First time mothers, how have the last few months been for you? Hair loss, weight gain and a confusing metabolism, among others, may be taking a toll on you. Freight not! Because, we’re here to guide you with your weight-loss journey and we want you to do it in the healthiest way possible. So let’s get started!
Your Body is Unique, so your Weight-Loss Journey will be Unique too.
There are a few things you must understand and accept before you embark on your weight loss journey.
First of them is that although you hugely dream of getting back to your pre-pregnancy figure, there are many things in your new shape that you won’t be able to change within the first few months, like the expanded hips and broader chest. But that doesn’t matter, because once you start working out it’s possible to get rid of the fat in other areas (read: the expanded belly and the drooping chin).
So start on your journey and keep it as individual as you can, because everyone’s body adapts differently. (There, I blurted out the second most important thing you must remember in this aspect.) Another pointer in the list of things to understand is that your mental health is a deciding factor in your weight-loss journey.
Diet changes, but Calorie-Cut Downs are a big NO-NO!
When your bodyweight becomes a deep-rooted concern, the first thing you contemplate doing is changing your diet or eating too less. But with a baby to breastfeed, diet changes can become complex.
While you are on your regular visits to the gynaecologist, don’t forget to make an appointment with a nutritionist. Your nutritionist will advise you to have a post pregnancy diet that’s full of green veggies, whole-carbs and lots and lots of protein and Calcium. Make sure you have the energy levels to be the supermom you promised to be with the baby inside you.
Eat well-balanced meals like a bowl of cornflakes or puffed rice with milk, raisins and nuts for breakfast. These edibles are easy on your abdomen, which has undergone major changes to hold the baby and keep it healthy before the delivery.
Those mothers who had a C-section, you need extra care not to load your gut with foodstuff like rotis, heavily cooked meat curries and avoid red meat at all costs. The reason being that:
- they take too much time to degrade and be absorbed as nourishment for your body;
- their absorption processes disturb the uterus and vulva which are extremely sensitive organs at this time and are in their contraction phase now that the pregnancy is over; and
- these foodstuff can cause lethargy and fatigue.
Breastfeed as long as you can, for yours and your baby’s good health!
Many young mothers complain today that they don’t find time to breastfeed their baby, and have gotten their baby to drink milk from a bottle. To these mothers, I must remind you that being able to breastfeed is a blessing for you and your baby, so please don’t let this ability go waste.
Breastfeeding is the primary way for your baby to develop his/her immunity for all the lifetime, and the WHO recommends that babies be breastfed till the age of three. So it’s very important that your mammary glands serve the REAL purpose for which they’re naturally there!
Also, you should know that breastfeeding lets you naturally burn at least 300 to 500 calories per day. So if you want to really lose weight the easy way, breastfeed your baby till you can! Don’t forget that breastfeeding extends your mental and emotional connect with your baby in miraculous ways and that too for life!
Walk, Run and Jog
Although this is a usual weight-loss strategy, post pregnancy this form of workout assumes primary importance. This is because just after childbirth, your body won’t be in a state for extensive workouts like weight-lifts, Zumba, or aerobics. These can be picked up after 4 or 5 months, but the initial exercise regime should be a walking-running-jogging thing!
So take your baby to the neighbourhood park in a baby-stroller and walk as fast as you can not only because you want to lose your weight but also because your baby needs some fresh air!
Walking makes all your organs and muscles start working together, and enhances your digestion capabilities in order for you to get back to your regular diet. Mums also tell how happy and peaceful they feel after a walk, which remarkably affects the growth of the baby. It also helps you understand your body and decide when you would be able to get back to work.
Enrol into a Yoga class
Walking and running definitely do help, but yogasanas will cure your body of all the emotional, physical and psychological stress so that you feel happy with the body that you have and then rediscover your inner strength all over again!
Married women in India have many roles to juggle every day and more often than not, it leads them to frustration and guilt pangs which affect the baby’s upbringing. Starting your day with yoga will revitalize you so that you manage all your work, home as well as your baby just right!
While you do feel a brunt of depression sometimes about how your body has changed, you have to understand that you need time, at least a good 6 to 12 months before you’re back to your pre-pregnancy shape.
It’s okay to sleep over your worries and it’s okay to take your time on this, because when done as a gradual process, your body is immune to many problems such as obesity, breast cancer and uterine problems. So eat right and sleep well so that the efforts you make to lose those extra pounds will actually show results because …