When it comes to losing the baby weight they gain during their pregnancy, many women feel like they can’t win. Do it too quickly and you’re a heartless monster who cares more about appearances than about your baby, do it too slowly and you’re get another negative label, for your apparent lack of willpower.
Most experts agree that you shouldn’t rush into any kind of diet or intense exercise regimen after you give birth, but when is it too soon and when is it too late? While some celebrities get all the help they need, from nannies to personal trainers, to get back to their original figure, most mothers don’t have that luxury.
Discover the pros and cons of losing weight fast after pregnancy so you’ll be able to make an informed choice about your body when it’s time to lose some of the extra pounds you had to gain for the health of your baby.
Pro – Getting a Head Start Increases Your Chances of Losing All the Extra Weight
Unless your pregnancy had complication, you can usually start working on your weight loss six weeks after giving birth. If you delay the moment when you start losing weight, make sure you set a goal you stick to. Studies show that if you don’t lose the baby weight in the first year, it’s more likely to stick around.
Con – Your Body Might Not Be Ready for Weight Loss
Crash diets are the worst idea for losing weight fast after pregnancy. Severe calorie restrictions can affect your body’s ability to recuperate and most mothers agree that you need to take your time and not rush into any diet. One of the biggest supporters of taking it slowly, supermodel and mother of two Cindy Crawford, thinks you shouldn’t set unrealistic goals.
“You’re not sleeping, you need to eat if you’re nursing, and the pressure to lose that weight in a month - some people it just happens for, and guess what? Those people annoy me too. I had to work for the body that I have, but I definitely think that shouldn’t be the focus of a new mother’s attention," she told The Huffington Post.
Pro – You’ll Feel Better about Your Body Sooner
Probably the biggest advantage of losing weight after pregnancy is a mental one. If you’re lucky and you manage to get the extra pounds off in just a few months, you’ll feel better about yourself, but don’t forget that sudden weight loss isn’t exactly the best thing for your skin.
Con – You Shouldn’t Hurry If You’re Breastfeeding
If you plan on breastfeeding, diets are off the table. The quality and quantity of milk depend on the way you eat. On the plus side, breastfeeding a good calorie burner. Focusing on the most healthy diet in the first few months after giving birth is probably the right thing to do for your baby.
Pro – You Can Get Back to Your Old Wardrobe Faster
If you thought that maternity clothes go away after pregnancy, you were wrong. If you manage to lose weight in a healthy way after giving birth, you’ll be able to get back to your old wardrobe. However, you shouldn’t try to hurry too much. Setting a reasonable goal, like 6 months that start once the first six weeks are up, is a good idea.
Con – Gradual Weight Loss Is Healthier in the Long Run
When you go on a low calorie diet too soon after giving birth, you might lose muscle mass. Your body isn’t ready to let go of all the fat, especially if you’re still breastfeeding, so you’ll keep some of it while losing healthy muscle tissue. Avoid any diet that doesn’t give you enough energy and leaves you constantly tired and hungry.
Pro – You’ll Be Ready for Another Healthy Pregnancy Faster
If you’re planning another pregnancy soon, it’s wiser to get back to your healthy pre-pregnancy weight before conceiving again. When you get pregnant again without losing most of the pregnancy weight, you’re taking a risk in making your weight gain a more permanent situation.
Con – Restrict Your Calories Too Much and You’re More Likely to Overeat Later
Setting unrealistic goals about losing weight will only disappoint and fail you in the long run. If you’re dealing with severe calorie restrictions, you’re more likely to binge eat when your energy runs out and you’re stressed. Losing weight fast after your pregnancy might work for you, but if it doesn’t don’t push yourself too much, focus on health.