Post‐pregnancy weight loss tips
Now that you’re no longer pregnant you’ll probably want to lose the extra weight that you gained in the nine months prior so you can reclaim your body and feel and look your best. Of course weight loss after pregnancy takes time but it’s possible. Many women lose half of their baby weight by six weeks postpartum and the remaining will usually come off gradually over the next several months.1 For others it can take a little longer to return to their old body weight.
To get back into shape safely:
- Consider your eating habits – Eat small regular meals throughout the day focusing on fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa, lean meat, eggs, chicken and fish, dairy products, beans and lentils, and unsalted nuts and seeds. Take your time eating so you can feel when you are becoming full, and avoid overeating. Keep processed junk food out of the house to avoid temptation. Instead, snack on fruit, vegetable sticks and dip, nuts and wholegrain crackers. If you improve your eating habits you may find that you have more energy to keep up with the demands of motherhood.
- Breastfeed if possible – Breastfeeding not only keeps your baby well‐nourished but can help your body burn kilojoules and use up the fat stores gained during pregnancy.2
- Exercise every day – As soon as you feel ready and have the all clear from your healthcare professional you can start exercising again. Start slowly, beginning with walks around the block, swimming or pilates, and gradually increase the intensity. If you’re having trouble finding the time to exercise, then include your baby. While carrying around your baby all day is a workout in itself, there may also be mother and baby yoga or gym classes in your local area. You could also invite fellow mums to join you for a daily walk in the park.
- Be patient with your body – Through a healthy diet and exercise program, it’s reasonable to lose about half a kilogram each week but it might take six months or more to return to your pre‐pregnancy weight.3 Bear in mind that your weight may be distributed a little differently from how it was before pregnancy.
- Consider post pregnancy supplementation – Taking a pregnancy and breastfeeding multivitamin in the post pregnancy period provides daily nutritional support for general health and well-being during this time.
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Published March 21, 2014
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