Healthy Weight Loss after Childbirth
Some women justify their overweight after pregnancy by saying that “I have to eat instead of two”. Although weight gain is an inevitable part of pregnancy, women should consult with a nutritionist to manage their weight by eating healthy food.
When can I lose weight?
Your body needs time to recover after childbirth. For this reason, your doctor does not recommend immediate taking a diet at this period.
It’s always the most rational way to eat healthy foods after childbearing, and this law never changes. Instead of a diet, you can begin mild exercise in the early weeks after childbirth.
If you are worried about this overweight, it’s best to talk to your general practitioner or nurse in the session of postpartum examination that usually occurs between the sixth and the eighth week after giving birth. If your doctor finds you need to lose weight, you may be referred to a dietitian.
How to reduce my weight without damaging myself and my child?
Eat healthy food and drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
The following habits give you the energy you need; additionally, it helps you lose weight at a steady pace:
- Do not forget the breakfast and spend enough time for having it.
- Use vegetables and fruits at least 5 times in a day.
- Include the foods rich in fiber, such as barley, lentils, and other beans and grains in your meals.
- Take starchy foods like bread and rice at a daily meal. They contain carbohydrates and should be included in almost a third of each meal.
- Reduce the consumption of fatty and sugary foods, fast foods, cakes, cookies, and carbonated drinks.
- Take a look at the amount of food you have in each meal, and in addition, try counting the number and type of snacks you use.
The combination of sport and healthy foods gives the best results; because instead of losing muscle, it helps you lose fat.
Exercise maintains your fitness and makes you more energetic. If you consult with your doctor, s/he can help you and provide information about the food available in your area helping you lose weight.
What kind of exercise is recommended for mothers who have just given birth?
Finding a time to exercise with a newborn baby is very difficult but possible. Once you find the right time to exercise, do the following mild exercises:
- Pelvic bottom exercise
- Stretching Exercises
If you want to do heavier sports, you should wait at least 6 weeks to complete your recovery. You can also take your baby with a carriage while walking.
How many calories do I need a day?
This item cannot be accurately determined, because the amount of calories you need depends on your current weight, your activity and whether you are breastfeeding or not.
However in general, a woman with average size need 2000 calories a day in order to have the appropriate weight and keep her health.
Why is weight loss after pregnancy important?
Weight loss is very important after childbirth, especially if you are going to give birth to more children.
Even a little overweight in pregnancy can put the BMI (Body Mass Index) in a critical area and this overweight can increase the possible risks for you and your baby in further pregnancies.
The problems associated with overweight include:
- The risk of high blood pressure and pregnancy faint
- The likelihood of developing gestational diabetes
- More and longer travail
- More probability for cesarean section
- It is possible to give birth to an obese baby
Even if you have not plan for bearing more babies, weight loss will be of great benefit to you. Weight control helps you to keep your health as your child grows. In addition, weight loss contributes in preventing type II diabetes, heart disease, and some types of the cancer.
Does breastfeeding reduce the weight?
Yes, breastfeeding helps you adjust your fit again. But you should keep in mind that there is always a basic rule for weight loss: Do not consume too much calories, eat healthy foods, and exercise.
Breastfeeding burns about 330 calories per day. You may supply this calorie from your body fat stores, as your body collects fat during pregnancy in order to have enough energy for producing milk. But how many calories you can burn depends greatly on your diet and lifestyle.
If you succeed in reducing your weight, your body will still be able to produce milk for your baby. It is better to reduce about 0.5 kg to 1 kilogram per week in order for preventing harm to you and your baby.
Breastfeeding, in addition to helping you lose weight in the long run, will retract your uterus even after your baby’s birth, and your abdomen will look smaller.
When does my body go back to normal?
Even if you lose weight, your body may not be exactly like before your pregnancy. Remember you have a baby in your abdomen!
Give yourself the time you until reach the weight you want. It may take 6 or 9 months to attain the desired weight, and this is quite normal.
If you feel it has lasted more than 9 months and you have not reached your desired weight, do not be too hard on yourself. Just try to set a schedule for yourself so that you can reach your desired weight till your child’s first birthday anniversary.
As attention to health is very important, it is important to set goals and achieve them. If your weight had been too high during the pregnancy, more time is needed to lose weight.
When you reach your intended weight, you should try to maintain it. If you keep your weight for two consecutive years, your weight is almost fixed and it’s easier to keep it in the long run.
If you need help with weight loss, you should consult your general practitioner or a nutritionist. Your doctor can prescribe certain diets and exercises by doing which you can lose weight faster and easier.
12 useful tips for weight loss after pregnancy
- Have regular meals
You might think that not eating makes you slim; in contrast, this makes you become fatter. When you become a mother, you will surely have more concerns and this will increase your stress. Stress leads to the overweight.
- Eat low calorie foods.
When you give birth to your infant, your body needs more nutrients to provide your health and enough milk for baby. Avoid eating the foods that instantly make you full but do nothing for your body. Rather, look for useful foods such as foods containing omega-3, calcium, protein, and fiber. These nutrients are abundant in salmon, sardines, fish tuna, low fat meats, chicken, beans, legumes, yogurt, etc.
- Do not forget the body hydration.
Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day to eliminate all the toxins from your body. Drinking water, in addition, prevents dryness of the body and improves your metabolism helping significant weight loss.
- Start doing exercise
Yes, it is true; now that you are a mother, you have a lot of tasks and you are quite busy, but you have to try to spend a specific time for doing exercise. Talk to your doctor and start with light exercises. This cause you get tired less also prevents the damages to your body.
- Sleep enough.
Sleeping enough after parturition is almost impossible, but try to prevent the lack of sleep. The lack of sleep disturbs your metabolism and slows down your weight loss process. Try to delegate some tasks to other family members and rest a little.
- Use yogurt as a dessert
When you are tired and bored and desired to eat a dessert or snack, eat yogurt.
- Drink water before each meal.
If you eat in each meal more than what your body needs and then, you feel full, it is a good idea to drink some water before each meal. This will make your stomach fill a bit and eat as much as you need.
- Walk as far as you can.
In addition to the exercises that you have added to your daily activities, you should walk on a regular basis. Try to walk as far as you can, even if you have to bring your little baby along with yourself. You can walk when you go to the park, shopping, and even when your infant is sleeping.
- Give yourself enough time
Your current weight has been reached within 9 months; so, you should not expect to be lost within one or two months. You just have to try not to frustrate if you do not lose weight. Continue the same small changes and make sure that your chosen method is correct.
- Smart shopping
When you go to the store and see various delicious foods, you will be tempted easily. If you do not want to be tempted with those pastries, chocolates, and ice-creams, ask your partner to go to shopping.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
A cup of coffee may be the only way to relieve tiredness and sleepiness, but you should know that drinking such beverages can stop your weight loss process.
Even if your lactation is over, you should not indulge in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Try not to drink alcohol more than once or twice a week.
If you feel very tired, drink a cup of tea containing ginger.
- Eat homemade foods.
While eating at the restaurant is sometimes enjoyable, try to eat more homemade foods and reduce or eliminate the habit of eating in the restaurant. Eating outdoors makes you eat foods that you know are harmful to your health and disrupt your weight loss process.