A mother confidently wields her superhuman ability to be everything for her child. With a knack for adapting, she goes from a teacher to a comforter to a selfless giver. The joy of motherhood is incomparable, but, it comes with a bitter fact that a woman undergoes various unfavorable health changes. The main concern which almost every woman out of three has is about the baby weight gain caused post-pregnancy.
Taking care of a newborn, adaptation to a new routine and recovery after the birth of a child can be stressful.
Excess weight gain can result in fat accumulation commonly known as “baby weight” which may lead to adverse consequences like:
- Overweight problems
- Increased risk of diabetes and cardiac diseases
- Greater chances of complications in later pregnancies
- Higher health risk along with gestational diabetes
Here’s a list of 20 useful post-pregnancy weight loss tips:
1) Believe in Yourself: The weight gain during and post-pregnancy is natural. The extra fat accumulated in the body acts as an energy reservoir for the newborn as well as breastfeeding. Do not get influenced by magazines or some celebrity articles. Depending upon the weight gain, it is realistic to expect a loss of approx.10-12 pounds in one or two years. The important concern is a healthy and stable weight loss rather than jumping to unhealthy measures to gain faster results.
2) Breastfeed your baby: According to studies, nursing or breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day which is equals loss of calories due to exercising. The best part is that the loss of calories is attained without any physical work. Healthy and protein-rich food intake are necessary for the mother for proper nursing to the child.
3) Say No to Crash Diet: After the delivery of a newborn, a healthy and nutritious diet is required to heal and recover the body. Taking a low-calorie diet(crash diet) might aid in losing weight but shall lack important nutrients needed for the body resulting in tiredness and fatigue.
4) Smaller Portions and Frequent Meals: Choose to take five to six meals a day instead of three big meals. It will keep you full throughout the day. Also, keep the portions smaller so that you do not feel heavy at once.
5) Prefer Low-Calorie Food: Do not opt for a diet that makes you feel heavy but does nothing for the body. Instead, opt for superfoods that are rich in omega-3, fatty acids, calcium, protein, and fibre such as salmon, tuna, lean meat, chicken, eggs, beans, legumes, yogurt, and whole-grain foods. Cut down on high-calorie foods for weight reduction.
6) Avoid Highly Processed Foods: Processed and packaged foods are high in added sugar. They also contain unhealthy fats and calories, which can hinder weight loss efforts. Replace them with fresh, whole, nutrient-dense foods.
7) Watch your Snacking: As a mother who is breastfeeding her baby, you may get frequent hunger pangs. You might look for snacking options now and then. It is vital to pick up healthy and delicious food items in the snack menu such as nuts, fruits, roasted sweet potatoes, etc.
8) Yogurt Dessert: Mix yogurt with chopped fruits and nuts.It can serve as the best tip for weight loss after pregnancy.
9) Cut out Wherever Possible: Try to cut on fattening and unhealthy items from your favourite food list by making some smart choices. Say, avoid cheese or fattening from your favorite sandwiches.
10) Eat Early: Try to take dinner late evening instead of late at night. It will boost metabolism and let you reduce weight.
11) Stay Hydrated: Drinking water and fluids prevents dehydration and improves the metabolism of the body. Make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. It will help in flushing out all the toxins from the body. You can also include different kinds of smoothies, milkshakes, fresh juices, soups and stews in your healthy diet chart.
12) Exercise: It’s an ultimate truth that to stay healthy and fit, exercising is a must. Focus on the basic set of exercises to include in your daily routine such as walking, jogging, swimming. You can also join yoga or aerobics under a trained supervisor.
13) Start Resistance Training: Resistance training, like the lifting of weights, helps in losing weight and retains muscle mass. Resistance training with proper diet is one of the most effective methods for weight reduction and improvises heart health.
14) Baby weight Training: Make your baby your weight loss partner. Hold your baby closely and firmly to your chest and perform few lunges. Another great way to do this. It is by lying down on your back and hold your baby up and down. Make sure to take the approval of your doctor first.
15) Proper Sleep Cycle: Although, for a new mom, it is very difficult to attain 7-8 hours of proper sleep, try to avoid being sleep deprived. Appoint a caretaker for the baby or ask someone at home for babysitting. You can also use a breast pump to take out milk for the baby while you are asleep.
16) Lower Your Stress Levels: Stress can adversely affect weight loss, so try to be less strenuous. Do whatever relaxes you, take your partner’s help to look after your baby while you enjoy some time. This is the best way to reduce weight post-delivery.
17) Search for a Support Group: Group-based weight loss program is an effective method. People engage themselves in a group and tend to lose more weight or at least more than what they could if they would have been practicing weight loss techniques in-person.
18) Avoid Alcohol: Since alcohol provides extra calories without nutrition, it is recommended to avoid alcohol. It not only tends to increase weight but may also lead to fat accumulation around the stomach known as the ‘belly fat’. Alcohol can also cause a temporary reduction in breast milk volume. If you drink alcohol, make sure to express milk beforehand the nursing time to avoid alcohol intake risk for the infant.
19) Dance: It helps burn calories and have fun. Put on some music and move along and sweat
20) Stay Motivated: Patience and perseverance are the keystones for weight reduction. Take out your favourite dress and set it as a goal for you to fit into. It will help you stay motivated and be positive.