Is there anything new about being a new mom is ‘everything’ if one could say? Adjusting to new life, routine, anxiety issues, post-partum depression (1 in 9 women suffer), and of course achieving healthy bodyweight back again.
Coping with all these new happenings is a matter of time and patience. It’s time to remain consciously sane and seek the support of family unhesitantly. It’s ok to land into mishaps and create mayhem at times but be careful always. Everything is going to land smoothly in a short course of time.
However, landing back to a healthy weight is important as it solves many underlying issues. It’s even more important if you plan to get pregnant again.
Here, we go through some effective ways to lose postpartum weight so you can take parenthood like a pro.
If you have gone under normal delivery, you can start with mild exercises after two weeks and increase its intensity gradually. Aerobic exercises are great for weight loss and strength training is a boon to muscle and bone health. Do not over-stress yourself and stop immediately if you feel uncomfortable. In the case of c-section, seek the help of an expert before you indulge yourself in any kind of exercise.
Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for the baby. But it also helps to shed your gained weight. Milk production consumes about 1100-1200kcal/day energy. It uses fat stores to compensate for the requirements that were accumulated during pregnancy. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and to be continued till 2 years of age and beyond.
Starving yourself will lower down your weighing scale but in a bad way. It hampers your blood, bone, and muscle health, invisible from the outside. A crash diet will leave you irritable and you will find yourself hogging on food sooner or later. No doubt, it will interrupt sleep and hamper milk production.
Staying hydrated helps flush out toxins, which aids weight loss. It will keep your bowel movements regular and boost metabolism. It will aid in replacing the fluids lost in milk production. Aim for consuming at least 2-3 liters of water every day.
Fibers help you to keep full for longer periods of time. They relieve constipation and feed good bacteria in your intestine, keeping your gut in a good health. High fiber leads to lower caloric intake overall.
Fibers can be found in:
Processed foods are high in refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and often sodium. Refined carbs spike your blood sugar quite fast. Fats need to be limited in weight loss and saturated fats are a deal-breaker for heart health. Excess sodium leads to high blood pressure. Processed foods are nutritionally empty. Avoid them as much as possible.
Table sugar is empty-calorie, providing you with nothing but only energy. It’s nutritionally empty. Studies connect refined sugar to weight gain, cancer, high blood pressure, increased cravings, and cognitive decline.
Foods high in refined sugar include:
Protein is a body-building nutrient, helping in forming new cells all over the body. It digests slowly, keeping you full for a longer period of time. It boosts your metabolism and uses more body energy to digest (aka; high thermic effect) and low in calories. It not only suppresses the hunger hormone, ghrelin but helps in reducing hunger pangs.
Reach out for:
Hunger pangs in between major meals are natural. Make sure, you consume what is nutritionally dense and good for gut health.
Let your hands reach for:
Alcohol gives excess calories without providing much in the way of nutrition. It also speeds up fat deposition around the organs such as belly fat. Moreover, alcohol should not be consumed by mothers as it gets in breast milk and finally to the baby. It makes the baby irritable, leads to poor cognitive development, and hampers sleep cycles. If you feel like celebrating, go for sparkling water or a non-alcoholic beverage.
Talking about a deep long sleep when the little one is around the corner is nearly impossible. But your health is as important as your baby’s. Lack of sleep is linked to retaining most of the post-pregnancy weight. Therefore, ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. Limit your caffeine intake and seek help from your family and friends.
Consult a qualified nutritionist about your body needs and use recommended apps to keep a track of your calorie intake. Both, under and overconsumption are harmful. Taking care of the baby along with the household chores and work can be a daunting task and a demanding role to play. Let the weight shed off gradually and stay on the balanced diet for your body to be healthy in a long run.
LET THIS SINK IN:
Carrying some extra weight after pregnancy is nothing to be embarrassed or anxious about. Your body did an amazing thing. Being healthy will allow you to have the best time with your baby and your family. Embrace every change you have gone through. But getting back to a healthy weight range is beneficial in long run. Don’t rush towards it. Play it with cheer and calmness. The best way to lose weight post-pregnancy is to exercise, healthy eating, and breastfeeding. Seek the support of experts for tips and advice.
M. Sc. Gold Medalist