Most new moms often find it extremely frustrating when they see how much weight they put on after pregnancy. According to a study published by the United States Institute of Medicine, women within a healthy weight range tend to gain anywhere between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. That’s how much your baby, placenta, extra fat stores, breast tissue, amniotic fluid, and additional blood weigh combined.
The majority of pregnant women lose up to 12 pounds during delivery. You’ll lose additional weight during the first few weeks following the delivery because your body will get rid of the extra fluid that built up during your pregnancy. After that, you’ll have to shed the rest on your own.
Although you may be tempted to try and lose this weight rapidly, it’s important to take things slow in the beginning. Understand that your body has been through a lot during pregnancy and will need time to heal. You should be careful because if you don’t take baby steps in weight loss, you might compromise your health. Here’s what you should do if you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight after pregnancy.
Losing Weight Through Exercise
What’s important to know is that you should take small steps in working out after giving birth. Even if you have a lot of experience with strenuous workouts like high impact intensity training, you should still take things slow. It’s recommended that you wait at least six weeks before you start training. In case you had a C-section, you should wait at least eight weeks.
The best way to lose weight without doing any harm to your body is to do low impact exercises like walking and stretching. You can also try doing some strength exercises with light weights and resistance bands. Additional workouts that can whip you back into shape include gentle yoga and water aerobics.
It’s especially important to focus on your core and pelvic floor when doing exercises. The muscles in this area can significantly weaken during pregnancy. However, you shouldn’t put any extreme effort to strengthen them. Instead, simply don’t forget to work your core during workouts.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Most people know that a common method of losing weight is to eat less food. Although you may think that this is a great strategy to get rid of excess weight quickly, crash diets can do a lot of harm to your body after pregnancy. Remember that your body is still in a healing process and needs vital nutrients, which is going on a crash diet is a bad idea.
Instead of trying to eat less, you should be more mindful of the food you consume. Find a healthy weight loss program that’ll boost your intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure you consume a lot of fresh produce, grains, as well as foods rich in protein and fiber. It’s also recommended that you avoid skipping meals to provide your body with a constant source of nutrients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that women who are breastfeeding should consume around 500 additional calories each day. What you eat is extremely important during and several months after pregnancy. You should cut down on highly processed foods as much as possible.
Breastfeed If Possible
In case you can and want to breastfeed, you should absolutely do it. This is a simple and natural way to get closer to your pre-pregnancy body. The reason why it aids in weight loss is that your uterus muscles contract every time you breastfeed. The hormones that get released in your body during this process is what causes the contractions.
If you breastfeed, it’ll take about six weeks for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size. In most cases, nursing moms are more careful about what they eat. This also contributes to weight loss. Apart from helping you get back into shape quickly, breastfeeding will provide some amazing benefits for your baby.
In the first six months of its life, your child relies on breast milk for nutrition. On top of that, breast milk is filled with antibodies that will help strengthen your kid’s immune system. Babies who drink breast milk are less likely to develop illness during infancy.
Overcome Your Weight-Loss Plateau
If you’re concerned with how much weight you put on and are serious about losing it as quickly as possible, you most likely have an idea of how to achieve that. However, don’t expect everything to go as planned. In case you’re a new mom, understand that your life will change drastically.
Caring for a newborn takes up a lot of time and can be very exhausting. You might not have enough strength to do a full workout. In fact, you probably won’t have time to get a good night’s sleep for a while. Since you’ll have less time to take care of yourself, it’ll be difficult to follow your weight loss plans. That’s why you have to get creative with how you use your time.
Whenever you’re going to a nearby store, make sure you walk instead of driving. If you don’t have time for an hour-long workout, try to divide it into four small training sessions that you can do throughout the day. In case you don’t have enough time to cook a healthy meal, make a fruit or vegetable, nutrient-rich smoothie.
People generally don’t drink as much water as they should. Yet it’s one of the best ways to ensure you stay healthy and lose weight. When you drink enough water, you’ll likely consume less junk food.
Often times, your body can trick you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re actually just thirsty. When you experience hunger in-between meals, you’re likely to grab an unhealthy snack. And that can boost your calorie intake without providing you with any nutrients.
It’s essential for women who’re breastfeeding to increase their water intake, as it replaces the fluids you lose through milk production. In case you’re breastfeeding, you should aim to drink about 128 ounces of water each day.