The moment you start to gain the baby weight you are mentally trying to plan how to get rid of the extra pounds as soon as your baby arrives. Once the baby is born and your life gradually gets into a routine you can start to put these plans in action. If you have doubts about how to begin you can follow these 10 steps that can help you bring your body back in shape.
Get Yourself Moving
Many new mothers have a lot of trouble with getting enough sleep and therefore they are so exhausted most of the times that they hardly think about exercise. Experts think that it is perfectly alright to feel that way. Most of the women are not physically ready for serious workouts until six weeks after delivery and this can take longer if they have had a C section.
You can start with just walking around the block and if you feel up to it and it is not causing any bleeding or excessive bleeding then walk a little further next day. You can keep this up till your six week checkup after that you should be able to do up to half an hour of cardio exercises 3 to 5 times in a week.
Diet plays an important role but it is just one part of your weight loss process. You need to do some aerobic exercises and exercises that can help you to train your strength in order to burn calories and keep your body strong. Exercise apart from loosing weight also helps you with depression, sleeping problems and in relieving stress as having a new baby in the house can be stressful.
Going to gym to get back in shape is not the only way to exercise. If you cannot manage to go to gym then just take a brisk walk with your baby in the stroller and that is enough to get your heart pumping. Carrying your baby around the whole day is a workout in itself but you need to do some strength training. You can use light weights or even a can of soup as resistance. You should always consult your doctor before you start any exercise program.
During breastfeeding you need 500 calories extra per day or a total of 2700 calories a day. But as you can burn about 600 to 800 calories a day while breastfeeding, even if you just sit comfortably and breastfeed your baby you might still be losing weight. Some women are lucky enough to get rid of all their baby fat alone through breastfeeding. But as soon as you stop breastfeeding your calorie needs will go down and you can really put on weight if you don't bring your diet down and your exercise routine up.
Whether breastfeeding actually helps in losing weight is still a bit controversial some studies say that only breastfeeding can help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight fastest whereas other studies have shown no difference in losing weight between women who bottle fed and the ones who breastfed.
But one thing is for sure that breastfeeding is good for your baby. It boosts the immunity and provides many other health benefits.
Weight training helps you with speeding your metabolism. However instead of using dumbbells or going to a gym you can incorporate your baby in your routine. You can hold your baby to your chest and do lunges or do them while walking behind the stroller or you can lie on your back and hold your baby above your chest and slowly hold her up several times.
If you have doubts about what you are doing then you can hire for a few weeks a personal trainer who is certified in prenatal and postnatal fitness and get yourself on track.
Stay absolutely away from empty calorie foods such as chips and sodas and also from fad diets which eliminate whole food groups. Instead put a variety of nutrient rich foods in your diet like whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products.
In expert opinion you should not go on a diet right after having your baby. To get your body back in shape you have to think of your health.
You can spread out you meals throughout the day. Small and frequent meals will help to keep your blood sugar level steady and prevent you from over eating. If the calories are spread throughout the day they metabolize more efficiently and have less chances of getting stored as fat.
Watch out for the juices. A small glass of orange juice fulfills your requirement of vitamin C if you drink more you are just drinking excessive calories.
After your baby is born sleeping for eight hours straight is almost impossible as your little one is summoning you throughout the night. But being deprived of sleep can make losing weight a much harder job. A study shows that moms who sleep for five or less hours in a night are more likely to retain their extra pregnancy weight than the mothers who sleep for seven hours. When you are tired your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol that plays a role in weight gain. Another fact is that when you are tired you don't feel like taking care of yourself, you don't feel like eating healthy food instead you go for something which tastes good and is packed with calories and you don't want to get physical activity.
Take a nap whenever your baby is sleeping this will help you to keep you cravings in control and maintain your energy levels. Never sacrifice your sleep for exercise during the early weeks as lack of sleep will end you up with unsatisfactory workouts and will only frustrate you. Take as many naps as you can during the day with your baby and go to bed early till the time your baby does not start sleeping through the night.
Too much sugar can make your blood sugar levels fluctuate immensely and when the blood sugar level drops you would eat the first thing that comes in your hand. Therefore it is wise to stay away from sugary treats. Keep healthy and nutritious foods available for yourself. Low fat milk and yoghurt are ideal snacks as studies have shown that the calcium found in milk and yoghurt helps you to lose weight as it blocks a hormone that makes your body store fat. Also go for snacks high in fiber for example raisins, figs, whole wheat crackers. These are filling and help in digestion.
New moms need maximum nutrition and especially if you are breastfeeding. Choose foods which are packed with nutrients that your body requires and are low in fat and calories.
Fish is a great option as it contains DHA which is an important omega three fatty acid that helps to develop a healthy nervous system and brain of your newborn. Cold water fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines are some of the best sources of DHA.
And do not forget protein that is also very important. Foods such as chicken, beans, lean meat are high in protein and fiber and low in fat and they will make you feel full for longer.
Motherhood is basically the start of a new life for every lady and yoga is a way for bringing balance in your past and present lifestyle. It helps in getting the body back in its usual rhythm. But it is better for you to start practicing yoga only when after six months of the delivery period in order to avoid any complications and injuries.
Say No To Diet
Going on a diet can hinder the chances of post pregnancy weight loss. You are already stressed with the new role you have and depriving yourself of your favorite food could actually make you gain weight. Eating healthy and eating when you are hungry can help you get that weight off naturally. Instead of going on a diet eat well balanced variety of foods. Pack your kitchen with different kinds of snacks so that you can get energy throughout the day and you don't have to feel hungry. Wheat crackers, apples, carrots are great snacks.
Drink PlentyOf Water
Drink plenty of water throughout the day this will prevent you from getting dehydrated. When you drink a lot of water you don't eat as much as it fills you up and it can speed up your metabolism according to some research. You can determine if you are drinking enough by the color of your urine. If you are going to the bathroom after every 3 to 4 hours and the color of the urine is clear than you are drinking enough.
If you are having trouble in losing weight you can ask the help a dietitian and your doctor. The dietitian can guide you in planning a diet that can ensure safe and effective weight loss and your doctor can help you with how much weight you need to loose and when you can start with exercise.