Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Amazing Tips on How to Lose Weight after Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you had probably indulged in all the pampering you had received from your husband and others and the results of that is there for all to see. You have packed on weight throughout the nine months and childbirth has not made all the weight gain go away. There are many tell-tale signs of pregnancy like stretch marks, weak pelvic muscles, cellulite veins and not least, your inability to slip into your old clothes.

But there is no need to despair. You can easily get back into shape as long as you have the determination and will power to stick to your weight loss goals and stay consistent to your new lifestyle. However, if you have had a cesarean delivery, it is important to allow your incision to heal first before embarking on any exercise routine.

Continue to breastfeed your baby for as long as you can because it is the best and natural way to lose weight. With breastfeeding, you lose about 650 calories in a day which is equal to 2 to 3 hours of aerobics a day! Breastfeeding triggers hormones in your body that helps burn calories, so it would be best to breastfeed until your baby is a year at least.

Start pelvic strengthening exercises & stomach contractions right away. These exercises will help strengthen your pelvic muscles and can be done lying down without straining your spine. Do it whenever your baby is asleep, for about 5 minutes, that’s all. Stomach contractions are very effective to tighten the loose muscles around your stomach and abdomen.

Wear a postpartum belt around your stomach - A postpartum belt or an abdominal belt will support your stomach and abdominal muscles that have loosened after childbirth. It is an old tradition in India, especially in villages, for women to bind their stomach with a couple of meters of cloth to get their pre-pregnancy shape back faster. Using an ab-belt consistently for the first two months after childbirth, will help relieve back pain as well as improve your posture while breastfeeding.

Walk for at least half an hour every day. Though you must not attempt to lift weights or heavy things for a couple of months after childbirth, you should start doing normal exercise like walking, to begin with. If you have had a complicated or cesarean delivery, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. However, walking is an exercise that will give you a complete body workout and can be safely started within a couple of weeks after delivery.

Drink as much water as you can every day because water keeps your body hydrated and helps your system to flush out body fats. Besides, water helps in proper digestion, expels toxins, regulates body temperature and allows better absorption of nutrients.

Never skip your breakfast. Breakfast jump starts your body metabolism, regulates your sugar levels and fills you with energy to do your daily chores for the rest of the day, which in turn burns more calories. It prevents hunger pangs and you end up eating moderately for the rest of the day. If you don’t eat anything within a couple of hours of getting out of bed, your body will burn your muscle tissue in order to sustain itself, especially since it has been without food for 7 to 8 hours already. Consequently, your sugar levels will go down and sugar cravings will increase, causing even more weight gain.

Eat small portions 5 to 6 times a day. You can lose weight if you eat small meals, every two or three hours, in a day because as long as you feed your body with small portions, it will have fewer calories to burn. Besides, your metabolism will improve, blood sugar will stay stable, and you will never feel hungry, which will reduce your cravings for food. The premise, “Don’t eat more than you can burn” is true.

Replace unhealthy food with veggies and fruits. You must say no to fried snacks. Stock your kitchen with salad foods and snack on them whenever you feel hungry. Eat nuts and other dry fruits as they are rich in nutrients. If you are a working woman, keep several packs of dry fruits in your office drawer.

Don’t be impatient for quick results. Losing weight is not as easy as it sounds. But it can be done with a little determination and consistency from you. Don’t lose hope if your weight loss is slow. Stick to your routine no matter what. You owe it to yourself to stay healthy. You don’t need an ‘hour glass’ figure but you can stay healthy and slim if you follow the above tips regularly. Your self esteem and confidence will increase, if you look at yourself in the mirror and love what you see.

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