An Unexpected Reason You Aren't Losing Post Pregnancy Weight and 12 Ways To Fix It
7 mins read
Health & Fitness for New Born
Pregnancy and childbirth, though life-changing and incredibly beautiful experiences, leave something behind: several extra kilos! Yes, the weight that you gained during pregnancy and expected to lose after your baby was born is far more adamant than you'd ever have thought. One of the most talked about tricks for postpartum weight loss that also helps protect your baby is breastfeeding. With the arrival of your newborn, you’ll find that family members, doctors and nurses around you can't stop talking about how important it is to breastfeed your baby. Aside from the obvious advantages for your child, one of the best lures they dangle is that it’ll help you lose the weight that you gained during pregnancy. But what if the truth is the other way around? Prepare to be shocked...
Time and again, health experts have stressed that breastfeeding is extremely beneficial for the good health of a baby. What you may not know, they tell you, is that it can help you lose baby weight. However, several moms have come forth to share an experience that changes everything you have believed! What's more, the experts are also in agreement with this shocker:
One of the most surprising reasons many women find it hard to lose weight after pregnancy is Breastfeeding. Despite how they were promised that nursing would make them shed the kilos, they actually GAINED several kilos! So, what's actually happening here? Could this also be happening to you?
The Huge Myth About Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
Well, let's get the facts straight first. It is indeed true that breastfeeding burns calories. When pregnant, your body works towards building up fat reserves, which are beneficial for your baby. Post-delivery, when you nurse your little one, it begins burning up to a big 500 calories in a day. This is because breast milk is a mixture of all the essential nutrients as well as agents that boost the immunity of your baby. Your body has to work very hard to concoct this mixture and that takes up a lot of energy. However, here's the catch: in order to make the milk, your body also REQUIRES energy in the form of calories.
Watch: How to Breastfeed and Lose Weight the Right Way
While you are breastfeeding, a hormone called prolactin is released in your body by the pituitary gland. This hormone stimulates milk production by also stimulating hunger. It also suppresses your body's ability to metabolize. This means that during nursing you'll be likely to feel crazily hungry and intake a few hundred extra calories a day to meet your hunger. You assume that this is fine because you are breastfeeding and everything will balance out. But very often, it doesn't. It is important to understand here that breastfeeding is not to be blamed. It is the unhealthy approach toward breastfeeding and the assumption that it will shed weight all on its own that is misplaced.
Are you stuggling to lose weight? It is very likely then that you may be facing postpartum weight loss issues!
Treating breastfeeding as a sedentary activity and sticking to your bed or armchair for hours at end
Using breastfeeding as an excuse to eat more and eating snacks and between-meals without thinking
Not following a routine for sleeping and overeating as a result of the crankiness or mood swings
Not checking the quality of your food and opting for fatty or sugary items
Not taking enough fluids by mistaking your thirst for hunger
Not getting any exercise at all
So you see, it's imperative that we view breastfeeding as an important activity for our baby's development and nourishment, not our fallback plan for weight loss.
12 Effective Ways to Approach Postpartum Weight Loss
Well, now that you have got the reality about breastfeeding and weight loss sorted, what is the right approach? Women all over might be struggling to lose weight after delivery however, breastfeeding isn't the magic bullet that can help you lose weight, so relying on it exclusively won’t help. You have to put in some effort to get back into shape.Check out these 12 tips to start shedding the kilos and we promise you'll see results quicker than you expected.
Make smart food swaps
Your body is recovering from labour and childbirth. Pick food options that are light on your stomach. For example, popcorn is any day better than packaged chips. Baked potatoes are better than fried. You can get a full list of 25 fat burning foods for weight loss here.
Follow a healthy diet
It’s a myth that you shouldn’t diet while breastfeeding. But, before you go on one, take the advice of your doctor as well as a nutritionist. In the meantime, incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables in your meals, and substitute fried foods with healthier steamed and baked foods.
Make healthy snacking options
What do you do when hunger strikes in between meals? Reach out for a pack of chips? Don't. Achieving weight loss while breastfeeding requires you to snack smartly too. Rather than munch on fattening goodies, drink healthy soups or eat boiled corn kernels instead. You can also whip up a bowl of oatmeal. Start eating smaller meals four to five times a day as well.
Make sure you eat slowly
Eating slowly can help you understand when you're almost full. This helps you control your diet better and avoid overeating.
Stay away from certain food groups
Avoid these food items strictly: caffeine, sodas, processed salt and sugar and artificial juices. You need all the help you can get with weight loss!
Cut calories but don’t go overboard
Watch your calorie intake but don't let it slip below 1,800 calories per day. While higher than the required number for non-breastfeeding women,this amount is essential for a nursing mom to stay healthy and energetic.
Increase your water intake
Drinking more water helps you flush toxins, maintain radiant skin and yes, lose weight faster! Moreover, you need more water at this stage to help your body recover faster. If plain water is too boring, why not try these 12 magical drinks for weight loss? They are delicious too!
Start working out
Of course, you can't begin exercising immediately after delivery as your body needs to regain its strength. But, there’s no reason to procrastinate working out after 6 to 8 weeks post delivery. Get a fitness instructor to help you out and suggest the best postnatal exercises. Check out how Bollywood mom Lara Dutta did it. And no, you don't have to go over-the-top!
Pack in ample sleep
This may seem like a task with a baby in the house. But there's no replacement for sweet sleep! Ask your husband, parents and friends to help you out with the baby. Sleep whenever you can, even during the day or whenever your baby lets you!
Do cardio exercises
This is a terrific way to lose weight fast and effectively. If you cannot exercise, tell yourself there is no "cannot". Ask your friends to help; exercise together! You can use exercise strollers - pushing one around is also good exercise!
Make a note of your progress, everyday
Weight loss after pregnancy is a long drawn-out process. You need to keep at it. Make a daily note of your activities, diet and weight. This will keep you inspired and motivated as well as ensure you're on the right track.
Have tons of patience
This is the most important requirement for weight loss! You cannot do it overnight, and stressing yourself out is only going to be counter-productive.
Breastfeeding isn't a miraculous pill to weight loss. That said, you can definitely burn calories while nursing your little one and in the bargain, give your baby the elixir of good health. The only thing to remember is that healthy eating habits and exercise must be made part of your lifestyle as well. There are no shortcuts!