If you're a new mother, you may be facing the following dilemma: You're a tad antsy to lose the mummy tummy that you're still sporting, but are too fatigued and busy with your baby to hit the track or the nautilus machines.
There's no reason to panic and jump into a strenuous exercise regimen right away, and to be on the side of caution, you probably wouldn't want to do this even if you can find the time.
Though there are differing opinions concerning the degree of danger involved, for you to get too concerned about your mummy tummy and go on a strict weight loss program right after giving birth can cause toxins (i.e, PCB's and pesticides) stored in your body fat to release into your bloodstream. Since your liver cannot necessarily be counted on to rid your body of them quickly enough, they have a good chance of ending up in your breast milk.
So, wait until your 6-week postpartum checkup to inquire with your doctor about starting a specific weight loss program in order to lose your mummy tummy.
Here's the enormous benefit of this fact for you: If you're disabled from doing the kind of exercise regimen that you may have been doing before, your recovery period is a great time for you to re-introduce yourself to the most primary benefit of exercise, which is to simply experience the joy of moving your body in non-habitual ways. Enjoying yourself in movement while you lose fat from your mummy tummy is a win-win situation for you.
Although strenuous exercise is not desirable, you can do yourself and your mummy tummy a favor on two counts by engaging in light exercise.
On TWO counts? Yes. Engaging in light exercise will:
1. Help you put a dent in your mummy tummy by burning off a couple of hundred more calories a day or so than you would being stationary, and;
2. Help you produce serotonin, which will aid in fighting postpartum depression.
Light exercise is loosely defined and can run the gamut from gardening to bowling to swimming. You have a baby to take care of, however, and will probably need to do something as local as possible, most likely indoors. Some home-based exercise suggestions to help you lose the mummy tummy include:
- tai chi
- light housework
If you've never tried it before, one form of exercise for the mummy tummy I strongly recommend is Belly Dancing. It tones the mummy tummy and related areas of the body that you may be self-conscious about after pregnancy - and is great fun as well.
You may also want to check out 'mom and baby' yoga classes. Participating in yoga with your baby allows you to bond through touch while at the same time getting a light workout. These classes are generally for babies in the 4-week to 8-month age range, or up until the time they are able to scamper away from you. Check a local community center brochure or call a nearby yoga center to see if they offer classes in your area. If not, you can check out Amazon.com for 'Mom & Baby Yoga' dvd's.
Finally, walking is always recommended in this period, and you can lose extra pounds from your mummy tummy by taking walks with your baby in a sling (to give you an extra weight to bear) rather than a stroller. If you know other new moms in the neighborhood, you can make this a social time for yourself as well. Many of them will share your desire to lose their mummy tummy.
If you're used to eating high-calorie meals in large portions, you can do yourself a favor by taking the extra time that you have to learn more about healthy eating, and in moderation. An extra benefit of bringing a child into the world is that it often causes both parents to re-evaluate more harmful aspects of their lifestyles. If you currently over-indulge, you can think about setting a better example for your child by consuming more lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats. This way, you are teaching yourself to shed your mummy tummy while instilling healthy habits in your child.
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