Having a baby is a stressful experience, especially for the mother. After months of caring and carrying the new life, backaches, hundreds of nasty mornings, and more than a few moments of intense pain, you finally bring a new person out into the world. It seems all butterflies and rainbows, until you step on a weighing scale. Reality sets in like a giant hammer. How could you possibly have put on that much weight, and how in the world could you get it off?
Back to Eating For One
During your pregnancy, you would have been eating more than you usually would, since you were eating for two. Unfortunately, the human body is not as efficient as we might want it to be. The portion of food that may have seemed like intended for the baby alone actually translates into calories for you too. Inefficiencies in energy transmission means that some of that “extra” energy stays in the mother’s body, which means fat. The first thing to do to lose weight after pregnancy is to go back to regular portions. It’s back to calorie counting and portion control if you want to regain your figure.
Curb the Cravings
While you were carrying your child, you may have had maternal cravings. This is an interesting thing, since different women will experience different cravings, even within the same pregnancy. If these cravings were for sweets and other high-calorie foods, then you may put on more pounds than the baby needed. After giving birth, treats and such need to go on hiatus, at least until you get your figure back. Sometimes, it could even be something you take for granted, like sodas. Sodas are a huge source of calories, since you tend to gulp them down. Cutting down on sodas or dropping them completely means avoiding hundreds of calories and blood sugar spiking. If you want that fizzy flavor without the calories, try flavored seltzer water.
Eliminate Fluid Retention
You may also be retaining a lot of liquids in your system, such as that from amniotic fluids and IV feed liquids. This is the easiest weight to lose: simply urinate and perspire more often for a couple of weeks, or just go when you feel like going. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water just because you have a lot of fluid inside you. Drink a healthy amount of water every day.
Fight Weight Gain during Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding actually uses up a lot of calories, up to 500 a day. This consumption does not come from voluntary physical activity, though there is a little effort in holding the newborn up to suckle. A lot of that energy goes into production, so using draining your milk reserves means using up more calories. And anyway, breast milk is better for babies. The longer you breastfeed, the better for your baby and your figure.
Just like before pregnancy, you will need to get exercise and do the things that go with losing weight to trim the fat and tone yourself back up. Best of luck with your postpartum weight management!
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