Giving birth to a child is one of the most beautiful part of your life. However, you’re naturally going to gain weight during the pregnancy, and many women find it difficult to shed the kilos after they’ve given birth. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you with five healthy post-pregnancy weight loss tips.
According to an article published by Healthline,
‘the Institute of Medicine recommends that women within a healthy weight range gain between 25–35 pounds (11.5–16 kg) during pregnancy.’
However, it’s been documented that 50% of women gain more weight than the recommended healthy range.
The article further stipulates that the consequences of keeping this excess weight include:
- Increased risk of being overweight
- Heightened risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Greater risk of complications in later pregnancies
- Higher health risks for women with gestational diabetes
Your five top tips
- Eat a balanced diet
Many women turn to very low-calorie crash diets to lose weight in the shortest amount of time possible. This is quite dangerous because after giving birth, your body requires proper nutrition to recover.
Dietitians advocate that you follow a healthy well-balanced meal plan that gives you all the nutrients you need. Ensure that you eat the recommended amounts of protein, unrefined carbohydrates as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Cardiovascular exercise
This is a type of activity that increases your heart rate such as walking, jogging, running, cycling and interval training burns calories, which is the energy your body gets from food. If unused, calories are stored as fat.
If you burn more calories than you take in, your body will have a negative energy balance at the end of the day, meaning that there are no excess calories. The recommended daily intake of calories for a woman is 2000.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates
Foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates such as sugary drinks, fruit juice, white flour, cakes, biscuits and pastries don’t provide you with nutrition value; you’re consuming unnecessary calories. Rather, choose whole foods such as meat, eggs, fish, nuts, vegetables and yoghurt. When you go grocery shopping read the nutrition label to make sure the product is low in sugar.
- Drink plenty of water
There’s nothing better than good old H2O to help you lose weight. Drinking water helps boost your metabolism and reduces cravings for unhealthy food.
It’s also vital for women who are breastfeeding to stay hydrated because of fluid loss due to the production of milk.
In addition, drinking half a litre of water may increase the number of calories burned for at least an hour. Numerous studies show that it can lead to moderate weight loss. So, always have a bottle or jug of water readily available.
- Get enough sleep
Did you know that not getting enough sleep can increase weight gain? We understand that getting consistent sleep while caring for a new-born isn’t easy but try to get as much as you can. Make a point to rest at the same time as your baby.
How Marie Stopes can help you
Schedule an appointment at your nearest centre. All of our staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about losing weight healthily after pregnancy.
Marie Stopes specialises in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Services offered include Women’s Wellness, HIV and STI testing as well as safe abortion if you’ve had an unintended pregnancy and wish to terminate.