Losing Weight After Pregnancy
It’s common knowledge that shedding losing weight after pregnancy can not only be a challenge but an exhausting endeavour for many women. From not having enough time to exercise to being completely sleep deprived, it is easy to feel defeated and worried you will never lose the excess weight from your post-pregnancy. However, not all hope is lost! We have some helpful tips to encourage you on your journey to achieving your weight loss goals.
Firstly, it is necessary to outline what exactly is defined as “baby weight”. Studies suggest most women within a healthy weight range gain between 11-16kg during pregnancy. This weight gain consists of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, uterus enlargement, breast tissue and extra fat. The excess fat is a normal and healthy energy reserve for birth and breastfeeding.
It’s only when the excess weight gain becomes more than the recommended amount during pregnancy, that problems can arise. This may include a risk of heart disease, diabetes and complications with later pregnancies. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to lose the extra kilos in no time and gain the long term health benefits which follow.
Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals
After any pregnancy, regardless of how difficult the birth was, you should give yourself credit! Your amazing body has provided a home for another human for at least nine months. Remember every woman’s body is unique and works at its own pace. The most important thing you can do for yourself at this time is to be patient. You have had a lot to adjust to and your body deserves your kindness. The extra weight gain won’t drop off overnight, however, with a consistent, good diet and regular physical activity, you should be able to get back in shape within a reasonable time frame.
There are a few factors to take into consideration when setting your weight loss goals. This can include your age (from 25 years of age, your metabolism slows down by 2 percent every 10 years), your diet, your level of activity (the more frequently you work out, the more calories you burn) and your genetic makeup. You will also need to plan these around bonding with your baby, breastfeeding and rest.
Being realistic and focusing on your own progress, instead of comparing yourself to others is a vital key in staying positive, motivated and seeing sustainable results. Katrina Scott, 35, co-founder of the multi-million dollar fitness movement Tone It Up and a new mother has shared her personal views on post-pregnancy weight loss, inspiring other women to adopt a different mindset. Despite not shedding as much weight as she had initially hoped after the preempted three-month mark, Katrina didn’t feel disappointed by her body.
“I was not disappointed..nor was I sad that I didn’t live up to the expectations a lot of people had on me. In fact, I was the opposite.” She posted on her social media. “I was happy, proud and body positive. And my mind was healthy…I mean, I made it through the 4th trimester! Wahoo.”
Add Breastfeeding To Your Weight Loss Plan
Many women have proclaimed how much breastfeeding has helped accommodate their weight loss and burn calories. As there are many benefits for both the mother and baby, breastfeeding is something you should definitely consider if you can or choose to during the postpartum period. Some of the advantageous attributes of breastfeeding include:
- Nutrition: Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive in the first six months of life
- Support of the baby’s immune system: Breast milk also contains important antibodies that help your baby fight viruses and bacteria
- Reducing the size of the uterus: Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract and return to its normal size faster after birth
- Lesser chance of disease in infants: Breastfed infants have a lower risk of lung conditions, skin conditions, obesity, diabetes, leukemia and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), among other diseases
- Reducing the mother’s risk of disease: Women who breastfeed have lower risks of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postnatal depression
Depending on how much breast milk your body produces, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day. It also helps stimulate the release of hormones which shrinks your uterus and in turn, your post-pregnancy belly.
Commit to a Healthy Diet
None of those lemon and water fad diets ladies! Those types of intense restricting diets are designed around deprivation and put your body under more stress and pressure.
If you have recently given birth, your body is still transitioning through the withdrawal of pregnancy hormones and needs substantial, energy loaded nutrition to keep it moving. Consistency is what will help you experience ongoing benefits and fulfilment long after the initial post-pregnancy weight has been dropped. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding processed or sugary food ensures your moods are more stable and you won’t be storing any extra fat.
It has been proven that eating foods high in soluble fibre has been shown to assist in weight loss and aid in healthy gut bacteria. Good soluble fibre can be found in barley, oats, beans and lentils. Healthy proteins and fats also boost your metabolism, decreases your appetite and can help reduce calorie intake.
Because your body uses more energy to digest protein than other types of foods, this results in more fat being burned. Sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and dairy. By adding these foods to your diet along with a colourful combination of fruit and veggies, you will increase your feeling of fullness and provide your body with the fuel it needs to shed the post-baby kilos.
Have A Support Network
Losing weight after pregnancy can be a challenging and daunting process. Which is why reaching out for support from those around you, even if it’s just a close friend or family is very helpful.
Joining a postnatal fitness group or facebook community page will connect you with other like-minded women experiencing similar challenges. It can remind you although your own path to weight loss is unique, you are never alone and can set out to achieve your goals just as others have done.
Teaming up with a walking buddy, inviting friends around for a wholesome meal or attending gentle yoga classes can make exercise and healthy living a positive and enjoyable experience. When you are partaking in activities you love and are surrounded by other motivated and optimistic women, you will no longer be so fixated on what you see in the mirror but how great you feel and from there the weight will drop off with less resistance and frustration.
After all, fitness is about far more than the number you see on the scale.
Looking for some support in Sydney? Make sure to check out your HYPOXI Studio Liverpool! HYPOXI is perfect for men and women wanting to reclaim their shape after significant life changes. It’s excellent for new Mums wanting to get back into shape after children as it’s a low impact exercise with scientifically proven results and only 30-minute sessions.
Book in for an appointment today and start HYPOXI’s 8 Week Transformation.