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Once the elation of seeing your baby and the apprehension about caring for her has calmed down, the next question that would perhaps pop into your head is how to lose all that accumulated weight. Your bundle of joy more than makes up for all the effort you have taken in the past nine months, but reducing weight post-delivery is the last-ditch effort you should take.
However, losing weight is not an easy task unless you know the basics of reducing weight. Apart from looking after the newborn and managing many changes in your life, you will have to focus on getting back into shape. This will work wonders for your health and bring back your confidence too.
When to Start Losing Post Pregnancy Weight
You have just delivered a baby and you will surely need time to recoup your health and energy. Your doctor will certainly not recommend beginning a diet or a gruelling exercise regime right after your delivery. However, a few gentle exercises in the initial period right after delivery can do you a world of good, apart from eating healthy. Speak to your gynaecologist about losing weight during your first prenatal appointment, which will probably happen after six to eight weeks of your delivery. A dietician can certainly help you with a proper diet plan and put you on the path to reducing weight in a healthy way.
Importance of Losing Excessive Weight After Having a Baby
Losing all that excess weight that you have gained in the past few months may seem like a task, yet it is a necessary step towards regaining your health once again. Being overweight and obese is not only detrimental to your health, but it can keep you from enjoying a full life. A baby needs a lot of attention during the day and she will also put you through many sleepless nights. If you are on the top of your health and fitness, you will be able to manage the innumerable changes that are bound to happen in your life as a mother.
Being overweight can put you at risk of many complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and joint pain. If you intend to become a mother again, then losing weight is essential as it could increase the risks to your baby and you during the next pregnancy and while giving birth. Obese mothers can have a longer and harder labour and also run the risk of having an emergency C-section. Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are a few other risks an overweight mother-to-be is exposed to. As your child grows, imagine the kind of running around you will have to do and this will be possible only if your fitness levels keep up.
Simple & Effective Tips for Weight Loss After Pregnancy
Weight-loss after delivery remains a key issue for most women and this can be easily achieved through a little bit of dedication and lots of willpower. Losing baby weight does not mean digging deep into your pockets (or your spouse’s) as there are many simple and practical home remedies for weight loss after delivery. Here are a few proven tips to bounce back in style:
1. It’s Time To Move
By the time you have delivered your baby, you will be exhausted and sleep-deprived to a great extent and exercise will be the last thing on your mind. This is fine since most women are unable to exercise for up to six or even eight weeks after delivery, more if you have had a C-section. Take small, baby steps by walking for short distances that do not tire you or cause bleeding. Increase the distance gradually till you feel confident of taking on a regular exercise regime. Including your baby into this routine is easy if you get the stroller out and push the baby around the neighbourhood for at least 30 minutes a day.
This is one routine can help you to lose weight even as you sit comfortably in your favourite chair. Breastfeeding mothers can burn up to 600 to 800 calories a day as the body now needs additional calories to breastfeed the baby.
The tricky part, however, is when your baby is being weaned off breast milk and is gradually consuming semi-solid or solid foods. When you taper-off breastfeeding, there is a possibility that your weight will increase so be ready with a backup plan like an exercise routine to compensate for that.
3. Weight Training
At the mention of this term, most people invest in a gym membership or purchase costly equipment for home use. However, this won’t be necessary if you incorporate your baby into your weight training session. Hold your baby close to your chest and start with lunges. You can also lie on your back and push the baby as far as possible from the chest. Watch your baby enjoy your session as much as you do as you lose weight in a pleasant way.
4. Keep A Watch On Fat And Calories
Most experts do not recommend going on a diet immediately after giving birth since the body is now in repair mode. Yet, you can begin by turning the other way when offered empty-calorie items like chips, colas and the like. Include a lot of fresh fruits, green vegetables, lean meat, whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Do not fall prey to fashionable diets that ask you to abstain from entire food groups.
If you are prone to overeating, choose to eat small meals at short intervals. This will also keep your blood-sugar levels steady. Short meals will divide calories over the day, keep the calories from being stored as fat and metabolize them in a better way.
5. Get Lots of Sleep
The baby’s arrival is going to alter your sleep pattern in a major way. So get ready for sleepless nights and sleepy mornings. This can upset your metabolism and is a deterrent to losing weight. Always remember to take a nap whenever your baby sleeps as this will help you catch up on your sleep without creating a huge backlog. Sleep deprivation can cause snacking and binge-eating so get your forty winks whenever the opportunity presents. This way your energy levels will be high and you will be up for the challenge of raising a baby. Give priority to sleep over exercise in the early days after delivery as less sleep will result in a tired mind and body, resulting in forced exercise sessions.
