Now that your newborn baby is here, you have a lot to think about like when to feed them, what to do if they cry, when you are going to sleep, and how to lose weight after pregnancy and get rid of those extra pounds you have gained during your pregnancy.
If you have gained around 25 to 35 pounds weight during pregnancy then there is nothing to worry about. It will not take much time for you to lose baby weight after pregnancy.
If you watch out what you eat and exercise then, you can return to your pre-pregnancy weight in a couple of months.
But on the other hand, if you were overweight before your pregnancy or you put on more weight what your doctor had advised, it could take up to a year to get rid of that baby weight after your pregnancy.
If you don’t try to lose that baby weight then it might stick with you for a longer time. Some have found out that it is been associated with overweight and obesity 15 to 20 years later in life.
However, it is important to return to a healthy weight after delivery, especially if you are planning to become pregnant again in the future.
We will go through some effective methods to help you achieve a healthy postpartum weight so you can take on parenthood with Pep in your step.
What is baby weight?
Let me tell you what baby weight is, why it happens during pregnancy, and why it won’t be needed after the baby makes its appearance in this world.
The CDC (center of disease control and prevention) recommends that within a healthy weight range who are caring for one baby gain around 25 to 35 pounds (11.5 to 16 kg) during pregnancy.
Recommended weight gain for expectant people who are overweight, underweight, or carry multiple babies is different.
Your physician or doctor who is taking care of you might have different recommendations for you based on your needs.
Pregnancy weight gain consists of:
- The baby
- Amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Uterus enlargement
- Extra fat stores
The extra fat stored on her body act as an energy provider at the time of birth and breastfeeding. Whereas excess weight gain can result in too much fat. This is what people generally refer to as baby weight and it’s very common.
Nearly 50% of females gain more weight than what is recommended during pregnancy according to the CDC.
Song consequences of keeping that extra weight after pregnancy include:
- Higher risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Increased risk of being overweight
- Higher health risk for women with gestational diabetes
- Greater risk of complications during pregnancy.
Then how to lose the baby weight? Here are some things you can do after pregnancy to lose weight.
Some tips to help you lose baby weight in a healthy way
1. Keep your goals simple and realistic
What others are doing should not matter to you because everyone has different requirements. Everyone has a different amount of fat stored in their body. What magazines and celebrities are telling you might benefit them and it could be for publicity also.
So, keep your goals simple and realistic. Act according to your body type.
A study held in 2015 shows that 75 percent of women were heavier 1 year after giving birth than they had been before pregnancy. The weight of these women was found to be between 10 to 20 pounds mostly.
Depending on how much weight you have gained during pregnancy, it is realistic to believe that over a span of 1 to 2 years you could lose around 10 pounds (4.5 kg) to 20 pounds. If you have gained more extra weight then you might end up losing more weight than normal people do.
But with a good diet plan and exercise, you can achieve any healthy level of weight loss by staying healthy.
2. Don’t crash diet
This mistake is done by many people, which is absolutely wrong.
Crash diets are very low-calorie diets that help you lose weight very quickly in the shortest time possible.
After delivering a baby your body requires good nutrition to heal and recover. In addition, if you are breastfeeding, you require more calories than normal according to CDC.
A low-calorie diet might be lacking in important nutrients and will probably make you feel tired throughout the day.
Exactly opposite of what you need when you are taking care of a newborn baby and when you’re likely to sleep-deprived.
Let us know your current weight is stable but you want to lose weight. Then decreasing your calorie intake by 500 calories per day will stimulate safe weight loss of about 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) weight.
This amount of weight loss is considered safe for breastfeeding women, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
For instance, let’s assume you are taking 2500 calories per day but you can eat 300 fewer calories and burn an extra 200 calories through exercise, making a reduction of 500 calories in total.
So keep tracking your calorie intake. We know, counting calorie isn’t for everyone. But if you are finding that eating randomly doesn’t seem to be working, then monitoring calorie intake can help you work out how much you are eating and what are the problems you are facing in your eating plan.
This method can be used in normal conditions but if conditions are not normal then you can consult with your doctor or physician first before doing anything.
