If you are a new mom, you must still be hanging those pregnancy clothes in your wardrobe because you no longer fit into those slim attires which used to be your favourites. The most important attribute you must possess before you make your mind to lose some inches is your patience and will power.
It is for certain that it’s not going to be an easy path but with enough patience, dedication, regular physical exercises and healthy food habits, the path to losing baby weight can be made easy.
Mark Your Diet
First things first. When you are pregnant, your doctor puts you on a special kind of diet which is essential for the growth and nourishment of your developing baby. The most common mistake most women do is that they continue with the same portions of diet even after delivery. Here’s how you need to balance your daily diet so as to lose pounds.
#1: Eat several times in a day
The reason why it is not recommended to take large meals is that our body is unable to function properly if excessive food is consumed at one time. If we eat small portions of food once in every three hours, our metabolic system will be able to digest the food better which lessens the possibility of indigestion and fat accumulation in the body.
Plus, eating after too long intervals will make you hungrier and thereby increase the risk of overeating. So, follow the mantra of small & multiple meals.
#2: Diet should comprise whole grains, fruits and vegetables
Fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be well-stuffed in your diet plan. The reason is that apart from lending you the daily requirement of vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients, these food items will also comprise a fibre-rich diet which will help you to shed weight easily by boosting metabolism and by keeping you feeling full for long.
Don’t place any restrictions on the consumption of fruits and green vegetables. You can take as much as you like, just try to maintain good variety in your choice.
#3: Kick out the tempting foods
If you think you don’t have the will power to resist a tempting sweet or dessert placed in your refrigerator, avoid getting such items at home. If there are other members in your family who wish to have such items, keep fruit alternatives for yourself. Each time you are tempted to consume sweets, jump onto some sweet fruits for satisfying the urge.
#4: Control the reins of Psychological Hunger
Pregnancy is no short period and since your mind has been trained for so long to consume some extra calories for your developing baby, changing that thinking and feeling will be a real struggle. Psychological hunger plays a crucial role in adding up fat to your body. During pregnancy, it might be important for you to stick to a time-based eating schedule but after pregnancy, things certainly change.
It’s not that you have to keep yourself hungry, it’s just that you should eat when you feel the hunger. And if you follow the above mentioned step 1, you will not have to deal with this psychological condition.
Start Off with Physical Activity
If you are breastfeeding your baby and are consuming the diet steps discussed above, you will be able to burn calories quite effectively as breastfeeding itself burns good fat which gets accumulated in your lower back and abdominal area. If you think you are ready for more, you shall start off with some physical activity.
You must be wondering when you are ready. Well, if you have had a normal vaginal delivery, you are lucky enough to start off with your weight loss program within few days after delivery but to be on the safer side, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
On the other hand, if you have had a C-section, it’s important that you follow the exact steps advised to you by your doctor and first take care of yourself. At the point you feel physically recovered, you should ask your doctor again for indulging in any sort of physical activity.
When you are psychologically ready to enter into a routine, here’s a list of things you need to do.
#1: Set a comfortable exercising schedule
If you wish to breastfeed your baby, do so before the exercise as it will keep you away from the worry that you might have to do so soon. Also don’t wear too tight clothing. Your clothing should be light and comfortable and the bra should have good support so as to keep you comfortable and confident through the exercise.
#2: Increase the intensity gradually
In the beginning, you can choose mild activities like cycling, walking and swimming. You can increase the intensity of your workouts as and when your stamina takes a boost. However, take note that you strictly follow the DON’Ts that your doctor has suggested after delivery.
#3: Make abdominal fat your first target
The area highly impacted with pregnancy is your abdomen. Though generalized physical exercises will work in their own way to tone your entire body, you will have to place extra effort for your abdomen. Crunches and squats can be done in the presence of an instructor who is well aware of your medical condition.
#4: Join a Group
For being motivated to work out, you need to make conscious choices. Don’t jump onto the weight loss battlefield alone. Join a group of other new-moms who are also in your shoes. This way, you will be able to keep yourself motivated to see others regaining their original figure.
#5: Let your baby join you
Apart from the alone-time activities you perform for your body, you can also keep your weight-loss spirit going when you are with your baby. Take your baby out for a stroll in the evening. This will suffice for the day’s walking you require. Plus, breathing in fresh air is always healthy.
Avoid Setting Unrealistic Targets
In general, women tend to lose about 4.5 Kg of weight during the birth of child which includes the weight of placenta, baby and amniotic fluid or the protective sac. A little weight loss will follow as your body will tend to get rid of some excess fluids but the fat accumulated in your body will stay. If you follow a balanced diet and physical exercising schedule, you will be able to shed up to 1 pound of weight every week.
Avoiding disappointment with your weight loss schedule is in your hands. Talk to your physician and know about the ideal weight loss you should target and then set your goals. Also understand that though you will be able to reduce weight, it is possible that the distributed weight on different parts of your body might vary from your original body weight distribution before pregnancy. The best thing to do here is to accept the change and be happy!
By Aditi Tyagi