How to lose your pregnancy weight ?
Oh, the weight increase that comes with pregnancy! It’s a difficult subject. Yes, you should gain weight. But not in excess, and not too rapidly. And, for the love of God, don’t be miserable or self-conscious about your changing shape. Remember you’re doing this for your baby, and you’ll have plenty of time to get back to your pre pregnancy weight.
It can be stressful taking care of a newborn, adjusting to a new routine, and recovering from childbirth. But, don’t be in a hurry to lose weight. Drastic weight loss post delivery is not just harmful for you, but can also decrease your milk production. It’s important to ensure that while losing weight, you don’t affect your milk production.
The current recommendation is that women within a healthy weight range who are carrying one baby, gain 8 to 14 kg during pregnancy.
Recommended weight gains for expectant people who are underweight, overweight, or carrying multiple babies are different.
Your healthcare providers may also have a different recommendation based on your own needs.
According to research, pregnancy weight gain consists of:
- the baby
- amniotic fluid
- breast tissue
- uterus enlargement
- extra fat stores
The extra fat acts as an energy reserve for the birth and breastfeeding. However, excess weight gain can result in too much fat. This in turn can make it difficult for you to come back to your pre pregnancy weight.
We’ll go over some effective methods to help you achieve a healthy postpartum weight.
Tips to help lose baby weight
- Keep your goals realistic
Despite what magazines and celebrity stories would have you believe, losing weight after pregnancy takes time.
Depending on how much weight you gained during pregnancy, it is realistic to expect that over the next 1 to 2 years you could lose around 5-10kgs. If you gained more weight, you may find you end up a few pounds heavier than you were pre-pregnancy.
Of course, with a good eating plan and exercise, you should be able to achieve any healthy level of weight loss.
- Don’t crash diet
Crash diets are very low calorie diets that aim to make you lose a large amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible.
After delivering a baby, your body needs good nutrition to heal and recover. In addition, if you are breastfeeding, you require more calories than normal.
A low calorie diet is likely to be lacking in important nutrients and will probably leave you feeling tired. This is the opposite of what you need when taking care of a newborn, and when you’re sleep-deprived.
Assuming your weight is currently stable, decreasing your calorie intake by about 500 calories per day will stimulate safe weight loss of about 0.5 kg per week. This amount of weight loss is considered safe for breastfeeding women, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
For example, a woman eating 2,000 calories per day could eat 300 fewer calories and burn an extra 200 calories through exercise, making a reduction of 500 calories in total.
- Breastfeed if you can
The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the CDC all recommend breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby during the first 6 months of life (or much longer) has many benefits for both you and your baby:
Provides nutrition: Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive in the first 6 months of life, according to the WHO.
Supports the baby’s immune system: Breast milk also contains important antibodies that help your baby fight viruses and bacteria.
Lowers the risk of disease in infants: Breastfed infants have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, respiratory disease, ear infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and gastrointestinal infections.
Reduces the mother’s risk of disease: People who breastfeed have lower risks of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Additionally, research has shown that breastfeeding can support your postpartum weight loss.
However, in the first 3 months of breastfeeding, you may experience no weight loss or even some weight gain. This is due to increased calorie needs and intake, as well as reduced physical activity during lactation.
- Monitor your calorie intake
We know, calorie counting isn’t for everyone. But if you’re finding that eating intuitively just doesn’t seem to be working, monitoring calories can help you work out how much you are eating and where any problem areas in your eating plan may be.
It can also help you ensure you are getting enough calories to provide you with the energy and nutrition you need.
You can do this by:
- keeping a food diary
- taking pictures of your food as a reminder of what you have eaten
- trying a mobile calorie tracking app
Using these techniques can help you reduce your portion sizes and choose healthier foods, which helps with weight loss.
- Eat foods high in fiber
It’s time to get those healthy grains and veggies on your shopping list. Eating foods that are high in fiber has been shown to help with weight loss.
Soluble fiber foods (like these!) may also help you feel fuller for longer by slowing down digestion and reducing hunger hormone levels.
Kanupriya Khanna, a senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in reproductive nutrition can help you lose weight. She is titled as one of the best dietitians in Delhi.
Also Read: Pregnancy and your newborn’s gut microbiome: what is the link?