After gaining the recommended 25-35 pounds during pregnancy (for a normal weight mother), it’s only normal to want to cut that extra weight after giving birth.
The first close to 12 pounds are lost immediately after birth. This constitutes majorly of the weight of the baby, and also the amniotic fluid and placenta that are also shed during delivery. The task hence lies in losing the remaining pounds.
There are mothers who will naturally lose weight and bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight 6 months after delivery.
The case is not the same for everyone as different mothers have different ways of dealing with body changes.
Factors such as age, natural metabolism and how much weight was gained during pregnancy ought to be considered in the post-pregnancy weight loss journey.
The younger a mother is, the more easier it is for her to lose weight. Older women on the other had tend to lose weight at a much lesser rate.
Genes hold the key to some of the bodily reactions. Some individuals have a slower metabolic rate making losing weight a slower process than that of others.
Amount of weight gained during pregnancy
The fact is that, the more weight gained during pregnancy, the longer it takes to lose the weight. So if a woman gained 30 pounds during her pregnancy then it only translates to a longer period losing it than the one who gained 25pounds.
As you start your post-pregnancy weight loss journey, here’s what NOT to do:
Women may settle for fad or crash diets inorder to lose weight faster.
The downside to this is that dieting or skipping can have serious effects on the mother and development of the baby.
Ideally, a lactating mother needs an extra 500 calories for breastfeeding. A fad or crash diet will promise you quick weight loss, but in essence, most of them may just be products being marketed by some greedy companies. Such diets may include:
- High protein diets
Such require you to eat large amounts of proteins such as eggs, meats in order to lose weight and build muscle. In reality, weight training and physical exercise is what builds muscle strength.
- Juice Fasts
This kind of diet entails not eating any solid food for a period time. The dieter survives only on broth or juice. This will only lead to dizziness and fatigue. It will also lower your metabolic rate making it only hard to lose weight as your body will burn calories at a slower rate
- All-Cabbage diet
This is an easy way of cutting weight. However, after the diet, one regains the weight lost. The method may therefore not be sustainable at all.
- All-combining diets
Such diets recommend certain combination of foods that apparently help burn calories faster.
- Other Diets
These are other varieties of diets such as Cider vinegar, Lecithin, Vitamin B6 diet, Kelp, Zen Macrobiotic diet among others. These encourage eating only one type of food. Considering that the body needs different nutrients from different types of food, this may only lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Don’t go to dangerous lengths just to get into good shape. A gradual progress will do you and your newborn good.
Trying to match up to your favourite supermodel who got back on the runway only a few weeks after delivering will only frustrate you.
“Supermodels make a living by being thin, so they have extra motivation to drop their pregnancy weight as quickly as possible, even if it means doing it in an unhealthy way”, says Dr. Ross, “Priority should be to providing to newborns in the healthiest ways.”
So, take it slow. Don’t engage actively in physical exercise until 6 weeks after childbirth. Give yourself time to recover.
After the period, a little stroll or walk will do no harm. Other forms of exercise can then be incorporated.
Only ensure to talk to your doctor concerning this exercise program and especially for those who had a C-section. Some forms of physical engagement may not be recommendable yet.
How to lose post-pregnancy weight appropriately
A healthy diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats or vegetarian substitutes , plenty of fibre-rich foods and low-fat dairy.
Such a diet will give the mother energy to exercise. Five to six small meals and in-between healthy snacks should do. Here are some recommended portions:
- 5 servings of vegetables and fruit
- 3 servings of low-fat milk and other low-fat dairy
- 3-4 servings of protein-rich foods
- 3-4 servings of whole grain or enriched bread
- Caffeine should be limited to less than four servings
Alcohol should be avoided at all costs.
(if you find maintaining this can be difficult we recommend to check meal replacement shakes)
Engaging in a 30-60 minute cardio activity is a great way to burn the extra calories.
A good start is something as simple as putting the baby in the stroller and taking a walk around the block. With time and approval by the doctor, other heavier forms of exercises can be done.
Some exercises recommended for post-pregnancy weight loss include:
- Deep belly breathing
This is a simple form of exercise that is harmless and can, therefore, be done immediately after birth.
It is done by sitting upright and breathing deeply by holding your abs tight while inhaling and then relaxing when exhaling.
With time, you should increase the amount of time of contraction of abs. This form of exercise helps relax muscles and starts the process of toning your abs and belly.
- Head Lifts
With arms along the side, lie on your back. Keep knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Relax your belly as you inhale then slowly lift your head and neck off the floor as you exhale. Inhale again as you lower your head back down.
- Shoulder lifts
After you are done with the head lifts, put yourself in the same position. Inhale and relax belly. This time, raise head and shoulder off the floor as you exhale.
Your arms and hands should reach your knees as you do this. If this is strenuous, you can fold both hands behind the head without pulling your neck.
Afterward, inhale as you lower your head and shoulder
Stay in the same position ad head lifts and shoulder lifts. Lift torso until about halfway between your knees and the floor behind you.
Reach towards knees and hold for 2.5 seconds then lower yourself slowly.
As staying far from your baby can be difficult, you could include your baby and do exercises such as Baby glider, baby bouncer, among others. Only be careful not to drop your baby and cause accidents.
