Struggling to lose weight after popping the baby? Then here are my 5 Tips for sustained post-pregnancy fat loss.
1. Start with a "Thankyou Note" for your body and Set a realistic goal – Depending on how much weight you gain during pregnancy, you may take much longer than expected to lose the weight as your hormones are in play too now, and with good reason. Once the hormones have done their work to protect & nourish you and your baby and gone back to normal levels you will see a marked improvement in your body composition and you will start dropping the extra fat with time. For some its 6 months and for others even 2 or more years. Don’t lose heart before you start. Give your body grace and start with a little "thankyou" for all that your body has accomplished. Its no less than a miracle.
2. Don't crash diet – A crash diet is a drastic solution to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time by consuming a very low calorie diet. But after delivering your baby, your body needs to heal and repair itself, so you need to be well nourished.
Specially if you are still feeding your baby. Protein being the keyword and 0.8 to 1.2 g per kg of your weight per day is considered the optimum range of protein intake. Consult a good nutritionist to get you on the right track.
3. Sleep well – Research studies have found that insufficient sleep increases overeating and unhealthy food choices. Not surprisingly, studies have also linked insufficient sleep to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity1.
Sleep plays a huge role in regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin, which are integral to hunger and appetite. Ghrelin is closely related to hunger while leptin is tied to feeling full. A lack of sleep has been found to trigger increased levels of ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin, leading to increased hunger and appetite. This makes overeating more likely, especially since more time awake creates increased opportunities to eat. Getting adequate sleep is obviously a challenge for new mothers but try to get help from family members and regularize your sleep schedule as much as possible.
4. Stay hydrated – Drinking enough water is the most important thing even otherwise, so when recovering post childbirth and trying to lose weight, both at the same time, drinking at least 3 litres of water a day is non-negotiable.
5. Move your body – While exercise alone may not help you lose weight(sleep, food, stress, water all play a role), not moving from your bed or sofa all day will surely help you pile on the pounds. How long after childbirth you can start exercising will depend on your method of delivery, health, fitness levels among other things. Consult your doctor the same and then most importantly start with a specialised postpartum program to heal your core and pelvic floor before you jump into any hard core workouts.
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