By Guest Author – Mathews McGarry
Women may feel unmotivated after seeing pictures of famous women, musicians or movie stars, who have lost all their baby weight only a week or two after they gave birth to their children.
We could perhaps attribute this to the nature of their job, and the fact that they need to treat their looks in a different way, and have much more money and time to devote to exercising and getting fit.
However, the best possible advice for losing your baby weight is – relax.
We do not mean to say that you should neglect your body, but becoming a mom is a big lifestyle change, so no need for obsessing about it.
Women gain approximately 25-40 pounds during pregnancy, and those extra weight gains amount to the baby, amniotic fluid, blood supply, placenta, stored fat for breastfeeding and delivery, and breast tissue.
A large portion of it will melt immediately after childbirth. What you can do is prepare yourself during the very pregnancy, perform the right exercises, watch what you eat, but above everything – prepare to be a mother to your child.
Losing Body Weight – Nutrition Advice
Limit your weight gains during pregnancy by taking care of your nutrition.
- Use skim milk (1% or 2%) to reduce fat and calorie intake. Avoid whole milk products, and consume fat-free or low-fat dairy foods.
- Adding salt to foods will cause the water in your body to be retained, thus avoid adding salt while cooking.
- Consume lower-fat fast food items (grilled chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers), with lots of vegetables, low-fat dressing side salads, plain baked potato, but no mozzarella cheese or French fries.
- The intake of snacks and sweets high in calories, such as candies, cakes, cookies, and potato chips, should be limited. Avoid eating them every day, because they have little nutritious value but a lot of calories. Also, iced tea, fruit and soft drinks should also be limited because they are packed with empty calories. Instead, eat lower-calorie snacks, low-fat yogurt and fresh food, while mineral water or club sodas are the best drink choices.
- Cook healthy and use a moderate amount of fats. Avoid frying in butter or oil, and using mayonnaise, gravy, margarine, lard, cream cheese and different sauces for salad dressings. Opt for healthier alternatives that are lower in fat, and start grilling, boiling and baking.
- Consume foods high in nutrients (Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins). Some of these foods are fish (sardines, salmon), beans, chicken and lean meat (for protein), and foods rich in calcium.
Apart from a good diet plan, women should incorporate proper strength training and aerobic exercising plan after pregnancy. It is required for keeping bones and muscles strong, as well as for losing weight. Performing regular exercises also helps in relieving stress, sleep issues and depression.
Get your muscles working and your heart pumping simply by taking a walk with your baby in the stroller. Hitting the gym right after childbirth is not necessary, but 15-30 minutes a day should be enough. Also, some light-weight strength training will also be beneficial. There are fitness centers that offer training classes for newbie mothers, where they teach them how to incorporate their babies into their exercising routine.
Weight lifting can have various benefits, such as building mental toughness, which is especially needed for overcoming postpartum depression. Keep up with your strength training routine, and it will build your confidence. It will also improve your physical stamina (focus on strengthening your legs and lower body), and decrease pregnancy discomfort and pain. Consider adding quality food supplements to your diet if you are busy and find no time for preparing full meals. Consider this with your doctor, do your research, find and buy supplements online. They will help you stay healthy and aid your nutrition.
The best possible advice you can get is to sleep when your baby sleeps. Go to bed early and catch as many naps as you can. It is impossible to sleep 8-10 hours straight, with the baby waking up at night and calling for you, but you should not be sleep-deprived either. Cortisol (the stress hormone) is released when you are sleep deprived, and it promotes weight gain.
Newbie moms can lose and maintain their baby weight with little effort, but the aim of this article is to crush your dreams on losing it in record time. Relax and enjoy your role as the mother of a newborn. Liberate yourself by giving your pre-baby clothes to your friends, and start buying comfy new wardrobe items.
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter.