*collaborative guest post
After having a baby, it’s true that many of us might reach a point we want to touch base with our pre-pregnancy jeans. Regardless to what you may see in the media, for most of us, this isn’t going to happen overnight, and nor should anybody feel under pressure to rush into any crazy diet. The fourth trimester is a time to recover, bond and adapt to motherhood and it’s incredibly important to let go of any unrealistic expectations.
If and when the time is right for you, losing the extra pregnancy weight can be difficult, especially if you are breastfeeding. The problem here is that if you want your baby to grow up healthy and strong, you have to follow a very strict diet while nursing. This way you’ll ensure that baby gets all the nutrients they need. This diet isn’t ‘light’ on calories, so you need to be realistic about your weight loss expectations. You also shouldn’t push yourself and let your body shed those added pounds as naturally as possible.
When to Start Losing Pregnancy Weight?
Regardless of whether you choose to breastfeed or not, you shouldn’t start any weight loss programs until your body recovers. Pregnancy and childbirth are very taxing physiological processes. If you don’t allow yourself to recuperate, you might develop a variety of serious health issues down the line.
The general advice is to not think about trying to shift your pregnancy weight until after your 6-week checkup.
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need to wait for at least 2 months. Even then you should only go on a weight loss-oriented diet after your milk supply becomes stable. In case it doesn’t, consult your doctor immediately. A wrong diet might be the cause.
Only after you are sure that your and your baby’s health are in top-condition, should you start looking for products and tips on how to lose weight fast at home.
How Much Weight Should You Lose and How Fast?
The amount of weight you’ll need to lose depends on your original weight, the amount gained during pregnancy, your overall health and personal wishes. If everything goes well, this is how much weight you should be gaining during pregnancy. Thus, that should be your ultimate post-partum weight loss goal.
Regardless of the ‘size’ of your goal, you have to understand that in order to keep the baby and yourself healthy, you need to shed extra pounds very gradually. It will be best to aim for 1.5 pounds a week or less. Be sure to choose less while you are breastfeeding, unless recommended to do so by your doctor. Do not forget that while nursing regularly, you’ll need to consume about 500 more calories a day.
Healthy Tips for Losing Pregnancy Weight While Breastfeeding
The most important thing to remember when you are trying to shed some pounds gained in pregnancy is that you can’t cut down your calorie intake drastically.
Never go on a crash diet or any other meal plan that will have you drop below the recommended calorie minimum. Don’t forget to add the extra for breastfeeding!
In order to lose weight after pregnancy and stay healthy you need to eat more instead of less. The trick is to focus on the foods you consume. They must be nutritious instead of fattening.
The best options for breastfeeding mothers are:
- Wholegrains and high-fiber grains: 9 servings a day
- Fruits: 2 servings a day
- Vegetables and legumes: 7 ½ servings a day (vegans and vegetarians will need to consume more legumes in order to compensate for meat and dairy)
- Low-fat dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.): 2 ½ servings a day
- Lean meat, eggs, and nuts (legumes, tofu, and seeds for vegans and vegetarians): 2 ½ servings a day
Gentle exercise plays a very important part in losing pregnancy weight. You’ll need to build up some muscle mass and focus on stretching in order to relieve the pains you might experience post childbirth.
Walking is be good for both yourself and the baby. As you’ll undoubtedly be busy, consider using different exercise routines that can be combined with chores. This will allow you to get a workout in and take a well-deserved break when you have the time.
You could also start (or continue) practicing yoga. This will not only make your body more lean and flexible, but also help fight the postpartum depression, which affects up to 20% of mothers.
Remember, slow and steady, healthy lifestyle changes are the key to healthy weight loss, and you’ll need your energy looking after that baby, so don’t be too tough on yourself.