woman bouncing on an exercise ball with her baby.

How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight After Baby

Are you eager to lose the postpartum weight, but struggle with the motivation to start or staying consistent?

If this sounds like you then keep reading to learn my top tips on how to stay motivated to lose weight after baby!

Nine long months plus some and you’ve had your bundle of joy. Even with an active pregnancy comes healthy weight gain that you hoped would come off in the early postpartum days. However, after a few months go by reality starts to set in that your weight has stalled and you are still not back to your prepregnancy weight. 

You may wait a lot longer and let your body naturally run its baby weight loss course. For some this could take six months or even two years.

For those who are eager to get back into those pre-pregnancy clothes, it’s not so easy to get back into the groove of watching your weight go down instead of up. In fact, it can be straight demotivating.

The reality is losing weight after having a baby is not a walk in the park! Especially now that you have the extra responsibilities and stresses of a new little one. How in the world will you even make time to exercise with a baby?

The hardest part as always though is just getting started and then finding the energy aka motivation to keep going when things don’t go as planned.

In this post we will discuss the top tips on how to stay motivated to lose weight after having a baby. These tips also go hand in hand with helping you get started as well.

So, if you were searching the web in need of a little push to get your booty started or you’ve already started, but have felt defeated over and over again and need motivation to keep going then you’ve come to the right place! 

Understand the Process

First off, weight loss after having a baby looks different for everyone. Some moms lose weight quickly and some take longer. Some moms have more weight to lose, some have less. You may have lost the weight after your first child in 3 months and after your second child you haven’t lost a pound after 9 months. Understanding your situation and how everybody is different is important to not letting yourself get discouraged.  

Next the process of weight loss isn’t always as easy as it’s made out to be. It’s as simple as calories in and calories out, right? Yes and no. Though weight loss comes from creating an energy deficit many factors can influence energy balance like hormones, food quality, age, weight, diet history, stress, and sleep quality to name a few. This being said you may think you are doing everything perfectly and yet your progress doesn’t look textbook. You may go weeks before you see a drop in your weight, or you may see fluctuations up and down that make you want to just throw in the towel. 

Fluctuations will most definitely happen and so will plateaus. Could you imagine if our bodies allowed us to lose 1-2 pounds every week until we said stop. Our bodies have a happy place and will hold onto fat storages for our bodies to perform optimally. The only way to know if the process will yield progress is to stay consistent with what you are doing and to not give up when things get sticky. Know that long lasting results take time and there will be bumps along the road and that is ok! 

Set Small, Realistic Goals

Go big or go home is not the motto here. You want to set goals you can reach and in a timely manner, so you don’t lose interest in them. Let’s say you have 20 pounds to lose so that’s the goal, right? Yes, this is the overall goal, but it may take you longer to achieve than you would think. Let’s break this goal down into smaller pieces so you can be more successful with reaching it! 

The rate of weight loss differs for everyone. A reasonable, or healthy amount of weight loss per week for the average person is 1 to 2 pounds (source). Looking at this range you probably think 2 pounds a week is a no brainer because duh let’s get it done. However, losing 2 pounds per week is a more aggressive approach that would require a lot more blood, sweat, and tears for most people. Losing a pound a week will still require work and consistency, but it won’t be as stressful, and it will be much more attainable. Though both approaches will get you to the same goal, which one will be more sustainable long term for you? 

Let’s say you go with the slow and steady approach with .5 pounds per week. This would equate to 2 pounds a month. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is 12 pounds in 6 months, or it would mean reaching your goal in 10 months! For a lot of us this is how long it took us to put on the extra weight with pregnancy. It would only make sense to give our bodies adequate time to shed the extra fat.

Now that you have a realistic time frame you can decide how you want to break this goal into smaller goals. For example, instead of a goal of 20lb in 10 months you may set a monthly goal of 2 pounds. Not only does this sound not as overwhelming, but setting smaller goals will help you stay on course and allow you to make adjustments as needed. Choosing to not be as aggressive with fat loss takes patience, but a slower fat loss approach could also mean only making a few small habit changes instead of going all out with already a lot on your plate with a new baby. It also will mean that it will be easier to maintain your fat loss which is most important!

