While pregnancy can be an exciting time, it also tends to bring many challenges to the expecting mother, especially after the arrival of a newborn. That joyful time when a warm and snuggly baby has finally come can bring up many mixed emotions, one of them being complicated feelings on how to get rid of the excess weight gain.
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Achieving the ideal weight after a pregnancy is not totally impossible. It can still be a struggle to many as not everyone is blessed with a high metabolism and a huge amount of patience, but with the right knowledge, anyone will be able to do it. Here are 7 easy ways to lose weight after pregnancy that you probably have no idea about.
#1 Getting Hydrated
Research shows that drinking plenty of water throughout the day can increase your sense of fullness and stimulate your metabolism, leading to weight loss. It is also important for mothers who are breastfeeding as their bodies will spend extra water in order to produce milk.
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While the normal recommendation is eight glasses a day, drinking about 1 to 2 litres a day is already a good baseline. Another great way to determine if you are properly hydrated is by looking at the colour of your urine to guide you. People who are generally healthy usually produces light yellow urine every 3 to 4 hours.
#2 Eating Normally
Not many people know this, but going on a diet after pregnancy can actually disrupt your weight loss journey. This is because the act of depriving yourself of your preferred food while dealing with stress as a new mother can actually cause you to gain more weight.
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Instead of actually dieting, the best way is to just eat normally but with a well-balanced variety of foods. Aside from focusing on protein to boost metabolism, you can also start by eating more fruits and vegetables, along with other foods that can improve the quality of your breast milk such as:
- Brown rice
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole wheat bread
- Seeds and nuts
- Leafy greens
#3 Sufficient Sleep
Getting enough sleep for new mothers can be a challenge. Nonetheless, it is still important not only for you to be able to function normally during the day, but also because it can leave an impact on your body. Too much lack of sleep can negatively affect your weight.
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Studies show that new mothers who sleep for less than five hours a night are more likely to hold onto their extra pregnancy weight compared to women who slept for at least seven hours. This is because your body releases a hormone called cortisol when you are tired which will make you feel lazy to take care of yourself and you will also not pay much care to eat healthy, leading to weight gain.
#4 Gentle Exercise
A great way to lose some pounds after pregnancy is by doing some regular exercise paired with healthy eating. Moving your body has many benefits in general, but it can specifically quicken your weight loss journey and tone your body as it will help you lose fat instead of muscles.
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The only important thing that you should be careful about is to not overdo it especially if you had just gone through the Cesarean delivery where your pelvic and stomach areas will require a long time to heal. It is good to start with cardio exercises such as jogging and running that can burn big calories and improve your heart rate. Even just going for a quick walk is a good step toward boosting your weight and health.
Some studies find that breastfeeding can actually help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster. As a matter of fact, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day aside from stimulating the release of hormones that will shrink your uterus and your belly.
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Once you stop breastfeeding, your body is more likely to feel lighter which means you have just burned some calories while you were nursing. You might also notice that your appetite has naturally decreased due to weaning, which is your body’s natural way of telling you that you are on the right track.
#6 Healthy Snacks
Being at home during your confinement period may cause an increase in the number of kitchen trips you make every day. Remember that the foods you have around can have a big effect on what you eat.
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Stocking up on healthy snacks can ensure that you will have something close at hand when you feel like munching on something, which is one of the good ways to de-stress. These are some of the best healthy snacks that you might want to try out:
- Greek yoghurt
- String cheese
- Cut vegetables and hummus
- Seaweed snacks
- Mixed nuts with dried fruits
- Homemade granola
- Air-popped popcorn
#7 Postnatal Yoga
Yoga is a tried and tested ancient regiment of relieving stress, improving strength and flexibility so that one can have a healthy body and mind in the long run. Postnatal yoga or yoga for pregnancy have been proved to bring many benefits to a woman’s body.
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Some discipline and a little time per day to perform yoga is a gradual and effective way of toning the sagged muscles and reducing weight and excess fat from the belly region. It is an ideal way to lose weight slowly and gradually after a pregnancy. Nonetheless, it is still crucial to avoid strenuous poses like wheel pose and half wheel pose that exert excessive pressure on the belly.
Losing the pregnancy weight is not only important for all mothers, but also for their future babies. This is because going into the next pregnancy with a higher weight can put both the mom and developing baby at huge risk of medical complications such as gestational diabetes and hypertension. If you are struggling to lose weight, try reaching out for the help of your doctor and a dietitian for some guidance on how much weight you need to lose and when you can start exercising. At the end of the day, always remember that all body types are beautiful.
Want to read more? Check out these natural simple remedies to reduce stretch marks and some easy tips on how to stay fit during the lockdown for pregnant mothers.