How to Lose Weight Fast After Giving Birth

It's very critical that you do get the weight off, because if you don't it has been associated with overweight and obesity 15 to 20 years later in life. Any baby weight you don't take off could stick with you for a long time.

Holding on to pregnancy weight can lead to serious health consequences down the road, putting moms at risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. And losing the pregnancy weight is important not just for new moms, but for babies, too. Going into a future pregnancy at a higher weight can put both the mom and the developing baby at risk for medical complications, such as gestational diabetes and hypertension.

But most women's bodies aren't ready for serious exercise until six weeks after giving birth or longer if they've had a Cesarean section. And most new moms are too sleep-deprived and overwhelmed to even think about exercise. That's perfectly fine.

One of the most important things to remember is to be patient with yourself. It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to the fighting weight.

For long-term success -- and to keep yourself feeling good along the way, here are some tips to help you lose weight fast after pregnancy and fit back into your old jeans:

Breastfeed
When you're breastfeeding, you need an extra 500 calories a day, or about 2,700 totals. But since breastfeeding burns 600 to 800 calories a day, even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, you could still be losing weight.

Get Up and Move
Start by walking around the block. If it feels good and doesn't cause or exacerbate bleeding, walk a little farther the next day. Do this until your six-week checkup, after which you should be ready to do 20 to 30 minutes of cardio 3 to 5 times a week. Even just by pushing a stroller 1-2 miles in 30 minutes burns 150 calories. So does walking up and down stairs for 15 minutes.
 
Mind How and What You Eat
When you're a new mother, your body needs maximum nutrition, especially if you're nursing. Choose foods that are heavy in the nutrients you need and light in calories and fat. These tips will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Make time for breakfast in the morning.
  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Include plenty of fiber-rich foods such as oats, beans, lentils, grains and seeds in your meals.
  • Include starchy foods such as bread, rice and pasta (preferably wholegrain varieties for added fiber) in every meal.
  • Go easy on fatty and sugary foods, takeaways, fast food, sweets, cakes, biscuits, pastries and fizzy drinks.
  • Watch your portion sizes at mealtimes, and the number and type of snacks you eat between meals.


Eat Healthful Snacks
Eat high-fiber snacks like figs and raisins or whole-wheat crackers with veggies. They can fill you up and help with digestion and regularity. Skip the sugary treats. To avoid temptation, keep only nutritious foods at your fingertips. And stock up on low-fat milk and yogurt for snacks, as studies have shown that calcium from milk and yogurt actually can aid weight loss by blocking a hormone that allows the body to store fat.

Take Naps
Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you're not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy. Strange sleep cycles forced on you by a newborn can upset your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose your pregnancy weight. Whatever you do, don't sacrifice sleep for exercise time in those early weeks. If you don't sleep enough, you won't have enough energy for satisfying workouts, anyway.

Consider a Belly Wrap
Post-partum abdominal wraps have been used around the world for centuries. Some obstetricians still recommend post-partum mums wear one to help with posture and abdominal support for the first 6-8 weeks after birth. There's also the theory that the gentle compression on your abs helps the uterus return to its normal size more quickly and flattens your stomach faster, too.

Give yourself time to get back in shape, and don't despair if the weight doesn't fall off immediately. Ignore stories of celebrities getting back into shape a few weeks after childbirth. Supermodels make a living by being thin, so they have extra motivation to drop their pregnancy weight as quickly as possible, even if it means doing it in an unhealthy way. Such quick weight loss is unrealistic for the average new moms, so take a more gradual approach.

It’s safe to lose weight when breastfeeding if you lose it gradually. Losing between 0.5kg and 1kg (1lb to 2lb) a week shouldn't affect the quality or supply of your milk, or your baby's growth. Losing weight gradually will also make it more likely to stay off in the long run.

photo: newyou.com.ph

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