Weight loss after pregnancy: Reclaiming your body

Weight loss after pregnancy takes time, but it's possible. Concentrate on eating a healthy diet and including physical activity in your daily routine. By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're like most new moms, you're eager to hang your maternity clothes in the back of the closet. Thankfully, there's no secret to weight loss after pregnancy. It takes a healthy diet, a commitment to physical activity — and plenty of patience.

Remember, too, there's more to weight loss after pregnancy than simply fitting into your favorite jeans again. The excess pounds you shed now can help promote a lifetime of good health.

Consider your eating habits

When you were pregnant, you might have adjusted your eating habits to support your baby's growth and development. After pregnancy, proper nutrition is still important — especially if you're breast-feeding. Making wise choices can promote healthy weight loss after pregnancy.

  • Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Foods high in fiber — such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains — provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel full longer.
  • Eat smaller portions. You might want to trade traditional meals for smaller, more-frequent meals. Don't skip meals or limit the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, though — you'll miss vital nutrients.
  • Avoid temptation. Surround yourself with healthy foods. If junk food poses too much temptation, keep it out of the house.
  • Eat only when you're hungry. If you're anxious or nervous or if you simply think it's time to eat, distract yourself. Take your baby for a walk, call a friend or read a favorite magazine.
July 26, 2012 See more In-depth