After having a baby, it is common for new mothers to begin thinking of ways to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
Some mothers opt for a crash diet, characterised by:
- Not eating enough; and/or
- A fad diet (which generally involves a drastically reducing, or cutting out: fat, protein, and/or carbohydrates).
It is true that some diets will cause you to lose some weight in the beginning – although these can be in the form of fluids and could be added back on. Therefore, it is important to add physical activity and exercise into the mix to manage your weight.
When Should You Begin Losing Weight?
After the rigours of labour and birth, it is vital to give yourself some time for recovery. Keep in mind that it took you a steady nine months to gain your weight.
As soon as you feel that you are up to it, and if required you have spoken to your medical professional, add gentle, low level exercises such as walking and stretching.
The general consensus is that you can do pelvic floor exercises from the first day after the birth, and you can start to exercise your abdominal muscles as soon as you feel able to. However, avoid sit ups, crunches or abdominal curls, as these put pressure on the abdominal muscles and may exacerbate/impact a diastasis recti.
It is recommend to allow yourself approximately six weeks before commencing strenuous exercise or your old routine, however.
How Do You Lose Weight Safely?
Making proper choices, such as eating a healthy diet will aid your recovery, as well as help you to stay in stride with the demands of being a parent to a newborn.
This is a time when you should focus on limiting empty calories (calories derived from food containing no nutrients.) and filling up on nutrient-dense foods.
What Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
Eating nutrient-dense foods will provide a new mother with the energy she needs for the busy life of looking after a newborn. Many new mothers try a keto meal plan to help them keep their energy levels up.
Be sure to avoid skipping meals. New mothers may forget to eat with the hustle and bustle of caring for a newborn. Not eating enough will cause you to feel less energetic, and it will not speed up your weight loss – it will impede it.
Instead of eating three meals a day, for example, try eating 5 or 6 smaller meals with healthy snacks between each one. Eat breakfast so you give your day a kick start in regards to energy.
Have a maternal beverage that contains the vital ingredients to aid in your recovery as well as assist with breast-feeding. Also, make sure that you are exercising in conjunction with your healthy, balanced diet.
Smart Management of Meals
As touched on earlier, try to avoid skipping meals. This will not boost your ability to lose weight and can cause more harm than good. Also, be sure to eat healthy, balanced meals throughout the day.
Get Your Body Moving
Exercising will enable your body to shed fat instead of muscle. When you have been cleared for exercise, begin eating a little less and moving a little bit more.
Do not push yourself into strenuous exercise too soon after the birth of your child as rapid weight loss is not healthy and can actually be quite hard on the body.
Be sure not to overdo it. Working gently on your pelvic floor can help you to snap back after birth, and if you are not used to exercising frequently, try going out for a walk with your baby using a stroller for 15 minutes. Then, when you feel ready, boost this to 30 minutes, and so on.