During pregnancy your body undergoes many changes. Probably the most well known and thought about is that of weight gain. But what happens to that weight after the baby is born? Generally during the birth around 10 pounds is lost from delivery of the baby and the placenta as well as some fluids. Over the next week you will continue to lose more uterine fluids thereby continuing to lose weight. By the time the baby is six weeks old the average woman has lost half her baby weight. That is wonderful! However that is when things start to slow down and you need to seriously think about creating a healthy lifestyle to continue your weight loss, if you intend to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, (which is highly recommended if you intend to have other children). In this article I will give you tips and advice on how to create a healthy lifestyle that will help you to achieve your goals.
STEP 1: CREATING A GOAL
To start you need to have a goal in mind. How much weight do you wish to lose, and in what amount of time? In order to safely determine these things, keep in mind that most women lose only 1 pound per week from here on out. But don’t let that thought be overwhelming, it’s a common thing for women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight within only 6-12 months after the baby has been born. It’s important that you think about how much you need to lose and compare it with how long that will take you with the average weight loss of 1 pound per week. Then you can determine a reasonable time limit for your goal. For example Amanda needs to lose 17 pounds to reach her goal. So she would approximate that at 1 pound per week would be 17 weeks. Simplify that down, and you have only 3 and a half months (I know mathematics, not my cup of tea!). That’s not too bad at all! Three and half months is less than the average amount of time taken by most women, so that’s an extremely good goal for Amanda.
STEP 2: EATING A HEALTHY DIET
After having a goal set, you need to plan how you will lose the weight. The most important thing that impacts your weight loss is eating a healthy diet. By diet I don’t mean a fad or a crash diet, THOSE ARE UNHEALTHY and will most likely cause you more harm than good. I am referring to the word diet that most closely means “the usual food and drink consumed by a person (Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus).” For this step you need to decide what foods you will consume on a regular basis, and then stick to it. It’s highly recommended that you eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Also you need a good variety of nuts, whole grains, and low calorie starches. When it comes to dairy products, it’s best if you only consume low-fat and fat free items and side-note, this won’t effect your breast milk if you are breast feeding your child.
Also you need to keep drinking large amounts of water. Water is the best drink for losing weight. It is free from calories and keeps your body hydrated which is extremely important! Avoid other drinks such as soda pop and juices, these are full of sugars and fats, which will help you gain weight not lose it.
When it comes to cooking your food, you can have a wonderful variety of good healthy foods but when you cook them, you deplete their value by frying them, or cooking them in large amounts of butter or oil. It is best if you choose broiling and baking your foods over the more fatty option of frying your food. This helps you to retain the full health advantages of your food while still having delicious meals.
Another very important thing to remember is to eat smaller portions. Eating three large meals a day is a cultural thing and for the most part is good. However you are trying to lose weight, so you need to reach past the cultural norm and do what will help you best. That being having 5-6 small meals a day. In these meals, they can be super simple, a banana and a cup of low fat Greek yogurt would be considered a great and healthy small meal.
The last tip for Eating a Healthy Diet is to avoid sugars and fats. These are most prevalent in things such as fast foods and junks foods. Try to not eat them as much as possible. If these things are simply too much to avoid, have them in small amounts and not very often (three Oreo cookies once a week is an example of this). A good way to keep away from them is to ban them from your home! Where you would reach for a box of cookies, reach for a banana or an apple instead.
STEP 3: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Another extremely important step in your weight loss adventure is regular exercise. For every calorie you intake (food) you need to burn just as many. Now many of those will be lost through regular daily activity. However you are trying to lose weight, so you need to burn more calories than someone who isn’t. In order to burn those calories, you need to exercise. I know, the dreaded thought of, “how will I find the time to exercise, I have a new baby!” Trust me, it can seem daunting, but once you start, it will get easier. There are several options that make exercising with your baby easier.
Option One: Join a Mommy and Me exercise group
This can be a good way to mingle with other new moms as well as helping you to achieve you weight loss goal.
Option Two: Go for walks
The great thing about this option is you can go anytime and anywhere. Just strap your baby into a stroller and away you go!
Option Three: Light Exercises with Your Baby
With this option, you can do two basic things. First, you can lay on your back and lift your baby into the air repeatedly. Second, you can lay your baby on the floor next to you while you exercise.
It’s important to remember that your body has gone through a lot of changes over the past nine or so months so you need to take it slowly, don’t push yourself too hard. Before you start on an exercise routine, you need to discuss it with your doctor. Find out when he/she thinks you are ready for exercise and what they feel is a good place to start. As a general rule most women aren’t given clearance from their doctors to exercise until after the first six weeks. Then they are advised to only do light non stressful exercising for a few weeks and then they can slowly build up to more intensive exercises such as riding a bicycle or going for a run.
When you’re exercising if you feel any pain, you should stop. If the pain persists, then see your doctor. Most likely it’s just a sign that you have pushed too hard. So next time pay closer attention to your body to feel when you’re getting to the point of pushing yourself too far so you can avoid it.
Another thing that can really help with exercising is to get comfortable. Wear a good sports bra that will give you the support you need. Also wear something comfortable. You don’t have to have tight fitting yoga pants. Something loose that you can easily move in is better and more comforting.
If you follow these steps to losing weight, you will begin to feel a difference in your life. After just a short time, generally 6-12 months, you will feel accomplished as you have returned to the weight you once were before you became pregnant.
“Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus.” N.p.: Princeton U, 2006. WordNet 3.0. Web. 6 July 2017.
Approved by the BabyCentre Medical Advisory Board. “Healthy weight loss after birth.” BabyCentre UK. N.p., July 2014. Web. 02 July 2017.
“Weight loss after pregnancy: Reclaiming your body.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 July 2015. Web. 02 July 2017.
White, Cynthia D. “Losing weight after pregnancy.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Ed. David Zieve and Isla Ogilvie. N.p., 05 June 2017. Web. 02 July 2017.