The Importance of Post-Partum Weight Loss

The Importance of Post-Partum Weight Loss

It took Reese Witherspoon eight weeks; Uma Thurman six weeks; and Heidi Klum hit the Victoria's Secret runway five weeks after delivering her fourth child. So, losing weight after a pregnancy isn’t so tough -- right?

Related: Nutrition Needs During Pregnancy

Well, maybe…if you have several trainers, a personal chef and unlimited resources. For most of you it may be a tad more challenging. And it’s reasonable to take up to a year.

It is important, however, for women to lose the weight within 12 months after delivery. If you don’t you can develop what’s called a cardiometabolic profile (elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, lower good HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides). That increases a woman’s risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and memory problems.  

Related: Exercises to Help Lose Post-Baby Belly Fat

One way to avoid getting stuck with post-partum weight gain: Don’t put on excess weight during your pregnancy. Our book, YOU: Having a Baby can help with that. But no matter how much you gain, here’s a great meal plan to help you lose the weight and feel more energetic.

  • Start your day with a post-pregnancy smoothie (the recipe is at with fruit, grains, seeds; it delivers omega-3, calcium, magnesium, protein and fiber -- and tastes great.
  • Eat every four hours; snack on apples, yogurt popsicles, whole-grain cereal, walnuts and almonds.
  • Reduce your dinner portions. Serve your meal on a salad, not a dinner plate. And dish up 1/3 protein, 1/3 100 percent whole grain and 1/3 veggie/fruit. For more helpful suggestions go to and search for “lose the baby weight”.

Related: More Healthy Ways to Approach Post-Baby Weight Loss

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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