Many women spend years trying to get rid of fat after childbirth. They ride the diet rollercoaster with little or no success. Common mistakes, such as eating too little or too much, skipping meals, and doing the wrong exercises, can sabotage your progress. Stress, poor sleep, and hormonal imbalances can affect your results too. If you’re struggling to lose weight postpartum, ditch these bad habits:
Eating Too Many Calories
Most dieters underestimate their daily calorie intake. Even if you eat tiny portions, you can still exceed your calorie goals. For example, salads might seem a great choice, but you could be getting over 700 calories in one sitting without realizing it. If you add oil, mayo, and sauces, it’s easy to go overboard. The size of your meals isn’t that important. What matters is the total amount of calories in each meal.
Not Getting Enough Protein
At least 30 percent of your daily calories should come from protein. This is the most important nutrient for losing fat. One gram of protein has four calories. Ideally, you should consume 0.8 to 1.5 calories per pound of body weight. It all comes down to your activity level.
Protein takes longer to digest than other macronutrients, so it increases metabolism. On top of that, it keeps you full longer and helps reduce muscle loss. The best sources of protein are lean meat, fish, poultry, low fat dairy, vegetables, and nuts. Moms who exercise regularly can also drink whey protein shakes to speed up weight loss.
Doing the Wrong Exercises
If you’re trying to spot reduce fat, don’t expect to lose weight. There is no such thing as spot reduction. Doing hundreds of sit-ups and crunches won’t flatten your belly. For best results, do squats, push-ups, military presses, chest presses, deadlifts and other compound exercises. Eventually, you can work your abs once or twice a week. Be aware that your core muscles are like any other muscle, so they need time to recover.
You’re Binge Eating
Binge eating is a common problem among dieters. Many women either binge on healthy foods, or eat too much after working out. First of all, exercise can not compensate for bad eating. Secondly, eating healthy foods in large amounts will cause weight gain. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables contain calories too. If you eat too much, the extra calories will be stored as fat. The only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit. This means you must eat fewer calories than you burn.