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How to Lose Weight After Giving Birth

Updated on June 15, 2011

How to Lose Weight After Giving Birth

After all the meticulous planning for that day when the baby arrives, out of all the excitement it's easy to forget that you’ll have lose weight after giving birth. The months after giving birth can be quite a challenge as you deal with the pain from episiotomy to major hormonal changes. There are some rules you should follow to lose weight after giving birth to not only help you shed the extra pounds, but to keep you healthy until you fully recover. The process to lose weight after giving birth varies quite a bit from mom to mom and for that reason it’s important to learn about the changes new mothers can expect.

The First Two Months After Giving Birth

For the first two months after childbirth, you should let your body take its natural course to heal and recover fully. It’s only natural to be eager to lose weight after giving birth, but you should not participate in any form of diets in this period because your body is depleted of vitamins and minerals. New mothers are frail right after child birth and it’s only logical to conclude dieting as a big no-no.

The focal point for the first two months is to keep a 2000 calorie a day diet rich in complex carbs. This is very important as you need to keep your serotonin levels up and to do that you need to keep your energy levels high. If you are breastfeeding, you should up the daily calorie intake to 2500. One thing to note is that breast feeding will not only help develop the baby’s immune system but it may also help nursing mothers lose weight.

You will lose about 11 pounds immediately after childbirth but some unlucky moms will see very little change on the scale. This is because sometimes the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluids are replaced by several pounds of fluid retention. This may happen to you if you had a lot of IV fluids during labor, but it only takes about 3 weeks to lose all the fluid retention by urinating and perspiring with your normal day to day activities. All in all, you can expect to lose up to 22 pounds several weeks after giving birth.


Techniques to Help You Drop That Baby Weight

Want to drop all the extra weight you put on during pregnancy? Well these tips will help.

When you feel you are ready to start moving about more actively, start incorporating some light exercise into your daily regimen. Start with brisk 10 minute walks on a daily basis and as you feel stronger you should increase your time to 20 minutes a day. Power walks are not recommended during the first few months after giving birth, keep in mind that consistency is the key to losing weight with exercise. Drink lots of water, 8 to 12 cups a day. Keeping yourself well hydrated at this period is very important but it’s also good way to replace alternative and unhealthy drinks like soda. Drinking lots of water also fills you up, so you don’t eat more than you should. I would also mention that some studies have found drinking water to speed up your metabolism.

You have to sleep well and with a newborn this may seem like an impossible task, but try to have your husband involved in this process. Have him take care of the baby at night at least for the first few months after giving birth, so you can get back in shape faster. Post-pregnancy or not, not getting enough sleep at the proper hours is detrimental to losing weight.

Consider breastfeeding, you burn 500 to 750 extra calories when you breastfeed. But more importantly, breastfeeding has many health benefits for your baby, including boosting of immunity. Just remember when you breastfeed you are not eating for two people, it’s more like a person and a quarter. Breastfeeding is not an excuse to eat whatever you want and you should consult your doctor for healthy diets for breastfeeding moms.

Make a switch from white breads to whole grains. There, that wasn’t so hard.

Less junk and fast food is always better. Be realistic though, because not many people have the discipline to stay away from rich foods for long periods. Make the effort to eat less of them and don’t set impossible goals like staying away from rich foods for life.

Please bear in mind that depending on circumstances it may take you 6 to even 9 months to lose all the weight gained during pregnancy. Depriving yourself of carbs or sugar will only result in yo-yo dieting effect, just remember if you hope to drop that baby weight, consistency is the key.

Fitness Level Before Pregnancy

Your fitness level prior to pregnancy also plays a big role in determining how fast and how easily you will lose weight post-pregnancy.

You have to ignore the hype behind celebrity moms staying thin throughout their pregnancy and also losing what little they gained during pregnancy in as little as a month. Celebrities have vested interest in keeping themselves at superhuman shape no matter the circumstances. While they may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on dietitians, fitness trainers, doctors, and all kinds of other experts during their pregnancy, that’s not something a normal person can afford.

If doctor’s recommendations were followed, skinny mothers would have gained 25 to 35 pounds during their pregnancy. Generally speaking, these mothers need not concern themselves on how to lose weight after giving birth. Skinny moms should easily shed all the extra pounds in less than 3 months.

The overweight, borderline overweight, and the older moms tend to gain more weight during pregnancy. These mothers often gain 35 to 75 pounds during their pregnancy and they will need 5 to 12 months to lose all the weight gained during pregnancy.

Don’t compare yourself to someone you know that did not have much trouble losing weight after giving birth. Your fitness level before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and post-pregnancy plays such a big role on how hard you may have to work to lose weight after pregnancy. Just remember these two words, consistency and patience. People tend to believe that they can put on substantial amount of weight in a very short time, but that just does not happen. In fact, the same can be said about losing weight, but it’s quite unfortunate that it does take longer to lose weight than gain weight. Stop thinking days ahead, instead make a habit of looking forward to weeks and months ahead to help you reach your goal.

Additional Weight Loss Tips For The Mommies

I will add extra tips on how to lose weight after giving birth whenever I come across some smart ones. Let's start with the first:

1. Fruit juice cannot replace fruit. Read the ingredient label very carefully on that 100% fruit juice you've been happily drinking all your life and it might just surprise you in an unpleasant way. Packaging your favorite fruit juice in that shiny bottle requires a heating process which can destroy nutrients or create some undesirable substance. That is not to say that fruit juice are bad for you, but they are definitely poor substitute to any fresh fruit. It should also be noted that many fruit juice are often sweetened, but fresh fruit only contain nature's sugar. Lastly, fruit juice does not fill you up, but it adds a good deal of calorie. As opposed to fresh fruits which are very satisfying and you can even make a meal out of it.

2. Do not skip any meals. Never try to lose baby weight by skipping any meal of the day. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding, you want to make sure your baby is getting all the nutrient it needs and it all starts with you eating well and healthy. Your body works at its best efficiency when you treat it right and skipping meals will only signal your body to conserve on the calories instead of burning them off. Try to have good size breakfast, medium size lunch, and a small dinner. You can sneak in a snack or two in between, but make sure you snack on wholegrain crackers, fruits, or vegetables. You can add some cottage cheese for extra flavor, but always limit the portion size.

Take a break - Funny Vid on Pregnancy


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