Ultimate guide for losing weight post pregnancy
Published on Jan 30, 2022
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Going back to the pre-pregnancy figure and fitting into those old clothes is the dream of every new mother. It is difficult when you have to look after a newborn and adjust to the new routine, but it is not impossible.
Not doing anything about pregnancy weight can make it even harder to lose weight in the future. It can also lead to health problems eventually, putting the mother at risk for diabetes and heart disease. Getting pregnant again while being overweight can also put the mother as well as the baby at risk.
In this article, we will discuss the six ways of losing weight post pregnancy, as well as when you should start your postnatal weight loss.
How long does it take for losing weight post pregnancy?
The first month after giving birth, mothers shouldn’t worry about the weight they have gained. Women will lose some weight immediately after giving birth which consists of:
- Weight of the baby
- Amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Extra fat
Usually, after pregnancy, most women lose half of the baby weight within 6 weeks after childbirth. The rest of the weight loss usually occurs over the next few months.
6 ways for safely losing weight post pregnancy
1. Maintaining a well-balanced diet
The most important thing to keep an eye out for is your post pregnancy diet. No, we do not mean for mothers to go on a strict diet. A well-balanced diet is the key to nutrition and can give you the energy to carry out your new routine.
Including healthy snacks in between meals can work a long way. Some great healthy snacks are:
- Fox nuts (Makhana)
2. Including superfoods in your meals
Giving your body all the nutrients possible is highly important post pregnancy, especially during the breastfeeding phase. Mothers must choose foods that are low in calories but packed with nutrients.
Some great examples of superfoods are:
Since these foods are high in omega 3, fibre and protein, they are great sources of the much-required nutrition for the body.
3. Stay hydrated, always stay hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated is always important. Having enough water keeps unwanted cravings at bay. Thirst is usually confused with hunger and having enough water is what your body can’t thank you enough for. Having enough water is known to speed up metabolism.
The best way to know if you are having enough water is by checking the colour of your urine. If it is clear and you are using the washroom every 2 3 hours, you are having enough water.
4. Getting enough sleep
Yes, getting enough sleep does help in losing weight after pregnancy. It helps since you are not tempted to binge eat any high calorie or high sugar foods. If your sleep cycle is inconsistent or if it does not suit you, it can be bad for your metabolism and make it hard for you to lose weight after pregnancy.
Taking a nap whenever the baby does is the best way to get your much-needed rest. As a result, you won’t have a long-term sleep deficit and not lose your much-needed energy.
5. Having an exercise plan
To lose weight post pregnancy, a healthy diet is incomplete without some exercise. You need to keep moving to shed the extra kilos.
However, this does not mean you need to have a hardcore workout regime, just moving more than usual helps as well. Talk to your doctor about when you can start light exercises and which ones will work best for you.
There has always been a debate whether breastfeeding helps in losing weight or not. However, most women have found breastfeeding to promote post pregnancy weight loss.
Breastfeeding can burns over 300 calories a day. Plus, you are also helping to give your little one the right nutrients needed for a growing baby.
Points to keep in mind while losing post pregnancy weight
Taking your time
After childbirth, the body takes time to recover. Hence, it is important to take your time. Losing weight soon after childbirth can often make your recovery longer. It’s suggested to wait until the six-week check-up before trying to lose post pregnancy weight.
Breastfeeding mothers should wait until the baby is 2 months old and the supply of the milk has normalized before cutting down calories from your diet.
New mothers must have realistic goals and expectations. It may not be possible to return to the exact pre-pregnancy shape for every woman. Don’t set your goals to be like those celebrities that look lean in a matter of weeks after giving birth. Not only is such weight loss often unhealthy, but it can also be dangerous.
Pregnancy can cause lasting changes in the body for many women. Some of these may include:
- Softer belly
- Excess skin
- Wider hips
- Larger waistline
These are completely natural and normal changes and moms must have realistic expectations from their new bodies while keeping these in mind.
Do not go on a crash diet
It is highly discouraged to go on a crash diet. These diets will make the weight drop at first but that is just the liquid weight that you are losing and will gain back once you come off the diet.
The other type of weight that you lose on a crash diet is usually muscle instead of fat. Going on a crash diet is useless and will bring you more harm than good.
When should you start losing weight post pregnancy?
All women need time to recover after pregnancy. Expecting to lose weight immediately after childbirth is not recommended. Waiting till their postpartum check-up, which is usually within 6-12 weeks of giving birth is recommended before losing weight post pregnancy.
A healthy balanced diet, regular movements and enough sleep is a great way to begin losing weight post pregnancy while keeping in mind not to practice any crash diets or rigorous workout routines. Along with that, new moms can include MyPrash for Post Pregnancy Care in their diet. This is a specially formulated Chyawanprash formula that helps speed up recovery and strengthen your immunity after delivery. It also helps reduce post-delivery weakness, prevent post-partum infections, boost milk production, and improve energy levels.