Over nine months you gained the weight necessary to support your pregnancy and deliver a healthy child. Now that baby is in the crib, the excess weight can be a source of concern. The best way to lose weight post pregnancy is slowly, according to the National Institutes of Health. Be patient with yourself and your weight loss. Focus on your own health while you care for your newborn, and you both will benefit.
Post Pregnancy Facts
A healthy-weight woman gains 25 to 30 lbs. over the nine months of her pregnancy, according to the National Institutes of Health. You put on the pounds gradually, and should expect to lose it gradually as well. Women who were already overweight before conceiving might take longer to lose the excess pounds. Most women are very tired after giving birth and taking care of your new child can be exhausting. Ask your physician about exercise after pregnancy. Gradually increase your activity level once you are physically able.
Exhaustion and Weight
You might do a lot of work, yet get little exercise. Tending to a newborn can involve sleep deprivation and lots of sitting down. Lack of sleep and stress accumulate and can lead to increased production of stress hormones such as cortisol. One side effect of excess stress-hormone production can be weight retention or even weight gain, Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said in a report for CBS news.
Eating Not Dieting
New moms need to eat well, not diet. Women who breast-feed their babies should increase their pregnancy diet by 200 calories a day, according to the National Institutes of Health. That means 200 healthy, nutritious calories a day–sorry, chips and sugary sodas do not make the grade. Often, a busy mom grabs whatever is available and too often that means salty, fatty or sugar-loaded processed foods and snacks. Washed and prepared carrots or celery sticks are a time-saving purchase. A healthy diet provides steady nutrition without excess calories. Cut back your pregnancy calorie intake by about 300 calories if you do not breast-feed. Eat a varied diet full of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables supplemented with lean proteins such as chicken breast. Paradoxically, dieting can prevent weight loss in new moms; your metabolism might slow in reaction to reduced calories and limited exercise, making weight loss even harder.
Once you get approval from your doctor, increase your activity level. You might not be able to exercise for long periods at a times, so break up your routine into 10-minute increments. Put the treadmill next to the baby’s room and use it when you get a chance. Taking baby out for a walk is good for both of you. Get moving and your metabolism will kick in. Your weight will drop gradually, and you will feel lighter emotionally as well.
Celebrities Fit to be Tied
Don’t believe in those miraculous celebrity post-baby weight-loss claims that torture you from the supermarket magazine racks. Most celebrity moms equate image with income and they spend lots of money on getting fit fast. Given a full-time nanny, driver, personal trainer, in-home gym, personal assistant, personal chef and motivational coach, you might lose pregnancy weight fast, too. Fast weight-loss is not healthy no matter how good the mom looks in a picture. Nature put the weight on you for a reason and your baby needs you healthy and fit, not rail-thin. Save your sanity–rather than torturing yourself over weight loss, load a snapshot of yourself into a digital photo-program and shave off those pounds digitally–just like those celebrity photographers do. See? You look like a movie star and you still get to live a normal life.