6. Eat Healthy
A drop in sugar levels of your body pushes you to eat the first thing you can lay your hands on. Hence it is recommended to avoid any sugar-based treats that can increase or decrease your sugar levels dramatically. If you are being enticed by tasty snacks, keep flavoured yoghurts or low-fat milk in plain view. The calcium in milk and yoghurt blocks the hormone which helps our body to store fat and therefore promotes weight loss. Eating high fibre snacks is also a great idea since it not only fills you up but helps digestion in a big way.
Raisins, figs and whole-wheat crackers should be on your shopping list after your baby’s delivery. Superfoods like fish, chicken, lean meat and beans are a must while trying to lose weight after delivery.
7. Stay Hydrated
Ensure that you drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day as this will flush out all the toxins from your body. Since it prevents dehydration, your metabolism improves dramatically and this, in turn, is helpful in losing weight. Apart from water, infusing liquids like milkshakes, fresh juices, smoothies and soups into your daily diet will also help your aim. To know how much water to drink, check the colour of your urine and if it’s clear and you are visiting the loo about 4-5 times a day during waking hours, you are doing fine.
8. Dance Away Your Blues
There is no better way to lose weight than by enjoying yourself. Switch on the music, grab your partner (or your baby) and swing away to glory.
Just enjoy yourself and sweat it out for a while and watch your weight go down in a truly fun way.
9. Keep Stress Levels at Minimum
Being a mother, first time or otherwise is a tough job and has its own set of challenges. You may feel overwhelmed by the situation and this leads to stress. Weight gain and increase in stress are often linked and hence it is advisable to keep stress levels as low as possible. Stay away from stressful situations and use techniques like music or meditation to help. Keep some time for yourself, however busy the day may be, read your favourite book or take a walk and this will help you to bust the blues and lose weight at the same time.
10. Drink Water Before Meals
Sip on a glass of water before you have your meals. If you feel bloated because you gorge on your favourite dishes, drinking water will fill your stomach and you won’t feel overstuffed.
You will eat a limited quantity of water will prevent overeating. Water does no harm and in fact, will help you keep yourself hydrated.
11. Advance Your Meal Times
Eating your meals early, especially dinner, is a proven way of reducing your weight fast. Advance your meal time to 7 or 7.30 as this will allow the digestion process to take place before you sleep. This helps to reduce weight and your metabolism is boosted too. If you have to stay up late because of your baby, get yourself a cup of warm milk as it will help you to relax and fulfil your hunger pangs too.
12. Walk Whenever You Can
This is the simplest and the most effective way of losing all that excess weight you have gained during your pregnancy.
Ditch the car and walk to the supermarket, the gym, the park or to the cinema. Walking inside and around your home while putting your little one to sleep will burn off more calories than you can think of.
13. Stay Away From Caffeine and Alcohol
If you have the habit of reaching out for a cup of coffee to fight sleep or to kill exhaustion, stop it now. It can prohibit you from losing weight and will affect your health too. Whatever your poison while at a party or relaxing at home, limit alcohol to a minimum if you are keen to shed those kilos you have gained. Opt for green tea or lime juice if you need a drink to refresh yourself.
14. Forget Eating Out
Stick to home-cooked food that is fresh and nutritious while you are on this journey to losing weight.
Restaurant food can be tempting but if you give into it, your weight-loss mission will surely go for a toss. Occasional treats are fine but eat at home to lose weight after delivery.
15. Do Not Lose Focus
It is not easy to stick to your task of losing weight with many distractions around you, but it is possible if you keep yourself motivated. Display your pre-pregnancy clothes where you can see it and motivate yourself to fit into it by doing what is needed.
When Will Your Body Get Back to Normal?
While there is no fixed period to return to your normal self after delivery, give yourself a timeline of six to nine months to reach your goal. However, remember that you have carried a baby inside you and your body may not look exactly as it did earlier. Make realistic and achievable goals and do not be too hard on yourself if the timelines aren’t met. Reset them and work again towards reaching the desired target.
Carrying a baby for nine months, giving birth to it and nourishing it into a healthy child is no mean feat and nor is losing all that excess weight. With clear focus, dedication and lots of motivation, you can lose weight and maintain it too, so go for it!