After the baby is no longer inside your body, your body will work to naturally get rid of that extra fat, but it might take a few weeks before you see results. Think of it this way – it took a full nine months for your stomach to stretch enough to accommodate your baby’s growth.
How To Reduce Tummy After C Section Naturally
If you are reading this article, chances are you’ve had a cesarean section, also known as a C-section. You are one of the 30% of women in America who have C-sections, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control.
As you might already know, C-sections are very hard on your body. They take a pretty large toll on your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. Your body loses a lot of blood during this process as well.
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If you’ve endured a c-section, you gave birth to a miracle. While it’s totally understandable that you want to go back to your pre-pregnancy body right away, it’s important to realize that your body had to change and transform in order for you to give birth to your precious baby. Before being hard on yourself and displeased with the weight you’ve gained, take a moment to remember that it all happened for a reason.
The women who lose weight the easiest after having a c-section realize that the weight gain was entirely necessary in order for them to have a healthy baby, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Losing the weight after giving birth is just part of the process, and it’s completely natural to have mixed emotions about physical postpartum changes.
Patience Is Key
When it comes to losing baby weight, patience is key. It takes time for your body to recover after giving birth, especially your belly.
Here’s a good way to look at it – imagine that your abdomen is a balloon. The balloon slowly inflates, and the more your baby grows. Once you give birth, it doesn’t just pop the balloon. It simply creates a small hole for the air to leak through. Even though the leak is slow, it’s still steady. All the air will come out of the balloon eventually, it will just take a bit of time.
Give Your Body Time
As soon as you give birth, the hormones in your body start to change. Your uterus contracts and slowly begins to go back to how it was before pregnancy. It can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks for your uterus to go back to its normal size.
During pregnancy, all of the cells in your body swelled up to retain fluid. After giving birth, they start to release that extra fluid. This extra fluid gets released through sweating, through your urine, and through vaginal secretions. The reason why your body put on extra fat during pregnancy is to nourish your baby. After the baby is no longer inside your body, your body will work to naturally get rid of that extra fat, but it might take a few weeks before you see results.
Think of it this way – it took a full nine months for your stomach to stretch enough to accommodate your baby’s growth. Therefore, it makes sense that it would take around that same amount of time to fully tighten back up to pre-pregnancy size. Even though it seems like an extremely long time, if you focus on your baby and keep yourself busy, the months will go by before you know it.
It doesn’t necessarily take 9 months for everyone’s tummy to slim down – this amount of time will depend on your normal body size, the amount of weight that you gained during your pregnancy, your activity level, and also your genes. If you only gained 30 pounds during pregnancy, you are likely to lose the weight much quicker than someone who gained 60 pounds during pregnancy.
Despite the fact that everything takes time, there are certain things you can do to speed up the process of tightening and toning your abdomen. Here are some tips on how to lose weight after pregnancy.
I have used waist trainers before, however they can be quite uncomfortable. This product however is giving me the same results without the unnecessary pain. I also waited 8 weeks post natal to begin using shrinkx belly bamboo, just to make sure my
c-section was completely healed. I love it and I wear it up to 6 hours a day.
Before You Start
If you are determined to tone your stomach after a c-section, it’s absolutely vital that you talk to your doctor beforehand. Every woman has a different body, and all bodies take a different amount of time to heal. Some women might just need a few short weeks to recover from a c-section, while others will need a few months. Generally speaking, it’s best to wait at least 6-8 weeks before you start to exercise or diet.
As eager as you might be to lose the weight right away, this will only cause complications. It can have a negative effect on your recovery. Talking to your doctor will give you a better idea of how long you personally need to wait before you can begin to make any lifestyle changes.
The Importance of Breastfeeding
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you will likely lose weight faster than mothers who choose or are not able to breastfeed. When you breastfeed, your body has to burn calories to do so. It takes up a lot of energy, and your body has to work hard in order to produce the milk. On average, breastfeeding mothers burn anywhere from 250-500 calories a day, just from nursing! This number can be higher depending on the mother’s weight and how often they breastfeed.
In addition to burning calories, breastfeeding also triggers contractions in your body that aids with shrinking the uterus. This makes breastfeeding a workout for the entire body.
Breastfeeding isn’t just great for losing weight and burning calories – it’s also a beautiful moment that is shared between you and your child. You are nurturing them and forming a bond with them that no one else will be able to do. It’s truly a magical experience.
How To Increase Breastmilk Supply and How to Know if You’re Making Enough Milk
Avoid Processed Food & Eat Healthier
While it’s recommended to wait at least 6-8 weeks before you start exercising and dieting, that doesn’t mean that you can’t change your diet now! It is never too late, or too early, to change your diet and start eating healthier.
Eating healthier does not mean going on a diet. It simply means cutting out the junk food and replacing it with healthier options, such as whole foods. Avoiding all processed foods (chips, baked goods, fried foods, etc) will have a major effect on your weight loss. Processed foods are higher in calories so it’s much easier to eat more of without even realizing.
If you switch to whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, lean meats, etc), these foods are naturally lower in calories. This means that you can actually eat a larger volume of them, while still losing weight.
