Just type ‘post-pregnancy weight loss’ in the search box and you’ll flooded with millions of search results. People from every corner of the globe are talking about and sharing their thoughts on getting their pre-natal body back. Forget about them all. Don’t beat yourself up or despair. Now your baby is with you and so you have to think a lot about her care and her feeding, along with how to get rid of the extra pounds you accumulated during pregnancy.
If you started out at your normal weight and gained around 25 to 30 pounds, it won’t take more than a couple of months to retrieve your pre-pregnancy body. All you need to watch out for is what you eat and how you exercise. But if you were already overweight before pregnancy and then put on some more during pregnancy (which is obviously normal and healthy), it might take a bit longer.
Tips to shed pregnancy weight
But don’t worry; you can surely reach your fitness goals. Let’s have a look at the tips that are really motivating in order to shed extra pregnancy pounds.
- Don’t diet – Yes, you shouldn’t diet though it may sound weird in the context of losing weight. Keeping yourself away from your favorite foods could lead to the feeling of deprivation. While you’re already stressed out owing to your new role as a mother, feeling deprived can actually cause you to put on even more weight. Rather you need to place emphasis on eating healthy and eating for nutritional purposes when hungry – and this will help your weight come off naturally. Instead of dieting, take in a balanced variety of foods, eat small meals, and snack healthily in between as and when you feel hungry. It will not only help you lose weight but also to keep you energized throughout the day. Irrespective of how much weight you want to shed, you shouldn’t dip below 1,800 calories per day, especially if you are breastfeeding.
- Breastfeed – Though there is no solid evidence whether breastfeeding can actually help in weight reduction, however some studies have found that breastfeeding plays important role in losing weight. What is certain is that breastfeeding helps your baby stay strong and healthy; it boosts her immunity and offers a number of health benefits. Being a lactating mom, you must add an additional 300 calories each day to your regular diet; the number can go up in case of twins.
- Drink a lot – You must drink plenty of water all through the day to prevent dehydration. Drinking water also helps to fill you up fast and so you may not like to eat as much. Drinking enough water helps your metabolism. Often-recommended dose of eight glasses of water a day isn’t something certain. It may differ from person to person and according the amount of their physical activities. So you need to keep track of urine color and the frequency of urination. Drinking enough fluid (including milk and fruit juice) makes urine clearer and you should feel like going to toilet once in every three to four hours.
- Focus on super foods – As a new mom, your body needs more nutrition. This is even more important for the nursing moms. So you should choose foods rich in nutrients but light in fat and calories. Fish can be a good example of super foods; cold water fishes like sardines, salmon and canned light tuna are rich in DHA. You can also consider taking yogurt and milk – two super foods rich in calcium that makes your skeletal system stronger. And just don’t compromise with your protein intake. Chicken is an excellent source of protein. Beans are low in fat but are high in fiber and protein. They keep you feel full for longer. Click for more information on what to eat to get back to pre-pregnancy figure.
- Get moving – Gone those days when new moms were confined to their beds after delivery. Yes, taking care of yourself is the key to recover from the physical strain of giving bring. But it’s equally important to get moving. Diet is undoubtedly important but it’s just a part of your post-partum weight loss program. You must include light strength training exercises and aerobic to your post-pregnancy workout session to burn extra calories and keep your bones and muscles strong. It helps you not only with weight loss but exercise also helps with insomnia and depression. Nursing and nurturing an infant is definitely stressful; exercises helps to relieve stress. You really don’t need to hit the gym, you can get a lot of exercise in from home. You can simply take an evening brisk walk with your baby in the pram to get your muscles working and heart pumping well. Just target a minimum of 150 minutes of walking a week. But before getting back to any workout regimen, you must ask your doctor and have his consent. This is even more important if you’ve had a C-section.
- Sleep sleep sleep – Well, it might not be possible for you to have sound eight-hours of sleep when you’ve got your baby summoning like clockwork all night long. But not getting enough sleep can make it difficult for you to shed your pregnancy weight. Moms who sleep for five hours or even less are more likely to hold on the extra weight than moms who can manage to sleep for around seven hours. As you get tired and exhausted, your body starts releasing cortisol as well as other stress hormones that ultimately promote unwanted weight gain. So it would be great to sleep whenever you get a chance. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Have naps, as and when you can during the day. Try to go to bed early.
Even after following the above tips, if you still struggle to lose weight, take professional help. Talk to your physician and a dietitian. A physician is the person who can best guide you on how much weight you should lose and when you should start with your workout schedule. He could also suggest getting some important blood tests for conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism before you start exercising. On the other hand, a dietitian would be the best to design the perfect eating plan that would help you lose extra pounds safely and effectively, and keep you stay fit and healthy.
To conclude, it’s essential to say that motherhood is the best phase of a woman’s life. And as a new mom, you must enjoy each and every good moment of this instead of making yourself stressed out too much over weight loss mania.
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Also published on Medium.