Being a post-natal fitness professional and mother of 3 (including twin baby boys!) I truly understand the importance of re-gaining your post-natal vitality and getting back into your jeans!! Yes it is important to get your pre-baby body back, and this is a huge part of it, but it is also important for all of us to feel healthy, happy and confident.
if you are struggling to lose the ‘baby belly’ and you compare yourself to those women that just bounce back, it can feel like you are doing something wrong if you don’t lose the baby weight the moment you give birth. Try and not compare yourself to others (this isn’t always easy I know!), and just remember that for some women the weight will just naturally fall off and for others (most women) it will take 9 months to feel your best again.
My twin boys are nearly 4 months old now (where has that time gone!) and I now feel ready to start prioritising my health and looking after my body properly again with nourishing foods and regular exercise. Carrying two babies took a huge strain on my body from the inside out and I certainly haven’t bounced back into shape after this twin pregnancy. I was huge at the end and my body was stretched to the maximum, so I have a lot of work to do to get my stomach muscles back to how they were. Luckily I do have relatively good genetics so most of the weight has come off naturally and I now have about 9-10lbs to lose (although I haven’t weighed myself this is just a good guess judging by how my jeans feel!).
Although life is crazy busy I am trying to prioritise certain things to help me feel in control and that will help me get my energy, vitality and my pre-twin body back. My own personal priorities to help me on my post-natal weight loss journey are to eat a natural wholefood diet (without watching portion sizes too much so far although I am now starting to), and it is also important for me to start feeling stronger again as have also lost a lot of muscle tone due to not being able to exercise throughout this pregnancy and I have a 3 finger diastasis recti which I am currently working on so my stomach is certainly more squishy than it used to be. Walking and pilates based exercises for my pelvic floor and core muscles are super important!
I have set out my 10 steps below are the steps below that I will now be following to help me get my body, health and vitality back and that you too can follow to help you lose weight and feel back in control of your own life again. After I had my daughter Imogen in 2011 it took me 9 months to get my pre-pregnancy body back and I am sure it will take me that again (or longer!) this time. I am noticing changes already and I am proud of what my body has done this year and that it has grown and delivered three beautiful little people. It can be a slow process but done in the right way as I recommend to all of my clients through my True Vitality 4 Mums programmes the results will last.
Post natal weight loss is like any kind of weight loss. It takes patience and time and a combination of healthy eating and regular post-natal specific exercise. Just remember if the weight doesn’t vanish straight away you are completely normal and you willl be able to lose that weight. It might just take a tiny bit longer than it may have for someone else. Which is why it is always a good idea to focus on how you are feeling, rather than how someone else is looking.
I hope these steps will help you on your way to feeling YOUR best!
(1.) Ditch the Mum Guilt!
While your baby is asleep don’t be afraid to prioritise some time for you. Whether it be a workout, cooking a healthy lunch for yourself, having a nap or heading out for a walk with your babes then do it and most of all don’t feel guilty! My boys mostly sleep well over lunch time (although they have decided not to this week!) so on a good day I currently put them to bed, do my tummy rehab exercises for 20-30 minutes and then I make lunch and either do some work, have a sleep, speak to a friend, or put on a mini-meditation. Then if I have time I do the washing! Of course there are also days (like today!) where it all goes wrong and your baby doesn’t sleep but you can get back on track the next day.
Try not to beat yourself up for things you haven’t done or should be doing! Realise that you are always doing your best and be gentle with yourself. Free up the space in your mind for more uplifting thoughts and all the amazing things you are doing right and you will see a jump in your energy and vitality.
(2.) Follow my Nutrition Golden Rules
Cut out processed sugar (you can continue to eat fruit and healthy sugars!), processed foods, reduce carbs in the evening, cut out/down on alcohol and try cutting out wheat and/or dairy especially if you suffer with bloating. By focussing on the quality of the food you are eating and counting calories eating a healthy diet will become a lot more enjoyable. To read more about this you can download my Free Post-Natal Guide Here.
I have tried to reduce all sugar in the past, and personally I find it really hard to stick to over the long term, so I always include small amounts of natural sugar in my diet. Things like a couple of pieces of fruit per day, a couple of squares of dark (70% cocoa) chocolate after dinner or as a snack or healthy granola/flapjack or home made bounce balls as snacks a couple of times a week.
If you do want to indulge from time to time, go for it. I think the best diet is one that you can maintain long term. Anything too restrictive won’t last, so if you do want to treat yourself, don’t feel guilty. Food is one of the greatest pleasures and life is to be enjoyed after all!
(3.) Focus on Wholefoods.
If you place your focus on good quality wholefoods as much as possible you will give your body the nutrients in needs to recover in the post-natal period and you will naturally eat less sugar, feel fuller for longer and therefore naturally lose weight. Without getting hungry! Special nourishing diets are the cornerstone to recovery as your postnatal recovery is greatly enhanced when you eat well, and specific postnatal foods help your body recover, increase your energy, encourages normal bowel function, and supports healthy hormones and breastfeeding. The True Vitality 4 Mums Post-Natal Nutrition plan covers all of these important foods to help you.
If you want a complete guide to postnatal weight loss and nutrition to help you get started you can download the True Vitality 4 Mums Online Post-Natal Glow Programme here. This programme is the complete online fitness and nutrition program for Mum’s who want to get their pre-baby body back and feel fit, healthy, confident and full of vitality after the birth of their baby. The Nutrition Plan includes 200+ recipes, a members community for accountability and support and plenty of other motivational and nutrition resources!
This is what Lisa Williams, Former Online Editor at Tatler had to say about the True Vitality 4 Mums Post-Natal nutrition plan:
‘It was strict (protein with every meal, no carbs in the evening, no wheat), but it made sense. This wasn’t a go-hungry-or-go-home diet plan, but an easy way of incorporating Laura’s nutritional know-how into everyday life.’
