Lose weight after childbirth: how to get back in shape after a pregnancy

Have you just given birth and have you already started thinking about how to get back in shape?

Before thinking about how to lose weight after childbirth it is important to remember it is important to remember two things: giving birth to a new life has required a great effort from your body, so accept that it may take some time for the body to respond to the physical activity and diet as before; any major changes to your diet should be agreed in advance with your doctor, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Myths about weight loss after childbirth

Let’s briefly examine some of the myths about how to lose weight after giving birth.

Breastfeeding makes you lose weight

Breastfeeding burns a modest number of calories, but it also makes you hungry and causes you to eat more (as it should). So don’t think of losing weight ‘only’ by breastfeeding.

Healthy eating helps you lose weight

To lose weight it is necessary that the calories expended during the period under consideration are less than those taken in. Healthy eating helps you and (if you’re breastfeeding) especially your baby to feel better, but not to lose weight

To lose weight, you need to exercise a lot

Getting a lot of exercise generally increases appetite and stress which, in turn, leads us to eat more. But to lose weight, as mentioned above, you need to take in fewer calories than you consume. Having said that, the best, most effective combination for losing weight is moderate physical exercise and proper nutrition that provides a slightly lower caloric contribution than is normally necessary.

Postpartum exercise plan

Now that your possibly false expectations about how to heal after giving birth have been cleared up, we’re ready to move on to how to structure a plan of action.

First of all, take it easy for the first few weeks, until after the postpartum gynecological visit (which is usually done 40 days after giving birth) your gynecologist or gynecologist gives you the green light to resume physical exercises and possibly go on a diet. As we said above, it is essential to give your body time to recover after a 40-week effort.

Before you get the okay from the doctor you can:

  • do pelvic floor exercises
  • walk. Walking works wonders: It helps you burn calories, maintain lower body muscle tone, increase bone density, and improve mental health. And, if you vary your pace and terrain, walking can be a great workout. Although in moderation, you can start walking immediately after giving birth, or as soon as you feel able to.

Once your doctor has given you the okay to start exercising:
1️. Set aside time for exercises, whether on your personal or personal agenda. Also inform your partner.
2. Be realistic about the weather ;for you; what do you have left now that you are a mother, or do you plan to train in the company of your son or daughter.
3. Look for opportunities to transform your daily routines into exercises: insert squats, planks and push-ups at different times of the day. Turn short car rides into opportunities to introduce power walks into your day. Keep track of every single workout and repetition you do, otherwise by ‘diluting’ the exercises throughout the day you will lose track of your progress and the activity done.
3. Download a decent workout app, which requires little to no toolkit. Make sure it includes muscle conditioning exercises (push ups, abs, etc.) and cardio – this is important for calorie burn and heart health.
4. Buy a heart rate monitor watch (also known as a fitness tracker): it will help you immensely in tracking your exercises, but also in monitoring how your body reacts to your new regimen.

Postpartum Nutrition: How to Eat Right Without Being Hungry All the Time

This is a balance problem. You’ll have to be a little careful about what you eat, yes, but you don’t have to say no to every culinary pleasure.

Become aware of the calories you take in

  1. You don’t have to obsessively count every calorie you take in, but remember that that slice of tiramisu you just can’t resist is the energy equivalent of a 4km run. You have to accept that, for a while, you may have to accept some discomfort to get better later. If you’re not ready, mentally, to make some sacrifices, you’re probably not (yet) ready to embark on this weight loss journey.
  2. Prepare small portions of food. This will make it easier for you to trick your mind.
  3. Do not ‘go hungry’. Skipping meals won’t help you lose weight and will only make your weight loss program even more stressful.
  4. Get enough sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived, not only are you unlikely to hang out on the couch any longer than necessary, but you’re also less likely to feel hungry.
  5. Eat simple foods, possibly prepared at home. Avoid eating out too often.
  6. If you already know that you won’t go long without indulging in some transgressions, plan these in advance, defining which transgressions are acceptable and which do too much damage to your diet.
  7. Be patient. If you don’t see the results of your efforts immediately, continue to maintain your good intentions and your good habits and you will see that the results will come.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform, Maternicity.com.

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