Post Pregnancy Weight Loss is the one most in demand, and the most stressed upon.
So much, that women these days start looking for losing weight tricks and tips even before giving birth. It must be kept in mind that your body has developed a human life for 9 months, and then given birth to it. The amount of changes it has gone through during that time is immense.
You must not fret about it so soon, and take it slow. Reality check would tell you, that reducing the pregnancy weight in a healthy, natural and stress-free time might take longer than expected.
Post pregnancy lifestyle changes
There are a few pointers to reduce post pregnancy weight:
Healthy lifestyle during pregnancy
Post pregnancy weight is generally a result of an unhealthy lifestyle pre and during the pregnancy. Women who eat a healthy and balanced diet and do not lead a sedentary lifestyle generally find it easier to lose weight post pregnancy. It is general observation, that such women do not gain an immense weight during pregnancy as well.
The normal weight gain range is from 10-12 kgs, out which the baby and abdominal fluids make for around 5kgs. The rest is the weight the would-be mother gains as the body stores fat in various places. Women who gain more than this have to work really hard on shedding it.
Therefore, keeping the lifestyle healthy, and food habits in place during pregnancy is very important to make the process post pregnancy smooth.
The stress women take upon themselves, of losing weight as soon as possible after giving birth and achieving the pre-pregnancy body is so great that it works in reverse of the intended results.
Too much of stress causes high levels of cortisol hormone, which effectively means that any efforts in terms of exercise, diet changes etc would not have the desired effect on your body.
You must enjoy your time with the baby, and keep things slow. There have been many cases, where it has been observed that if the mind of the mother is relaxed, then normal homemade food and day-to-day chores also help a lot in reducing weight.
During the first forty days, the body of a new mother repairs itself. After nurturing a baby for nine months, the uterus takes time to go back to its normal size. The good old tradition of massage for new mothers till 40 days is a very important way to relax and prepare the muscles.
The women who have been weight training and have good abs built up, their midriff muscles go back to their original shape relatively easier. For others, they can start mild exercises at home.
For the ones who have had a normal delivery, they can start mild exercises after forty days, and can begin the normal exercise routines after three months.
For the ones who have had C-Section surgeries, their bodies take a little while longer to repair. Their stitches allow them to begin exercise after three months on an average.
Inculcate workouts revolving around the baby. You may rock the baby to sleep while walking, or utilise the 20 minutes required to burp the baby by talking a walk. It is very important for new mothers to take a nap during the day, to compensate for the disturbed sleep at nights, and help the body recover, for the exercises to take effect.
Diet tips for post pregnancy weight loss
Diet is an important factor in losing weight, but it is not always possible to eat according to one’s own wish in our traditional Indian familial setups. Here are a few pointers to control and alter your diet prescribing to the traditional foods and methods:
Keep your intake of foods like panjiri, or other desi ghee laden ‘power foods’ in check. You can restrict the quantity if not the frequency. Keep in mind the fact that milk and milk products are not the only source of energy. Keep your intake moderate.
Healthy breast milk supply
A good and steady breast-milk supply would help you shed those calories faster. A good supply can be achieved in most cases by sufficient water, sugar and protein.
Drink a lot of water, about 3-4 litres to hydrate your body. The required natural sugars for a good breast-milk supply come from foods like fruits and wheat flour. The required protein can be taken by consuming paneer, sprouts, lentils etc.
If your baby is colic, then you can take soaked lentils and legumes to avoid the discomfort for the baby.
Consume beneficial traditional foods
Grains like bajra are beneficial, so is saunf ka paani (water with fennel seeds boiled in it) and ajwain ka paani (water with carom seeds boiled in it).
Constipation is a quite common problem, which is essentially a by-product of disturbed sleep. To counter that, you may take in additional fibre, in the form of fruits and salads, dried prunes, figs and apricots. Also, the most common fibre substitute is Psyllium husk, commonly known as Isabgol.
Sesame seeds are a great source of calcium, which can be taken in the traditional form of til ke laddu. In the same manner, gond ke laddu help in skin tightening, which you can consume as either a mid-morning or a mid-evening snack.
Follow a meal plan
Every body is different, and has different needs. Without proper diagnosis and study, it is not possible to recommend a diet plan. But you know your body the best, hence you can decide for your body on a basic level. I will suggest a basic diet plan here:
Water intake in the morning: Various options are available including methre paani (fenugreek seeds soaked for the night in that water). Saunf and ajwain can also be added.
Fruit: Take any seasonal fruit as the first meal post sleep. You can also take dried fruits like almonds, walnuts, raisins etc.
Breakfast: I recommend a traditional Indian breakfast like ragi chilla, poha, daliya, jowar/bajra roti etc.
Mid-morning snack: Coconut water or lemon water is a good choice. You can also take up to one tablespoon full of seeds. But keep that quantity regulated according to your body. Seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds can also be had, depending on the weather.
Mid meal snack: You can have gond ke laddu or panjiri. The panjiri should be inclusive of goodness of all the spices and herbs.
Lunch: Ragi/Bajra/Jowar roti with vegetables and pulses. You can have lassi/pickle/chutney along with your meal for Vitamin D absorption as well.
Evening snack: You can have panjiri/laddu in the evening, whichever you did not have pre-lunch. Makhane (foxnuts) are very rich in calcium, and a good evening snack. A small amount of peanuts/jaggery peanut gachak is also an option. Curd or a fruit smoothie helps those evening hunger pangs.
Dinner: This meal has various options like boiled eggs, khichdi, paneer bhurji etc.
Late night snack: you can munch on cashews, milk with nutmeg/turmeric as well.
Overall, losing that pregnancy weight is not an unachievable task. But you must enjoy motherhood and take things slow. Adopt a lifestyle which is healthy, get good sleep, keep the use of gadgets minimal, eat traditional home cooked food.
A holistic lifestyle like this goes a long way in getting the desired results.