Written by Achiever Foods Nutrition Unit
Pregnancy causes a lot of changes to the body, so much such that it can completely change your diet pattern, and you also put on some extra weight. It happens differently with everyone but weight gain is one of the general changes most people experience. After pregnancy or delivery, the next goal is to fit into your usual cloth sizes as soon as possible. This takes time to achieve because your body needs time to recover and resume it’s usual normal state of being. Drastic weight loss after delivery is not advisable if you are breastfeeding, as it can affect the quality of breastmilk produced. It is best to lose weight gradually over time. Give yourself sometime, to pick up your before pregnancy shape and size.
It is important to be realistic about how you intend to go about the weight loss so you can have a free mind and not feel burdened about it. Also, keep in mind that you may not be able to return to the exact shape and size you were before childbirth.
One very key way to lose weight is by breastfeeding. It helps you loose weight naturally by burning calories, thus, fat cells stored in your body during the period of pregnancy as well as calories from your diet during breastfeeding, which help in production of breast milk and also constitutes it. You’ll notice the change in weight with time because it would be gradual, if you exclusively breastfeed.
If you are breastfeeding, as mentioned earlier, drastic weight loss is not advisable.
Here are some healthy ways to lose weight after pregnancy or during breastfeeding:
• Starting from the mornings, eat breakfast, to get energized for your day. Some new mothers skip meals or forget to eat because, all their attention is on the baby. Not eating when you should means you will have less energy, because once you eat, the calories is replaced. It also affects the general state of your health.
• Make time for your meals. Do not multitask while eating, else you would end up eating too much over a period without noticing. It is much easier to know exactly how much food makes you feel statisfied, when you make time and take your time to eat.
• Eat foods high in fiber and protein to make you full. Examples; cabbage, boiled eggs, carrots, cucumber, beans, whole grains , apples, Legumes (examples; peas, soybeans, peanuts etc. are all sources of fiber. They are also an excellent source of non-animal based, low fat proteins for vegetarian diets, if you are), broccoli, flaxseeds, raspberries, sweet potatoes (baked), avocado, oatmeal, pear, etc.
• Drink enough water every day. 8 glasses of water, minus juices or any other liquid foods preferable to you is advisable. Fruit juices should contain natural sugars.
• Reduce the intake of processed foods and drinks that have artificial sugars and calories. Check food labels. These added sugars and calories add up to your weight.
• Eat natural whole foods and fruits preferably for vitamins and fibre.
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods
- Eat iron rich foods and take your folates well especially during first 6 months during breastfeeding
- Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months during breastfeeding the contractions and relaxations around the stomach enhances shrinking in excess tissues.
Exercising the body has lot of benefits to the body. One of such is burning up your fat deposits. Depending on the type of delivery you undergoes (either a virginal delivery or a caeserean-section), you may require certain types of exercises to start with. Also, Because the body is still recovering after child birth, it is not advisable to start with vigorous exercises.
There is no specified time to start exercising after childbirth because everyone experiences it differently. It is best to confirm with your doctor, the time appropriate for you, based on the state of your health. Nevertheless, you can start with range of motion exercises and then progress as time goes on. A healthy diet in addition to consistent exercising is a good way to measure the amount of weight lost over a period.
Be mindful of going too far, no extremes. You can have walks in your neighbourhood, stretch and flex your limbs. Find out more simple exercises you can do like the range of motion exercises (ROM) as mentioned earlier, then start with those .
Be realistic with your weight loss goals and plans. Be determined, don’t give up and you will achieve your goals. Don’t be hard on yourself to lose weight within the shortest possible time. It is best to lose weight gradually after delivery. Breastfeeding is a must especially in the first six months for every baby. Your weight loss program after your six months exclusive breastfeeding program. Always seek your doctor’s advice when taking the decision to lose weight as a nursing mother. Bear in mind that the joy of every nursing mother is to see their baby grow strong and healthy. Make that a priority before your weight loss plans. Your children are blessed beyond measure.
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