There’s no doubt that having a baby is a huge life changing decision. However it will also cause changes to your body, some of which will be less welcome than others. It is perfectly natural to put on weight when you are pregnant, and much of this extra weight will be the result of hormonal changes in the body, the growing fetus and fluids. Although much of this weight will be lost as soon as you give birth, most women are still left with some excess weight and they're desperate to know how to lose weight after pregnancy.
Don’t be too concerned if you still look as though you are pregnant for some time after the birth. It will take some time for your belly and skin to shrink back after being stretched for a long period of time, and you will still be losing excess fluids. Although you will probably be keen to shed the pregnancy pounds, remember that having a baby is an ordeal for your body and you will need to allow yourself time to recover, especially if the birth wasn’t straightforward.
Several other factors may affect your ability to follow a diet and exercise plan; your emotions will probably be out of whack as your hormones settle back to their normal levels, and you may experience post partum depression. It is usual for new moms to feel exhausted, and looking after a baby can leave you with very little time for yourself, at least initially. It is important that you don’t push yourself into anything too soon.
When you feel ready, start some gentle exercise. At first you may be limited to times when your baby is asleep. Put on an exercise DVD or just put on your favorite music and dance. If you have a piece of home exercise equipment, such as a treadmill or stationary cycle, this is ideal for getting in a quick workout. If it’s a nice day, put baby in his or her stroller and go for a brisk walk round your local park.
Enlist the help of family and friends. Talk to them about your weight loss goals; chances are they will be able to give you some valuable tips on losing pregnancy weight or will look after baby while you exercise.
Make sure you don’t cut your calories too low. You need to ensure that you are as healthy as possible, and if you are breast feeding you will need extra calories. Make sure your diet contains a good variety of fruit and vegetables, pulses, proteins, good fats, fiber and carbohydrates. Limit the amount of processed foods and reduce food containing high amounts of sugar, salt and fat. Make sure you drink plenty of water to help flush out excess fluids.
Be patient- it’s far better to lose the weight slowly and be healthy. Allow yourself to enjoy your time as a new mom, gradually switch to healthier eating habits, build in some exercise when you are able and you should soon see that baby weight disappear. If you need more help, excellent programs like Fit Yummy Mummy will help you to lose weight after pregnancy. The author has been there, too.