight gain.’)
In fact, a British research firm found that fathers gain, on average, 14 pounds during their spouse’s pregnancy.
So now that we got that out of the way, let’s move onto how to lose baby weight fast as a new parent – we’ve got a few hacks that you’re probably going to find useful.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
How to Lose Baby Weight Fast as a New Parent
Here are 12 simple hacks on how to lose baby weight fast as a new parent. Keep in mind, weight loss is never easy even if the methods used to lose weight seem simple.
You need to be disciplined and take it seriously.
1) Plan to lose the weight together.
I can’t emphasize enough how important this simple idea is.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it is extremely helpful if your spouse is too. The fact of the matter is, losing weight has a lot to do with what you eat (shocking, right?).
If your spouse isn’t trying to lose weight and occasionally eats unhealthy, it’s going to be more difficult for you to stick to your diet. I’ve tried it, and believe me, it’s not easy.
Discuss your plans to lose weight with your spouse, and see if you can get him or her on board. And if your spouse doesn’t need to lose weight, at least come to agreement on the change of diet inside your home.
2) Set a realistic goal, but one that still pushes you.
Goals are important for just about anything you’re trying to accomplish in life, and weight loss is no different.
For many people, a realistic goal is their pre-baby weight. After all, if you were at this weight within the last year or so, it should be a very attainable goal that you’ll feel good about accomplishing.
Don’t keep your goal to yourself. Share it with others (obviously those with whom you feel comfortable sharing your weight).
It may seem awkward to share something like that, but it’ll help your stay accountable to your goal if you know other people are aware of it.
3) Add in some extra motivation (in this case, money)
For many people, having that feeling of hitting a certain weight level is enough motivation to push through the challenge of weight loss.
But even if you are motivated to lose weight, it’s sometimes not enough. I’ve been in situations where I know I need to lose 20 pounds, but after I see 5-10 pounds fall off, I begin feeling content and then go back to eating poorly and putting the weight back on.
Fortunately, there’s a really easy way to add this extra motivation. I wrote all about it here, but basically, it involves signing up to HealthyWage and making a “bet” that you will lose a certain # of pounds.
It’s extremely simple to set up, and it’s the perfect way to add some extra motivation to your weight loss goals. Not only will you have the benefit of losing weight, but you’ll actually win some money if you hit your goal.
And to keep you from slacking off, you’ll be motivated to not lose your original bet.
I’m in the middle of a HealthyWage bet right now and I highly recommend trying it.
4) Don’t just plan to eat healthy. Plan your diet around certain “rules.”
I’m not suggesting that you need to go out and specifically follow an official diet (like Weight Watchers or Atkins).
However, it’s important to set your boundaries and define the rules of your diet. Personally, I like to keep it as simple as possible.
For me, the rules are: no carbs, no sugar (kind of redundant because sugar is carbs, but you get the idea). That leaves my diet with mostly meat, veggies, and good fat (things like avocado and coconut oil).
Here are some recipes I’ve posted that fit this type of diet (and I plan to post more in the future):
I think it’s also important to build in a “cheat day” or “cheat meal” if you feel it’s necessary to keep you on your diet. Obviously if you can do without a cheat day, you’re going to lose weight faster, but for some people (like me), I like knowing that there’s always a “reward” in the near future.
For example, I like knowing that if I eat healthy all week, I can eat a donut on the weekend. It keeps me going (sad, I know).
Just don’t overdo it. But a cheat day or cheat meal once a week is okay if it allows you to keep going on your diet.
5) Find substitutes for the unhealthy foods you like.
This one takes a little bit of time to figure out, but I’m willing to bet you can find some decent substitutes for foods that you like.
Personally, here are some of the substitutes I’ve made:
- Using half and half in my coffee instead of sweetened creamer
- Cauliflower (seasoned and baked/roasted) instead of rice/potatoes
- Using avocados more
- Snacking on almonds or macadamia nuts instead of chips/pretzels (make sure to watch your serving size – these are still high in fat/calories, but better for you than the carb-y snacks)
- Peanut butter on celery for dessert or as a snack
It’s a lot easier to stay on your diet when you’re able to find decent substitutes.
6) Weight yourself weekly (not daily).
Part of figuring out how to lose baby weight fast is by making sure you’re not getting discouraged along the way.
It’s tempting to weigh yourself daily – and it’s OK to do it – but you should only do it if you’re not the type of person to get discouraged easily.
It’s completely normal from one day to the next, during a diet, to see your weight unchanged or even go up. It happens for a variety of reasons – maybe it’s the time of day, maybe you’re retaining more water one, etc.
If you weigh yourself weekly, you’re more likely to consistently see positive results, which will help encourage you to keep going.
7) Keep temptation out of the house.
This little tip is pretty powerful.
It is SO much easier to diet and lose weight when you don’t have quick and easy access to bad food. I’d even go so far as saying that this is half the battle right here.
Get rid of anything that will tempt you.
