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How soon can I start dieting after having my baby?

How soon can I start dieting after having my baby?
Submitted by Team

After spending the last nine months watching your waistline grow, you may be eager to start shedding the weight. But before you start religiously counting calories or stocking up on the latest dieting tomes, know that you'll probably lose a lot of your pregnancy pounds pretty quickly. Much of your weight gain comes from things like your baby, amniotic fluid, and water retention, which means you can drop as many as 20 pounds within the first month postpartum without really trying.

To lose the rest, most doctors say it's fine to begin dieting sensibly (meaning no crash diets) right away, but if you're breastfeeding you probably won't need to. Even after getting the extra 500 calories a day recommended for nursing moms, you'll likely find that you're losing weight anyway, because breastfeeding and all that round-the-clock caring for a newborn burns tons of calories. While you're breastfeeding, you should eat balanced meals with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein -- because your breast milk transmits the flavors and nutrients from your diet to your baby. It's also important to drink plenty of water and fluids while you're nursing so you don't get dehydrated. If you want to start working out again, talk to your doctor before heading back to the gym, especially if you've had a c-section. You'll need ample time (about six to eight weeks) for your incision to heal. But after your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can usually enjoy any type of exercise you did before getting pregnant.

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The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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i am the same way! I have been healthy and fit all my life, by baby #3 I had the hardest time losing the weight after the baby, even with all the breast feeding. I ahve not been sleeping at all,maybe a few hours at night. So that may be my issue,and certainly understood! As a trainer we learn that a good nights rest is essential to staying healthy and with a healthy weight. Kudos to you in your getting back to being fit!!! I hope I have such luck with #4!
Submitted by only1kathleen1
There are a bunch of women who lose weight just by breastfeeding... I am not one of those! I was a health nut gym junkie before falling pregnant and am frustrated at the incredibly slow rate that I am losing weight. I couldn't shift anything for 4 months, possibly because I had a terrible sleeper and a nutritionist told me that it's hard to lose weight if you're not sleeping well. 7 mths later I am losing approx 1kg every 2-3 wks by avoiding fat, eating loads of veg and exercising 3-4 hrs a week
Submitted by renatabliss