Eating healthier won’t just benefit your body – it also benefits your child. The more nutrients you consume through your diet, the more nutrients your baby will receive through your breastmilk. If you constantly consume junk food full of artificial flavors, colorings, and chemicals, it only makes sense that your body will be ingesting those chemicals as well. The healthier you eat, the healthier your child will be.
Everyone benefits from choosing whole foods. The people who are successful at sticking to a healthy diet with ease are the ones who look at it as a way to nurture themselves and their families. It’s a form of self-care. If you eat food that provides your body with all the nutrients that it needs, you will be able to perform your best, look your best, and be the overall best version of yourself.
Walking to Lose Weight
Walking is one of the best exercises that you can do after a C-section. It is a very light and easy exercise, yet it still gets your heart rateup and your blood circulating. Walking is an amazing activity because you can do it with your friends and family. It’s easy to talk when you walk, compared to running, where it can be a struggle to keep a conversation going.
Walking can improve your mood, and it’s always good to fill your lungs with fresh air. If you don’t want to walk with friends or family, you can always walk alone, or push your baby in a stroller. This will help your body to burn even more calories because of the weight of the stroller, without it being too hard on your body.
Start With Gentle Exercises
When it is time to safely exercise, it’s best to start with gentle exercises. Slow and steady always wins the race in terms of postpartum fitness. In addition to walking, stretching is a great easy exercise. Stretching is beneficial because it can break up any scar tissue that contributes to a belly pouch.
Why Am I Gaining Weight After C Section
Today you are going to learn 17 easy ways to help you lose weight after a c-section.
Specifically, you’ll learn:
- How to incorporate healthier foods into your diet,
- How to begin exercising safely, and
- How to keep up with your milk production!
Because the truth is, losing weight after a c-section doesn’t have to be difficult.
You just need to know how to do it.
Let’s get started.
Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.
Ok, moving on.
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How To Lose Weight After A C Section – 17 Easy Tips
Okay, let’s get to the strategies on how to lose weight after a c section.
This isn’t surprising.
The key is to find strategies that you can stick to.
So here are my top 17 tips you can use to achieve your weight loss goals!
Let’s get started.
It is important to be patient
The very first tip for weight loss after a c section is to be patient. Weight loss isn’t a fast process.
Oftentimes it can take months to achieve your long term goal.
Anything that is worth having, takes time. You didn’t gain all your pregnancy weight in one week!
Beautiful things take time. Be patient and stick it out.
Here is a detailed article on what you should expect for your postpartum weight loss timeline week by week.
One of the best post-delivery weight loss tips is to breastfeed. Aside from giving your baby all the nutrition it needs, breastfeeding uses up a lot of energy.
Think about it. Your body has to create nutritious breast milk from scratch every single day. To do this, your body burns energy in the form of calories.
So if all other things are equal, breastfeeding will help you burn calories, and lose fat.
By the way, here are 7 easy things you could do to lose weight while breastfeeding.
Eat more of this filling micronutrient
The best way to lose weight postpartum is to include more whole foods into your diet that are:
- low in calories,
- nutritious, and
Well, one of the most filling nutrients you can consume is fiber. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that helps regulate your digestion. That way, you can be satiated, and decrease the likelihood of post c-section constipation.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are the best sources of fiber you could find. Just pick 2-3 of your favorite fruits and vegetables and eat them every day.
These are the best foods to help you lose weight postpartum.
*Be careful with fruit juices, as these can often have the fiber stripped out!*
Focus on the most important MACROnutrient
Another important nutrient that you should eat postpartum is protein.
Protein is one of the three major macronutrients and the one that helps your body build and maintain lean muscle.
As you are losing body weight, you want your body to lose fat and not muscle. Protein will help your body preferentially burn fat.
Also, protein is one of the most satiating nutrients. This means that foods high in protein will help keep you full longer than foods high in carbohydrates or fat.
The best protein-rich foods are:
- lean meat (like chicken breast),
- greek yogurt,
- edamame, and
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Minimize liquid calories
Cutting back on juice and soda is the best thing you can do for weight loss.
These drinks are full of a lot of calories with very little nutrition.
Instead, you need to drink MORE WATER!
Water is the most important “nutrient” in the world.
It can help keep you hydrated, energized, and satiated. Water has also been shown to have a thermogenic effect- meaning that it helps you burn more calories (although this effect is small).
Do your best to drink at least 3 tall glasses of water every single day.
A simple way to tell if you are drinking enough water is to look at the color of your urine. It should always be a pale yellow color.
If its dark, drink more!
Include fats strategically
You might have heard that a low fat diet can help you lose weight. But what if I told you that you could also lose weight consuming moderate amounts of fat?
The difference comes from the type of fats you include in your diet. You see, fat is necessary to help you absorb certain vitamins, to produce certain hormones, and to help create insulation for your body.
If eaten in moderation, fats can also help curb your appetite.
The best fats to include in your diet are
- nuts, and
- whole eggs.
Did you know that there is a delay from when you begin eating to the time your stomach realizes it’s getting food? The faster you eat, the more calories you will be able to consume in one sitting.
