We all know that attaining a healthy weight after pregnancy is challenging. It’s a stressful process as the mom needs to recover, take care of a baby, adjust to a new routine, and many more. Overall, it can be too much to handle.
But returning to a healthy weight after pregnancy is vital, especially if you plan to get pregnant again soon. It might be challenging, but losing weight is achievable. This article will give you tips to effectively lose weight so you can become physically equipped to take care of a baby.
Understanding Baby Weight
First of all, what is baby weight?
Experts state that you gain extra weight during pregnancy due to the following:
- Breast tissue
- The baby
- Extra fat
- Amniotic fluid
- Uterus enlargement
The extra fat is essential as mothers use it later on for breastfeeding and giving birth. Excess weight might lead to too much fat, which isn’t healthy at all. The excess fat is referred to as the “baby weight.”
Gaining weight is common among pregnant women. That’s why it’s vital to keep track of your weight at least every week to ensure you don’t gain too much. Remember that you might suffer the consequences, including:
- Being overweight
- Risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Complications during and after pregnancy
- Risks for patients with gestational diabetes
How to Lose Baby Weight
Keep Realistic Goals
Stop comparing yourself to the unrealistic stories told by celebrities and supermodels on television. Losing weight after pregnancy takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight. Keep your goals achievable and realistic.
You need to find out how much you gained while pregnant and try to eliminate that excess weight in a year or two. In general, women need to lose at least 4.5 kg after giving birth. But if you gain a little too much during pregnancy, you might end up a bit heavier than you used to be. With a proper diet and regular exercise, you can lose weight and still be healthy. If possible, enroll in a weight-loss program ratified by your doctor.
Breastfeed as Much As You Can
Even health specialists agree that the best way to lose weight after giving birth is by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby up to 6 months or more is beneficial for the baby and you. Here are the benefits of breastfeeding:
- Provides adequate nutrition.
- Boosts the baby’s immunity.
- Lower risk of getting diseases in babies and mothers.
Losing weight might not seem apparent in the first three months of breastfeeding. But you will see the changes in the 5th to 6th month, especially if you exercise regularly.
Take Note of Your Calorie Intake.
Calorie monitoring might not be necessary at first, but if your efforts to lose weight don’t seem to be effective, it’s time to count calories. Doing this will help you determine how much to eat and if you need to adjust your diet.
In addition, it will also help you ensure you eat healthily to get the nutrition and energy you need. How can you do this? Follow the tips below:
- Keep a food diary.
- Take photos of the foods you eat.
- Download a calorie tracking app on your phone.
Avoid Refined Carbs and Added Sugar
Sugary foods might be tempting, but remember that they can hinder you from losing weight. Refined carbs and added sugar are too high in calories and often low in essential nutrients. However, some alternatives are healthy for you.
Soft drinks, fruit juices, cakes, sweet spreads, and white flour are the common sources of added sugar. And these are the foods you need to avoid. You can also reduce sugar intake by limiting the consumption of processed foods and opting for natural resources like fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that drinking a few amounts of alcohol, such as red wine, has health benefits. However, excessive alcohol consumption can be a significant barrier to achieving your weight goals. Alcohol has extra calories and doesn’t provide a lot of nutrition.
If you’re feeling festive and drinking alcohol is quite hard to resist, opt for a beverage low on sugar and bubbly.
Make sure to take the time to exercise. Your efforts to lose weight will be of no use if you don’t have physical activities at all. According to studies, exercise is beneficial for new moms to reduce the risk of diabetes and to improve heart health.
Consult your doctor first about the safe physical activities you can do after giving birth. In most cases, extraneous activities might not be recommended at first, especially for moms who underwent CS delivery.
Gaining weight after pregnancy is common, but it should not stay that way. If you want to stay healthy and get in shape, practice a proper diet, exercise regularly, and avoid sugary foods. Consult a specialist if you need help.