How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
The post-pregnancy lifestyle is much different from the one you used to have before your pregnancy, mainly because of the tiredness caused by childbirth itself, the baby’s feeding schedule, the new tasks necessary to answer the various needs of the newborn, etc. However, if there is one thing that new moms need to get plenty of during the first weeks following childbirth, it is sleep. The more we sleep, the faster the recovery, and the quicker we can return to our pre-pregnancy schedule. Despite all that, the new post-pregnancy lifestyle is often more sedentary, and new moms also have the tendency to eat as much, and sometimes even more than before. So we need to focus on these two aspects to successfully lose the extra weight accumulated during pregnancy. Here are five tips to help you!
- Don’t buy junk food. Because you are home all day long, access to the pantry is easier. Do yourself a favor, and fill your pantry and refrigerator with a variety of healthy foods.
- Gradually resume exercising, that is, after about one month, and only once you get the OK from your doctor or midwife. Do not think you will go back to the gym and pick up right where you left! Regardless of your level of physical activity before your pregnancy, 20 to 30 minutes is plenty for the first few weeks.
- Make up a routine of three meals and two snacks a day… not more! Check the contents and the quantity of each so that you eat according to your needs. Listen to your hunger. If you are breastfeeding, you will need more than a mom who doesn’t.
- Give yourself a few training options, and do a little every day: taking a brisk walk outside with baby in the stroller, alternating light jogging with walking on the treadmill at the gym, following an exercise DVD at home while baby sleeps, etc.
- Crunches, yes… but not too early! During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles have been stretched. Although the uterus has shrunk back to its original size, you can do more harm than good by performing crunches too early. Instead, focus on engaging your transverse abdominal muscle, the one responsible for making a flat stomach. You can contract it anytime (or almost!). Sitting up with your shoulders relaxed, pull your navel toward your spine, all the while imagining a large belt pushing firmly against your belly. Hold the position while you breathe.
Make sure to be active every day, even outside of your training sessions. Remember also that fat loss happens by burning calories during cardiovascular exercises, and that muscular exercises help tone your body. It is the combination of both, coupled with an adapted nutrition, that will allow you to lose your extra weight. Allow yourself at least 9 months to return to your previous shape, and sometimes a little more if you are breastfeeding.
By Karine Larose