Healthy weight loss after pregnancy


Need help losing weight after your pregnancy? Read on to get tips to lose weight in a healthy and gradual way.


How fast should I lose weight after pregnancy? 

Losing about 0.5 kg (1 lb) per week is a safe and healthy rate of weight loss.
Speak to your health care provider about how much weight you should lose to achieve a healthy body weight.

Can I lose weight while breastfeeding? 

Yes. However, be sure that your breastfeeding is going well before trying to lose weight. If you notice a change in your milk supply, talk to your health care provider.
Contact an EatRight Ontario Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-510-2 or send us an email for advice on losing weight while breastfeeding.

Tips for losing weight after pregnancy 

Make healthy food choices

  • Use Canada’s Food Guide to help you eat the right amount and types of foods for your age group. Learn how many Food Guide Servings you need from each food group. If you are breastfeeding, include 2-3 extra Food Guide Servings.
  • Eat three meals every day, especially breakfast. Research shows that eating breakfast is linked to a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthy snacks.  Enjoy fruit or vegetable-based snacks in between meals to keep your energy levels up.
  • Eat smaller portions.  Get tips on managing your portions here.  
  • Enjoy 7-8 servings vegetables and fruit each day.  Research shows that people who eat vegetables and fruit are more successful at losing weight.
  • Focus on high fibre foods. High fibre foods help you feel full so you eat less. These foods include fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grain cereals and bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, nuts and seeds.
  • Cook with less fat. While some fat is important for our health, go easy on cooking oils and other fats. Instead of frying foods, try baking, roasting, broiling, steaming and barbecuing.
  • Limit sugary foods and beverages.  Choose small amounts of foods high in added sugar. Avoid sweetened beverages like juice, fruit drinks, flavoured coffees, soft drinks and energy drinks.
  • Eat smart when eating out. Follow these tips to make healthy choices.

Aim to be physically active

When you are ready to be more active, start slowly. Here are some steps to get you going in the right direction: 

  • Try to do at least a little activity every day – even 10 minutes at a time helps. Dance to your favourite music, walk up and down your stairs and play active games with your kids. 
  • Go outside for a brisk walk with your baby as often as you can. 
  • Be active with other new moms. Go to a water fitness class or enjoy a walk together. 

Once you feel that you are ready to add more moderate to vigorous physical activity, aim to be active at least 150 minutes each week, in periods of 10 minutes or more.
If you are new to physical activity, speak to your health care provider before starting a more intense physical activity program.

Set SMART goals 

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-framed. The secret to success is to break down your healthy eating and physical activity goals into mini goals that are easy to manage. Start with one small, clear goal that is right for you. 
Need advice on healthy weight loss after pregnancy or setting SMART goals? Contact a Registered Dietitian at EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-510-2 or send us an email

You may also be interested in: 

Steps to a healthy weight: Taking action
Video: Size up your food portions
Get the facts on fad diets
How to make healthy choices while breastfeeding


Last Update – March 30, 2016

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If you have questions about what you've read here, or other questions about food, nutrition or healthy eating, click to email our Registered Dietitians or call 1-877-510-5102.