If you’ve just given birth, it is unrealistic to expect that after a month or two you’ll look like you’ve never been pregnant. Your body has undergone major changes, the biggest in life, and it needs time to slowly return to its original shape and form. It is said it takes nine months, the same amount of time as the pregnancy, for the pelvis, bones, muscles and hormones to return to original condition. If you are breastfeeding, you shouldn’t lose more than a kilogram a week, and sometimes not even that much.
Weight loss after birth
You’ll need a little time to recover from childbirth, especially if you had a C-section. But when you actually come to grips with the baby and the busy schedule, go for walks with your baby. Even grocery shopping can be a workout, and when the baby is older, you can use a baby carrier, as an additional ‘burden’.
This is easier said than done, because who can eat in peace when the baby cries? Try to follow the baby’s rhythm and eat slowly when the baby sleeps, or find someone who can keep an eye on the baby so you can concentrate on eating. If you eat slowly, your brain will get a signal that you are full, and therefore you won’t be overeating.
It is very difficult when you are at home and various delicacies are at your reach – whenever you enter the kitchen you can eat some something. Therefore it is crucial to plan the meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks, but at regular intervals. It will be good for your metabolism, but also for controlling how much and, more importantly, what kind of food you eat.
Do not start if you’re not ready
Attempts to lose weight before you’re actually mentally and physically ready for it, will only discourage you if you fail, and you will try to cure ‘sadness’ with overeating or candy treats. Decide for yourself when it is time that you can diet, exercise and put your figure in the foreground.
Prepare low calorie food
If every day you make culinary delicacies, oily and strong foods, it is logical that this challenge is not easy to resist. If you’re breastfeeding it is very important to eat healthy and with enough nutrients, so there’s another reason to cook healthy food – plenty of vegetables, fish, lean meat, braising instead of frying, less fat and salt, more herbs.
Do not deprive yourself of pleasure
No one will gain weight from a slice of cake, or one big meal. It is essential to have control, but if you cut out all the food you love, after a while you will feel frustrated and start overeating. So allow yourself to relax once a week and a freely enjoy snacks or ‘forbidden’ foods.
Set realistic goals
‘I want to lose 3 kilos by New Year’ is not a worthy goal if it’s the 25th of December. Write your (realistic) wish, target weight and what you plan to do to achieve it on the paper. It will be easier to commit to the goal if it’s on the paper.
Do not starve
During this period of your life you simply should never be hungry. Breastfeeding the baby, taking care of it, sleep deprivation, and a lot more other obligations will make you tired, especially if you deprive your body of nutrients. It will not lead to weight loss, but to overeating at the next meal. If the body is constantly getting small amounts of food, it will activate the ‘war plan’ and frantically try to keep reserves. And if you breastfeed, then everything useful you eat will go to the milk, and you will have nothing left and will soon feel the bad effects of such a life on your health.
Sleep more eat less
Avoid the ‘food instead of sleep’ mistake – this is probably the most difficult to comply with, because the meal is often enjoyed by all our senses and the brain secretes endorphins. Young mothers often resort to eating rather than sleeping – that is, to use candy or food full of carbohydrates to increase energy, which they lack due to insufficient sleep. These mistakes are costly not only because you will not lose weight, but you can gain weight instead.
You already know that the return to training should be a gradual process. Your body has gone through tremendous changes and it takes some time to restore it. Your doctor will give a ‘green light’ when you can start exercising and point you to a few simple exercises that you can do the first few weeks after delivery.
Kegel exercises involve a small contraction of muscles in the vaginal wall. These exercises can help strengthen pelvic muscles, because they are extremely weak after childbirth which can lead to bladder control problems.
If your doctor agrees, slow, short walks can help to prepare your body for vigorous and intense exercise. If you exercised before pregnancy, you may need six weeks to get back to the previous level.
There are many exercises that can be done on a trampoline and these fitness centres are becoming increasingly popular in the world. Also, these places organize fun activities for children that can be a great party venue for kids, so that when the baby grows up, you can organize a cool party there.
Gentle yoga postures can be a great way to start your bloodstream while reducing stress and tension. You may need to avoid certain positions, but the basic light moves are a great place to start. You might even be able to find postnatal yoga classes at your local gym.
With some modifications, you may be able to do the basic Pilates exercises to strengthen the core and increase flexibility.
Accept the stretch marks
Your body has just dramatically increased in size to accommodate your baby and is now planning to come back down in size. These fluctuations put a lot of stress on your skin, no matter how elastic it is. Stretch mark creams are great to start using at the beginning of your pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks, however, you can also use them afterwards to reduce their appearance. Not sure what stretch mark cream to use? I’ve created a guide on the best stretch mark creams, butter and oils.
For a healthy and successful weight loss and boosted metabolism after the birth, of the greatest importance are professionally conceived training (which includes a good selection of exercises and proper training dynamics), a healthy diet (adequate, science-based, medical diets for weight loss) and the continuity of work and patience.
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- Weight Loss After Birth: Boosting Your Metabolism Naturally - September 8, 2015