It's a fact that all new mums are eager to get back into their old shapes again. But one of the most critical things to be mindful of is to be calm and patient with yourself. If you have read stories about celebs losing weight in a blink of an eye and are hoping to do the same then DON'T. Is it possible? Yes. This sort of drastic weight loss is achieved by very strict diets and the ones who go for it do it by getting back into activities before their bodies are even ready for it. So is it healthy? No. Losing weight or trying to lose weight right after giving birth is not good for the mother's body.
Your doctor (or elders, or almost everyone), most probably will not recommend you to start losing weight right after you've given birth. This is because your body needs a certain amount of time to recover after birth. So, the least you should do is to wait till your postnatal check- ups with your general physician before you start to do anything in order to lose weight. Try to hold it off for about six to eight weeks after you've given birth - this is probably what your doctor would suggest too.
First of all, you need to cast away all the stories that you might have read or heard about celebs that got back in shape after just a few weeks after childbirth. You need to give yourself time to get back into proper shape. Do not get disappointed if the post baby weight doesn't disappear as soon as you had imagined or wished to. It is natural to expect good things to happen quickly, well, they don't. Therefore, it would be unrealistic for you to expect a drastic weight loss - you must take a more careful and gradual approach. You must keep in mind that your body may very well change shape after pregnancy and that returning to your precise pre- pregnancy shape or weight may be a bit difficult.
You must wait for about six to eight months before you try and return to your pre- pregnancy weight - also keep in mind that you must feel healthy and ready for it, do not rush into it if you're still recovering from post- pregnancy changes. If it takes a long time then be patient and don't give yourself a hard time. Try setting a target for yourself of getting to the exact weight you feel you should be in by your baby's first birthday.
It is important not to set for yourself huge and an unachievable goal, what's important is that you should focus o your health and your body's needs. A study showed that only approx four out of ten new moms had lost their pregnancy weight by the time their newborns were six months old. The logic here is simple, if you tend to put on a lot of weight during your pregnancy, it's obvious that it'll take a longer period of time to come off. Talking to your general physician or any other health advisor about weight management exercises or classes could be helpful with losing postnatal weight. Joining a special class for postnatal weight management can be beneficial in motivating you, and you'll also meet other people in the same boat as you.
It takes nine months for your body to get to this awkward shape, it's only natural that your body will take almost the same amount of time to get back to its fighting weight. Here are a few tips that should help you in losing weight post- pregnancy.
Now I know you'd think if you'll not diet then how on earth would you lose that weight? But going on a proper 'diet' could derail all the goals that you might've set for your post- pregnancy weight loss. It's no surprise that our favourite foods are the ones which are not entirely great for our health (we also have to give them all up while we're dieting); so if you decide to go on a diet after pregnancy, you'll have to give up on your favourite foods! And depriving yourself of the food which satisfies your soul during the time where you need almost everything to keep your happy (post- pregnancy!) is a bad idea. Let's suppose you're a new mom and you love burgers - having a big McMaharaja Burger makes you happy - do you think you'll be able to give up on that blissful feeling of savoring a delicious burger while you're stressed out with all the changes that take place post- pregnancy? It's highly unlikely. Being deprived of your favourite foods in an already stressful situation will make you feel sad and might actually cause you to gain more weight.
Did you know that most women found that their weight came off naturally when they didn't try to diet at all? If you return to eating properly and healthy or eating for your hunger that might help you way more than dieting. Consume a well-balanced diet rather. Include all kinds of fruits and veggies in your diet. Store up various kinds of snacks that you love to munch, it will keep you from feeling hungry time and again and provide you with proper energy that a new mom needs throughout the day. Make a fruit salad, or simple slice or dice your favourite fruits and keep them in separate little boxes and nibble on them every time you feel a bit hungry. Carrots, wheat crackers, apples all are great foods that provide nourishment.
If you're still breastfeeding then you shouldn't dip below 1800 calories a day, it doesn't matter how badly you want to lose weight.
If you're a nursing mom, keep it in mind that your body requires all the nutrition that it can get. Therefore, you must choose foods which are packed with nutrients and are light in fats and calories.
