If you’ve recently had a baby, you may want to know how to lose baby belly fat. You probably also want to know the easiest way to do so quickly and safely.
There’s no getting around the fact that dedication is required to lose post-pregnancy belly fat. It is, however, possible to do so quite quickly without resorting to dangerous crash dieting that would leave you short on nutrients, irritable and tired, at a time when you will need extra energy to care for and enjoy the new member of your family.
By watching your calorie intake, doing regular cardio workouts, and including muscle toning exercises that focus on your midsection, you will be amazed at how much baby belly fat you will be able to lose in a short period.
How to Lose Baby Belly Fat Through Diet
The first thing you should do when wanting to lose baby belly fat is assess your diet. A healthy diet is more important at this time than ever before. Even more so for women who are breastfeeding. When caring for a newborn, you don’t need the added pressure of undertaking a set diet that requires special meals be cooked and eaten at specific times.
The easiest approach to losing baby belly fat is to cut 500 calories per day from your diet. Do this, and you should lose 1 pound a week, through dieting alone. It isn’t all that difficult to do, either.
If you usually have regular milk in your latte, swap to skim or no-fat. This will lower your calorie intake by 120 calories per cup. If you are accustomed to eating whole-fat flavored yogurt, eat fat-free vanilla yogurt instead. Add 1/2 a cup of chopped strawberries for the added nutrients and flavor, and you will still be cutting 105 calories.
Other simple changes you can make include substituting an 8-ounce baked potato for an 8-ounce serving of French fries, to save 104 calories. By having a 3-ounce serving of mozzarella cheese rather than Swiss cheese, you will cut 108 calories. Pass up that 4-ounce whole wheat banana muffin and opt for two whole grain waffles instead, and you will be taking in 270 fewer calories.
By baking or grilling your food instead of frying it, using white meat instead of dark, swapping to low-fat dairy products and cutting down on sugar, you can begin to lose your baby belly fat without having to put in much effort at all.
*If you are already eating light, healthy meals, do not attempt to cut back your daily calorie intake. You will naturally lose weight after giving birth, especially during the first few weeks and if you are breastfeeding.
While cutting calories without increasing your physical activity will result in weight loss and help you to lose your post-pregnancy belly fat, partaking in regular exercise will speed up your results.
How long Should you wait to Exercise after Pregnancy?
If you’ve recently had a baby, you may be wondering how soon you can start exercising. While having a baby is an exciting, life-changing event, the birth process itself is, nevertheless, a physical ordeal, so give yourself some time to recover.
If you’ve been exercising throughout your pregnancy and the birth was a smooth one, you should be able to start doing gentle exercise pretty much right away. If the birth was a difficult one and you are suffering complications, you might need to wait for six weeks or so before exercising. Women who have had a C-Section will probably have to wait eight weeks. Each of us is different, though, so use common sense and follow your doctor’s advice. When you do start exercising, don’t overdo it.
Losing Baby Belly Fat Through Cardio Exercise
Cardio exercise is excellent for losing baby belly fat, and one of the most gentle forms is walking. Walking for exercise a week or two after giving birth, should not be a problem for most women. Your body will let you know when you are ready, but go easy at first. A good starting point is a 15 to 20-minute walk, undertaken at a slow to moderate pace. Do this at least 3 or 4 times a week. Build up to walking 30 to 60 minutes most days, and pick up the speed. Later, you can add other forms of cardio exercise, if desired.
It may not be convenient for you to go to a gym at this time, and it isn’t necessary. If you have a treadmill or other cardio exercise machine at home, use it. While you don’t have to own home exercise equipment to get into shape, I love the convenience my fitness equipment gives me. It allows me to walk or run no matter the weather, even on those days it’s just not possible to get out of the house.
With your own treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike, or rowing machine, you will be able to exercise while your baby sleeps, and you can watch TV or get in a bit of readin at the same time.
If you don’t want to buy exercise equipment, there are specially designed prams that will enable you to comfortably and safely jog while pushing your baby. More stable than regular prams, jogging strollers can cope with rough terrain, provide a smooth ride and they come with safety harnesses to keep baby securely in place for your peace of mind.
Another option is to buy a post-pregnancy workout DVD. One I like and recommend is the Tracy Anderson: Post-Pregnancy Workout which helped celebrities including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow get back into shape after giving birth.
