Pregnancy fat is not as difficult to burn as most women think. A bit of awareness and some determination is all you need to get back into shape. If you could endure labour pains, you can certainly do this too!
For most women, there are few experiences more beautiful than that of becoming a mother. However where there is immense joy on the one hand, there is always a persistent worry on the other about the weight gained during, and in some cases after, pregnancy. No doubt, “How to lose pregnancy fat?” is a common concern of newbie moms!
With your hormones still volatile, and your little one making seemingly unending demands on your time and energy, losing the baby fat can appear to be a daunting task. The good news is that it is not as difficult as you may have assumed.
1. Breastfeeding – Has many great benefits
Breast feeding your child has a great benefit. While breast milk is not only the ideal food for your baby, it is also your key to burning fat and here is the reason why.
Part of the weight you gained during pregnancy was on account of your body storing up fat to help you lactate (produce milk). When you breastfeed your child, you burn some amount (around 500-700 calories) of those accumulated calories a day. This means that you can return to a bit of your pre-pregnancy figure just by feeding your child on breast milk.
2. Food – Beware of empty calories
New mother needs energy, loads of it, to tend to your baby. And energy means calories. But be careful where you get those calories from. Empty calories from sugar-rich stuff like fizzy drinks and cookies are best to be avoided. Similarly, foods having high fat content are also best kept at bay.
The best place to source your calories from is fresh fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. They are less calorie-intensive, they give you healthy nutrition, are rich in fibre, and they keep you feeling full longer. To get your recommended amount of dietary fat, you can turn to low-fat milk, and nuts like almonds, walnuts and flax seeds. Should you need sugar, avoid refined sugar and use sugar substitutes like honey, stevia, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc.
3. Water – Minimise water retention
Much of the weight gain and some swelling that happens during pregnancy is because of water retention. It must sound crazy but the best way to do away with this water weight is to drink a lot of water. By keeping yourself hydrated, you are reminding your body that it does not have to hoard water and so it can eliminate the excess water.
Another way to help bring down water retention is to reduce your salt intake. Take only as much salt as is recommended for everyday consumption and avoid indulging in chips, canned soups and other such packaged foods that have pre-added salt.
4. Eat small meals – avoid blood sugar spikes
Eat around 6 small meals in a day instead of having 3 big ones. This will help you avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels. In other words, you will have fewer hunger pangs, and as a result you will be able to stave off the temptation to reach for high-carb or high-fat foods every now and then. In case you still experience hunger pangs, keep healthier options handy and remind yourself that you have unwanted fat which you are trying to get rid of.
5. Exercise – start with light forms and be wise
Some women tend to feel completely put off at the mere mention of the word “exercise”. Others in their zeal to lose their pregnancy fat fast exhibit an enthusiasm bordering on folly. Wisdom lies somewhere in the middle.
Having just undergone a process that shakes up your whole body, it is neither advisable nor feasible to jump into an intensive exercise regime. A few days after delivery or whenever you feel ready, begin with light forms of exercise like strolling and stretching. And this, only if you had a normal delivery. After a week or so, you can start to take slow-to-moderate 30 minute walks three times a week. As you feel stronger, you can start walking more frequently. If you had a c-section, the best thing to do is to seek your doctor’s advice.