You’ve given birth, are settling down with your little one, and learning how to care for your baby. It’s a joyous time. But, if you’re like some women, your joy may be mixed with concerns about the changes to your body, and you may want to know the best way to lose weight after pregnancy. If so, you’re not alone.
To drop the weight you gained during your pregnancy could take time, so don’t be discouraged if it takes several months or even a year to get back to your pre-baby weight. There’s no rush to shed pounds after giving birth, but when you’re ready, here are six effective tips to start you off on the right track.
Your Body After Childbirth
Childbirth is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy on your body. After you have your baby, you may experience pain, discharge, swelling, and other side effects. You’ll likely feel tired and it will be some time before you can rest. So, take it easy and give your body the chance to heal. These side effects will eventually disappear.
Six Effective Tips to Lose the Baby Weight
It’s essential to your health and wellness that you lose the extra weight you gained during your pregnancy because excess body fat may lead to weight-associated health problems. But remember, the best way to lose weight after pregnancy is gradual. You just gave birth! There have been fundamental changes to your body which can be challenging to adapt to. You might lose weight in the first week after you give birth, but everyone is different. So, if you’re ready to shed your postpartum weight, here are six simple but effective tips you can try.
Breastfeeding your baby offers a plethora of benefits for you and your baby. When you nurse, your baby gets beneficial bacteria from your milk that helps your little one develop a robust immune system. And breast milk has all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your baby needs to grow.
When you breastfeed, both you and your baby get a boost in oxytocin. Oxytocin is one of your brain’s feel-good chemicals. It helps forge the bond between you and your child, and it reduces your stress.
There are weight loss benefits as well. Studies show a link between breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss in new mothers. Nursing your infant can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 extra calories a day.
Don’t worry if breastfeeding isn’t an option for you, it’s not for everyone. And it’s not essential to your post-birth weight loss.
Water is vital to your health, so after you give birth, stay hydrated. It will help you eliminate extra fluids, and increase your milk production. Sip on a refreshing glass of H2O; it will help you stay full longer.
Recharge Your Batteries
You have a newborn, so getting enough sleep is nearly impossible. But rest is essential for your body to heal, and it plays a role in weight loss. Even a nap here or there will go a long way towards helping your body recover.
Having a baby is an exciting, transformative experience and comes with a unique set of challenges. You may feel overwhelmed, so remember to look after your mental health, avoid outside stressors, and don’t pressure yourself to lose weight quickly.
Avoid Crash Dieting
If you want to lose weight after pregnancy, a healthy eating plan will fulfill you and your baby’s nutritional needs, and eventually, help you return to your pre-baby weight. Don’t be tempted to crash diet. Opt for whole ingredient foods and plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs full of fiber and nutritious proteins. These foods will give you the nutrients you need and help you stay satiated longer. Certain nutrient-dense foods can help if you’re experiencing postpartum hair loss. Although the convenience is tempting, avoid junk foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy snacks. You may find it’s challenging to cook while you’re caring for a new baby, but there are ways to make food preparation less time-consuming.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Consider intermittent fasting (IF) to lose weight after pregnancy. Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle where you eat within a specific time frame and fast the rest of the time. IF isn’t just good for weight loss. It can also reduce inflammation, lower your blood sugar and cholesterol, and help with cellular repair. It allows you to get all the calories and essential nutrients you need.
There are several protocols for intermittent fasting. The best option for postpartum women is a variation on the 16:8 protocol where you eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. 15:9, 14:10, or even 12:12 are all excellent options. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s essential you eat enough nutrients so you’ll produce enough milk for your newborn.
Try Light Exercise
You can exercise to help meet your weight loss goals. Just be careful not to overdo it. You’ll want to customize exercises based on how you gave birth. If you had a C-section or experienced tearing during the delivery, ask your doctor before you start your new regimen. Whatever you do, keep it low impact. Go for walks, try Kegels and other pelvic floor strengthening exercises, or work on upper body strength. A little bit of activity every day will help you shed pounds.
Remember, your body is recovering. Be gentle with yourself and listen to your body’s needs. Don’t push yourself too hard, and always consult your doctor if you have any questions, concerns, or experience pain or bleeding.
If you follow these tips, you should see results. Every woman has extra pounds after giving birth, so you’re not alone, no matter what the magazines want you to believe. Focus on your health so you’ll be in the best shape to provide for your newborn. As a bonus, if you have postpartum depression, these tips can help reduce the symptoms. Enough exercise and a proper amount of sleep have the most significant effect. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.