How To Lose Weight After Having Your Ba
Article by Jo Lynn Hawthorne
It goes without saying that pregnancy and labor can affect a woman’s body. Of the typical 25-30 pounds gained during pregnancy, many women will lose about 10 pounds right away after they give birth. Within a few days, they will lose a little more as their body fluid levels decrease.
Don’t expect or try to lose additional pregnancy weight right away. Gradual weight loss over several months is the safest way, especially if you are breastfeeding. A healthy eating plan along with regular physical fitness might be all you need to return to a healthy weight. But talk to your doctor before you start any type of diet or exercise plan.
If you want to diet and are breastfeeding, it is best to wait until your baby is at least two months old. The reason for the wait is that during those first two months, your body needs to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. Also, when you start to lose weight, try not to lose too much too quickly. Environmental toxins that are stored in your body fat can be released into your breast milk. This can be harmful to the baby. Losing about one pound per week (no more than four pounds per month) has been found to be a safe amount and will not affect your milk supply or the baby’s growth.
If you are not breast feeding, you should aim to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy within eight to nine months. If, after that time, you have not lost your pregnancy weight, it is a strong predictor that you may not lose the weight. It is very common for women to struggle dropping to their pre-pregnancy weight.
During pregnancy you may have developed the habit of eating extra food. Perhaps you used the excuse, “I am eating for two.” This habit should be addressed immediately after delivery to avoid added difficulty in achieving your desired weight-loss. Drop off the extra serving and the in-between nibbling. It is very important that you be vigilant about portions.
You can safely lose weight by consuming at least 1800 calories per day with well-balanced, healthy food choices that include foods rich in calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and folate. Eating less than 1500 calories per day is not recommended at any point during breastfeeding. This can put you at risk for a nutritional deficiency, lower your energy level, and lower your resistance to illness.
Within a week or two of delivery you can also start light exercise, such as walking or working out with light weights. The exercise will help boost your metabolism and add to your general sense of well-being. You should wait until four to six weeks to start a major exercise program. Again, be sure that you talk to your doctor before you start any type of diet or exercise plan.
About the Author
Dr. Jo Lynn Hawthorne is a Bariatrician who works with people to help them lose weight healthfully and safely. Her clients lose up to 5 lbs. per week. Learn more at www.loseweightfromhome.com
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