Hi, My client recently had her 2nd baby about 2 months ago. She’s in her late 20s and an athlete. She lost weight very quickly after the first one, but despite all of her exercise and portion control, she’s not losing now (actually gained 2 pounds). She weaned off of breastfeeding and is trying to cut her carbs, but it’s challenging as a vegetarian.
Any advice on how to make the scale budge after a second kid?
Dropping weight after a baby can be difficult some times, mainly because the body reacts differently each time. There are so many factors to take into consideration, such as hormones, diet, sleep and many more. Being that she more than likely and should have cut back on training during the third trimester her weight gain could be due to muscle memory. She more than likely lost lean body mass during the end of her pregnancy and is just gaining it back. I can only imagine how hard it would be to cut carbs and not cut to many calories as a vegetarian, but this could also play a role in weight gain/loss. I would say just give it more time and continue to encourage and push her.
Second baby weight is the hardest to lose, not impossible just a little more work. Hormones play a big key sometimes women will go into a sort of temporary hypothyroid problem last about a year and is all the hormones balancing out getting her body back to normal. During this time carb control is necessary and increasing her intensity on her workouts meaning longer workouts. Interval training is a great way that you can incorporate the weight training for toning with the cardio she needs it burns more calories, fun and overall more efficient. I would keep encouraging her to eat more greens and protein and stay away from carbs from pastas and breads. I personally lost my second baby weight doing a combination of spinning and weight training. Doing intervals of spin, off the bike and weights. Great workout and weight dropped quick also toning my body!
Weight is weight. Fat is fat. Muscle is muscle. The biological mechanisms remain unchanged regardless of the predicament. If she is not losing weight, following a plan you are certain should otherwise be working, then she is going off the plan when she is own her own. It’s usually that simple. You can’t control what she does when you are not around. The stresses of marriage, two kids and if she’s working too, that can get to the best of us. Just give her a break and be patient.
How frustrated is she? How quickly did she lose the weight the first time and does she expect it to come off as quickly this time? What are her expectations and goals?
I ask these questions, because often, the moms I train expect the weight to come off just as quickly and easily as it did the first, second, third, etc, time. But the body is different. They’re older. They now have more responsibilities at home. They’re skin, ligaments, etc have been stretched multiple times now. Things just aren’t the same as they were before and they need to be patient.
You mentioned that she’s only 2 months post-partum. In reality, she’s still healing. She needs to go easy on her body, rather than stressing it out.
You mentioned that she’s an athlete, which means she’s used to results and having her body cooperate with what she’s asking it to do.
She should be focusing on the basics. Strengthening those muscles that have been stretched while pregnant, nursing, carrying baby (abs – start with stability training first, then strenthen, hip flexors, glutes, shoulders, etc) and stretching those that have gotten tight (lower back, chest, etc).
As an athlete, have her break down her goals into managable, achievable goals. Does she want to get back to her sport of choice? Let her find the joy in movement again and set the base for her to return to her sport of choice. Have her treat this time like the base phase of a training plan.
Sometimes too much too soon after a pregnancy back fires. Her body still needs to heal, find its new normal and re-align itself from the dramatic shift in weight gain/loss and stressers of pregnancy.
Jason, Vivian, Jared and Jocelyn,
Thanks so much everyone. I read her your answers, and she felt much better (as did I)!
Yes, I think she just expected herself to lose the weight as fast as she did with her first baby. I realize that every pregnancy is different, but I haven’t worked with enough new moms to really explain why. But you have helped me do so very well.