This is one of the struggles that comes along with your bundle of joy, excess weight. Pregnancy comes with so many changes, from the extra weight to the stretch marks and big belly, getting your pre-baby body back can be quite challenging and frustrating. I'll be taking you through the steps to getting your body back and may be even better!
Firstly, you will lose 4-kg after delivery. This weight is from your baby, the amniotic fluid that was surrounding the baby and some blood loss. In the first week you will probably lose another 1-kg of water weight.
Now that we have gone through your "free" weight loss, let's move on to the ones you'll need to work to lose. To help you lose the post-baby weight here are a few things you should be doing.
- Breastfeed! This is not a myth, it's a fact. The process of producing breast milk and the milk you are passing out, account for about 500-800 calories burned daily. If you breastfeed consistently you will lose about 0.5kg per week, of course this is if you are not eating more calories than you need.
- Eat healthy! Kindly note you don't need to eat more because you are breast feeding. The energy needed to breastfeed would come from all the excess fat you accumulated during pregnancy. Aim to eat lots of vegetables, little starch, moderate amount of protein and fruit, and aim for a glass of skimmed milk 1-2 times daily, as shown below.
- Exercise! Now this should not start immediately of course. You will need between 6-8 weeks for your body to heal from child birth before starting any exercise other than walking. If you are up to it, you can start taking walks almost immediately, you don't have to be a couch potato for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks you can start more vigorous activity, slowly picking up the pace as you go. So for example you can start jogging or running, doing some core exercises like sit-ups planks and the rest. But as I said start small and grow into it. You will need aerobic exercises to help you burn the fat and core exercises to help you tighten your belly muscles.
- The 3 C's! I will repeat myself Clean eat, Cardio and Core. They go hand in hand. Please don't exercise without eating right, you will get very frustrated as it won't yield the results you want. Cardio exercise are more important than core exercises to lose fat. So doing only core exercises won't help you much; you need to lose the fat first, before the muscles you are tightening will begin to show.
I wish you all the best on this journey to snatching your body back. Be patient, be consistent and watch the weight fall off
To learn more about how to eat healthy to achieve your weight loss goals, I recommend my book, "What Should I be Eating?" (Available on Konga and in HealthPlus stores) or enroll for our weight loss programme, Fit and Trim.