3. Avoid added sugar and refined carbs
Research has shown that a high intake of added sugar and refined carbs results in an increase in weight, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, and even cancers. So, it’s better to avoid added sugar and refined carbs.
They may be tempting, sugar and refined carbs are high in calories and usually low in nutrients.
Some common sources of added sugar include:
- Sugary drinks
- Fruit juice
- Any type of refined sugar
- White flour
- Sweet spreads
While going grocery shopping don’t forget to check the food labels. If sugar is one of the first ingredients on the list, then that product is probably better to avoid.
It’s easy to reduce your sugar intake by avoiding processed foods and sticking to whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, yogurt, legumes, meat, fish, and nuts.
4. How breastfeeding help in weight loss
The World health organization (WHO), CDC, and many other organizations recommend breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby doing the first 6 months of life or longer has many benefits for both you as well as for your baby:
- Helps your baby’s immune system: Breast milk contains some important antibodies that help babies to fight different viruses and bacteria.
- Provides nutrition: Breast milk contains all the nutrition required for a baby to grow in the first 6 months of life, according to WHO.
- Lowers the risk of disease in infants: breastfeeding infants have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, respiratory disease, ear infection, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and gastrointestinal infection.
- Reduces risk of diseases in mother: mothers whom does breastfeeding have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.
Some research has proved that breastfeeding can support your postpartum weight loss.
Whereas, in the first 3 months of breastfeeding you might experience some weight loss or even some weight gain this is due to increased calorie needs and intake as well as reduced physical activities during lactation.
5. Eating high fiber foods
It’s time for you to add some healthy grains and veggies to your shopping list. Eating foods that are high in fiber has shown to help with weight loss.
A study, which happened in 2019 of more than 300 people has shown that increasing 4 grams of fiber over what participants had eaten before the study led to an average additional weight loss of 4 to 5 kgs over 6 months.
There are many types of fiber but soluble fiber foods help you feel fuller for longer by slowing down your digestion and reducing hunger hormone levels.
In this way, if you take soluble fiber foods then you feel full for a longer period of time because of which you eat less and you end up losing weight.
6. Eat foods high in protein
According to research, including protein in your diet can boost your metabolism, decrease appetite, reduce calorie intake.
Studies have shown that it takes more energy to digest protein in comparison to two other types of food, which ultimately results in more calories burned.
Research also shows that protein is also able to suppress appetite by increasing the fullness hormones GLP and GLP-1 as well as reducing the hunger hormones ghrelin. Fewer hunger hormones mean feeling less hungry.
Some healthy protein sources:
- Lean meat
- Low mercury fish
- Nuts and seeds
7. Avoid highly processed foods
If you might have noticed so far, then you might have realized that when you are eating whole and unprocessed foods. They are usually full of protein, less your, and forever.
Whereas, processed foods are high in sugar, unhealthy fat, calories, and salt, all of which can go against your weight loss strategy, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Some unprocessed foods:
- Fast foods
- Prepackaged foods
- Cookies and baked goods
- Boxed mixes
- Ready meals
- Sugary cereals
Unfortunately, these foods are taken by many people in large quantity in day to day life, because of which they face many problems not just related to weight.
You can always replace the amount of processed food you eat with whole, fresh, and nutrient-dense foods.
8. Keeping healthy snacks around
If you will keep healthy food around you then it can have a big effect on what you eat and even it will affect your mind.
When you will be hungry and you will be looking for something to munch, then there will be options available to you but they will be a healthy alternative for you.
Look out for that food that is high in fiber, protein and contains quality carbs. Avoid added sugar and refined carbs.
Some research has shown just keeping fruit on the counter has been associated with a lower body mass index (BMI).
Whereas, one more study has shown that keeping unhealthy food out on the counter is associated with increased weight.
Advice: keep processed food and sweets out of the kitchen, or even better if you keep them out of your house.
9. Keep on moving
Movie your body has many benefits. Cardio, such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, and interval training, helps you burn more calories and has numerous health benefits.
Some advantages of exercising improve your heart health, reduce the risk and severity of diabetes, and may reduce several types of cancers.
