Motherhood is an awesome thing, there is no denying it. However, it is not without its rigors and pains. For nine good months, you’ve had to change your lifestyle to conform to a new set of routines (for the first timers.) You had to change your diet, clothing, and whole lot of things.
Now that your baby has arrived, you cannot wait to lose the extra fat you have accumulated during your pregnancy and return to your pre-pregnancy self. You have even probably been thinking about how to lose the extra pounds while you were still pregnant. If you are unsure of how to get started, here are 8 practical and proven ways to work and walk yourself back to your pre-pregnancy bod or even better.
1. Watching What You Eat
It is common for women to experience an increased craving for sweet and fattening foods during pregnancy. And the bad news is, there are a whole lot of people ready to satisfy your cravings in a bid to make you feel good and comfortable at that moment. Husbands, boyfriends, and grandmothers-to-be would go the extra mile to get your favorite chocolate and double fudge cookies. Friends would come around to your place with homemade cheese and cookies.
And you, what did you do? You smiled and ate them with excitement. That’s why you are where you are today. Now that you have given birth and you are ready to get back your shape and size, you need to start watching what you eat. No, you cannot continue that way again!
So, how do you watch what you eat?
Experts have said that keeping a food journal is one of the most practical ways to keep track of daily calories, nutrients, vitamins, and fat. Additionally, keeping a food journal makes you accountable and helps you calculate the amount of calories you are consuming daily. This is a great way to begin your journey back to your pre-pregnancy self.
And watch the juices. All the vitamin C you need for one day is in a small glass of orange juice. Anything beyond that is an unnecessary accumulation of calories.
What if you are too busy to keep a food journal?
Good excuse, but there is a way out. There are many phone apps, computer software and websites that help you track your daily intake. These programs help you to keep track of your weight, body mass and physical activity as well as monitor your progress.
2. Adjust Your Eating Philosophy
While you were still pregnant, you may have thought that you could eat whatever pleases you and get away with it. My dear, remember you are no longer pregnant. It is just you now. It is time to get serious, unless you are unperturbed about the extra pounds you have gained while you were pregnant. Add new rules if they were missing from your feeding timetable before your pregnancy.
Here are few tips to get you on track:
- Eat breakfast regularly. It is the most important meal of the day.
- Try to space your meals; eat at intervals. This will help you to evenly spread your calorie intake all through the day.
- Include fibre in your diet, this will make you feel full. That way, you avoid piling up excess calories.
- Beans, fish, lean meat and skinless poultry are rich sources of protein and they lessen hunger.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
- Add nuts to your diet. They keep you satisfied for a longer time.
3. Get Sufficient Rest
Studies have shown that getting enough sleep enhances weight loss because it excuses you from overindulging on high-sugar or high-calorie foods. Getting enough sleep will also help to boost your metabolism.
When is the best time to sleep?
I understand that you are a nursing mother, and strange sleep cycles imposed on you by your baby can frustrate and slow down your metabolism, making it more difficult to lose pregnancy weight.
So, your best shot at sleeping is when your baby is sleeping. Get sleep when your baby is sleeping. Even if you have chores to do, leave them and go grab some sleep. That’s the best way to avoid ending up with a long-term sleep deficit.
Your failure to get sufficient sleep would lead to fatigue and low productivity. And, you may not be able to fulfil your workout routines.
4. Eat Healthful Snacks
Another way to get back your shape quickly after your childbirth is to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar that can increase your sugar levels. And when your blood sugar goes down, you’d be tempted to eat anything you can find around at that time. If you are serious about losing weight after childbirth, you should run from sugary foods.
Rather, stock up low-fat milk and yogurt for snacks. Studies have revealed that yogurt and milk contain calcium that enhances weight loss by blocking a hormone that permits the body to store fat.
5. Add Natural Weight Loss Remedies
When trying to lose weight after your pregnancy, you should endeavor to add natural weight loss remedies to your daily feeding timetable. Natural weight loss remedies help boost your metabolism as well as control your hunger.
Here are a few natural remedies to help you lose weight:
- Include green tea into your daily diet. Green tea contains awesome properties that aid weight loss.
- Try some apple cider vinegar in hot water 2 or 3 times daily.
- A cabbage dish, high in fiber and low in calorie is a good option you should consider.
- Taking lime and honey in water a few times daily will greatly enhance your journey back to your normal shape.
- Eat anti-calorie foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery.
6. Connect with Other Mothers
In your bid to get back to your normal shape and size, it would be wise and productive if you connect with other moms for regular exercise. The company of other nursing mothers with similar health and fitness goals is enough motivation to get you going. It will no longer be just you. It would be easier to take up workout routines such as jogging if you have other people with you.
Connecting with other mothers will also expose you to what other mothers are doing that works for them. There is so much to learn from a mother who already has 3 children.
7. Maintain a Consistent Workout Session
One of the fastest ways to get back in shape after your pregnancy is to maintain a regular and consistent exercise session. It doesn’t have to be anything serious or rigorous. There are simple but effective exercises you can start with after your 4-6 weeks of postpartum. There is usually a gap in your abdominal muscles right after childbirth. It takes about 4-8 weeks for this gap to close up and disappear, be sure the gap is closed before you start any belly exercise.
Here are a few exercises to get you started:
- Engage in aerobics such as running, swimming, and biking. Aerobics help maintain a healthy heart beat and it allows for a proper flow of blood.
- Get an exercise ball for tummy workouts after pregnancy.
- Yoga and Pilates are great exercises for strength and flexibility.
- Pelvic tilts can also help reduce your belly fat.
8. Take Your Time
Medical professionals strongly advise against going on diet immediately after childbirth. I understand you want to rush things and get back asap. But hey, you need to be calm. This weight you are trying to shed was not accumulated in a month or two.
You need to give your body sufficient time to relax, recuperate and restore to its routines. You may not lose as much weight as you would have loved to within a short period of time. There is a process, all you have to do is follow your routines diligently. Your recovery will be a gradual process. But it will come and you’d be back to your sexy self, even sexier. You only need to stay committed and consistent to your routines. How does that sound? Tell me you love it.
How are you finding getting back in shape after childbirth? Please share your postpartum experiences in the comments.