10 Tips for Weight Loss Post Pregnancy
Now that your new baby is here, you have a lot to think about: when to feed them, what to do if they cry — and how to get rid of those extra pounds you packed on during your pregnancy.
If you began at a healthy weight and added the 25–35 pounds that your doctor likely advised, it shouldn’t take you more than a few months to return to your pre-pregnancy weight if you exercise regularly and watch what you eat.
What is Baby weight?
Here is some background information on “baby weight,” why it occurs during pregnancy, and why it won’t be necessary once the kid is born.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises healthy-weight women who are expecting one child should gain 25–35 pounds (11.5–16 kg) during pregnancy.
Different weight-gain recommendations are made for expecting women who are underweight, overweight, or carrying multiple kids. To find out your specific recommended weight gain, use the interactive calculators at the Institute of Medicine/National Academies.
Depending on your particular needs, your healthcare experts can provide a different advice.
According to research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Trusted Source, pregnancy weight gain consists of:
- The baby
- Amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Uterus enlargement
- Extra fat stores
The excess fat serves as a source of energy during breastfeeding and childbirth. However, gaining too much weight might lead to having too much fat. This is what is typically referred to as “baby weight,” and it happens frequently.
Almost half of all pregnant women acquire more weight than is advised during pregnancy.
The following are the effects of carrying some of this additional weight after giving birth:
- Greater risk of diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight
- Greater risk of complications during pregnancy
- Women with gestational diabetes face greater health risks.
How long does it take to lose weight after pregnancy?
Within six months to a year after giving birth, many women who acquired the correct amount of weight during pregnancy find they can get back to their pre-pregnancy weight, which experts say is a reasonable aim.
But that’s only a guess, because everyone’s chronology is different in the end. For example, it could take longer to recover if you put on more weight than is advised while you were pregnant—between 10 months and two years.
Also keep in mind that even when you achieve that well-known weight on the scale, your body might not still look exactly the same. After giving birth, some women observe that their bellies are softer, their hips are wider, or their breasts are smaller (especially if they breastfed).
And that’s perfectly fine. It’s incredible! The remarkable physical feat of growing your child and delivering her into the world has resulted in all these changes, and they should be honoured.
Don’t crash diet:
Crash diets are very low calorie diets that are designed to help you lose a significant amount of weight as quickly as possible.
Your body needs a healthy diet to heal and recuperate after childbirth. Additionally, the CDC Trusted Source states that breastfeeding increases your calorie needs.
Low calorie diets are typically deficient in essential nutrients and will probably make you feel lethargic. This is the exact opposite of what you need when caring for a newborn and are probably exhausted.
If your weight is constant right now, cutting 500 calories from your daily consumption will result in a safe loss of 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) per week. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that this amount of weight loss is healthy for nursing mothers.
After giving delivery, women may have one distinct advantage: breastfeeding. All of the experts we spoke with agreed that food and exercise recommendations for postpartum weight loss don’t fundamentally differ from strategies one would adopt for weight loss at any other period of life.
There are numerous advantages for both you and your baby when you breastfeed during the first six months of life (or much longer):
- Nutrition: According to the WHOTrusted Source, breast milk supplies all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive in the first six months of life.
- strengthens the infant’s immune system Additionally, essential antibodies found in breast milk help your infant fight off infections and viruses.
- Reduces the risk of disease in infants: Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of gastrointestinal infections, asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, respiratory disease, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Reduces the mother’s risk of illness: Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to have ovarian, breast, or high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
However, during the first three months of nursing, you could not lose any weight or even put on a little. Due to higher calorie requirements and intake as well as decreased physical activity when lactating, this is the case.
Monitor your calorie intake:
We are aware that not everyone should track calories. However, if you find that eating intuitively isn’t working for you, tracking your calories might help you figure out how much you’re consuming and where any potential trouble areas in your diet are.
It can also assist you in ensuring that you consume enough calories to give you the nourishment and energy you require.
This is possible by:
- Keeping a food diary
- Taking pictures of your food as a reminder of what you have eaten
- Trying a mobile calorie tracking app
- Sharing your daily calorie intake with a friend who is also monitoring calories for accountability
Using these techniques can help you reduce your portion sizes and choose healthier foods, which helps with weight loss.
Avoid added sugar and refined carbs:
Despite their allure, sugar and processed carbohydrates are typically low in nutrients and heavy in calories. Additionally, there are scrumptious and healthful choices.