And this goes back to tip #1 about losing weight with your spouse – if you’re both on a diet, it’s easy to clean all the junk out of the house.
8) Exercise is important, but it doesn’t take the place of diet.
I’ve seen people who try to lose weight only through exercise, with no real plans to diet, and you know what often happens?
They don’t lose weight. And in some cases, they actually gain weight.
To be clear, I’m not advocating that you don’t exercise – I’m simply saying that the diet is the more important part.
If you’re not watching what you eat and you start exercising, there are two things that often happen:
1) You start burning more calories, which makes you hungrier, and you end up eating more of the bad food.
2) There’s a psychological impact of exercise where you actually feel entitled to eat more (and end up eating more calories than you’ve burned).
So please, get some exercise, but make sure you’re still very focused on your diet.
9) Drink more water
While drinking more water on it’s own won’t do too much for you (except keep you well hydrated), studies have found that drinking more water in conjunction with a good exercise/diet plan, does have a positive impact on weight loss.
So, while you’re doing everything else, drink more water too. 🙂
10) Drink some (but not a lot of) coffee
I’ll admit, I’m addicted to coffee. You kind of have to be when you work full time and have kids.
Coffee is one of those things that can have health benefits only if you’re drinking it in moderation.
In fact, one study finds that caffeine can help raise metabolism, which contributes to weight loss.
For me, it’s about more than just raising metabolism; I also find that it keeps me fuller in the morning and allows me to get by with just eating 2 eggs for breakfast.
Just make sure you’re not loading it up with tons of sugar or sweetened creamer. I used to be a big fan of sweetened creamer, but have since transitioned to using half and half and sweetening it with Splenda.
11) Stop eating in front of the TV
I’ll come right out and say it – I love eating in front of the TV. And I know how terrible that is.
There are a few good reasons why eating in front of the TV is so bad for you:
- It distracts you from feeling fully satisfied – In other words, you’re so focused on what’s happening on TV that your brain doesn’t know when you’ve eaten enough. Sure, you’ll eventually get full, but this distraction keeps you from realizing you’re full until it’s too late.
- You’re more likely to go back for more food – This goes along with the first point, but if you’re watching a 30 minute TV show and you’re only 20 minutes in when your plate is empty, you’re more likely to get more food.
- You create an unhealthy association between TV and food – This is the ultimate consequence that ties in the first two points above. If you eat in front of the TV often enough, your brain will associate TV watching with eating. It may even get to the point where you can’t enjoy one without the other (or can’t enjoy it as much).
- This leads to you eating more outside of your normal meals. For example, if you normally watch TV late at night, you’re probably more like to snack on unhealthy foods while you watch, even though you’ve already had dinner.
As enjoyable as it can be, if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to stop eating while watching TV.
12) Plan your meals
Planning your meals ahead of time can have two big benefits for weight loss:
1) You can better control your portion sizes. If you’ve planned out your meal (which often involves actually making it ahead of time and storing it away), you can have better control of your portion size. There’s no “going back for seconds” because you’ve only allowed yourself a certain amount of food.
2) You’re less likely to reach for unhealthy food. When you’re hungry and there’s no food made yet, it’s easy to reach for a quick snack or eat out at a restaurant (including fast food). If you’ve already planned a healthy meal ahead of time, there’s less of a barrier to eating healthy.
Meal planning is great, although it does require some effort and – you guessed it – planning.
What a lot of people do is spend 2-3 hours on Sunday planning and cooking (or just getting all the ingredients together) their meals for the week.
If that seems like a massive project to you, start by just doing it for your lunches. Once you get the hang of if, you can start planning your dinners the same way.
Here’s one of our Pinterest boards with a collection of great meal planning resources/posts.
Here’s a Sample Menu for the Diet We’re On
In case you’re looking for a starting point, I thought I would share with you an example of what our day looks like in terms of diet.
Once again, our diet doesn’t really have a name. We’re simply watching our intake of carbs and sugar, plain and simple.
- Breakfast: Coffee, 2 scrambled eggs with 1/2 an avocado (diced and put on top of the eggs)
- AM snack: 1/4 cup of almonds
- Lunch: Salad with chicken and veggies (dressing varies depending on the type of salad)
- PM snack: celery with peanut butter
- Dinner: Grilled chicken (with some kind of marinade), grilled vegetables
No More Excuses
There you have it. With these 12 hacks, you can no longer pretend that you don’t know how to lose baby weight fast. 🙂
And keep in mind, “fast” is a relative term. Aim for small losses in short time frames, but also set a longer term goal. After all, if you just try to lose ALL the weight as quickly as possible, chances are, your diet won’t be sustainable and you’ll end up gaining a lot of the weight back.
No, I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but I am someone who has seen the benefits of all 12 things that were mentioned in this post.
What’s worked for you? Any other great “hacks” you can share that we didn’t mention here? Leave a comment below!
(also, if you liked this post, please pin it on Pinterest and share it on Facebook! 😀 )