Losing baby weight after pregnancy can be a struggle. All that baby weight you have gained in nine months won’t just go away overnight. You will have to work on it, be patient, and wait for the results. It is vital to take things one day at a time. You will need to try and return to your natural shape and healthy weight after pregnancy, especially if you have plans of getting pregnant again in the future. It won’t be easy to adjust to the new routine while taking care of your baby and recovering from childbirth.
According to research, women within a healthy weight range before pregnancy gain about 25-30 pounds during pregnancy (Source). All this weight gain occurs because of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, more blood, uterus enlargement, and extra fat. The excess fat in your body works as an energy reserve for childbirth and breastfeeding. However, if you are not careful and gain too much weight, it can result in too much fat.
If you don’t lose baby weight, it can lead to the following risks:
- Being overweight
- Diabetes and heart diseases
- Complications in later pregnancies
- Several health issues for women with gestational diabetes
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How to lose baby fat?
Here are some healthy tips that you can follow to lose weight after pregnancy:
No matter how much weight loss stories you read in women’s magazines, this won’t be easy and won’t happen overnight. According to research, women retain an average of 1-6.6 pounds of their pregnancy weight after childbirth. A woman can expect to lose an average of 10 pounds of pregnancy weight in one to two years post-pregnancy.
Even if you don’t return to your pre-pregnancy weight, it is essential to get back to a healthy weight range to avoid several health issues.
Know your nutrients needs
After pregnancy, your body needs a healthy and nutritious diet to recover. Your calorie intake should depend on your age, metabolism, and activity level. Just because you are trying to lose baby weight doesn’t mean that you should stop eating.
If you are breastfeeding, you need:
- 2200-2400 Calories
- 1000-1300 mg Calcium
- 15 mg Iron
- 95 mg Vitamin C
- 65 g Protein
- 280 mcg Folate
If you are not breastfeeding, you need:
- 1900-2200 Calories
- 1300 mg Calcium
- 15 mg Iron
- 60 mg Vitamin C
- 44-50 g Protein
- 180 mcg Folate
If you are taking a low-calorie diet, it will leave you feeling tired. A nutritious diet won’t only help you recover the strength you need but also increase your metabolism. Folate is essential for future pregnancies. Vitamin D and calcium make our bones strong. Iron will help you recover from blood loss and anemia, and vitamin C helps in iron absorption. Protein is vital to build and repair your body tissues. You need even more of these nutrients when you are breastfeeding because they leave your body with milk.
1. Avoid Sugar
Women should avoid overheating sugar during pregnancy and post-pregnancy as well. Try to consume low-fat milk and yogurt as a balanced snack. Milk and yogurt are an excellent source of calcium intake to lose weight. Common foods that contain high levels of sugar include sugary drinks, fruit juice, and all types of plain sugar, cakes, biscuits, pastries, white flour, sweet spreads, and other baked goods.
Increased sugar and carbs intake increase the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, some cancers, and can also increase your weight. Women should also avoid eating processed foods and go for whole-foods, such as meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and nuts.
Here are some healthy snacks that will not only provide essential nutrients but also keep you on the right track of weight loss:
- Fruit smoothies
- Apples with almond butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Celery, carrots, and peppers with hummus
- Egg or chicken salad on whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain cereal with milk
- Whole-grain bread with nut butter
2. Breastfeed your baby
Breastfeeding your baby has several benefits for both mother and the baby, such as:
- Breast milk provides your baby with essential nutrients that he needs for healthy growth in the first six months of his life.
- Breastfeeding your baby will help strengthen his immune system. It contains antibodies that help your baby fight infections, viruses, and bacteria.
- Breastfeeding helps reduce the size of your uterus to its original size post-pregnancy.
- It helps lower the risk of diseases in infants, such as lung conditions, skin conditions, diabetes, obesity, leukemia, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of diseases in the mother. It lowers the risk of diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.
- Breastfeeding also helps lose baby weight post-pregnancy.
According to a study, women who breastfeed their infants lose an average of 3.7 pounds more weight than the women who don’t breastfeed their babies right after delivery. However, in the first three months of delivery, you won’t experience much weight loss; this due to reduced physical activity during lactation and increased calorie intake.
3. Avoid Alcohol
There are some health benefits that a glass of red wine can offer. However, when it comes to losing baby weight post-pregnancy, alcohol is not so helpful. It provides extra calories without providing any nutrition. Alcohol increases the risk of weight gain, and can also lead to store more fat around the organs, commonly known as belly fat.
Additionally, alcohol can reduce milk production in your body. There is also a risk of small amounts of alcohol passing through your breastmilk to your baby. There is no known safe amount of alcohol for babies. Therefore, even if you drink, leave enough time between drinking and breastfeeding your child for the alcohol to pass from your body.
Depending on your weight, one standard alcoholic drink would take about two hours to pass from your body and breastmilk. However, it is a good idea to express milk before you decide to drink alcohol.
4. Start exercising
Exercising, along with increased physical activity, is an excellent way to lose baby fat fast. Cardio, such as walking, jogging, cycling, running, and interval training, is an excellent way to burn calories and also has several other health benefits. Women exercise to lose baby fat, improve heart health, to reduce the risk and severity of diabetes, and several types of cancer.
Sometimes exercise alone won’t help you reduce weight, but if combined with proper nutrition, it will be very beneficial. Your pelvic and stomach areas need some time to heal and recover, especially if you have had a cesarean. In that case, you need to avoid intense exercises and workouts. Even going for a walk every day can be a good step towards losing baby weight and improving your health.
Women need to start some light pelvic floor exercises right after delivery and weight a few months before going for more intense workouts. Give your body some time to heal and recover before doing something severe.
5. Drink water
Water consumption is vital for everyone, no matter if you are trying to lose weight or not. According to research, drinking one-liter water per day can help lose 4.4 pounds of extra weight in 12 months. Furthermore, drinking 1/2 liters of water per day will burn 24-30% more calories in the following hour. It also helps reduce your appetite and calorie intake.
Staying hydrated is essential for breastfeeding moms. It helps replace fluids lost through milk production. Drinking one to two liters of water per day will not only keep you hydrated, but will also help with weight loss.
6. Resistance training
Resistance training, such as weight lifting, helps you lose weight and retain muscle strength and mass. Combining resistance training with a healthy, nutritious diet is one of the most effective ways to lose the baby weight while improving your heart health. Besides, women who breastfeed while including resistance training in their regular exercise experienced significantly less bone mineral density loss.
Finding time to exercise in such a strict routine with your baby can be a little exhausting, but then again, losing weight is not a piece of cake.
7. Sleep as much as you want
Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain after pregnancy. According to research, sleep deprivation, particularly in adults, is significantly associated with weight gain. New mothers need to get enough sleep. It can be challenging to sleep with a baby, but you need to ask your family and friends for help.
How to lose baby fat on the face?
Here are some useful tips to lose facial fat:
- Do facial exercises to tone facial muscles. These facial exercises include puffing out your cheeks and pushing the air from side to side. Puckering your lips on alternating sides, and holding a smile while clenching your teeth for several seconds at a time also helps.
- Do cardio or aerobic exercises that help burn calories and lose fat.
- Drink more water to increase your metabolism by 24%. It helps reduce your calorie intake by approximately 13%.