Have you ever seen those hot dog eating contests? Do you think they would be able to eat that much if they took their time and chewed each hot dog?
Take 20 minutes to eat each meal.
Eat to 80% satiety
This tip is simple. Many of us eat until we are full. If you really think about it, this is unnecessary.
Your body generally does a good job of letting you know when to eat and when to stop. There is no need to go past the point where you are adequately satisfied.
Aim for 80% satiety. You will satisfy your hunger and you’ll decrease your caloric intake.
Use smaller plates
Another similar strategy is to just use smaller plates. We have a tendency to always finish all the food on our plate, even if we aren’t hungry.
You can bypass this problem by using smaller plates to decrease your portion sizes.
Eat a sufficient number of calories
This tip is counter-intuitive. Although its important for your to eat fewer calories than you’re used to – its important that you don’t overdo this.
A bigger calorie cut is not better!
Eating minimal amounts of calories to achieve rapid weight loss will damage your metabolism and increase your hunger signals significantly.
This is what increases your risk of experiencing cravings and binging.
Plus, big calorie cuts can affect your milk supply!
So, make sure that you are eating enough calories to give your body the building blocks it needs to function optimally. You do not have to be hungry!
You don’t have to follow a diet
You might be tempted to go on a popular diet such as the keto diet, vegan, or intermittent fasting. The good news is, these diets/eating styles aren’t necessary.
Instead, you can combine parts of each one to create your own personalized diet, with your own rules.
Following a popular diet could often lead you to feel restricted.
That’s the opposite of what I want for you :).
This is why I have created The Postpartum Trainer’s Nutrition Guide. To teach you how to create a healthy diet for you and your lifestyle!
P.S. It is okay to eat junk food once in a while!
Keep your hormones regulated with this 1 tip
Sleep is one of the best ways to improve your health and decrease your risk of weight gain and fat retention.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with elevated cortisol levels, insulin resistance, and increased caloric consumption.
I know that it’s easier said than done with a baby. All new moms experience a lack of sleep.
But do your best. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to.
Do more of this simple exercise
If you could only do one exercise, it would be walking. It is the most natural form of movement, and the one we use to rely on before automobiles. It is the easiest way to burn calories consistently, on a daily basis.
It’s easy, free, and doesn’t need any equipment.
Try and go on a 10-20 minute walk every single day.
Fidgeting is an underutilized way to stay active throughout the day to burn more calories. This has been proven in studies and has been coined NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
Fidgeting can contribute up to 10% of all the calories you burn in a day.
If you can exercise, then I suggest you pursue strength training.
This is a form of exercise where you are specifically trying to get stronger at certain functional exercises.
Because muscles burn more calories than fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day and while exercising.
Write down your favorite meals
Many people who have successful weight loss after a c section usually have a handful of meals that they rely on.
Meals that are planned out and include fiber, protein, and healthy fats. You could even meal prep several servings of these meals to eliminate getting take out.
I suggest you find ~5 foods that you can cycle through and batch cook them one day a week.
See this as a lifestyle.
The last tip I have for you is to see these changes as a lifestyle and not a diet. Just like the tip of being patient, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
How Much Weight Do You Lose After A C Section?
The average weight loss after a cesarean section is approximately 10 – 15 lbs.
A full-term baby weighs about 7 and a half pounds on average, while the placenta and amniotic fluid can weigh an additional 5-8 lbs.
However, you won’t lose the rest of your pregnancy weight right away. It will take some time for your body to reabsorb all the extra fluid it accumulated throughout your pregnancy.
How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight After A C Section?
If you gained 25-35 lbs throughout your pregnancy, it could take anywhere from 3-6 months to lose your baby weight.
If you gained more than 25-35 lbs, (or had a high pre-pregnancy BMI) it will take longer, and might be more challenging.
In general, you can expect to lose about 3-4 lbs per month as your body returns back to its pre pregnancy weight.
Is Losing Weight After A C Section Harder Versus A Natural Birth?
Losing weight after a c-section delivery might be a bit harder than if you had a vaginal delivery.
The reason is that it will take longer to heal and recover from surgery than from an uncomplicated vaginal birth.
A c section is a MAJOR surgery.
Recovery might take 6-12 weeks.
During this time, you probably won’t be as active and you may find yourself spending more time resting up and healing.
After this time, you should be able to catch up by using the tips stated in this article.
What Should I Eat To Lose Weight After A C Section?
It’s not so much what you eat, but rather how much you eat. One of the biggest determinants of your body fat levels is your caloric intake.
With that said, there are foods you can eat to help you lose weight after a c section.
In general, you should try and eat MORE foods that are
- low in calories,
- very high in nutrition, and
- are filling
When Should I Start To Exercise After A C Section?
After a c section, you can begin exercising ~ 6-12 weeks postpartum, provided you
- didn’t have any significant postpartum complications,
- have healed appropriately from your surgery, and
- your doctor has cleared you to exercise.
However, you could begin different types of physical activity within 1 day of having a c section.
Both of these types of exercise are extremely beneficial and important for all postpartum women.