Have a Plan

You’ve probably heard the phrase before a goal without a plan is just a wish. You can come up with all the attainable goals you want, but you won’t attain them without a good strategy! Having a plan will help you stay motivated by giving you direction and getting you results faster. Simply put, a plan will help you progress. Let’s all agree having a plan in any aspect of life is nice. It keeps us organized and productive. 

Not just any plan will do though. Many times, people will pick the plan that  promises the best results in the quickest amount of time. Like say a 7-day juice cleanse or anything that states you will lose 10 pounds in one week. Sounds nice right? Beware of these and remember the last tip we talked about. Make sure your plan is realistic and will align with your goals. The best plan is the one you can stay consistent with as a busy mom, one that you enjoy and makes you feel good in the long run. 

So what is the plan exactly? Well you may be following one already, but it could be as simple as following a specific workout program and reducing processed foods in your diet. Your plan should be giving you direction and be specific to your goals. The point is if you are just flying by the seam of your pants, then you don’t have a plan and you’ll be in a dilemma when you don’t see the results.

If you need a plan, check out this Beginners Workout Plan for busy moms!

Create Accountability!

We all need accountability. Even if we really want something, we always have obstacles that can divert us from staying on course. Accountability can come in many forms. Some people need another person to keep them accountable and others do ok with being their own coach. Find out what lights a fire under your butt. Sometimes it takes time to find what works and what doesn’t.

Tips to Help You Stay Accountable 

  • Write your goals down and think about them often. It also helps to tell family or close friends about these goals. This one takes more will power and knowledge on how to coach yourself on what works and what doesn’t. 
Writing down goals.
  • Get a friend with similar goals to go on the journey with you. This one is good because you can have another person going through it with you. Not only can you be workout buddies, but you can keep each other accountable with diet. The downfall is if one person falls off it’s easy for the other person to lose interest. Both people have to be fully invested! 
  • Hire a personal trainer or coach. Even if you have a gym membership and the knowledge, sometimes that is not enough. Hiring a trainer or coach will keep you accountable on a whole other level. This will be a person you set appointments with, will give you actionable steps to take, and will be checking in on you. Also, they will not give up on you even when you try giving up on yourself. 

Track Progress

What motivates you? This question is actually super relevant to this post haha! For many it’s seeing that what they are doing is working. Your clothes are fitting better, the number on the scale is dropping, you are hitting PR’s in the gym, or you take a picture and you like the way you actually look for once. Progress comes in many different forms. You may notice these things, but what keeps you going when you don’t see the progress on the scale? The frustration this can cause for many is enough to make them quit.

However, if they have been consistent, most likely they are having progress they just don’t realize it. Change happens slowly over time, not overnight. That’s why it’s so important to have markers to actually assess them on a monthly basis. You might not notice a big difference looking in the mirror everyday but put two progress pictures side by side from a month a part and you will see a difference.

Taking pictures, measurements, and weighing yourself are all good ways to measure progress. Doing them consistently at the same time will help you see progress in a new light. No more stressing about fluctuations on the scale every day. Instead collecting that number as data in order to see a trend over a month’s time. 

Celebrate Small Wins Often

This last tip is important to staying motivated! With consistently working towards your goals comes successes. No matter how big or small. The smaller ones are great though because without even knowing it, you are having small wins every day and they are accumulating and creating a healthier lifestyle for you!

Every time you make time to work out, stop yourself from mindlessly eating, or you hit your daily step goal you are making a change out of your comfort zone. These changes might not be as rewarding at first compared to seeing a scale drop, but remember they are the most difficult changes to make and they are the ones that are necessary to having a sustainable weight loss. 

You can celebrate every little win by doing something as small as taking the time to acknowledge your success and how far you’ve come. Replace negative self-talk with celebrating small wins and see the change it has in your follow through and motivation. What small wins can you celebrate today?

You’ve Got This Mama!

Motivation will always come and go. Understanding that weight loss is not linear and there will be ups and downs is essential, especially if you are still early in the postpartum stage and breastfeeding. Give yourself grace and time! Being realistic and setting small goals will help you stay focused and following a plan will help you progress, so you see results. Celebrate every move in the right direction and choose to focus on consistency over perfection. In the long run being consistent with your actions will keep you motivated.

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