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Trouble Losing Baby Weight? Here’s Why

May 27, 2021

Trouble Losing Baby Weight? Here’s Why

If you’re having trouble getting back to your normal weight after pregnancy, you’re not alone. Most of my female patients have experienced this. Here are four common reasons losing baby weight is a challenge, plus what to do:

1. Baby Is Keeping You Up at Night

One of the biggest causes of weight-loss trouble after pregnancy is that you’re probably not sleeping enough. Waking up constantly interrupts your body’s repair cycle. This increases levels of stress hormones that specifically make you hungry.

Don’t think you need to get 7–8 hours of sleep in one go. It’s OK to recover lost sleep in shorter 1–2 hour naps throughout the day. The key is to try to create a schedule. In other words, if you (and your baby) take a nap every day at 2 p.m., your body will start to recognize this as “normal,” and your hormone levels can stabilize, helping you lose weight naturally again.

2. Pickles and Peanut Butter Aren’t Doing It for Your Body

Let’s face it: Pregnant moms often crave some pretty … interesting food combinations. This is perfectly normal; it’s your body’s way of telling you which nutrients you need during pregnancy. The problem is that once you’re addicted to 3 a.m. chocolate ice-cream raids, it’s hard to go back. Late-night snacking adds to anyone’s waistline.

It’s time to start phasing out high-carb, high-sugar meals and replacing them with fresh foods. Keep plenty of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, unsalted nuts and other easy-but-healthy snacks around. You can still treat yourself to ice-cream, of course. Just keep it to once a week.

3. You Don’t Have Time To Cook

Fast food is tempting for new moms, and not just because it gives your brain an endorphin rush. Parents often reach for pizza and burgers because they feel exhausted. Unfortunately, this junk food turns straight into belly fat. What can you do?

First, cut yourself some slack. It’s not easy to balance feeding, changing diapers, working and cooking, especially if you have other little kids. Second, look for ways to cook healthy meals that are easy. Try these cooking tips for busy moms:

  • Add broccoli, carrots and other veggies to literally anything
  • Pair any pasta with olive oil, herbs, spices and one protein
  • Prepare a simple salad for any meal
  • Stir-fry a few veggies and a protein
  • Use a slow-cooker to make nutritious stews

Instead of saying, “I’m never going to order pizza again,” say “I’m going to eat less pizza and complement it with this quick, fresh salad I made.” This is more realistic for tired parents.

4. You’re Running Low on Thyroid Hormones

It’s really common for pregnant women to have hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormones. This is because a growing baby absorbs a lot of iodine from your blood. As much as 30% of women end up with a thyroid deficiency after giving birth. Just look at these symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Low metabolism
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability

This combination makes it easier to gain weight and much harder to lose it. Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple: Eat foods rich in minerals, including fresh fish, seaweed, chicken breast, lean beef, low-fat milk and cheese, eggs, green veggies and red fruits. Taking a natural supplement for thyroid health can also help a lot.

Category: Dr. Sterling