According to studies, an average woman will gain between 20-70 lbs of excess weight throughout pregnancy – and women who are overweight or obese will actually gain more. Generally, experts recommend regular exercise and healthy diet in order to lose weight after pregnancy. However, it is important to note that every woman is different and that a diet plan/exercise plan that worked for some may not necessarily work for another.
The following are just some suggestions that can help you eliminate those excess flabs after giving birth.
Don’t expect to lose all of your excess body weight instantly, especially after giving birth. While you can see lots of movie stars and models who are donning their slender bodies just weeks after giving birth, remember that some of them have undergone expensive (and risky) surgeries.
Additionally, celebrities, models and movie stars have entire teams of stylists, trainers, personal chefs and nutritionists who are paid to make them look beautiful and sexy. They may also have a couple of nannies taking care of the baby, leaving them free to focus on getting back in shape.
Another factor for immediate weight loss after pregnancy is good genes (so, if your mother or grandmother can lose weight easily after giving birth, you’re quite lucky because you possibly carry the same genes).
The truth is a lot of new moms just don’t have the time to lose weight after pregnancy due to many reasons and one of which is the fact that they don’t have the time to workout. Their time is completely devoted to taking care of their newborn, cleaning the house, cooking and doing all the house chores. Therefore, don’t get frustrated if you don’t have the same body you had when you were single, because the changes in your body shape is just normal.
Set a strict schedule
While being a new mother is a challenging and demanding role to play, it is still important to take good care of yourself. If you really want to lose weight after pregnancy, you must find time (at least thirty to sixty minutes a day) to work out. You may need help from your spouse, a friend or a family member to take care of your baby while you are working out. There are also fitness clubs that provide infant care for new mothers. However, if you cannot afford joining a fitness club, just do your exercises whenever your baby is asleep.
Take it easy
A lot of new moms want to start working out too soon after giving birth. However, it is important to keep in mind that your body requires rest in order to recover (at least six weeks). Make sure to consult your doctor or your OB/GYN before starting any workout program. What you can do in the first few weeks is to have a healthy diet and rest. The key is to listen to your own body.
Don’t go on a fad diet
Most women think that the most effective way to lose weight is to go on a diet. However, this is not the case if you want to lose those excess weight after giving birth. This is because you will actually gain more weight if you deprive yourself of your desired food. In addition, you need to eat while breastfeeding in order to have the necessary nutrients for your baby. Therefore, make sure to be careful of what you eat instead of going through fad diets such as those low fat or low carb diets.
Since you are breastfeeding, it is important to consume enough calories everyday. Calorie intake is important for the metabolism of your body and not getting enough could affect your body metabolism. In addition, to prevent feeling tired and lethargic, avoid eating junk food and processed food.
It is also recommended to have smaller meals everyday. After giving birth, your body needs enough nutrients so make sure to eat every 2-3 hours. Fresh vegetables (especially dark green ones), calcium, lean proteins, whole grains and wholesome food items should be included in your regular diet. Also, increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids (tuna, salmon), which is essential in the nervous system and the brain development of your baby.
There are some studies that show breastfeeding as a huge aid in losing weight. In general, breastfeeding requires about three hundred additional calories every day than the body’s average requirements. Therefore, breastfeeding lets you eat more while losing weight.
Drink a lot of water
Water is known to have beneficial effects when it comes to weight loss and this goes the same for new mothers. Since water helps in detoxification, drinking plenty of water can help keep the body fit and healthy. In addition, water hydrates the body and improves the rate of metabolism, which helps in losing those extra weight.
Staying active is also important if you want to lose weight. A postpartum workout is recommended in order to enhance your body metabolism. Choose something that you enjoy doing such as cycling, jogging or swimming. Remember that your workout should not strain your body too much. Walking around the neighborhood thirty minutes everyday is also a great exercise after giving birth. Simple daily activities can also help in your weight loss. For instance, bring your baby on a stroller when doing some errands outside. Also, instead of riding the elevator, take the stairs. Bringing your baby anywhere you go is also a good bonding time for you and your little one. Why not go to the mall or visit the park with your baby?
Sleep deprivation is very common to new mothers but it is important that you at least try. Lack of sleep results to emotional and physical difficulties, which makes losing weight harder. Every woman experiences stress and exhaustion after giving birth – and the almost never ending stress results to change in your food habits and unhealthy eating, which eventually makes the situation worse. So no matter how difficult, it is recommended to get at least eight to ten hours of sleep three times a week. This is possible with the help of your spouse, close friends or relatives.
Ask for support
New mothers definitely need support from their family and friends especially for those who want to lose weight after pregnancy. Aside from help from the people around you, it is also recommended to join forums and online support groups wherein many new mothers have the same dilemma as yours. Through these specialized online sites, you will be able to communicate with other new mothers and get information and learn from their experiences. Sometimes, just the thought that there is somebody who is ready to listen to your troubles and knowing that you are not the only one who’s experiencing such difficulties as a new mom can be a great relief.
Gaining weight during and after pregnancy is just normal so don’t let it affect your whole life. In addition, expect that the road to weight loss is not easy, especially if you are on the heavy side. If you are having difficulties in losing weight, it is best to seek help from a dietician and a doctor. These experts can guide you on what to eat and how to do your exercises properly.