How to Lose Weight After Pregnancy
How to Lose Your Postpartum Weight Gain
The female body is inspiring. In the very accurate words of Beyonce, it’s “strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” For all it goes through, you would think it deserves commendation – and a bit of slack. However, thanks to the likes of celebrity and Instagram model mothers who look like they haven’t put on weight at all, there’s enormous pressure for women to shrink back into prenatal shape almost instantly. Every woman goes through a personal after-birth recovery story. Some may snap back quickly while others take their time. If you want to look for tips on losing your weight after pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place.
Why Do You Have Postpartum Weight Gain?
Think of a balloon. You blow it up and leave it that way for a while. When you release the air, it shrinks, but it does not quickly revert to its original form – it’s stretched and sagged. Your stomach works the same way.
It’s healthy to gain weight when life is growing inside you. In fact, not gaining enough could be detrimental to you and the baby. It could result in low birth weight for the infant, among other consequences. According to a 2014 paper, the fat you acquire during pregnancy helps protect the baby from being exposed to pesticides inside the mother’s body. However, if you have experienced things such as gestational diabetes, it’s best to consult with your physician as it may be symptomatic of other conditions.
Apart from the baby, the placenta, and amniotic fluid, which you lose after giving birth, most women are left with a little bit of surplus – perhaps a couple of dress sizes more than when you started. This bit of fat prepares your body for breastfeeding and other new adjustments.
Major Reasons You’re Not Losing the Pregnancy Weight Gain
Many factors affect weight loss (or the lack of it) after pregnancy. As with every other weight concern, genetics and metabolism play critical roles. You can also consider prenatal fitness. Women who were physically fit before pregnancy and/or continued exercising during it tend to return to a similar size. That said, it’s never too late for you. However, it’s necessary to figure out why you may not be losing your pregnancy weight gain.
You’re under physical and emotional stress.
Managing a newborn is challenging work. It’s a massive milestone that requires an emotional and physical shift. Your newborn’s midnight feedings may be diminishing your sleep hygiene – and we know a lack of sleep can cause weight gain. There are also times when you may be too tired and it may increase the likelihood of seeking energy through extra calories.People react to stress in various ways, and your reaction may be acquiring a stone or two.
Your hormones are haywire.
Imbalanced hormones affect your entire body. As we have mentioned in a previous blog post, it can cause problems with infertility, wreak havoc on your skin and hair, and make your weight balloon. When you’re pregnant and as you adjust after, your body’s hormone output changes. Apart from stress hormones, a University of Utah study states that some women develop hypothyroidism while expecting and after giving birth. One of the most telling symptoms of low thyroid function is weight gain.
Many myths surround breastfeeding. While it does burn calories and help shrink your uterus, it’s not a weight-loss tool. Breastfeeding can even lead to dehydration. The lack of water in your system can weaken your metabolism, affecting how you process lipids and carbohydrates.
You’re not eating the right food.
Considering all the factors mentioned above, you ought to know that your body isn’t the same. While the anxiety and exhaustion may prompt you to reach for a pack of crisps, don’t! Now is the time to truly try to eat better. After all, you won’t have time or energy to go for a daily walk for the first few weeks. Keep your energy up with a healthy diet, which in turn will help lose any weight gained during pregnancy. It’ll help stimulate your breast milk, too.
You may have diastasis recti.
Remember our metaphor about that freshly deflated balloon? It’s likely caused by diastasis recti, colloquially known as the post-pregnancy pooch. Two-thirds of women develop this after pregnancy or after a major weight loss.
Diastasis recti occur when your abs separate from being stretched during pregnancy. The cosmetic effect is a prominent bulge in the midsection that even dieting and regular exercise can’t fix. Over time, however, the condition can weaken your stomach muscles and trigger chronic lower back pain.
How to Lose Your Postpartum Weight?
There are some things you must remember before embarking on a postnatal weight-loss journey. On a technical level, you must ensure that you settle your diastasis recti first. Check if your abs have split by doing a simple test at home. While you may think that the secret to a smaller belly is to perform sit-ups and crunches, these workouts can worsen the separation. Certain exercises, such as cat-cow poses and pelvic tilts, can help remedy the situation better.
Take it slowly. Listen to your body and give it time to mend after the physical trauma of giving birth. BodySlims ambassador Carla FitzGerald reminds us that it’s not bouncing back to your original trousers size.
“It’s about feeling really good and confident after my confidence was shaken by postnatal depression,” she explains. The mom of one was previously overweight, weighing over 23 stone. She took BodySlims’ weight loss programme and within months, she transformed from a UK24/26 to a UK8/10. “I felt great. I felt better than I have ever felt my entire life,” she proclaims.
However, she found out she was pregnant a short time after “We put on weight during pregnancy, that’s just how it is. But after having my baby boy, I didn’t feel so great. I had postnatal depression,” she confesses.
After addressing her post natal depression with her doctor, she realised that she didn’t feel as good as when she reached her goal weight a year earlier.
She returned to BodySlims’ programme to recover her self-esteem. By the time her baby was 6 months old Carla had returned to her pre-baby weight, but most importantly she felt good in herself and confident in her body.
When it comes to losing postpartum weight, Carla advises listening to your body. Start by accepting that it’s changed. “I love my new body as a new mom, but I know it can be scary when you’re not familiar with your body,” she says.
Find your own path to weight loss after giving birth by signing up for Bodyslims’ weight loss programme. It’s the best way to renew your love for your body and marvel at all it can do.