3- Drink plenty of water
There’s no telling how much water can do to the body system when taken in the required quantity. It helps to keep the body dehydrated and boosts metabolism. Thereby, burning of calories is much faster.
Breastfeeding in itself helps in weight loss. The process of breastfeeding helps in burning of calories. So if you need a natural way to cut the extra weight, this is ideal for you. However, this may not work for everyone and it is no guarantee that one will return to their pre-pregnancy weight.
How to lose pregnancy belly?
Losing that post-pregnancy belly is no mean feat. Even after you’re already back to your initial weight, that baby belly may still be sticking out. These are some of the ways you can lose that stubborn bulge of fat:
Exercise helps to tone stomach muscles and burn calories. Exercises such as deep belly breathing, pelvic floor exercises, kegels, pelvic bridge, flat belly fly among others. This will require a lot of discipline.
Using a post-belly wrap
This may come out as the easiest way to lose baby belly. It, however, needs to be used with other methods such as exercise and healthy eating for effectiveness.
A post-belly wrap is also called a belly binder, post-partum girdle or a belly band.
It works by compressing the abs and helping to return the uterus to its normal size faster. When choosing one, however, certain factors ought to be considered:
- Some belly bands move up and down when worn, others itch and others can even cut the skin. This, therefore, makes it uncomfortable to wear one. Choose one that you can be comfortable in all day.
- You just don’t want to have to put on something that in the long run does not aid in toning your stomach. So make sure you buy one that is highly recommended for its effectiveness.
- Wear-ability and invisibility. You also don’t want everyone knowing that you have something underneath your shirt. So select one that can be discretely hidden under your garments.
- Quality also matters. The material should be one that is of high standard and one that should not wear easily.
Many brands of belly wraps are available in the market. Belly Bandit is one particular one that is highly recommendable.
It is latex-free and made of medical-grade elastic. The stretch and compress technology in the brand helps mothers in shrinking their bellies, waist and hips. Other recommendable bands include Squeem ‘perfect waist’ band and Bellefit post-partum corset.
Safest Effective Supplements For Post Pregnancy Weight Loss
There are many products that are out in the market and majority are just not legit. So take a good look at the ingredients of the supplement to ensure you will not have to suffer adverse health effects.
If you find the product safe for use, make sure you take the recommended amounts.
Pregnant women and mothers who have just given birth, in particular, should be more careful and should seek approval from the doctor.
One of the products popularly known for weight loss is the Garcinia Cambogia Extra. Let’s look at how this supplement works.
Garcinia Cambogia Extra
This is a weight loss supplement made of extracts taken from the fruit of the plant Garcinia Cambogia.
The origin of the plant species is Indonesia but it is now grown all over Southeast Asia, India and Central Africa. The fruit of this plant is shaped like a pumpkin.
It comes with a thin peel from which the extract is made. The component in this peel responsible for weight loss is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) which is a natural compound known to suppress a person’s appetite.
It also prevents the formation of fat cells and metabolism of sugar in the body. The supplement also contains Raspberry Ketone ad an extra.
It contains 1000mg dosage pet serving, equaling to 60% HCA, the recommended amount of weight loss.
This product can be safely used by women after giving birth but only after seeking professional advice from the doctor fot safety and recommended amounts.
Benefits of Garcinia Cambogia Extra
This supplements will help in the post-pregnancy weight loss journey through its numerous benefits that include:
Its normal to have food cravings during and immediately after pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes that take place in the body. To help in reducing appetites, this supplement works by producing serotonin, an appetite suppressant. This, therefore, curbs over-eating or even indulging in high-calorie foods that inhibit the process of weight loss.
Blocks fat production
The compound HCA blocks certain enzymes that enable storing of calories as fats. So instead of fats, the calories are converted to glycogen which is necessary for building muscles. This also reduces fatigue and boosts energy for workouts that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
The compound in this supplement aids in speeding up calorie burning and therefore means faster results in the weight loss journey.
After giving birth, chances of becoming stresses are high owing to the fact that you have a baby who needs a lot of attention.
This may limit any room for exercises that are meant to help in losing weight.
HCA, the active ingredient in this product has also been directly linked to regulating one of the most common stress hormones, cortisol. It thereby reduces stress hormones and controls anxiety. This creates space for healthy living.
Reduces blood sugar
This may not be directy linked to weight loss but is one of the benefits of this product. By regulating metabolism, it also controls blood sugar levels. It also turns out as an excellent complimentary treatment for diabetes. We know you need good health to even start working out, so it’s a good option.
Various methods are out there to help you in your weight loss and also in toning your tummy.
However, be as realistic and patient as possible. Remember, the weight loss plateau is real and so weeks or even months after shedding weight steadily, your metabolism may slow down. Here’s where you are faced with a weight plateau.
It is a normal response and so losing the last ten pounds may not be easy. So yes, you may not get back into your exact pre-pregnancy shape but don’t frustrate yourself. Focus on keeping fit and staying healthy.
Also, be careful even as you follow weight loss routines recommended and ensure whatever you do is not at the expense of you’re your own and most importantly, your baby’s health.