First of all, congratulations on bringing a set of twins into this world! You’ve done a great job.
However, the challenges are not limited to caring for two babies. Many new twin moms also struggle with their own bodily changes. I know I personally did.
More weight is gained during a twin pregnancy compared to a singleton pregnancy. But the good news is, it is still possible to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, even after having twins.
If you are looking to lose weight after twins, keep on reading. From one twin mom to another, I will be sharing some very helpful tips to get rid of those extra pounds and to flatten your stomach.
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Gaining weight during pregnancy is a natural and necessary process. It supports the growth and development of the fetus. When you are pregnant with twins, you’ll gain more weight because you are growing two babies inside of your body.
But, how much weight should a mother gain during a twin pregnancy? The answer largely depends upon the mom’s pre-pregnancy weight. On average, weight gain during a twin pregnancy should be 37-50 lbs.
This is much more than the average weight gain in a singleton pregnancy of 20-35 lbs. Additionally, eating habits during pregnancy and genetics will play a role in how much weight is gained.
>>Want to track your weight during pregnancy? Grab this printable Pregnancy Weight Tracker<<
The weight you gain during a twin pregnancy is not fat weight alone. It also includes the weight of the babies, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, and fluid retention.
About one-third to one-half of the gained weight belongs to your babies, which will be reduced right after delivering them. It’s very common to lose around 15-30 pounds within one week of delivering twins.
Most of this weight loss will happen at birth, as the babies and amniotic fluid will come out of your body. After that, you will lose more during postpartum bleeding.
When you are trying to lose weight after having twins, your main goal should be to improve your health along with losing weight. I wouldn’t recommend following a “magical weight loss diet”. Instead, you should stick with the basics – eat healthy and slowly introduce exercise.
Your body has gone through a lot and it’s not over yet. You are now spending a lot of energy raising twins.
Along with sleepless nights and unpredictable schedules, if you burden your body with strict diets, your body may backfire and you may face unwanted results. With that said, here are my top tips to follow to lose weight (while also improving your health) after twins.
Drinking more water is one of the most simple, yet effective ways to help you lose weight. Although water is not a magical weight loss liquid, it helps in many ways. Some examples include:
- Keeps you hydrated. Hydration is very important to improve overall health and support bodily functions, such as metabolism.
- Suppresses fake hunger and gives you a sense of fullness. Eventually, you’ll eat fewer snacks.
- Reduces appetite when you drink it before meals, so you’ll consume fewer calories.
- Improves energy levels and improves exercise performance.
It can be hard to fetch a glass of water every time you need to drink. I recommend keeping a water bottle handy at all times so you can sip water throughout the day.
The Seekua Tritan water bottle can be really helpful as it has a capacity of four pounds of water. The time marks on the bottle will keep you motivated to drink more. Plus, the straw lid and spout lid will make it easier to take a few sips at a time.
Your body has just gone through a lot. So, be easy on yourself. Set realistic goals.
Aim for losing between 1 to 2 pounds every week. Restricting too many calories will have a negative impact on your body.
Instead of focusing on consuming fewer calories, focus on eating healthy. Choose foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories such as vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, beans, legumes, etc.
For help eating healthy postpartum, I recommend this breastfeeding meal plan!
3- Portion Control
Be mindful of how much you are eating at a time. This will prevent you from overeating.
At the same time, don’t cut any food group from your diet. Eat something from all of the following food groups throughout the day:
- Complex carbs such as whole grain, brown rice, quinoa, and oats
- Protein such as beans, lentils, eggs, lean meat, fish, etc.
- Dairy such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Fruits and vegetables
- Good fats such as extra virgin olive oil
Try making every meal about 50% vegetables.
4- Eat At The Same Time Each Day
Eating at the same time each day will let your body understand when it is time to get food. Doing this will help you regulate hunger and stabilize insulin and cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that eating meals irregularly may have a negative impact on metabolism. Create an eating schedule that fits your lifestyle and routine and stick with it.
