During a normal, healthy pregnancy, most women gain anywhere from 25 to 35 lbs. While some of this weight is dropped quickly right after giving birth, you may find yourself holding onto a little extra weight that you didn’t have pre-pregnancy. With tons of new celebrity moms out there who seem to snap back from their pregnancy with a near perfect body shape in no time at all, it looks like they’re going back to regular exercise routines right after leaving the labor bed. But are these goals realistic and healthy to obtain? By taking advantage of a few key tips in losing weight quickly after pregnancy, you can say goodbye to that baby bump and hello to a whole new you.

Skip Immediate Dieting

While dieting may sound like a great idea in order to lose weight after giving birth, this can actually have the opposite effect. Going on a real diet may leave you feeling deprived of your favorite comfort foods and go-to snacks. When dealing with a newborn, you are likely already quite overwhelmed and experiencing a great deal of stress. According to a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, added stress of not being able to enjoy the foods that you love can result in unwanted weight gain while you’re actually attempting to lose weight.

Keys To Losing Weight Quickly After Pregnancy

Choosing to Breastfeed

If you are able to, breastfeeding is a great way to lose weight quickly after pregnancy. Many studies that have been conducted have shown that exclusively breastfeeding is ideal for returning to your pre-pregnancy weight as quickly as possible. Not only is this beneficial to you, but to your newborn as well. Breastfeeding boosts the baby’s immunity and gives them a number of different health benefits.

Exercise is Key

Another key tip in losing that extra baby weight is to get off the couch and start moving. While this may sound difficult with a newborn in tow, a brisk walk around the block is a great postpartum exercise that gets you out and moving while allowing your baby to enjoy the fresh air. You don’t have to jump right back into the gym, but aerobic and strength training exercises at home are important in order to start burning those calories. If you have had any health complications and are curious about exercising during your pregnancy, be sure to check with a high-risk obstetrician such as Gilbert Webb MD to make sure it is safe for you and your child.

Sleep to Shed Baby Weight

Although this may sound difficult with a newborn who keeps you up at all hours of the night, sleep-deprived mothers may actually be more likely to hold onto their unwanted baby weight. When tired, the body releases a stress hormone known as cortisol that can promote weight gain. In one study, mothers who slept for less than 5 hours per night held onto their pregnancy weight while those slept more than 7 hours began to lose their weight as a faster pace.

You can get healthy after the baby is born as long as you work to achieve results. Because the pounds didn’t get put on overnight, they won’t come off overnight. Patience is key in losing weight after pregnancy.