Can You Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
There is no doubt that you will feel frumpy and a bit helpless after you give birth. Sometimes it can feel as though your whole body has been taken over and it is not yours anymore. Given the responsibilities of motherhood and the lack of energy you will experience, it can seem that losing weight is impossible. It can also be at the bottom of most women’s priorities. There is hope however, you can get your body back into peak condition and you do not have to be a celebrity with a personal trainer to do so. It is normal to have at least 8-16 extra pounds of weight after you give birth. Never fret, you are no different to other new mothers and there are loads of things that you can do to lose this weight. There is a good reason why you are carrying extra weight and it is all to do with the health of your baby. God designed our bodies with nurture in mind. We still have to feed and provide for our baby after birth.
During pregnancy your body will require an extra 300 calories a day to keep working and nourishing the fetus. This calorie intake increases to 500 extra calories at least after birth. This is due to breastfeeding, as you need calories to produce milk and also maintain your own health. Our bodies are designed to store extra nutrients post birth to protect our baby and ourselves just in case there is not enough food available. It is all about self-preservation. It is for this reason that getting weight off after pregnancy can be even more difficult and stubborn to shift. Our bodies are predisposed to hang on to as much of it as possible. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are not seeing the results that you expect, it is normal for this to happen, you just have to try different tactics.
How To Lose The Weight
It is highly encouraged that you breast-feed your child, not only for the nutritional and bonding benefits, but also for the extra calories that it burns. The good news is that breast-feeding will burn an additional 500 calories per day. This will soon add up when you consider that this will equate to losing one pound of weight per week. If you are one of the lucky ones you will not have to do anything different at all in order to shift the weight. Try to concentrate on eating healthily and make sure that there is a varied amount of nutrients in there for both you and your baby. If you are not breast-feeding however, things will not be as easy for you. You should therefore try to do some light exercise each day to make up for this. Do not go crazy here though; you will have to go gentle on your body as it is still recovering from giving birth. Sometimes you will notice that you are a lot more active with a new baby in the house anyway and will already be doing a lot of exercise. Burning calories seems to be much easier for new mothers because of all the work that they have to do. Consider the extra effort during your day that you do not even think amounts to much and you will be surprised how effective it is.
Pushing a baby stroller requires a lot of effort; even carrying your baby up and down the stairs burns extra calories. If you do want to take up a new exercise regime after pregnancy to optimize your efforts, a really brilliant exercise is swimming. You could also take up water aerobics, as it is gentle on your body, relaxing and good for stress relief. Combining gentle exercise with a good diet will do wonders for your weight loss efforts. Only reduce your calorie intake moderately however as it is not good for your baby if you deprive yourself. After giving birth, you should not impose severe dietary restrictions to yourself, as you will need all of the energy that you can get to care for your newborn. It is good to aim to lose around one pound per week and not more, remember that your body is still recovering. You will usually find that you are losing more that this anyway as parenthood requires a lot of energy and stamina!