After having a baby, you may have unwanted belly fat. Most women hope to lose weight quickly and effectively, but losing belly fat takes time and commitment. Don't be seduced by fad diets and diet pills, because the most effective way to reduce belly fat and keep it off is through a healthy diet and exercise. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Many physicians recommend waiting at least six weeks before engaging in physical activity.
Make modifications to your diet. Eat meals made up of high-fiber vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products. A proper diet ensures you are getting the necessary nutrients and vitamins you need to feel energized throughout the day. Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to boost your metabolism. Keep healthful snacks available and drink plenty of water. Aim for 64 oz. of water each day.
Reduce your belly fat within the first six months after delivery. Women who have not shed pregnancy pounds by the six month mark are less likely to lose the weight in years to come, according to Dr. Judith Reichman, the "Today" show's medical contributor on women's health.
Breastfeed rather than supplement formula. On average, breastfeeding burns approximately 500 calories a day, helping moms to lose weight while nourishing their babies. La Leche League International warns against restricting calories for the first six to eight weeks postpartum to allow your body to heal, and to produce a solid milk supply.
Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity each day of the week. To begin, perform light physical activity such as cycling, walking or swimming. As your strength and endurance return, increase the intensity of your workout. Include interval training in your aerobic workouts to produce a greater loss of fat. If you are jogging, jog at a regular pace for two to three minutes, then go as fast as you can for 30 to 60 seconds. Return to your regular pace and repeat the interval up to 10 times.
Perform abdominal exercises to tone your stomach muscles. Start with simple exercises such as leg slides, bridges and kegels, then move to more intense exercises such as crunches, leg lifts and planks. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for each abdominal exercise, two to three times a week.
Give yourself time and be kind to yourself as you work to reduce belly fat. Be realistic with your weight loss goals and celebrate accomplishments. Avoid comparing yourself to other new moms. Instead, visualize yourself as a fit and healthy woman.