Most women struggle with post pregnancy weight loss and have no idea where to start when it comes to getting back in shape. Some may not have gained so much weight but feel unfit and lack energy. We understand – carrying a baby for nine months, the hardships of labor and then looking after an infant round the clock can really wear you out. Many women suffer from post natal depression and feel quite helpless. To make matters worse, the media promote the image of a mom with a supermodel body only weeks after birth. If it all gets to you and you find yourself overwhelmed, check out a few tips we prepared.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Bear in mind that fitness models who go back to the gym a few days post-partum, normally lead a very active life. They probably exercised before and during pregnancy and going back is only natural to them. If you’re not used to an intense workout regime, you have to be careful. Don’t let the need to return to your previous shape cloud your judgment and don’t crash diet! According to the US National Library of Medicine you should strive to return to your pre-pregnancy weight within 6-12 months after birth. You should be especially careful for the first 6 weeks and make sure you get plenty of nutritious food and rest. It is advisable to discuss and monitor your diet and exercise with your physician. A reasonable approach will not only be safe for you and your baby but also more sustainable for the future.
You many have heard that breastfeeding helps shed the baby weight but according to studies that assumption is not supported and the existing research is inconclusive.
Develop a Sustainable Plan for Effective Post Pregnancy Weight Loss
According to medical recommendations you should lose at a steady pace of around 1-1.5 pounds per week. To do it safely and efficiently, develop an eating plan with your doctor/dietitian and an exercise routine. Try to get at least 30 minutes a day of light activity such as walking, cycling or yoga. Wait a couple of months if you want to perform more intense workouts.
Eat Regularly and Stay Hydrated
Eating 5-6 small meals a day will keep your metabolism going and maintain your energy levels. Same goes for hydration. When dehydrated – all your bodily functions slow down, including fat burning. Obviously, for a busy new mom it may be hard to stay consistent due to lack of time. Thinks smart. Keep simple nutritious snacks handy – nuts, carrots, Greek yogurt or beef jerky. Remember – vitamins, omega 3 and protein are your friends in fighting inflammation, tiredness and fat tissue. Try to incorporate those in your diet or invest in supplements.
You don’t have to make special time for physical activity. Instead of driving to your doctor for a checkup – walk, take your baby for a long stroll in the park or carry groceries home on foot.
As a new mom you may feel like everything revolves around your baby. It is very important that you make time for your own relaxation, rest and pleasure. Make a point of going out with your girlfriends for a coffee or a yoga class, get a massage or a facial or go to a concert. Make sure you get sufficient ‘me’ time and it will help you stay away from ‘comfort’ foods and generally keep your mental balance.