How to Loose Weight after Pregnancy?

How to Loose Weight after Pregnancy?

Authored by DesiMD Team

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in every woman's life when weight gain may give a sense of elation instead of depression. Once the baby is born, you want to lose that flab  want to get back into shape. Dietary management is the best way to lose weight post pregnancy.

The post pregnancy period requires a lot of energy, strength and stamina. This implies that there is an increased nutritional requirement during the post pregnancy months. The nutritional requirement of pregnancy continues even after delivery except that they are increased to an extent. Immediate post pregnancy period is not the right time to go on a strict diet. Strict calorie restrictions on your part may deprive your baby of the much needed nourishment. Therefore if you want to lose weight along with meeting the nutritional requirements of your baby, you have to take special care in choosing the type of foods you eat.

Nutrient requirements of a successful diet plan to lose weight post pregnancy are as follows:

  • Energy: If you are lactating, your calorie requirements may in fact increase by 700-1000 calories per day. Hence while calculating your daily calorie intake; you should keep this fact in mind. It is recommended to consult a dietician and adjust your calories according to your body’s requirements
  • roteins: An increase in protein intake is recommended during the post pregnancy period. You should include protein at every meal as proteins help in keeping you full longer. Low fat dairy, eggs, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, fish and lean meats are all good protein options that should form part of your diet
  • Fats: Fats release high amount of energy, hence their intake should be in moderation. Moreover, you should also keep a check on the type of fat you are eating. Fats rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and deficient in saturated fatty acids should be eaten more. Olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil are such types of fats
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates form the major portion of your diet. However avoid simple carbohydrates and include more of complex carbohydrates in your diet as they are rich in fibre and keep you full longer. Examples of complex carbohydrates are whole grains, whole grain bread, oats, nuts, beans etc. Examples of simple carbohydrates are sugar, refined flour, cakes, cookies, pastries, pizza etc.
  • ​Vitamins and Minerals: During the post pregnancy period you need nutrition not only for yourself but also for your baby. Hence, it is very important that your diet contains all types of vitamins and minerals in right proportions
  • ​Dietary fibre: Dietary fibre gives you a feeling of satiety and adds bulk to your stool. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as they are rich in dietary fibre. You can take psyllium husk to increase the total fibre intake in your diet
  • ​Water: Water acts as an appetite suppressant. Water is necessary for all the reactions that happen in a cell. Hence, dehydration leads to a reduced basal metabolic rate and all your weight loss efforts may come to a standstill. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily and keep yourself hydrated
  • Avoid junk and fast foods as they are devoid of nutrients and high in calories. Clear your kitchen of all the junk food
  • Eat at regular and small meals and never skip a meal. Skipping a meal can cause hunger pangs and overeating

Do not eat out of boredom. If that ever happens, go for a walk with your baby or read a book. Importance of exercise in losing weight after pregnancy. As you can realize that you cannot do much in controlling your calorie intake as long as you are lactating, following a regular exercise regimen is the best option for losing weight post pregnancy. Though, during the first 6-8 weeks following delivery, you may lose some of your extra weight and the tone of your abdominal and perineal muscles is regained, still, you have to exercise regularly to get back your pre pregnancy form.

When can exercise be started following delivery?
Majority of the doctors recommended waiting for at least 6 weeks in normal delivery and 8 weeks in caesarean delivery before you can start exercising. However, simple non-stressful exercises can be started in some females with normal and uncomplicated delivery as early as immediately the day after delivery. These exercises consist of simple stretches of legs and upper body. To strengthen the perineal muscles Kegel exercises should be done. However, you should consult your gynaecologist before beginning any exercise program post delivery.

What are the advantages of post pregnancy exercises?
Post partum exercise not only helps you in losing weight but also has several other health benefits. Some of these are: It helps in the improvement of general blood circulation and reduction of back problems. It also helps in the prevention of occurrence of varicose veins, leg cramps, ankle swelling and clot in blood vessels. Your perineal and vaginal muscles are toned and tightened, thereby preventing leakage of urine and prolapsed of uterus and vagina. This will also make post pregnancy sex enjoyable for you. Exercise is also associated with decreased stress levels, minimizing the possibility of occurrence of post partum depression.

What type of exercises can be done?

  • Some basic guidelines: You should start with non stressful stretching exercises initially and can gradually do aerobic activity including brisk walking, jogging, running etc. Walking is the best form of exercise. After a few weeks, you can also take your baby along for a walk. This will also increase the bonding between you and your baby. Make a schedule and stick to it as exercising sporadically may have no benefit in losing weight. If you have not been exercising for quite a long time or if you are beginning an unfamiliar exercise program, it is recommended to start slowly. Never do more than what is recommended and gradually increase the number of repetitions. 5-minute warm up and cool down sessions are recommended both at the start and end of every exercise session. Keep yourself hydrated especially while exercising. In case you experience any symptom of pain, dizziness, faintness, blurred vision, shortness of breath, back pain, pubic pain, palpitations, nausea of increased vaginal bleeding or discharge, stop the exercise and inform your health care practitioner.