Whether you opted for a natural birth or a C-section, weight loss after pregnancy doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Hormonal changes can impact your weight and your body needs to recover after the effects of pregnancy.
If you start losing weight too soon, you might put extra pressure on your body, and your recovery will take longer. Usually, the right time to start losing weight is around 6 week after giving birth or 8-9 weeks if you’re breastfeeding. Find out how to get a good start on weight loss after pregnancy with these simple rules.
Sometimes weight gained during the pregnancy can become permanent, so it’s important to be realistic.
A good goal to set for weight loss after pregnancy is usually of a pound and a half per week. That will allow you to lose weight while staying healthy and it won’t interfere with breastfeeding either.
Avoid Crash Diets
Even if two months have passes since birth and you’re using formula and not breastfeeding, you shouldn’t go on a crash diet. Your body has been through many changes during pregnancy and if you put more pressure on it so soon, you might endanger your health. That also applies to exercise. You need to stay active if you want to lose the extra pounds, but you can’t jump into a physically taxing exercise regimen so soon.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
No matter how little sleep you get in the first few weeks after birth, you need to start having breakfast. Eating in the morning will provide the energy you need and prevent you from overeating later on, when you’re feeling down. Fresh fruit and low-fat dairy are great options for breakfast, along with whole grains, if you want healthy weight loss after pregnancy.
Focus on Smaller Meals
Stop thinking that food comes in three meals every day and try to eat smaller meals. Even if you only have 4-5 minutes, sit down and enjoy your meal or snack. Eating on the run will leave you hungry, even if you’re consuming more calories. Spread your meals throughout the day and choose healthy snacks if you’re feeling hungry between them.
Eat More If You Breastfeed
If staying healthy is a priority, weight loss after pregnancy has to be gradual. Talk to your doctor and set a minimum daily calorie requirement. If you’re not breastfeeding, 1,500 calories a day is the lowest your should go. Don’t go under 1,800 calories a day if you are breast feeding and don’t go too low if you’re also about to start exercising more.
Go for Low-Fat Dairy
Avoiding sugary and fatty foods is a must, and that includes dairy. As a new mother you need to know that you don’t need full fat dairy, not even if you’re breastfeeding. You can even eat fat free dairy, as long as you get healthy fats from other sources, including avocados, nuts and lean animal protein.
Drink Enough Liquids
Sodas and fruit juices pack a lot of calories, so try to avoid them. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink enough liquids. Aim for 9 cups a day, mainly water and other low sugar liquids. Weight loss after pregnancy is achieved faster if you’re hydrated and drinking enough water also helps you keep off water weight.
Focus on the Best Foods Food Weight Loss After Pregnancy
Fruits and vegetables are your best options, since you should have a lot of fiber. That goes double for whole grains and legumes. One of the biggest mistakes new mother make when they’re trying to increase weight loss is avoiding starchy foods. As long as you go for whole grain, you should actually include them in every meal. The fiber will aid your digestion and oats, beans, and grains are a must for staying healthy.
Don’t even think about going back to the gym quickly, since that’s not the best way to approach weight loss after pregnancy. Instead, aim for 10 minute work out sessions, for a total of at least 150 minutes a week. Walking your baby in the stroller offer plenty of basic exercise, but you should also try exercises with light weights.
Stay motivated by spending time with other new moms and don’t try too hard to incorporate your baby in your exercise routine. Moving him around is already keeping you active and if you also breastfeed, you’ll lose plenty of calories while taking care of your newborn.