Want to lose the extra weight post-pregnancy? Here’s the guidance you need

If you’re one of those moms who is eager to shed their pregnancy weight and fit into their old clothes, this is an article for you.
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Take your time to get back in shape, or not! It's your choice. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Parul Malhotra Bahl Published: 8 Sep 2021, 07:00 am IST
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If you are someone who wants to lose the additional weight post-pregnancy, it is essential that you understand the right way to go about it. Know for a fact that some of the weight (at least five to six kilos, including baby’s weight, amniotic fluid, placenta) is lost right away, when the baby is delivered. 

Additional weight is lost during the first week post-delivery, as the woman loses retained fluids. But It’s the FAT that one accumulates during pregnancy, which takes time to lose. Although that can also be lost within 6 to12 months of delivering a child, haste is never a good idea. That’s because you might end up malnourishing yourself or your new born baby.

Making wise choices can promote healthy weight loss post-pregnancy

Here are a few tips, which will help you achieve the same:

1. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding is an energy-consuming process. The body utilizes the fat stored during pregnancy and the calories from your diet to fuel your milk production, so that you can feed your baby. Make sure you breastfeed your child and naturally help your body burn that stored fat.

Also, read: Here are some post-pregnancy skin and hair care tips for instant damage control

2. Never starve, just watch what you eat

Post-delivery, the body is in a state of stress and recovery. Starvation or food restrictions will not only aggravate your cravings, but also worsen your stress levels. This also makes your metabolism sluggish, which is most likely to inhibit your weight loss journey. 

how to lose the extra weight post-pregnancy
Control on your cravings! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Moreover, you MUST add extra calories and protein to your daily diet, especially if you are breastfeeding. This is in order to support the extra energy requirements. But you need to be watchful of where you get these calories from. To keep it easy, follow a healthy and well-balanced meal pattern that includes a variety of foods. 

  • Have small meals split through the day to avoid overdoing it at one go;
  • Have a complete meal, which includes one complex carb source (whole grains, pulses, and legumes), one good quality protein source (lean meat, eggs, dairy products, soya products) and vegetables (salads/cooked/sautéed);
  • To enhance protein, make sure you add protein sources in mid-meals as well;
  • Adding good fat sources like nuts, seeds, olive oil, mustard oil and even ghee is beneficial, but in moderation; 
  • Adding natural galactagogues like methi seeds and leaves, fennel seeds, garlic, nuts especially almonds, jeera seeds, dill leaves, tulsi leaves etc, helps in boosting milk production naturally.

Also, read: An ob-gyn reveals 5 ways your vagina changes post-pregnancy

Make sure to avoid processed, packaged, sugary and fattening foods, which will slow down the process of fat loss.

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1. Stay active

If you exercised during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated normal delivery, you can resume exercises within a few days, post-delivery. Start as soon as your doctor gives you a nod for doing any activity. Make sure to start slow. Start with very light exercises, which will help to strengthen your major muscles. Gradually, make sure to add exercises of moderate intensity. 

Include your baby if you don’t find time to exercise. Take your baby out for a walk in a stroller. Ensure that exercises are included in your daily routine to help your body not only gradually burn that extra fat, but also help in dealing  with any kind of depression and sleep issues that you might face postpartum.

2. Stay hydrated

Many times, dehydration can make it worse. Our bodies can misunderstand dehydration with hunger, which can lead you to binge eat at the wrong timings. Binging doesn’t just add to the already stored fat, but also makes your metabolism sluggish. Drinking adequate water (minimum three litres per day) will boost your metabolism.

how to lose the extra weight post-pregnancy
Hydrate yourself properly and you could drop some extra kilos. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Get some good sleep

With the baby still adjusting his/her sleep pattern, you won’t find enough sleep for a stretched period of time. Disturbed sleep over a period of time can lead to increased levels of stress hormone cortisol, which reduces the body’s metabolism and makes it difficult for you to naturally shed fat. So, it is best to sleep whenever the baby sleeps, and get some rest.

The above tips will ensure you are able to lose that post-partum fat gradually and smoothly. If it still sounds too much to handle, make sure you reach out for help and guidance from your doctor or nutritionist.

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About the Author

Parul Malhotra Bahl is a clinical nutritionist and a certified diabetes educator with an experience of over 12 years in the health industry. She did her Post Graduate DDPHN from Delhi University followed by MSc. Nutrition from Bristol University, U.K.She has worked with multiple renowned hospitals like Medanta The Medicity, Sir Ganga Ram hospital, and Sitaram Bhartia Institute. Currently she is running her own practice under the name of Diet Expression (www.dietexpression.com) ...Read More

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