(4.) Eat breakfast.
Yes this one isn’t always easy when you are rushing around in the morning getting everyone ready but try and think of things that are quick and easy to prepare and that you can prep in advance so you have no excuses. At the moment my breakfast will be one of these quick and easy options. A smoothie in my nutri bullet, a piece of rye bread toasted with sugar free peanut butter or a home-made (and sugar free) breakfast bar or flapjack of some kind! Your breakfast should also contain protein of some kind such as nuts, seeds and eggs, and by eating this way you will balance your sugar levels and therefore prevent yourself from reaching for any processed or not so healthy treats later in the day.
(5.) Nutrition and Supplementation
I am a big believer in getting your nutrients by eating natural foods as much as possible. However, during pregnancy you share your nutrients with your baby which can often lead to you feeling depleted. Another interesting fact that is not commonly known is that when a mother is nutritionally deficient, her body will still use all available nutrients for lactation. Therefore the baby will continue to get reasonable quality breast milk but the mother will suffer from lack of nutrients, sapping her energy levels and leaving her depleted.
By taking a good quality pre-natal during pregnancy and in the 4th trimester (the first 12 weeks after giving birth) you can keep your nutrient levels at an optimum level and help you regain your vitality and wellbeing more quickly. This will allow you to free up some energy to exercise more and therefore lose your baby weight more quickly!!
(6.) Portion Control.
If you have weight to lose, the chances are that you have been eating too much. As a useful, rough guide, open your hands together, palms facing up, in front of you – do not eat more food than the total surface area of your hands in one meal. And I don’t mean piled five inches high! Your main meals should consist of roughly a fist size portion of protein and at least a fist full portion of vegetables (not including potatoes!!) and a fist full portion of healthy low GI carbohydrates. This is particularly relevant when looking at servings of rice and pasta as most people in general fill their plate up and overload of carbohydrates.
(7.) Follow a specific Post-Natal Exercise Regime
By taking steps to strengthen your body and improve the tone in your tummy muscles it will help you with your overall wellbeing. Not only will exercise help you get your body back but if you build up slowly and gradually it will give you more energy and help you feel more alive! This is the first thing that new mums always say to me when they first start exercising. Forget the bootcamp style exercise as it will only exhaust you in these early post-natal days and make you feel even more depleted.
If you want some short and super effective and post-natal specific workouts that will leave you feeling energised and trim and toned in all the right places, then download the True Vitality 4 Mums Online Post-Natal Programme here to get started right away.
(8.) Walk everywhere!
Power walking is one of my favourite ways to help get in shape! It’s free, low impact, simple to do and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or gym space. Think of occasions where you can fit in some exercise in and just walk everywhere! So if you were planning on driving to the shops, try walking. If you have the time, try to find a longer route home. Start thinking of every journey as an opportunity to walk. Get off the train or bus early and walk…or skip the train altogether, and always take the stairs! Walking with your baby while they sleep or whilst you have childcare can help with many other benefits to weight loss.
At the moment for me it helps my boys sleep, gets me out in the fresh air, gives me space to think and clear my thoughts and to help me to feel more free. Get out with your children as well as by yourself, you will eat less, move your body, feel more positive. Break the cycle, get out and move your body!
(9.) Self-Belief and Positive Mindset.
Mama you can do this, you just need to believe it! I have worked with hundreds of women who have transformed their life in so many ways beyond losing weight. Exercise and seeing results will help you to strengthen your mindset, and achieve a greater balance in your life, as it did for Meera V:
‘I never thought that by meeting Laura my life would change as much as it has. During the programme I lost over 18 inches all over in total which was incredible and I was delighted with these results but it’s not just health or weight or fitness, it’s everything — self belief, strength , support network ,positive thinking, and an overall happiness. These are all the things Laura have given back to me.’
The True Vitality 4 Mums lifestyle is a healthy and fun way of life that you will want to and find it easy to stick to and it will help you get into healthy eating habits for life and find that balance that makes you happy and that you can maintain in the long term.
I use Louise Hay’s positive affirmations or positive statements to help shift my perspective any time I am feeling negative or overwhelmed, and as most of you know I also love meditation which brings me a calmness to my mind and therefore my day. It can also help you feel more in tune with your body so that you eat more mindfully and only when you are truly hungry. Both of these help me maintain a balance in my life (most of the time!).
(10.) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We often live away from family and it’s not always possible to have them close once baby is born, or if they come it may only be for a short period of time. If you need to don’t be afraid to ask for help! Enlisting some support from friends or family close by can ease the risk of ongoing fatigue and post-natal depression and can support you and your family to spend some quality bonding time together.
Whether it is through friends, family or paid support there are ways you can get some precious time by yourself. Even 15-30 minutes 3 x a week can help you get back into a regular exercise routine!
Remember it took 9 months for you to grow your little miracle and it will take the same time to get your body and health back fully! Be patient with yourself and take your time, not only will the results last longer but you will feel less overwhelmed and you may even find that most importantly you enjoy the process and time for YOU.
I would love to help you on your journey to reclaim your True Vitality so if you have any questions or would like to set up your initial complimentary consultation please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t worry if you didn’t exercise throughout your pregnancy and have a fit pregnancy, you can still lose the baby weight, strengthen your core and pelvic floor and get your body back with the correct nutrition and post-natal exercise. For more information about the True Vitality 4 Mums post-natal 12 Week Transformation Programme, please email email@example.com xx
If you are looking for a Personal Trainer in Richmond, Personal Trainer in Twickenham, Personal Trainer in Kingston, Personal Trainer in Ascot, Personal Trainer in Windsor and Personal Trainer in Surrey contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love Laura xx