So you have delivered your baby and due to all the weight you have put on you are most likely to be feeling uncomfortable in your own skin post-pregnancy. You may be in a hurry to get your body back in shape, want to lose weight, but be careful not to start any exercises until after at least six weeks of having given birth. In case you had a complicated delivery, do not start any exercises or dieting until you have consulted your doctor and have gotten the green signal. Once your doctor has said its okay for you to start exercising, it is best to let your body decide when to start exercise; you will feel like it yourself. Here are a few tips to help you lose weight and get your body back in shape:
New moms are usually too overwhelmed and sleep deprived to think of exercising. That’s okay. There is no need to plunge into hard core exercising. Take it slow. Start off by going for a small walk around the block. If you take the baby with you in a stroller, then half an hour of pushing a stroller around helps you lose up to 150 calories.
Breastfeeding in itself helps you lose up to 600-800 calories a day. So even if you don’t exercise, but routinely breastfeed your child you will be losing weight. But be careful when you start to taper off breastfeeding and begin giving your baby solids as your calorie needs will fall. You need to start exercising or start a diet in order to maintain or lose weight.
Focus on Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeping helps you lose weight as you it prevents you from craving for high-sugar, high-calorie foods for energy. It is important for a new mom to get enough sleep but the newborn prevents the mother from getting enough rest. The trick is to take a nap whenever the baby sleeps; forget about the laundry that needs to be done or the housework that is calling out to you. And do not make the mistake of sacrificing sleep in order to exercise, especially in the first few weeks after pregnancy. If you don’t sleep enough, you will not have the energy to exercise anyway.
Once you have gotten the green signal from your doctor you can even start a proper workout. It is advisable to join a gym and work with a proper fitness trainer who will tell you how to start off and progress over time. Initially, it is advisable to start off small by not lifting too much weight, but gradually the weight lifting can increase if your body allows for it. In either case, do not get into weight training without the guidance of a fitness trainer. It could be dangerous for your body if you pick up too much weight or are not exercising with the right posture.
Watch Your Diet
Do not jump into any hefty dieting right after giving birth. Give your body time to heal itself. Stop eating empty-calorie foods such as chips and soda. Eat nutrient-rich meals that contain low fat dairy, whole grain, lean protein, vegetables and fresh fruits. It is advisable to eat frequently throughout the day but in small portions. This will help keep your blood sugar levels steady and keeps you from over eating. If your calorie intake is spread out over the course of the day, then the food you take in is metabolized more efficiently and there are less chances that it will be stored as fat.
Do include an intake of fresh fruit juices such as orange juice. However just one glass is enough and contains all the Vitamin C that your body needs. If you consume more than one glass per day, it is just adding to your calorie count.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Avoid eating sugary foods as they can send your blood sugar levels on quite a roller coaster ride. When blood sugar levels drop you are more likely to crave sugary foods but avoid them and opt for low fat milk and yogurt for snacks. The calcium from milk and yogurt is proven to help weight loss as it blocks the hormone because of which the body stores fat. Other recommended snacks include high-fiber foods such as raisins, whole wheat crackers with vegetables, and figs etc. These snacks make you feel full and also help with digestion.
Make a group with other new moms
Exercising in a group keeps you motivated and excited about following a regular regime. You can even decide to follow a group diet. An added advantage that makes it easier for you to exercise in a group is that you can all leave your children at a nearby daycare center and feel relaxed and care-free for a while as you exercise. Decide a mutually convenient time, and meet up in the park. In case you don’t find a day care center nearby, you can even take your child along with you in a stroller and walk in order to exercise.
At the end of the day, remember that there is no way by which you can miraculously lose weight within days or a month or two. You need to be persistent for a number of months before you start seeing the results. It is important to give your body time to adjust or else you will be facing the consequences of not having enough energy and not being able to take care of your baby properly. If you face abdominal or pelvic pain, exhaustion after mild exercise, excessive bleeding or muscle soreness that does not go away within a day or two then it is important that you consult your doctor. Remember that there is nothing more important than your own fitness because you will only be able to take care of your baby if you are fit and healthy. So do not overwork your body in attempt of getting your body back in shape.
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