Losing baby weight is not something that occurs in a vacuum and a recent study finds that people who get the most help in their quest to shed the pounds are also the most successful.
According to Suzanne Phelan, an associate professor of kinesiology at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, many women are gaining too much in pregnancy.
With that in mind, Phelan and colleagues recruited 400 moms-to-be. Half got no specific lifestyle guidance. The other half got a lifestyle program that included advice on eating and exercising moderately. Women who received the advice were likelier to return to their pre-pregnancy weight after six months.
That's great and very true. But other women may know how to lose the weight -- take in less calories than you consume and move more -- but not be able to do it logistically. People helping is a crucial part of that equation.
Here are 10 Ways to Help a New Mom Lose Weight:
- Offer to babysit: Even just an hour will give your friend the time to take a quick run and shower off.
- Offer to walk: Take a long walk with your friend and the new baby. Stroll your babies together!
- Bring food: Who doesn't love a home-cooked meal? Make it low-fat and healthy.
- Go grocery shopping: If you are shopping, offer to get some healthy things for the new mom, too.
- Give a gym gift certificate: Instead of a "new baby" gift, give a month or two of membership at a health club.
- Give books on healthy living: Don't push weight loss, but any busy mom appreciates fast and healthy recipes.
- Freecycle: If you see old joggers/exercise equipment/videos, let your friend know and offer to get them for her.
- Tell your story: If you lost the baby weight, tell her how! In detail.
- Offer help in breastfeeding: Obviously this is a great way to burn calories, so offer to help your friend (if she asks) and troubleshoot if she needs it.
- Wake up early and meet her for a walk: Ditch the kids and walk early!
It takes a village, so make sure to help in any way you can and maybe someone will do the same for you.
How do you help friends meet their goals?
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