“Will I ever get back in shape?”
“When will I be able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes?”
“ I still look pregnant. The tires around my tummy look so awful!”
“What should I do to reduce my post-pregnancy weight?”
Are these the questions that surround your mind every day after delivery? Well, you’re not alone. Most women face a similar problem post delivery. The loose skin hanging around the waist makes a woman look very shabby and anything that you wear gives a very bad fitting. It is quite normal to worry but one should not do crash dieting to lose weight as it can make your body deficient in nutrients. I felt the same after I gave birth to my daughter.
I reminded myself that I can’t lose all that post-pregnancy fat overnight. It took me nine months to gain it and post delivery, my body first needs to heal and I’m also responsible for the health and nutrition of my baby so I gave myself some time to get back in shape.
Here are a few ways I reduced my postpartum belly fat:
This might come as a surprise to most moms but breastfeeding actually helps to lose belly fat. I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 6 months as per my pediatrician’s advice and believe me, it was equally beneficial for both of us. Research has shown that breastfeeding helps to lose about 500 calories per day and that’s a lot! So, mommies, do not wait, start breastfeeding your baby as early as possible and you can continue breastfeeding for a year or longer. I breastfed my daughter till she was 2 years old!
Also Read: 21 Home Remedies to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks
#2. Small frequent meals
Most Indian households have the practice of eating 3 main meals a day. Instead of doing that, one should take 5-6 small meals at regular intervals. For me, my daughter’s hunger pangs worked as the meal alarms. I used to eat my meals while feeding her and it turned out that she was deriving maximum nutrition out of every feed! Again, a win-win situation.
#3. E is for Exercise
This one is a no-brainer. Once your stitches have healed, you should get into a regular exercise routine. Women who’ve had a c-section, can start exercising after 6-8 weeks. Joining a gym might seem to be the easiest solution but skipping, cycling, swimming, and walking are better options. An early morning exercise regime or a yoga session can do wonders to tone your body. Yoga helps to tone the entire body and also lifts your mood. Here are a few exercises that you can start after 6-8 weeks of delivery:
Immediate forearm plank
Targets: Abs, obliques, thighs, and hips
- Get into a plank position.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds, hips up and abs tight.
- You can rest for 30 seconds by lowering your knees before resuming.
- Complete a rep of 4-5 planks.
Image Source: Stylecraze
Target: Abs, Hips, thighs
- Lie down straight with folded knees and arms straight like in the below picture.
- Lift your body from your shoulder to your knees, not changing the position of your feet.
Image source: care2
Target: Abs, Neck
- Lie on your back just like you did while doing kegels.
- Pull a towel across your knees and grab each of its ends.
- Inhale, and exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor and pull your abs in.
- Hold, contract and release your abs muscles up to 15-20 times.
Image source: youtube
#4. Avoid processed foods
Eat a healthy and balanced diet and avoid eating junk and processed foods since these provide only empty calories to the body. Use whole wheat bread in place of white bread. Bid adieu to burgers, sandwiches and other bakery products. Believe me, they have absolutely no nutritional value; only calories! For munching, you can have different types of seeds and nuts mix, salads, juices, smoothies.
Also Read: Baby Care in the Initial Days
#5. Drink ample water
Drink water whenever you’re thirsty and ensure that your body is hydrated. Water not only helps to flush out all the toxins from the body, it also makes you feel full so you don’t indulge in unnecessary snacking. Keep a bottle of water handy and if possible, try to drink warm water. It helps to increase the metabolic rate of the body. Just ensure that you drink water at least half an hour before any meal else it depletes your hunger.
#6. Cut down on sugar
Refrain from eating candies, sweets, chocolates, and cookies. Stay away from aerated drinks, squashes and other sugary drinks. Instead, eat raisins or dates when you want something sweet. These have natural sugar. When you want to drink something, the best is to drink water. Nothing can quench your thirst better than water!
#7. Post-natal massage
Once your stitches have healed considerably, you can get your JAPA maid to massage your belly. Postnatal massage helps a lot in reducing belly fat. It also speeds up the metabolism of the body, hydrates the skin and makes it tighter.
Also Read: 7 Tips for Losing Weight After Child-birth
#8. Belly belt
A maternity belt or tummy belt is very useful in preventing your tummy from bulging out. There are various postpartum belts available in the market and they provide your back the much-needed support. They help the uterus to get back in shape and reduce your tummy.
Click here to see Post pregnancy abdominal support belt
#9. Avoid stress
With a new set of responsibilities, you might feel overwhelmed but try to avoid stress. Stay positive and happy. Stress makes the body release the stress hormone – cortisol, which induces, hunger, tiredness, and ultimately weight gain. Try to get as much sleep as you can, as it helps the body to rejuvenate and also burns calories!
#10. Set realistic goals
It is of utmost importance to set goals for yourself to be motivated but make sure, you set reasonable goals. Unrealistic goals that aren’t achievable may make you feel discouraged and you can lose focus. It takes less time and effort to gain than to lose weight.
Here’s a sample routine chart for you-
Now that you know how to go about it, just prepare a routine chart for yourself, marking the usual time when your baby sleeps and allot time for your exercise, sleep, and daily chores. Stick it at a place where you can see it often and start getting into shape!
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