When I was expecting, I had this silly notion that the day I delivered, I would be able to fit back into my old clothes. Naïve as I was, I was totally disappointed to see that this was not the case. I realized further that with the new baby to take care of, and breastfeed, not to mention the various changes and mood swings that your body goes through. You have to be Patient. Don’t think of how your favorite celebrity got back into shape and behind the camera so fast.
I actually started losing my pregnancy weight in the true sense almost 6 months after delivery.
Allow your body to follow its natural course. “It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to your old weight.”
Nevertheless, It is important to get the weight off, because if you don’t it has been associated with overweight and obesity 15 to 20 years later in life. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you lose weight after pregnancy and fit back into your old clothes — whatever their size.
Most new moms prefer catching up on their sleep than exercise, that’s perfectly normal. Most women’s bodies aren’t ready for serious exercise until six weeks after giving birth, anyway—longer if they’ve had a Caesarean section.
So don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a six-week rest. You deserve it.
Start slowly with exercise after your six week rest period,
- A simple walk – 15 – 20 minutes. You can even go for a walk with your baby in the stroller…
- 5 – 10 minutes on your staircase, going up and down.
- Simple core strengthening yoga
- Low-intensity cardio at home.
Increase your exercise routine slowly and gradually, do a variety of exercises, as time permits. Remember every little steps counts. So try to be as active as possible.
Eat healthily and Avoid processed food:
As a new mom, you have to eat more, to get your health back, and also breastfeed the baby. High-calorie healthy food doesn’t always mean high on fat and high on sugars, which is what many new moms are fed traditionally in the form of halwas and laddus. I have nothing against this traditional lactation and postpartum foods, But I try my best to prepare them with minimum and good quality fats and limited sugars, preferably jaggery or brown sugar. These heavy lactation foods should be consumed for a max of 6 – 8 weeks, which is the ideal time the body requires to recover post delivery, after which you can continue with a normal healthy nutrient dense diet.
Say no to empty-calorie foods like sodas and chips, as well as fad diets that eliminate entire food groups. Instead, fill your diet with a variety of nutrient-rich meals containing lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of low-fat dairy products.
Try to add good fats like nuts, coconut, peanuts, avocados in your meals, along Breakfast like a king and dine like a pauper – Remember the saying breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. A heavy breakfast allows you to burn the extra calories through out the day, whereas when you have a heavy dinner you are just asking that unused energy to be converted to fats.
Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day will keep your blood- sugar levels steady and help prevent you from overeating. Keep in mind that if your calories are distributed throughout the day, they’re metabolized more efficiently and are less likely to be stored as fat.
“If a mom waits too long between meals, there’s a hormonal effect that affects milk supply,” Ritchie says. “Her body will start pulling energy from her reserves, which decreases insulin production and affects thyroid hormone levels. That lowers prolactin, which is the hormone that controls how much milk we make.” When you’re feeling starving, you’re more likely to eat something you know you shouldn’t. Instead, spread your calories out over six mini-meals throughout the day.
We all know about the various benefits breastfeeding holds for the new baby. Well, it could be beneficial for you to lose weight too. breastfeeding burns 600 to 800 calories a day, even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, Even if you are having extra calories to meet your lactation needs. Look for nutrient dense foods, rather than just calorie dense choices.
I always recommend 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, be aware that as soon as you start to taper off breastfeeding, and supplement your baby’s diet with solids, your calorie needs will reduce. This is the time you can adjust your diet to reduce calories a bit further.
All women feel bloated and have a lot of water retention post delivery. The best way to overcome this is by simply making sure we stay well hydrated. A minimum of 2.5 -3 liters of water is a must, to flush out the excess water.
You also remove a lot of water in the form of breast milk, and hence upping your water intake becomes important to prevent dehydration of mother and child.
Yes with all the stress of giving birth, plus the natural recovery of the body, there is bound to be a build up of toxins. But, the main question that arises is detox safe while you are breastfeeding. To answer this – there are a many ways to detox, and all might not be suitable immediately after childbirth, though others are completely safe.
The simplest that we can start with the day after delivery is lemon water!! Warm lemon water with a bit of honey, every morning, helps relieve any acidity, and bloating, it helps you feel fresh, the vitamin C gives your immunity a boost and activates your liver to metabolize fat quickly, it’s completely safe and in fact will be beneficial for mom and baby.
Post 6 week you can move on to a bit stronger detox agent, that is either amla juice or aloe juice, the dose, however, would be just 3 ml, and this should be continued for 15 days at a go, and then given a break for at least a week in between. Since the body has a habit of adapting to any new food when taken repeatedly and having it with breaks will give us better overall results.
Raw garlic is another great way to detox and reduce belly fat, with no side effects for the mom and baby.
Post six months, you can even opt for an apple cider vinegar detox, with 5 ml of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of warm water every morning.
A cup or two of green tea(but not more) can also help you cleanse toxins from your body, due to their antioxidant content, and increase metabolism too. Also, green tea has lesser caffeine as compared to coffee or black tea, so it is a better option when you are lactating Infused waters are another great way to detox initially, and they also increase your potassium intake and motivate you to drink more water on the whole.
“Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you’re not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy,”. Strange sleep cycles like those forced on you by a newborn can upset your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose your pregnancy weight. The best and age-old advice is ” Take a nap anytime the baby does”. Everything else can be sacrificed for those few extra hours of sleep.
Don’t be stressed out:
You are bound to be overwhelmed with the new baby, and your bodily changes. Try to be as positive as you can. Don’t let little thing stress you out. Being stressed will only prevent you from losing weight.
Don’t hesitate to ask others for help. You deserve it. Share your feelings with your partner. Share your goals and achievements with other moms. Try to spend some time doing deep breathing exercise or meditation every day. This will help bring down your stress levels.
More than weight loss. Your goal should be overall fitness, good energy levels, and a healthy body. Remember a fit mom is what your baby should be looking up to!!!