HOW TO GET STARTED WITH WEIGHT LOSS POST DELIVERY
Motherhood is a beautiful phase no doubt but along with it come the consequences. After the few most magical months of giving birth & welcoming your little one into your life, strikes reality of everything that our body has been through. While we were pregnant putting on weight and being pampered by everyone around is very natural, however this pampering soon turns into body shaming as months pass postpartum and all those extra kilos refuse to budge from our bodies.
Most woman gain around 10-15kg weight during their course of pregnancy, 5-6kg is called the baby weight that is delivered in the form of the baby, placenta & fluids which is lost in the initial few days of giving birth. The rest of the weight that is scattered throughout the body is the real struggle when it comes to weight loss post pregnancy.
Losing the pregnancy weight should be a decision the mother solely takes for herself, for her own health & not because of any pressure from the society. It is absolutely okay if the idea of losing weight overwhelms you or if there’s too much on your plate already. However if you do choose to follow these steps & alter your body towards a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your baby we are here to guide you.
Here are a few important things to know before starting on this journey,
Don’t validate gaining weight post-delivery. Giving birth is the most natural process that every female goes through and coming back to your pre pregnancy state is the most ideal thing to do. This is totally achievable if you’re aware and alert and not blindly following traditions. Our traditions come from a place where woman did lots of physical activity like grinding, walking, lifting weights & much more, so their diet had to include foods rich in fats & nutrients as they didn’t have any supplements like now. Now continuing with the same type of diet that was prescribed to our ancestors shall not benefit us like it did for them.
We have changed and so our entire approach towards diet has to change. We have to follow the same pattern of eating 4 times a day with all the nutritious food possible but while being cautious about it. Our stomach area has become loose after delivery and any extra fats that we consume are going to be stored here in this extra space.
Follow these 5 steps to get started on your weight loss journey:-
- Start moving soon:-
A mother is supposed to be calm, caring compassionate. Your baby is going to need you and you have to be in your right mind to take care of your baby. It is crucial for the mother to start doing basic exercises 3-4 days after delivery in case of vaginal birth & after one month in case of C-section. Remove time to attend to your body before food so that way you’ll dedicatedly remove time for yourself. Basic exercises can be done like stretching, walking, light asana in bed, arm exercises after breast feeding.
Avoid heavy workouts if exclusively breastfeeding, you can start with basic walking for 30-40 minutes daily & gradually increase the intensity overtime. Don’t restrict yourself to work out every day on a specific time it might get taxing that way. Try to focus on a step goal to be completed anytime throughout the day based on how and when you can remove time.
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2. Watch what you’re eating:-
It is very important to be mindful about everything you eat post-delivery. Our goal should be to fit in nutritiously rich foods and not cross our calorie budgets. Nuts, leafy vegetables, meats, cereals, pulses, dairy and fruits should all be properly included daily in our diet. Including foods that help facilitate milk production can be included. Switch to freshly cooked homemade foods for most meals of the week.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding there are chances you might feel hungry every few hours, in this case keep healthy snacks handy so don’t end up consuming calorie dense foods that might cause weight gain overtime. Including foods that help in better digestion should also be included after every meal. Avoid foods that have sugar, fried foods, junk food and cold drinks completely.
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3. Increase your water intake
Water is essential to lose weight. But also as breastfeeding mothers we tend to require more water than normal adults. An average of 1 liter per 10kgs of body weight is advisable. You can also have your water in the form of fruits that have a high water content like watermelon, oranges, etc.
4. Find your support system
Losing weight can get challenging as time passes and we might need some motivation and encouragement to stay on track. Thus finding a partner to share your weight loss journey with and to let them track your progress will help you stay more committed and produce better results. Joining a well guided exercise class can also be a wise decision if it suits your schedules.
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Last but not the least, continue exclusive breastfeeding up to 1 year minimum as it’ll indirectly also help you lose more weight. Breastfeeding increases our calorie budget as the extra calories we eat are required for producing the milk for our baby. Eating wisely and keeping a watch on calories while exclusively breastfeeding can prove to lose weight faster. This is a win win situation for mothers as it’ll help your baby grow healthier along with you losing weight.
Please keep in mind, working out will not reduce the production of milk if started gradually under proper guidance. Fix time to eat food, fix time to move body and eat well. Follow these 3 diligently and you’ll have no issue managing your weight. You can shed weight, whenever you want but the earlier you do it the better.
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Stay motivated and focused on your goals, and you’ll be able to lose weight and keep it off.
Find a workout buddy.
This will help keep you accountable and motivated.
Focus on progress, not perfection.
Don’t get discouraged if you have occasional setbacks.
Set realistic goals. Losing weight takes time and patience.
Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Celebrate every victory, no matter how small.
Stay positive. Believe in yourself and your ability to lose weight.
Blog written by: – Dr Fatema Lokhandwala (PT) (mydvija team member)
Guided by: – Shreya Shah (Founder @myDvija )