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  • 2 February 2024
  • Mr A. Siddiqui

Last updated on February 7, 2024

As a mother, your body has undergone incredible changes, and it’s entirely normal to feel concerned about your post-pregnancy belly. This guide by the experts at Breast & Body Clinic, UK will explore how to lose belly fat after pregnancy in effective, healthy ways to regain pre-pregnancy bodies.

how to lose belly fat after pregnancy

Understanding postpartum body changes

After childbirth, your body naturally retains some weight, a reminder of the incredible journey it has undergone. Your lower and upper abdominal muscles (stomach muscles) have stretched to accommodate your growing baby. In addition, hormonal changes (oestrogen and progesterone) play a significant role in your post-baby belly.

Here’s how hormones can make it harder to reduce belly fat:

  • Appetite: Oestrogen can make you feel hungrier, leading you to eat more.
  • Fat storage: Oestrogen affects where your body stores fat, such as in the hips and thighs.
  • Water retention: Progesterone can cause your body to keep more water and salt, which might look like weight gain but is often just bloating.
  • Mood and energy: These hormones also impact how you feel. If you’re feeling low or lacking energy, you might not want to exercise or eat healthily.

It’s important to acknowledge that these changes are a completely normal and natural part of the antenatal and postnatal periods. While we should celebrate these changes as part of growing and giving birth to a beautiful child, it’s also common to feel a bit self-conscious about postpartum belly fat.

how to lose belly fat after pregnancy

How to lose pregnancy belly by setting realistic goals

Approaching postpartum weight loss with realistic goals is key to your physical and emotional well-being. Your body took nine months to grow a baby, and it’s reasonable to expect a similar, if not longer, timeframe to gradually shed the weight to regain your pre-pregnancy weight and a flat belly post-pregnancy.

For example, a realistic goal would be to gradually lose weight over six months. This can be achieved through a combination of a balanced diet and regular light to moderate exercise.

The focus should be on gradual progress to a flat belly post-pregnancy and self-care. Celebrate each small victory and be patient with yourself – your body has done something extraordinary, and it deserves time to heal.

How to reduce belly after pregnancy without exercise

Here are some effective and healthy methods to help you shed excess weight after giving birth and find a flat tummy again.

how to lose belly fat after pregnancy

A well-balanced and nutritious diet in the first few months postpartum can help new mums shed unwanted pregnancy weight.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding not only nurtures your baby but can also aid in your weight loss journey. It’s known to burn a lot of extra calories as it requires energy to produce milk.

Nutrition: Eating healthily and embracing a balanced diet is the ultimate belly fat cutter – as the saying goes “weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise”.

  • Whole grains: Foods like brown rice, oats, and quinoa keep you full and provide sustained energy.
  • Lean proteins: Include chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes in your diet to help repair and build muscle tissues, plus keep you full for longer.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre, they help in digestion and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
  • Healthy fats: Incorporate avocados, nuts, and olive oil, which are good for heart health and can aid in weight loss.
  • Hydration: Drinking enough water is essential for fat loss and to keep the body functioning properly. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Sleep: Although challenging with a newborn, try to get as much rest as possible. Lack of sleep can hinder weight loss efforts and overall recovery.

How to lose pregnancy belly with exercise

Exercise is the other key element to losing belly fat, regaining core strength and targeting the abdominal area. Start with gentle activities and gradually increase the intensity, being sure to receive clearance from your doctor first.

how to lose belly fat after pregnancy

In the early months after having your baby, it’s great to start with gentle walks. Once your doctor gives you the all-clear to start exercising, you should gradually increase the intensity.

Here are some great exercises to burn calories and regain a flat belly post-pregnancy:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Pelvic floor and core exercises
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Light resistance training
  • Light strength training

How to lose saggy belly fat after pregnancy with cosmetic procedures

For some postpartum women, diet and exercise might not fully address their postpartum belly fat concerns. In these cases, cosmetic procedures can be an option to help get back to their pre-pregnancy body:

  • Mummy makeover: A combination of procedures tailored to your post-baby body goals.
  • Liposuction: Targeting and removing extra flab from problem areas such as the abdomen, stomach, hips, thighs and arms.
  • Abdominoplasty: Removing excess skin and tightening abdominal muscles.
  • Breast lift or augmentation: Restoring breast shape and volume, with or without breast implants.

Remember, these procedures should be considered only after careful consultation with a qualified professional, and once you’ve fully recovered from childbirth.

Summing up your post-pregnancy slimdown

Losing belly fat after pregnancy is a journey that requires patience and self-care, giving your body the time it needs to heal and recover. Embrace your postpartum body, celebrate your progress, and remember that with time and effort, you can achieve your health and fitness goals. Here’s to finding strength and joy in your postpartum slimdown journey!

FAQs

How can I lose my belly fat fast after pregnancy?

Losing belly fat quickly after pregnancy involves a combination of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and, in some cases, breastfeeding. However, it’s important to approach this process with patience and not rush it. Remember, your body needs time to recover from childbirth, so rapid weight loss isn’t always safe or sustainable.

Is it harder to lose belly fat after pregnancy?

For many women, losing belly fat after pregnancy can be more challenging than before. This is due to several factors, including hormonal changes, reduced muscle tone, and the body’s natural adjustment to postpartum life. Additionally, the demands of caring for a new baby can make it harder to find time for exercise and healthy eating. However, with a consistent and gentle approach, it’s entirely possible to lose belly fat effectively.

How long will it take for my belly to shrink back to normal?

The time it takes for your belly to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size varies for each woman. Factors such as your level of physical activity, diet, genetics, and the specifics of your pregnancy (like the size of the baby and whether you’ve had multiple pregnancies) all play a role.

Mr A. Siddiqui
About The Author

Mr A. Siddiqui

Mr Siddiqui is a Consultant Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, based at The Countess of Chester Hospital in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He trained extensively in plastic surgery before becoming a Consultant in the NHS and developing a private practice in Manchester and other areas of the Northwest. He is considered to be one of the top 10 cosmetic surgeons in Manchester.

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