From conception to childbirth, many not-so-pleasant experiences such as morning sickness, erratic mood swings, and weight gain take place. While some effects disappear after childbirth, the stubborn post-pregnancy weight simply refuses to go away.
Putting on your pre-pregnancy jeans becomes a dream and all the sexy looks vanish away after delivery. Experts say that the average weight gain during pregnancy is around 15-17 kg. This explains why this weight can’t go just overnight.
Therefore, women should take postpartum weight gain seriously; bearing in mind that the body takes time to recover after giving birth. They, therefore, have to wait several weeks while still eating enough calories to cater to the physical and mental demands of caring for your little one.
In this article, we look at the tips for safe postpartum weight loss, including the best diets to follow and timelines for weight loss.
What should I eat after delivery to lose weight?
Whole grains contain fiber to keep you stay satisfied longer and so you won’t be eating often. This will help you meet your calorie goal and consequently weight loss.
Examples of whole-grain foods
- Whole wheat
- Whole oats
- Brown rice
- Whole rye
- Whole grain
Fruits are low calories, rich in fiber, very nutritious, and will keep you satisfied for a long time before your next meal. It’s better to eat them whole in order not to miss out on the fiber. Fruits are also good sources of water that can keep your body hydrated. All this will help you full longer to avoid overeating. Whenever you feel hungry, have a piece of fruit to substitute unhealthy snacks.
Below are the fruits you take for weight loss
- Passion fruits
Proteins are very useful to the body as they help in tissue repair, hormones function, muscle building, and cell maintenance. Although you may want to lose bodyweight so much, you cant take proteins out of your diet. You just have to choose healthy protein sources that won’t make you exceed the calories your body needs.
Below are some of the healthy lean protein sources
- Plain yogurt
- White flesh fish
- Poultry meat
- Lean beef
- Beans and peas
- Low-fat milk
- Egg whites.
- Lean protein
The USDA defines a lean protein source as having less than 10 grams of total fat (4.5 grams or less from saturated fat), and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3.5-ounce serving. This means, they contain fewer calories yet they are effective protein sources.
They are important foods after delivery as they have lots of nutrients and benefits. And so, including them in your diet will give you the required nutrients but with fewer calories.
Some examples of leafy greens include
- Turnip greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Swiss chard
Stay hydrated by drinking water. Whenever you feel thirsty ignore the urge to take carbonated soda, processed juice, and grab water instead. Water is calorie-free which makes it a great beverage and will complement your diet plan. Water will give you a feeling of fullness to prevent you from overeating.
It’s also essential in flushing out toxins from the body. Being a breastfeeding mother, water is very useful in the formation of milk. You can get a mobile app to remind you or whenever your baby breastfeeds remember to take a glass of water.
What foods to avoid while on a postnatal weight loss diet plan
Avoid foods that contain added sugar, too many oils, refined wheat, and processed additives. These will instead add calories and toxins to your body. The foods to avoid include;
- French fries
- Sugary drinks
- Highly fried foods
- Carbonated soda
- Candy bars
- Pastries, cakes, and cookies
- Alcohol especially beer
- Foods with high added sugar
Other tips on how to lose weight after pregnancy
- Diet alone won’t make you achieve your weight loss goal. You will lose weight a lot faster if you know when to start exercising. This should come probably from your doctor after 6-8 weeks after delivery. This is the time when your body would have healed properly. Do aerobics, yoga, and other weight loss exercises.
- Get enough sleep. As we sleep, our bodies don’t completely shut off but many processes occur in the body of which they burn calories. It’s estimated the body will burn around 440 calories for a 7-hour sleep which calories are burnt when you jog for 40 minutes. And also as you sleep, you won’t be snacking or adding extra calories into your diet. Learn how to sleep for weight loss here.
- Get support from fellow moms or partner. Doing exercise when you are alone maybe boring. But involving your hubby or friend may help archive a greater milestone. And also meeting in a support group will get you ideas from other moms with tricks they used to cut weight. And so don’t be a lone wolf.
- Don’t be discouraged. Sometimes, we do all things right but then things fail to work out as expected. It’s maybe we expect a lot, see others progress greater than ours or we just aren’t patient And so it’s the case with losing weight, you might not lose weight really fast or a celebrity lost weight in a short time and it’s not happening to you. Just know we are different, different commitments and habits. And so just check with yourself what you may be doing wrong or take an extra step in your workouts.
- Set goals that are achievable and won’t hurt you. However much you may want to lose weight, don’t set difficult goals like losing 5kg in 7 days. Never believe in such articles that say it can happen except when you are just going to cut the fat out and that hurts you know. Don’t starve yourself as this may hurt you and your baby. Set realistic goals that can be done with no harm.
- Keep track of your calorie intake. It’s a wise move knowing the number of calories that you consume. This will help you to properly plan your meals wisely. Count the number of calories in the food you eat after delivery. This can be done easily by installing a mobile app that can track your calorie intake.
How long does it take to lose weight after pregnancy?
After giving birth, you need time to recover. Do not expect to lose weight overnight. Always go for a postpartum check-up 12 weeks after giving birth and consult the health provider when you can begin trying to lose weight.
At the check-up, a doctor will check for any signs of infection, blood clots, or postpartum depression, and how generally the mother and baby are recovering from birth. From here, you and your doctor can discuss weight management options.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, 10 lb is lost immediately after giving birth. Thereafter, gradual weight loss continues for several months, of course following a healthful diet with regular physical activity.
Medical professionals and associations recommend gradual weight loss. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists interpreted healthy weight loss as losing 1–2 lb per week.
Adding a few pounds is a natural part of a healthy pregnancy; although some women find it hard to get back to their normal weight range.
A healthy weight range before, during, and after pregnancy will reduce your risk of adverse health complications, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and breastfeeding can promote sustainable postpartum weight loss.
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