As a mom of twins, you may not find time to prepare meals right before meal time. Instead, prepare your meals all at once or get help (if you can). Try cooking ahead and freezing some meals, so you always have something ready at your scheduled mealtime.
You should also avoid eating after ~8 pm. Your metabolism is naturally slower at night. If you need to eat, choose a low-calorie healthy snack such as fruit, air-popped popcorn, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.
5- Eat Mindfully & Chew More
This is the most important tip if you find that you are always hungry. This was the case for me while I was breastfeeding.
Many mothers put their kids to sleep and eat while watching their favorite shows. But be aware that if you are distracted while watching TV, you will likely eat more without realizing it. Moreover, even after filling up your stomach, your brain will not be satisfied and you will crave more food (most likely unhealthy food).
Focus on your meal while eating. Enjoy every bite of it. Chew every bite at least 30-40 times. You’ll notice a clear difference in your hunger levels (and cravings) within a couple of days.
6- Boost Your Metabolism
If you want to lose weight and keep it off without sacrificing your energy levels, look into boosting your metabolism so your body can consume more calories. Here are some simple yet effective ways to boost your metabolism.
- Eat more protein. Your body will consume more energy while digesting it. Just by increasing your protein intake, your body may burn around 100-200 extra calories per day without any additional effort.
- Sip on warm (not hot) water. Warm water will kick your metabolism and detox your gut. It improves digestion and suppresses fake hunger. Your metabolism is naturally lower at night so drinking warm water before bed can help you burn more calories while you are sleeping.
- Eat metabolism boosting foods such as chili peppers, lentils, legumes, nuts, coffee, ginger, etc.
- Avoid eating metabolism killers such as foods containing processed sugar, simple carbs, or oily (junk) food.
- Start strength training with the permission of your doctor and potentially with the help of a professional trainer. You recently gave birth to twins so it is so important to consult a professional before starting any exercise, especially weight lifting. By doing strength training 2-3 times a week, your muscles will become stronger. As you gain muscle mass, your metabolism will be naturally higher and you will burn more calories even at rest.
7- Be Patient
Your mindset is one crucial thing to bring positive changes to your body. You need to understand that you didn’t gain all this weight in a few days or weeks. It took months to gain this weight, and it is going to take a lot of time and effort to lose excess fat.
Your body took care of two babies inside of it. You still have to put in a lot of energy to care for these tiny humans for many, many years.
With that said, it’s so important to be patient and easy on yourself. Set realistic goals, make healthy choices, and move around more.
Instead of focusing on weight, take weekly or monthly photos in the same dress and compare them. Any tiny progress is still progress.
8- Gentle Exercise
After consulting with your doctor and with the help of a professional trainer (if you choose), you can start gentle exercises. Gentle exercise is especially important for those that have had a C-section.
You can start with walking. Just go for a walk with your newborn twins stroller, or do a walking workout at home. There are many simple walking workouts available on YouTube.
Get a fitness watch too (I absolutely love my Fitbit). It will keep you motivated and you will know how active you have been throughout the day.
Other gentle exercises you can do include:
- Low-impact aerobics
- Low-impact, steady-state cardio
- Light weight training
9- Manage Stress
I can understand that you have an overwhelming routine with newborn twins. Along with the sleepless nights, you have to manage baby care, house chores, and self-care as well. This is a lot of stress.
Unfortunately, this stress won’t help your body lose extra fat. Do your best to manage stress. I’m not saying that it is easy, but there are some things you can try to help:
- Meditate while feeding your twin babies.
- Say positive affirmations to yourself in the mirror.
- Stare at your babies when they are asleep. It will bring a sense of love and positivity to your body and you will feel relaxed.
- Do stress-relieving yoga.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help.
- Drink chamomile tea.
10- Get As Much Sleep As Possible
Disturbed sleep is also stressful for your body. As a mom to twins, it is not easy to sleep peacefully for 8 hours straight. You can use these tips to ensure that the sleep you are getting is high-quality sleep.
- Stay away from screen time before going to bed.
- Sleep with the lights off.
- Avoid large meals before sleeping.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Manage bedroom temperature.
- Nap when you have the opportunity.
