It took around 40 weeks to gain the weight that you currently have and it does take a while to shed it off but with patience, good planning, proper diet, and exercise you may get to a comfortable weight. And though most of us concentrate on the post pregnancy bump or ‘pot’ as we commonly refer to it, pot reduction does not really work. Aim to create a healthy pace to lose the weight.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve this:
1. Breastfeed your babyBreastfeeding not only nourishes your baby but it is also nature’s way of helping you shed all those kilos that you put on during the pregnancy and helps to contract the uterus which in turn helps to reduce the post baby bump. Ensure that you eat sensibly during this time as you do not necessarily have to ‘eat for two’. Drink lots of clear fluids instead.
2. Eat Smart
- Eat a good balance of proteins such as meats, eggs, pulses, and nuts and on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta, choosing wholegrain where possible.
- Take sensible portions of fibre-rich foods such as oats, wimbi porridge, beans, peas, lentils, grains, seeds, fruit, and vegetables, as well as wholegrain bread and brown rice and pasta.
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day as snacks rather than taking foods higher in fat and calories.
- Manage your fat intake by taking a low-fat diet and as little as possible of fried foods, drinks, and confectionery high in added sugars (such as cakes, pastries, and fizzy drinks) and other foods high in fat and sugar (such as some take-away and fast foods).
- Never skip breakfast.
- Watch the portion size of meals and snacks, and how often you are eating.
- Take lots of fluids, sometimes you may be thirsty but you get hunger signals instead. Take some water and you may well find that you were not hungry at all.
3. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!Build activity and exercise into your daily routine and minimize sedentary activities. Take a walk with your baby, taking the stairs, cycling, swimming, aerobic exercise, etc. will enable your body to burn up those extra kilos. However, it is important to remember that a very high-intensity exercise regime may increase the level of lactic acid (a by-product of high-intensity exercise) in mothers’ breast milk after exercise which may hinder milk production in some women and change the taste of milk in others. It is therefore recommended that you start a moderate exercise regime especially during the 6 months after birth. Remember to:
- Wear a supportive bra.
- Drink water as you exercise to reduce dehydration.
- Ensure that your breasts are not full of milk.