Fish is a super-food - loaded with DHA (which is an essential omega- 3 fatty acid) helps your little one in developing a healthy nervous system and brain. The best sources of DHA are cold-water fish such as sardines, salmon, and tuna (stick to canned light tuna).
Other super foods are dairy products, milk, and yogurt - packed with calcium; they provide you with strength and keep your bones strong and healthy.
All foods which are rich in proteins are great for you - lean meats, chicken, beans are all low in fat and are great sources of proteins and fiber. These superfoods will keep you feeling full for a long period of time along with keeping you healthy and silently managing your weight issue.
Here's a list of foods that you should have during lactation.
Whether breastfeeding can actually help you lose weight is still a debatable topic, some studies found that breastfeeding exclusively could help you return back to your pre-baby weight faster, while other studies found no difference in weight loss with women who breastfed and those who bottle fed their babies.
But the fact which remains is that breastfeeding is a must for your baby, it helps in boosting immunity and providing a various number of other important health benefits.
Nursing exclusively adds about an extra 300 calories a day to your diet (you can add slightly more calories if you have a really big eater or twins). Just stay honest with yourself and make sure that if you do breastfeed, you don't use it as an excuse to eat whatever you will.
Everyone knows that water can do wonders! Each one of us needs to keep ourselves from getting dehydrated, during post- pregnancy you need to keep yourself all the more hydrated at all times. What what's better than water? Drink plenty of water to keep yourself from getting dehydrated. Another great thing about it is that it can speed up your metabolism and also, fill you up so that you do not eat as much.
The question which often comes up is how many glasses of water is enough or necessary? And people usually recommend from around six to nine glasses. Here's what Dr. Johnson recommended WebMd - "If you're drinking enough fluids, your urine should be relatively clear, and you should be going to the bathroom about every three to four hours."
Along with keeping tabs of what you eat, you must also need to keep your body moving with the help of exercise. Yes, watching what you eat is important, it should only be a part of your weight loss plan post pregnancy - you need to incorporate strength training exercises in order to burn calories and keep your bones and muscles strong.
Exercise just won't help in losing weight, it also provides many benefits for a new mother. It helps to deal with any kind of sleep issue, post- pregnancy depression, and stress! It can be quite stressful having a baby in the house, the moms need to be on their toes constantly.
Don't be scared by the word 'exercise', you need not hit the gym at all to get back in shape after pregnancy (that's precisely what had been recommended not to do in the beginning of this article!). So what should you do? Take your baby out in fresh air in a stroller and brisk walk. That's more than enough to get your muscles working and heart pumping. Try to shoot for at least 150 minutes in a week. With your little one, finding 30 minutes in a row could be nearly impossible, so try breaking up the time into ten-minute increments. Then try to work your way up to twenty or thirty-minute sessions.
Lugging around your baby all day is itself can be considered quite a workout, but you still need to add some exercises for strength training. Many community centers and health clubs offer 'mommy and me' classes - these classes let you incorporate your baby into your workout routine. Before you start any exercise program, you must be wise enough to get your doctor's approval, especially if you've had a C-section.
Being sleep deprived can make it harder for you to shed the baby weight, but let's get real, it would be impossible to get a full eight hours of sound sleep when you have your little one summoning you like clockwork throughout the night. In a study, new moms who slept for five hours or less a night were found more likely to hold onto their extra pregnancy weight when compared with women who managed to sleep for seven hours.
When you're tired, the body release stress hormones (including cortisol), which can promote weight gain. It's also a fact that when you're exhausted you take less care of yourself. You need to be active, alert and alive in order to take care of not only your baby but also yourself. When you're active, you're less likely to choose unhealthy food - on the other hand, when you're exhausted you want all you might want is a soul satisfying cheeseburger. Also, you're less likely to get any physical activity if you're already exhausted.
Your family members and pals must have told you to 'sleep when your baby sleeps' - that is a great advice. Try to catch as many naps as you possibly can during the day and try to go to bed early, at least until your little one starts sleeping through the night.
If you are struggling to lose the extra baby weight, enlist the help of your doctor or a dietitian (or both!). The dietitian can help you map out an eating plan that will assist you in losing weight safely and effectively, while your doctor can guide you and answer basic and important questions as to how much weight you need to lose and when you can start exercising.
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