Everyone wants to know how to drop the baby weight fast after giving birth, but most women do not realize how much of a difference what they do while still pregnant makes. In short–staying fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy is the best way to promote getting your bod back later!

Pregnancy Weight Gain: What to Aim For

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal and healthy. You will probably gain at least 20-25 pounds while gestating a singleton. This is going to vary from woman to woman. Pregnancy pounds are the accumulated weight of your growing baby, the extra fat you need, the placenta, and extra body fluids.

Being Pregnant is Not a Pass To Eat Anything

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is unhealthy for the mother and her baby. Eating for two does not mean that you need to double your calorie intake. Putting on too many pounds puts you at risk for birth complications.

It also makes it harder to trim down after you have the baby. Extra pounds that are needed for a healthy gestation are not difficult to lose. It is a gradual process, but it will happen. However, gaining weight you didn’t need to will leave you with excess fat that stubbornly sticks around.

You Need To Exercise While Pregnant, Just Differently

The start of pregnancy is usually a time of intense morning sickness and fatigue. It is also a time when your baby is very vulnerable. For these reasons, it is fine to take it easy. Listen to your body. As you gain energy during the second half of your pregnancy, it is important to keep moving. Swimming, walking, or prenatal yoga are the perfect ways to stay in shape.

When you reach your third trimester, it gets harder to exercise. First, your baby bump is going to pop and become cumbersome. You may also require more rest as you approach your due date. But there are still a few things you can do during your third trimester that will boost your ability to lose the baby weight later on.

What to Do in the Third Trimester to Promote Postpartum Weight Loss

1. Eat small, frequent meals

You should be eating about six small meals throughout the day. This is better for blood sugar regulation. It also prevents acid reflux, which happens as your baby grows and squishes your stomach. To accommodate the fetus, your stomach will transform into a tiny little vessel that cannot fit much food. Meanwhile, you will be hungry all the time. It’s a conundrum, but the solution is to eat a little at a time.

Choose dense proteins and full fats. Avoid sugar and refined carbs. Some examples are carrot sticks with hummus or full-fat yogurt with berries.

2. Hydrate

Sip fluids throughout the day. You want to keep water moving through your body, but avoid retention. Inflammation-reducing foods like fennel and turmeric will assist with this. Try to take in most liquids between meals, rather than with food.

3. Slow down but keep moving

If you feel great, it is fine to continue your workout routine. However, you will most likely have diminished energy and be physically unable to keep it up. Slow down and adjust if you need to, but try to maintain some physical movement. Taking walks is a great way to stay active while not over-exerting oneself during pregnancy.

4. Rest

The good news is, proper rest during pregnancy will help you get back into shape later on too. Not getting enough sleep slows down your metabolism because your body goes into survival mode. Biologically, your body wants to hang onto any excess fat when you are stressed.

Getting your “body back” is a big focus among moms and in the media today. Just remember that you will lose weight, but it is meant to be a gradual process. Losing too much too fast is unhealthy. You are still recovering during the postpartum period, and rapid weight loss can also negatively affect your milk supply.

If you stay healthy and fit throughout your pregnancy and after, losing that baby weight will be easiest.