Increased weight, diabetes, heart disease, some malignancies, and even cognitive decline have all been linked in research to large intakes of added sugar and refined carbohydrates.
These are typical sources of added sugars:
- Sugary drinks
- Fruit juice
- Any type of refined sugar
- White flour
- Sweet spreads
It’s easy to reduce your sugar intake by avoiding processed foods and sticking to whole foods such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and yogurt.
According to research, a glass of red wine or even small doses of alcohol do have certain health advantages.
Alcohol, however, adds extra calories without offering much in the way of nutrients when it comes to weight loss.
Additionally, drinking alcohol may contribute to weight gain and increase the amount of belly fat (fat that is stored around the organs).
There is now no established safe alcohol intake for newborns, claims research from a reputable source. The safest course of action for newborns, according to the CDC Trusted Source, is for nursing women to abstain from all alcoholic beverages.
When you’re in the mood to celebrate, we’d suggest something fizzy and low in sugar, like flavoured sparkling water without added sugar.
Moving your body has many advantages in general, but it can also significantly speed up weight loss. Cardio exercises including walking, jogging, running, cycling, and interval training aid in calorie burning and have a number of positive effects on health.
Exercise improves heart health, lowers the likelihood and severity of diabetes, and may lower the risk of a number of cancers, according to the CDC Trusted Source.
An study of eight studies revealed that exercise will help if you combine it with healthy eating, despite the fact that exercise by itself may not help you lose weight.
Depending on the delivery method, whether there were any issues, your pre-pregnancy fitness level, and how you feel overall will determine when it is safe to resume exercising. You can choose your timing with the assistance of your healthcare provider.
The CDC Trusted Source advises postpartum women to engage in at least 150 minutes of weekly, moderate-intensity aerobic physical exercise, such as brisk walking, after receiving clearance from their healthcare provider to begin working out.
Find an exercise you truly enjoy and can do long after you reach a healthy weight if you have the go-ahead to begin.
Don’t resist that resistance training:
You can maintain muscle mass while losing weight by engaging in resistance training, such as weightlifting.
The most efficient way to lose weight and improve heart health, according to research, is to combine a diet and physical training.
While it might be challenging to find time to work out with a baby, there are gyms that provide programmes for moms and babies (both in-person and online! ), in addition to YouTube videos and smartphone apps that can be of assistance.
Simple bodyweight exercises can be adapted to fit your ability level and are free to do at home.
Drink enough water:
Keep drinking, my buddies. Anyone seeking to reduce weight must make sure they are getting adequate water. According to The CDC Trusted Source, you can save 240 calories by drinking water instead of just one 20-ounce sweetened beverage.
A 2016 study found that drinking water could increase your feeling of fullness and rev up your metabolism, which could help you lose weight.
But not all academics concur. According to a different study, there is no solid link between drinking water and losing weight.
To make up for the fluids lost during milk production, breastfeeding moms must, without a doubt, stay hydrated.
Health experts frequently advise consumers to have eight 8-ounce glasses each day, or half a gallon, or roughly 2 litres. The “88 rule” makes this simple to recall.
Plain water is best, but unsweetened sparkling water once in a while can add some variety.
Get enough sleep:
You are aware that this will be challenging. That little one needs you constantly. But you’ll profit if you make every effort to get enough rest.
Your weight may be badly impacted by sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation has been linked to retaining greater weight after pregnancy, according to one analysis of the literature (Trusted Source).
This association might apply to adults in general as well. Short stretches of sleep are significantly correlated with obesity. Getting enough sleep can be difficult for new mothers. Asking for assistance from family and friends, as well as reducing your coffee use, are techniques that may be helpful.
Some people may benefit from group weight loss. a study and analysis According to a Trusted Source study, folks who participate in group-based weight loss typically lose more weight than those who do it alone.
Both offline and online forums for weight loss may be beneficial.
However, a different evaluation of the literature involving 16,000 participants discovered that group weight reduction had no discernible impact in comparison to other weight loss therapies.
The bottom line
It’s fairly usual to gain weight after giving birth, so there’s no reason to feel bad about it. Your body performed a miraculous feat.
But it’s worth working toward getting back into a healthy weight range because it’s good for both your health and any upcoming pregnancies.
You’ll be able to enjoy your time with your child and make the most of being a new parent if you’re in good health.
Healthy eating, nursing, and exercise are the most effective and practical ways to reduce weight. Ask your medical team for suggestions, counsel, and assistance.
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