Weight Loss Steps to Take After Pregnancy
Many women wish to start weight loss after pregnancy. Although it's more complicated than that since there are different factors to consider. After giving birth, you need to take care of your baby. If you're breastfeeding, it means that you have to eat healthily. You can expect to have an increased appetite because of that.
However, you can't use it as an excuse forever. At some point, you will need to have weight loss after pregnancy. It's the best way to reduce the possibility of becoming overweight or obese. You must carefully approach weight loss after pregnancy. The body needs time to recover and you don't want to risk your health.
Weight Loss After Pregnancy Things to Consider
There are things that you need to consider before losing weight after giving birth. That involves making sure that your body is recovering well. Weight loss after pregnancy is possible. Don't worry about being out of shape after pregnancy. Below are the things you have to consider before trying to lose weight.
1. Don't Crash Diet
Doing a crash diet will not be good for you if you're trying weight loss after pregnancy. Skipping meals can be bad for you and your baby especially if you are breastfeeding. Women need to have 500 calories more while breastfeeding.
Even if you have decided on bottle-feeding, doing a crash diet is still a bad idea. It will make you feel dizzy at times and it can take a toll on your health. Just eat healthy foods and wait until you have already fully recovered from giving birth.
2. Breastfeed If You Can
First-time mothers are strongly advised to breastfeed. Every woman who gave birth is already aware of that protocol. Not just because you have to feed you, baby. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for you and your baby.
For a baby, it will promote immune function, provide vital nutrients, avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, avoid childhood obesity, and type 2 diabetes. For women, it will promote weight loss, help the uterus to contract, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer.
3. Monitor Your Calorie Intake
The more calories you consume, the more fats your body will accumulate. That's why you need to monitor your calorie intake to avoid this. Make sure to follow the recommended calorie intake for breastfeeding women. If you're not breastfeeding, that means you need less calorie consumption.
Being aware of your calorie intake will help your body to get back in shape. It will help you to achieve weight loss after pregnancy. The best thing to do is plan your meals ahead of time. That way, you already know what you will eat and avoid overeating.
4. Eat Foods High in Fiber
Eating fiber-rich foods will make you lose fats especially on your stomach. Fruits, vegetables and legumes are examples of foods that are high in fiber. It can't easily be digested by your body, making you feel full longer.
When fiber travels down to your digestive system, it absorbs water for a healthy bowel movement. According to research, foods that are high in fiber can reduce stomach fats.
5. Stock Up On Healthy Proteins
Eating healthy proteins will make you feel full longer. It will reduce your calorie intake so you can achieve weight loss after pregnancy. Protein is an essential nutrient for losing weight. The body uses more energy to digest protein compared with other foods.
That's why many bodybuilders and people who want to lose weight add more protein to their diet. It will make you feel full faster and longer so you can avoid overeating. It will also make you stronger since it will make your muscles stronger.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks Handy
If you're breastfeeding, you will feel hungry afterward. That makes it a good excuse to eat some snacks. Even if you don't breastfeed, postpartum recovery can make you feel hungry all the time. Make sure to prepare healthy snacks for this occasion.
A bag of potato chips is not recommended. Instead, prepare some fruits so you can snack on them when you feel hungry. Avoid processed foods since they will make you gain more weight. Some examples are fast food, microwaveable meals, ready-made cakes, potato chips, soda, and the likes.
7. Avoid Added Sugar and Refined Carbs
If you have a sweet tooth, it's time to change that during and after pregnancy. Foods with added sugar and refined carbs can make you gain weight. They are known as bad carbs since they can easily be absorbed by the body.
The best way to avoid this is to add more fruits to your diet. Many sweet fruits will satisfy your cravings for sweets. Have some nuts to munch on whenever you're craving. Your body will thank you for not giving in to unhealthy foods.
8. Drink Enough Water
According to science, water can help you to lose weight in general. That means that it can also help with weight loss after pregnancy. Water can help to suppress your appetite so you don't feel hungry all the time. It can also boost metabolism.
Drinking enough water can also flush out the toxins from your body. Water will cleanse your system as well. Try drinking a glass of warm water in the morning. It will help you to lose weight and belly fat better. So keep yourself hydrated to avoid eating mindlessly.
9. Exercise After Baby
You can start exercising once you feel that your body is ready for it. If you have a normal delivery and you don't have medical complications, you can already exercise. You can start with less strenuous physical activity.
However, if you had a cesarean delivery, you need to ask for your doctor's advice. It may take longer before you can do any physical activities. Just make sure that you are fully recovered before trying any workout just to be on the safe side.
Supplements After Pregnancy
It's important to take care of your health after giving birth. There are supplements that you have to take postnatal. It will help your body to recover the lost nutrients after pregnancy.
Taking supplements will also ensure that you're getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals that you need.
Multivitamins will help you to replenish the nutrients that you have lost from pregnancy. It's important to take multivitamins after giving birth. Pregnancy depletes your storage of folate calcium, and vitamins B6 so you need to refill them.
If you're breastfeeding, you will need a higher dose of these vitamins. Lactating women need to meet the recommended intake of several nutrients. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, DHA, choline, and iodine are needed to produce milk.
2. Vitamin D
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 400 IU if you're breastfeeding. It's also recommended to breastfeed your baby exclusively until he reaches his first birthday.
Women who can't or choose to breastfeed, also need to take their vitamin D. It's already added to postnatal supplements. Although it's best to consult your doctor regarding the right dosage for you as well as for your baby.
After giving birth you still have to take your calcium supplement. Calcium will help you to build strong bones and teeth. It is also needed for your body to function properly which involves the circulatory, muscular, and your nervous system.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to take 1,000 mg of calcium supplement daily. It will replenish the calcium that your baby drew from you during pregnancy. This will also help your baby's bone health if you're a breastfeeding mom.
4. Fish Oil
Fish oil supplement contains Omega-3 that's essential for the neurological and visual development of your baby. It's an important nutrient after birth for the production of milk. That way, your baby can absorb the Omega-3 to help with his development.
In every pregnancy, your supply of Omega -3 will be depleted. That's why you have to replenish it for your health. When choosing a brand for fish oil, make sure about its purity. Different brands of fish oil may vary.
Can You Take Weight Loss Supplements While Breastfeeding?
There are weight loss supplements that are safe even while breastfeeding. So the short answer to this is, yes. But you have to be careful when choosing the right weight loss supplement for you. There are some requirements to consider before you decide.
Weight loss supplements must not compromise nutrients. It has to be free from stimulants or caffeine. Choose one without any synthetic replications of vitamins. It should also not affect the hormonal support, nourishment support, and cognitive support.
Weight loss after pregnancy is not something that you have to worry about. It can happen gradually as your body recovers. Although having a healthy diet and exercise routine will help you to lose the pregnancy weight. Make sure to take the essential supplements after pregnancy to recover quickly. After that, you can already get back to shape without the risks.