Although exercise alone may not help you that much in weight loss. An analysis of eight studies showed that exercise will help you to lose weight quickly if combined with a good nutrition diet.
For instance, the people who combined diet and exercises together result in an average loss of 3.7 pounds (1.72 kg) more than those who just followed their diet.
If you had a cesarean delivery then you need some time to heal your pelvic and stomach area after delivery.
How long after childbirth you can safely start exercising depends on many criteria like the mode of delivery, your health before and during pregnancy and how you feel, and many more things.
So it will be better if you talk about this with your doctor before starting your training. But one thing your doctor might allow you to do is to go for a walk some after some weeks.
This can also be a good step towards your health and wealth.
10. Avoid alcohol
Research shows that a small amount of alcohol, such as a glass of red wine, does have some health benefits.
However, when it comes to weight loss, alcohol provides some extra calories without providing any kind of Nutrition to your body.
According to one research, there is nothing like a safe level of alcohol consumption for infants as well as for you during pregnancy.
The CDC advises trade the safest option for babies is for breastfeeding mothers not to drink at all.
Plus, alcohol may be related to weight loss and may lead to more fat stored around your belly.
Additionally, if you are in the mood for celebration, I will recommend you to take care of these facts.
11. Weight training ?
Resistance training like weight lifting will help you lose weight and retain muscle mass quickly.
Research has shown that a combination of diet and resistance training has been found to be the most effective to reduce your weight and improve heart health.
But doing so and finding time to exercise with a baby can be a difficult thing. There are some gyms that offer classes for mothers and as well as for babies (in person in online!), Even YouTube videos and mobile apps can help you out.
Simple bodyweight exercises at homework are free and can be modified according to your skill levels and need.
“Weight loss doesn’t begin in the gym with a dumbbell; it starts in your head with a decision” – TONI SORENSON
12. Get enough sleep
You might already know this is a tough one. That little one wants you around the clock. But doing whatever you can to get adequate sleep will benefit you.
Research showed that a lack of sleep is related to retaining more weight after pregnancy.
For new mothers getting enough and long sleep can be a challenge. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends. Ask them to take care of your baby for some time so you could rest.
Keep in mind
Don’t forget your health is just as important as baby’s health, so don’t forget to look out for help when you need it.
You have gone through many things and now you are to take care of many things. So don’t pressurize yourself, don’t be so harsh.
It is very common to gain some extra weight after pregnancy and there is nothing to get down on yourself about. Your body did an amazing thing.
But getting in shape is also important for your health and any future pregnancy if you are planning. So it’s worth it.
Things might take some time, so don’t push yourself too much. Do it in a way that is healthy for you. Don’t compare your situation with others like celebrities what they are doing or eating.
If you will take care of yourself then you will be able to enjoy time with your baby and get the most out of being a new parent.
The best and most achievable way to lose weight is through a healthy diet, breastfeeding, and exercise. For more information talk to your doctor or health care team for tips, advice, and support.
Some questions you might have
- How much weight do you lose immediately after giving birth?
- Believe it or not, weight loss starts immediately after giving birth. You will lose about 12 pounds as your uterus shrinks back down to the level of the belly button. You have the baby, and then lose blood, fluids, and amniotic fluid.
2. How long does it take to lose postpartum belly?
- After giving birth new moms are surprised to find that they still look a little pregnant for a few weeks, but it makes total sense. Your uterus is still shrinking and finding its way to its original position and for most moms, this can take up to 3 months.
3. Do hips stay wider after pregnancy?
- Bone structure can change after pregnancy, making women’s hips slightly wider. Added weight during pregnancy can also play a role.
4. How long does it take to lose belly fat after pregnancy?
- Sweating tends to increase as your pregnancy hormone levels drop. By the end of the 1st month, you may have shed up to 20 pounds (9kg) without too much effort. Wait for another two weeks for your uterus to shrink back to its original size and your tummy will look flatter. Rest after that depends on your diet and what you do.
5. How long does it take a woman’s body to fully recover from pregnancy?
- Fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth can take months. While many women feel mostly recovered by 6-8 weeks, it may take longer than this to feel like yourself again depending on your condition. So, try not to get frustrated.
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