Weight Loss After Pregnancy: Fitness Tips After Having Baby
The average weight gain during pregnancy is between 25 to 35 pounds. During the birth, new moms shed about 12.5 to 14 pounds, leaving about 12 to 21 pounds of excess weight to be lost during the postpartum period. In addition, some new moms may gain an extra 10 to 12 pounds during pregnancy, due to various medical conditions, in which case there will be more postpartum weight for them to lose in order to regain their pre-pregnancy figure.
Weight gain in pregnancy is healthy and natural, but many women crave to return to their pre-pregnancy bodies. But you need to exercise caution when losing your baby weight. Just as it’s best to put on weight slowly and steadily during your pregnancy, you need to be slow and steady in losing weight after your pregnancy.
If you step on the scale several days after you give birth, you will likely have one of two reactions. Disappointment or complete horror. The weight loss is either not as much as you had hoped, or in some cases, your weight might not have changed much.
A healthy diet that incorporates regular exercise or activity will help you lose weight sensibly after pregnancy. Remember that it took several months for the scale to go up, and thus will likely take several months for the scale to go down as well. Here are some tips for getting back into shape.
When to Start?
It is recommended that you should wait for 2 to 3 months after giving birth to your baby and after that you may start following some vigorous exercises with healthy low fat diet. You should aim to lose 1 pound per week and continue to focus on taking nutritious diet and exercise.
The time of weight loss depends upon how much weight you gained during your pregnancy. The average weight gain in most women is approximately 25 to 35 pounds; out of which 10 to 12 pounds is lose while delivery leaving behind 15 to 25 pounds of weight which can easily be lost within 6 to 8 months after the first 3 months of delivery. So if you gained 50 pounds then it
will take approximately 10 months to get back your pre-pregnancy shape.
Breastfeeding Helps Weight Loss:
- Breastfeeding may assist you to lose weight, at least during the 12 months after giving birth. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the process of breastfeeding releases a number of hormones into your body which helps your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size and shape.
- However, don’t count on breast-feeding to improve your weight loss during the immediate postpartum period. Very often, it is only when the breast-feeding stops that the weight starts to come off.
- In addition, don’t depend on breast-feeding for your weight loss. Otherwise you may get careless about your diet and instead of losing weight, you may actually gain weight. So be sure to eat sensibly, take exercise and allow nature to do the rest.
- If you are breast-feeding there is no reason why you should not go on a healthy, low fat weight loss diet, but you should not drop below about 1800 calories per day, while feeding.
Exercise for Weight Loss After Pregnancy:
There are many benefits to exercising after your pregnancy. It will help you lose those extra pounds put on during pregnancy, alleviate post-partum depression and, unlike dieting, it won’t interfere with your breastfeeding.
It’s important that you ease your way into exercising again. Wait six weeks after a vaginal birth and eight weeks after a c-section to start exercising. It is recommended that you engage in low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or yoga. Come up with a personal exercise program something you can stick to and enroll the company of a friend or new mother.
Start slow: 10-minute exercises should be tried first and then increased when you feel more confident. Keep a 30 minute limit on your exercise time and cease immediately if you start to feel dizzy or short of breath.
Work Out at Home:
There are many exercise routines perfect for the post birth period that can be performed at home. Yoga exercises are perfect for in home working out. If you took yoga classes before or during your pregnancy, put on some relaxing music and practice those exercises.
Remember Your Kegels:
These exercises won’t help you lose weight, but they will tone your pelvic floor muscles. Simply tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re stopping your stream of urine. Try it for five seconds at a time, four or five times in a row.
Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. You can do Kegels while standing, sitting or lying down even while breast feeding your baby.
Weight Loss Through Healthy Eating:
Next to exercising, a healthy diet is the best way to lose your pregnancy pounds. Talk to your doctor about what foods are important for the continuing health of you and your baby. Focus on nutrition, not on weight loss diets! If you’re breastfeeding, your baby’s nutritional needs outweigh your need for a slim body.
Focus on Fruits, Vegetables, whole Grains and Lean Sources of Protein:
Foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel full longer. Other nutrient-rich choices include low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, yogurt and low fat cheeses. Skinless poultry, most fish, beans, and lean cuts of beef and pork are good sources of protein.
Water in Help Weight Loss:
Drink a glass of water before you eat anything. I often think I’m hungry when I’m really thirsty. If you are nursing, you need adequate calories, so the most important things are water and regular exercise.
Get Your Heart Pumping:
Try cardio. The cardio machine burns twice as many calories as running. Start out with 5 minutes and work your way up to 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week. Add to that some walking and some other kind of cardiovascular exercise. Don’t worry about lifting weights yet. You will build enough muscle while walking and so forth. Get the weight off first, then add the weights to build muscle. One thing at a time!
Just remember it took 9 months to gain the weight; give yourself at least that long to take it off. I am not a fan of completely avoiding or drastically reducing food groups such as the popular diets of limiting carbs or sugars. I believe the more you deprive yourself of an occasional treat, the more you will crave it.
It is consistent exercise, making healthy food choices and changing your lifestyle (if that includes a poor diet) that is the answer to losing weight and keeping it off.
Do you have any weight loss ideas for after pregnancy that worked for you? Share them with us.