Postpartum Weight Loss
By: Erika Laudon N.H.
The realm of it is, that there is no magical postpartum weight loss calculator, and the idea that you should be able to “bounce back” to your pre-baby body is only a myth.
It can sometimes take a year or more to lose pregnancy weight. So, no need in beating yourself up if you’re not bouncing back as quickly as you’d like.
Once cleared by your doctor or midwife you’ll want to come up with a postpartum weight loss plan. It is very important that your plan consists of the right amount of calories and other wholesome foods.
First, let us take a look at what pregnancy weight consists of to get a better understanding.
What does pregnancy weight gain consist of?
- The baby
- Amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Uterus enlargement
- Extra stored fat
The extra weight that is gained acts as an energy reserve for birth and breastfeeding. Too much weight gain during pregnancy is considered “baby weight”.
Consequences of keeping this baby weight on can include:
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Increased risk of being overweight
- Greater risk of complications at birth and afterward
- Higher health risks for a woman with gestational diabetes
Tips to help with postpartum weight
- Keep your goals realistic. Losing weight after pregnancy takes time depending on how much weight you gained during pregnancy. It is realistic to expect that over the next 1-2 years you could lose around 10 pounds. If you gained more weight, you may find yourself a few pounds heavier than you were pre-pregnancy.
- It’s never a good idea to “crash diet”. Crash diets are very low-calorie diets that aim to make you lose a large amount of weight in the shortest amount of time possible. While this may sound tempting, after delivery, your body needs good nutrition to be able to heal and recover. In addition, if you are breastfeeding, you require more calories than normal according to the CDC. A low-calorie diet is more likely to be lacking in important nutrients and will probably leave you feeling tired. We all know after giving birth, we don’t need to add to the tiredness.
- Breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby. Not only does it provide nutrients, it helps support immune system function, lowers the risk of diseases, and can also support postpartum weight loss.
- Monitor your calorie intake. I know this sounds contrary to the low-calorie diet, however, keeping a food diary by writing down what you consumed that day will help you have a better understanding of much you may be lacking or going over your day to day amount. A calorie tracker is also another way to count your daily calorie intake.
- Foods that are high in fiber. Fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, causing the body to have that “fulness” feeling longer.
- Healthy proteins can help boost metabolism
- Healthy snacking can keep you full throughout the day and limit your cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a substance that is stored in the body and its calories are used for fuel, thus decreasing the body’s use of other sources of calories.
- Avoid added sugars and refined carbs. When refined sugar or simple carbs are consumed, the bloodstream is flooded with sugar. Added sugar and refined carbs add no nutritional value.
- Getting enough sleep. Researchers have found that lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high carbohydrate foods.
- Hydrate. Can help with the feeling of fullness and reduce hunger.
- Move your body. More physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses for energy or “burns off”.
- Avoid processed foods. Research reveals that eating processed foods makes you consume more thus, gaining more weight
Wide variety of predominantly whole foods such as:
- Good quality lean proteins like organic chicken, organic tofu, fish, eggs, and full-fat dairy
- Fresh organic fruits
- Fresh organic vegetables
- Fiber-rich carbs
- Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and seeds
Some great weight loss options are:
- Ten-day Downsize
- Nightly burn
- Triple diet max accelerator
- Metabolism weight control
- Metaburn herbal weight
- 15-day weight loss support cleanse
- Cookbooks by: Cindy Mullet A better weigh to healthy cookbook and Trim healthy mama cookbook by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison
Carrying baby weight after pregnancy is very common and nothing to get down on yourself
about. Your body just did an amazing thing! Getting back into a healthy weight range is beneficial to your health and any future pregnancies so it’s definitely worth working on. Everybody’s bodies are different, and it may require a little longer than others. It’s important not to give up.