By improving the quality of your sleep, you’ll reduce stress on your body. It will help you lose weight in a healthy way.
11- Breastfeed or Pump
Exclusively breastfeeding burns around 300-500 calories for one baby. You have two. So, you can expect to burn around 600-1,000 extra calories just by feeding your babies with your body.
Nourish your body with some extra good calories, so your little ones can get the perfect nutrition.
Note: It is important to know that not all women lose weight while breastfeeding. Some women do retain (or even gain) weight.
Staying motivated to lose weight while caring for twins can be very hard. You may become overwhelmed. It is important to connect with the people who understand what you are going through.
You can find plenty of helpful groups all over social media. Joining such communities will keep you motivated and accountable.
You may also get some pretty helpful tips to lose weight in a healthier way. Positive reinforcement will help you to stay on track.
Without any doubt, breastfeeding makes you hungry. I know from personal experience.
Hunger can make you crave unhealthy food. Moreover, the unpredictable schedule and very busy routine with twins usually makes it harder to lose weight consistently.
To lose weight while breastfeeding twins, you will want to follow the tips from above. But I recommend going a step further. If you are ready for big changes in your weight loss journey, then it is best to get help.
This is where I recommend the Lean Mamas program. Having a proven program with a step-by-step plan to follow is crucial to manage weight loss while breastfeeding.
Believe it or not, Lean Mamas is designed specifically for breastfeeding moms who want to lose weight, while also maintaining their milk supply. With this program you will get access to a proven method for getting more energy and taking control of your hunger (the things you need to lose weight).
The time it will take a twin mom to lose her baby weight varies widely from one person to the next. As I mentioned earlier, moms lose the weight of their babies, amniotic fluid, and excess blood within a couple of weeks after delivery. But how long it takes to lose the rest of the weight depends upon these factors:
- Genetics: If you have a family history of obesity, you may have a hard time losing weight.
- Pre-pregnancy body fat percentage: If you had a higher amount of body fat to start, and the pregnancy just added more pounds into it, it will take you longer to lose it.
- Diet: What you eat plays the most important role in losing weight.
- Physical activity: The time it will take to lose weight largely depends on how physically active you are.
- Rest and sleep: If you’ve got someone to help you while caring for the babies and you get some time to take a rest or sleep peacefully, you’ll lose weight faster.
- Coach or program: If you have someone or something to guide you on how to lose weight step-by-step after delivering your babies, it will be an easier goal to accomplish.
First, you need to understand that your uterus has been stretched for many months. Your twins resided in it. It may take at least 8 weeks (or longer) for it to shrink to its normal size.
It is hard to flatten your tummy after delivering twins, but it’s not impossible. Although there will likely be some loose skin that will stay with you (I have it, for example), you can flatten your stomach.
Along with following portion control, healthy eating, and getting rest, you need to exercise. It’s even better if you can exercise with the help of a trainer.
The most important thing to consider before starting any exercise is to rule out diastasis recti. This is a condition where the two long muscles separate in your abdomen due to stretching in pregnancy. This condition is very common in twin pregnancies because of the extra pressure on the muscles.
If you have this condition, a trainer can work to fix it before starting any more exercises. After fixing it, it will be easier for you to flatten your tummy.
Flattening your stomach will involve consistent ab exercises each week. It’s best to have a schedule to work on your core muscle strength at least 2-3 times per week.
When you want to lose weight after twins it’s important to eat healthy, but also be patient with yourself.
Losing weight after twins is hard, but not impossible. By focusing on food portions, making healthy choices, and exercising you can lose weight gradually.
Simple things like drinking more water, eating quality foods, stress-relieving activities, having an eating schedule, and connecting with people with similar goals will help you. I believe you will see even quicker progress if you decide to invest in a trainer or program to guide you on your postpartum weight loss journey.
Just remember, always consult with your doctor before making drastic changes to your routine. Finally, before you go since you are likely reading this as a new twin mom, be sure to grab this FREE newborn twin daily tracker for help staying organized and tracking each of your twin’s habits. Just fill in the form below!