Lose Baby Belly Fat Doing Toning Exercises
By doing toning exercises that focus on the abdominal area, you will flatten and define your abs as you lose your baby belly fat. A fitness or stability ball is excellent for this purpose.
If you don’t want to buy a fitness ball, you can do crunches or other bodyweight exercises that focus on the abs. Exercising with a ball, however, may give you a better result. In fact, a study conducted by Sacramento State University found that exercisers who use stability balls to lose belly fat, develop double the number of muscle fibers as those who do regular stomach crunches.
So if you want to get into shape faster, I highly recommend you get a fitness ball. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and fun. As well as using the ball for exercise, you can use it as a seat. Doing so will engage you core, helping to tone your abs muscles further and faster. It will also benefit your posture and help ease back strain.
How to Lose Baby Belly Fat Through Exercise
Choosing the Right Fitness Ball
When selecting a fitness ball, it’s important to get the correct one for your height. Refer to the individual manufacturer’s guidelines to find out the right size for you.
The majority of women will find that a 22-inch ball suits them. If you are 5 feet tall or under, an 18-inch ball should suit you best. Those over 5 feet 8 should find the 26-inch size the most comfortable.
After unboxing your fitness ball, you will need to inflate it before you can use it. The better balls come with instructions and a pump, making the process a very quick and easy one. Be sure to refer to the instructions so that you inflate the ball to the right size.
My fitness ball came with an exercise chart. Two of my favorite exercises for losing baby belly fat are the Reverse Crunch and Rock and Roll. The instructions for these are below.
Fitness Ball Baby Belly Fat Exercises
• Reverse Crunch
- To do a reverse crunch, lie on the floor on your back, your arms resting by your sides with your palms facing downwards.
- Position the ball so that you can place one foot on either side of it, between your ankles.
- Pressing your ankles and feet firmly together, contract your abdominal muscles and lift the ball approximately 3 to 6 inches off the floor. Hold this position for a count of one to two seconds, before lowering the ball to the floor.
- Repeat for 5 reps and do 3 sets. When your abdominal muscles are stronger, do 3 sets of 15 reps.
* To prevent strain, keep the small of your back pressed into the floor throughout the exercise. To further intensify the challenge, don’t lower your feet all the way to the floor between reps.
You may not be able to lift your legs at first. If this is the case, simply push the ball upwards until you feel your abdominal muscles working.
• Rock and Roll
Along with being excellent for the upper and lower abs, Rock and Roll also works the arms, shoulders, and thighs.
- Kneeling on the floor with the stability ball behind you, your arms directly below your shoulders with your palms flat on the floor, place first one foot, then the other, on top of the ball. Your body should be in a straight line with your legs extended behind you.
- Engaging your core muscles, roll the ball in towards your upper body, before pushing it back out to your starting position.
- Repeat this movement 12 to 24 times, maintaining correct form throughout.
*By adding a twist as you roll the ball back up, you will also work your oblique muscles.
Final Thoughts on How to Lose Baby Belly Fat
With a new baby to look after, it can be difficult to find the spare time and muster the energy to undertake an intense diet and exercise program. Fortunately, that won’t be necessary. By making small dietary changes and regularly doing cardio and toning exercises, and you will be able to get back into shape and lose your post pregnancy belly fat quickly, and without too much effort.
Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer than you thought it would. Remember, your tummy has been expanding for nine months to nurture and accommodate your growing baby. Stick with your diet and exercise plan and be patient.
We’ve become accustomed to seeing pictures of flat-bellied female celebrities wearing skimpy bikinis, two weeks after giving birth. For most of us, this is not realistic. Usually, these women were extremely fit pre-pregnancy, and they’ve eaten very carefully and exercised right up to the birth. After having their baby, some cut calories to a dangerous level to get back into shape. So while they may look great, they probably don’t feel it. Many have a housekeeper and a nanny to care for their baby. Some have a personal trainer and even a chef to help them. For the rest of us, it may take a little longer to lose our post pregnancy belly fat, but we can still accomplish it quite quickly.
Now you know how to lose baby belly fat without having to work too hard! Start putting the tips above into practice today, and you will soon be fitting back into your pre-baby clothes.