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in Sports & Fitness

10 Ways To Get Back Into Shape After Giving Birth

This is a guest post by Krisca Te of Open Colleges Australia.

Cartons of Pistachio Ice Cream, Pickles Dipped in Jars of Peanut Butter

Pregnant women crave weird foods and lots of it. Most pregnant women fixate over how much they’ll gain during pregnancy. Silly fans obsess over the weight their celebrities gain during the course of their pregnancies. For instance, these statistics made tabloid headlines:

  • Singer Beyonce added 48 lbs, with 28 gained in the last few weeks.
  • Christina Aguilera gained 40 lbs and went up two shoe sizes.
  • Jenny Mccarthy ballooned up a whopping 79 lbs.

Of course, the fans and their stars were wondering how in the world they were going to get rid of all that weight.

Indeed, just how does a post-partum woman drop that “baby fat” in a healthful way that respects the female body? Let’s skip any “Hollywood Stars Reveal Secrets of Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss” garbage.

ONE: Get Started While You’re Pregnant

If you are still pregnant, it is normal to gain weight, but that shouldn’t allow you to throw caution to the wind and start eating chocolate cake for breakfast or a family-size bag of chips for an afternoon snack. You will have cravings, and you should indulge yourself from time to time, but prudence now pays back greatly later on. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can be a couch potato. Walk around the block once or twice a day. This will benefit you and the baby by getting your blood flowing and getting fresh air into your lungs.

TWO: Nature Gives Weight-Loss Advantages

Once the baby is born, there’s an immediate loss of 11-13 lbs. Breastfeeding will also help you lose weight, using up to 800 calories a day. And after you’ve allowed your body to recuperate (about 4-6 weeks) so that you can start exercising, a little bit of weight training will go a long way to helping you lose weight.

Guess what? You don’t have to join a gym or buy weights. Your baby is weight enough. Hold the baby to your chest and do lunges. Lunge behind the stroller as you walk. On your back, hold your baby above your chest and do presses toward the ceiling.

THREE: To Lose Weight Get Plenty of Rest

If your baby is sleeping, so should you. A baby’s needs can impose strange sleep cycles on adults and this can upset the metabolism and this makes it hard to lose pregnancy weight. Sleeping when the baby sleeps will allow you to avoid any long-term sleep deficits. That will keep your energy levels high and help keep sugar cravings for energy in check.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t have the energy to keep yourself moving through your waking hours, much less want to work out or get your exercise.

FOUR: Consider Natural Weight Loss Remedies

Many ingredients included in weight loss supplements are not approved for women who are pregnant or nursing. Consider some natural weight loss foods that will stem your hunger or affect your metabolism in a healthy way. Not all of these may set well with you, but give some a try.

  • Try some apple cider vinegar in hot water two or three times a day to help reduce fat.
  • Taking lime and honey in water a couple times a day is a natural weight loss remedy.
  • Tea made from Indian plum leaves has fat burning properties. Drink some twice day.
  • Green tea has excellent properties that help weight loss. Drink it often during the day.
  • A cabbage dish once a day is good for weight loss – low in calories and high in fibre.
  • Taken twice a day, acai berry juice can be an effective weight loss remedy.
  • Munch on negative calorie foods like celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

FIVE: Join the Company of Other Mothers

Misery loves company may be clue here. Not only good for moral support and sympathetic conversation, but you can also see what other mothers are doing that works for them. A mom who is on a second or third child can impart a lot of wisdom to a first timer.

Also, it might be easier to take up jogging or going through a video workout routine if you have some others in your situation doing it with you.

SIX: Sex Is Still Good

Every healthy woman knows that sex is good and a recent pregnancy should not forestall having an emotionally and physically good time. You will want to have healed enough, usually four to six weeks, so that there is no discomfort; but try to get back into the pleasure of things as soon as possible.

You will want to regain good control of your bladder and strengthen your pelvic floor and Kegel exercises will help with that.

SEVEN: Of Course, Watch Calories and Fat

You simply cannot eat empty-calorie foods like sodas and chips; nor go on fad diets that eliminate entire food groups. Portion size may not have been a huge problem due to the fact that baby took up so much space.

At the end of the pregnancy you were used to eating less. Sometimes, however, moms will give birth and start eating larger portions once the baby has left. One glass of orange juice provides enough vitamin C for a day, beyond that you’re just adding unnecessary calories. Do let yourself have a treat every so often.

EIGHT: Rethink Your Whole Eating Philosophy

When you were pregnant, you may have felt as though you could eat anything and get away with it. You will need to change this mentality after the baby is born. Adopt a few new rules if they were missing from your diet before your pregnancy. Each of these strategies will help improve your metabolic rate and cut your hunger.

  • Space your meals; spread your calories evenly around the clock.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of your diet plan.
  • Fish, beans, skinless poultry, lean meat cuts are good sources of protein, lessen hunger.
  • Add fibre to your diet, this will help fill you without adding excess calories.
  • Eat nuts, they take longer to digest, keeping you satiated for a longer time.
  • Have whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of low-fat dairy products.

NINE: Do Have a Regular Exercise Regimen

You already know that getting back to exercise should be a gradual process, but you can always start some simple exercises after you are through four weeks of post-partum. There’s a gap in your abdominal muscles right after giving birth. It usually disappears within four to eight weeks. Make sure this gap is closed before doing belly exercises.

  • Pelvic tilts may help you reduce the belly fat.
  • Pilates and Yoga may help you gain strength and flexibly.
  • Bridge exercises help tighten abdominal muscles and strengthen core muscles.
  • An exercise ball is a great tool for tummy exercises after pregnancy.
  • Aerobic exercises such as swimming, biking, running, that will keep your heart rate up.

TEN: Allow Your Body to Recuperate

Experts advise against going on a diet right after giving birth. Getting your body back means thinking about your health first – your body is trying to repair itself. Do not rush into things, but do not be too relaxed either.

Your body should be given enough time to recuperate and restore its normal processes. The weight may not fall off as quickly as you would like, but if you stick to it and follow the guidelines above, you will ultimately please yourself. And you won’t have to go thumbing through a trashy tabloid to see how the stars lose their post-pregnancy flab.

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Have you become a worry wart about the horrors of what pregnancy often leaves behind?

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