Ways to Lose Weight after Pregnancy
This is an informative article about the best ways to lose weight after pregnancy and return safely and gradually to your normal body weight.
This article explains how you should approach losing the weight you have put on during pregnancy.
What happens to your weight during pregnancy?
During an average pregnancy without complications it is normal to put on somewhere in the region of 25 to 35 pounds. In fact it is not only normal it is also healthy to gain weight at this time as it ensures that both the new mother and her baby receive adequate nourishment. During birth a mother generally loses between 12 and 14 pounds, which means she is left with somewhere between 12 and 21 pounds of excess weight.
Donít try and slim too soon.
Although some new mothers can find the excess weight frustrating it is very important not to go on a crash diet straight away, even if the mother is not breast feeding. The reason is that a newborn baby requires a great deal of hard work and the poor health that this type of dieting can lead to could cause health problems and possible post natal depression. Your body will have undergone a great many changes and a great deal of stress and it is only fair to give it the time and nutrients it needs to make a full recovery. At this stage it is important to focus on healthy eating, and trying to make the most of any opportunities to rest. It is advisable not to do any vigorous exercise within the first six months, but gentle exercises recommended by the hospital and walking can generally be started soon after birth and are important in helping clear your mind and keeping post natal depression at bay.
When will a new mother reach the pre-pregnancy weight again?
After this time and as your body begins to recover it may be time to begin a healthy weight-loss exercise plan. The amount of time it takes to get back to your normal weight depends largely on how much you have put on.† For example if you put on 22-30 pounds, as is generally the case, it should take less than 8 months to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. If you plan to exercise, as with any exercise plan start off easy and gradually build up. If you have any doubts at all you should consult a doctor since the important thing is not so much the speed at which you lose weight but that you lose weight in a healthy manner
Here are some ideas for healthy eating in those important early days:
1.††† Focus on vegetables fruit and whole grain foods. These fibre Ėrich foodstuffs can bring you important nutrients whilst at the same time they help you feel fuller longer. (See my previous blog about high fibre recipes). Low-fat dairy products, such as skimmed milk, low-fat cheeses and yoghurt are healthy as are most fish, white meat poultry,† lean cuts of beef and pork, beans, iron and B vitamins and zinc.
2.††† By surrounding yourself with foods that are good for you you can avoid temptation. Keep junk food out of the house!
3.††† Try to eat smaller portions. It is a mistake to skip meals or eat less fruit and vegetables. Instead reduce your portions of higher calorie foods.
4.††† Eat only because you're hungry. If you fancy eating simply because you are anxious or nervous or have too much time on your hands distract yourself. You could call a friend, take your baby for a walk, put some music on or just read your favourite magazine.
5.††† If you have to breast-feed your baby directly prior to exercising you should wear comfortable clothing and a supportive bra. Start your exercise routine slowly, for instance you could begin with some light aerobic activity, such as walking, or swimming, donít do anything too jerky.
6.††† Donít do too much in one go. It is far better to do several short sessions throughout the day rather than overdoing it. As your stamina improves you can gradually aim to increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
7.††† A great idea is to include your baby in the exercise program. You could take your baby for a daily walk in the babyís buggy or baby carrier. This gives the baby healthy fresh air, helps to bond your baby and you, and can count as part of your exercise program. Similarly you could lay your baby next to you while you stretch on the floor or even dance with your baby in your arms to your favourite music.
8.††† Remember that to lose your abdominal fat takes both a healthy low-fat diet and also exercise.† Aerobic exercise is great especially if supplemented by abdominal crunches and other abdominal exercises that can really tone those abdominal muscles.
9.††† Remember your pelvic thrusts. They might not help you lose weight, but they will certainly help tone your pelvic floor muscles. Just tighten your pelvic muscles as if you're stopping your stream of urine. Do this for periods of five seconds at a time, in a series of four or five. The great thing is you can do your pelvic thrusts standing, sitting down or on the floor or bed - you can even do them while breast-feeding your baby.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremy Saker is a new author on this site. He is a graduate from Edinburgh University and runs a website on health and weight loss issues. If you would like to know more you can visit his website by clicking on this link.