You can not deliver a baby without gaining weight. Not only you carry baby weight, who grows inside your uterus during the pregnancy, but you also gain weight apart from that as well because your body needs strength and protection to deliver a baby.
It is recommended by Center for Disease Control that you should gain the following weights during towards the conclusion of pregnancy:
- if you are normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain between 25 to 35 pounds
- for overweight the recommended range of baby weight gain is 15 to 25 pounds
- for obese expecting mothers, the weight gain during pregnancy should be 11-20 pounds
How to lose weight after pregnancy
The first thing after delivering a baby is that you think of how to lose baby weight. Interestingly you will lose up to 12 pounds of weight right after delivering the baby.
Though you will still be feeling the belly fat because of enlarged uterus and fat deposits around it and on your belly. You should target a healthy fat loss rate of about 1 to 1.5 pounds every week, which equals roughly 3500 calories.
But to ensure that you lose baby belly in a healthy way, here are our top 10 effective ways of losing baby fat:
1. No crash dieting
You should not try to speed through weight loss. Especially if you will be breastfeeding, which you should for the sake of the baby, you will be needing energy. In fact you will be needing about 500 more calories per day for producing milk for the baby.
Therefore, your daily calorie intake should not drop below 1800. Anything short of that will mean that you will be losing weight too quickly which will not be long term. It will also probably keep you lethargic and tired because of lack of energy in the body.
2. Feed the baby
Breastfeeding is very important for immunity development for babies. (1) But it has also been shown that breastfeeding induces weight loss. Though you might not notice the results initially but you will start seeing that breastfeeding helps weight loss.
One study showed that breastfeeding mothers lost 3.7 pounds more than mothers who didn’t feed their baby within 6 months of pregnancy. (2)
3. Avoid sweetened drinks
Liquid calories are shallow calories. They raise insulin resistance in the body, spike insulin levels which are linked with obesity and weight gain. (3)
When you are looking for how to lose baby belly, it is important that you completely avoid sodas and any sweetened drinks. Do not fall for colorful marketing tactics used by food companies that sell sweetened juices. They are source of added sugar. Even fresh juices should be off the counter.
4. Limit refined carbs
Refined carbs are clearly linked with weight gain. (4) And also they are not healthy in the long run. Try to avoid refined carbs which you can mostly encounter in almost every processed food.
Some of the foods that you need to watch for are biscuits, bakery items, cakes, white flour, rice and pastries, candies, chips, cookies and the list is long. So what should you eat then for losing baby weight?
Some of the items that should make to your grocery lists are unprocessed foods and whole grain foods. Get more used to eating eggs, fish, lean meat, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, almonds, seeds, nuts, yogurt and whole wheat or multigrain bread.
5. Drink more water
Water is your friend when you are trying to lose weight. It is known that water kickstarts thermogenesis which means it burns calories. And also when you drink water before meals, you will stand up from the table eating less. (5)
In fact a research study has shown that you can lose up to 4.4 pounds weight by just ensuring that you drink one liter of water every day. And it is all the more important in case of breastfeeding mothers because they will be losing water every day in producing milk.
6. Snack healthy
Keep snacking during the day but it should be healthy snacking. Snacks help to suppress food cravings between meals. But stock up your home with healthy snacks like yogurt, fruits, nuts , baby carrots so that you dont rush for a pack of chips when you feel hungry during meals.
7. Add more fiber to your diet
Fiber is not only healthy for your gut but it is also known to reduce weight. Especially if you add more soluble fiber to your diet, it fights hunger, keeps you full for longer and as a benefit also reduces cholesterol.
Therefore, one way of losing weight after pregnancy naturally is to include fiber filled foods in your daily diet. Some of the foods that can be candidates are oats, popcorn, chickpeas, legumes and fruits.
8. Eat protein rich diet
Protein helps reduce baby weight on two counts. First, it digests slower than carbs, therefore, you will feel less food cravings. Second, it helps build muscles which are powerhouse for metabolism. More muscles mean your basal metabolism rate will be high and you will be burning calories even while you are resting.
Your protein should come from chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, turkey, legumes, seeds, nuts and dairy.
9. Start exercise routine
Exercise not only burns fat in the moment but it also helps build muscles that will keep your body toned and your metabolism high.
Start small with walks and gradually increase the duration. You should ideally be engaging in moderate intensity cardio of about 300 minutes every week. You can easily do this by brisk walking.
Complement it with two days of 30 minutes of resistance training. Start with lifting smaller weights. However, take note that your body is in the healing process after delivering a baby. You can not straight away put it through stress.
It also depends on the mode of delivery. If you had surgery, you need to get permission from your doctor about when it will be safe for you to start exercise and also which exercise she or he will recommend.
Start with easy pelvic exercises and gradually start walking and shift to brisk walking at the minimum.
10. Get recommended sleep
You might be surprised to note that even one night of sleep deprivation pushes you to weight gain. (6) It is understandable that with the new baby, your sleep patterns will be all over the place but try to adjust your sleep schedule with the baby.
At the minimum you should be getting 7 hours of shut eyes and this can be easiest ways of losing baby weight.
The bottom line
Postpartum weight loss is pretty much similar to standard long term weight loss. You create a calorie deficit diet by eating healthy foods, and you burn more calories than you eat on any given day.
You are helped by the fact that breastfeeding helps you consume 500 more calories every day. But don’t set yourself unrealistic targets or be harsh on yourself. You got that baby weight in nine months. So wondering about how long does it take to lose weight after having a baby should not turn into any fad diet plan.
It is totally possible to get rid of baby weight but it will take time and you should not try to starve your way to this weight loss because it will not be healthy . Neither you would like to deprive your baby of essential nutrients that he gets from mother’s milk.