Every new mom is eager to look like her old self again. One of the most important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself. You might have seen few celebrities fitting into their pre pregnancy jeans within the first 6 months. “How has she done it” We all ask. But that is not an important question. It’s Why has she done it? Because their work demands that. They follow very very strict diet and also start physical activity, probably even before their body is ready.
But is it realistic — or for that matter even healthy — to slim down so fast after pregnancy
Experts says “NO”
It’s every woman’s dream to lose all the extra pregnancy pounds the moment baby finally arrives — but the fact is no one snaps back naturally to her pre-baby body so quickly. It’s important to keep your expectations in check. Yes, celebrities do get back in shape as early as they can, but as I mentioned, their job demands it. Also they have resources and helps that the rest of us don’t have many times after baby is born.” This includes personal chefs, in house trainers, therapists and nannies, all of whom allow the celebrity new mom to devote serious time in getting in shape.
Most women think that dieting is the quickest way to lose weight, however the truth is, that serious cut down in calories after delivery is not a good idea, specially if you are breastfeeding. On an average a new mom whether she is breastfeeding or not, needs around 1800 to 2000 calories every day. You should NOT be thinking of dieting at least for the first 8 weeks. During this time you might lose couple of kilos, which is OK, but you really don’t need to cut down on your food intake during the early weeks after delivery. Your body needs energy to sustain the grind which it has gone through and calories to breastfeed.
Instead of dieting start having a well balanced healthy home cooked meal. Eat freshly made home food for your b’fast, lunch and dinner. For snacking, keep options like carrot sticks, apples slices, wheat crackers, sliced cucumbers and low fat yoghurt. Your body needs maximum nutrition, especially if you are nursing. Eat “super foods”. Fish is one great super food, because it’s packed with DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that helps your newborn develop a healthy brain and nervous system. The best sources of DHA are cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna. Vegetarians can consume Flax seeds, chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Seaweed, Beans and leafy greens.
Milk and yogurt are also super foods because they’re high in the calcium which you need to keep your bones strong. And of course, Protein – Lean meat, chicken, and beans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. They’re good for you, and they’ll keep you feeling full for longer.
When to start exercising?
While dieting is off-limits for a while, exercise is highly recommended. It will help you in increasing your energy and will also reduce the risks of postpartum depression. However, it is advised not to put much stress on your joints by doing activities such as jogging, jumping, or running — for at least six to eight weeks. The reason is, during pregnancy you produce a hormone called “relaxin”, which actually makes joints loose and consequently more prone to injury, and you will still have significant amounts of this hormone in your blood for at least several weeks after childbirth.
Taking a walk with your baby in the stroller is enough to start with. It will pump up your heart rate and will let your muscles work. Start with 15 to 20 mins of walk and gradually increase it to 30 mins.
Strengthen your core and back
Even if you had strong core muscles before pregnancy, you really lose that strength during pregnancy because the muscles are all stretched out – plus you’ve spent nine months carrying extra weight in your tummy. Hence, start with simple core workouts like pelvic tilt, squeeze and tighten your butt then relax, put a pillow between your knees and squeeze and relax. You can also do few of these exercises like Clam Shell, Dead Bug and Bird Dog. This can start to build your core and strengthen your back.
Lastly, a word of advice, before you start any weight loss journey consult your doctor and a dietitian. The dietitian can help you design an eating plan that will help you lose weight safely and effectively, while the doctor can guide you on how much weight you need to lose and when you can start proper exercising.
If you wish to reach out to me, drop me an email at email@example.com