By Rhian Allen
Losing pregnancy weight can be hard work. Mums can feel pressured to lose weight when they see pictures of celebrities who have lost their baby weight within a couple of months of birth. No woman should feel pressured to lose their baby weight. The decision to shape up post-pregnancy is very personal, and for each mother the decision comes at a different time in their lives and for different reasons. A woman should always feel physically and emotionally ready before embarking on a weight loss campaign, and should avoid using unhealthy methods to lose the weight. This is especially so when breastfeeding.
So what are the best ways to lose the baby weight?
1) Whatever weight loss plan you decide to follow, it is important that it is sustainable so that you can stay on it for a few months. A healthy weight loss is approximately 1kg a week. With the average weight gain being around 12-14kg, then a mum should prepare to be following a weight loss plan for at least 12 weeks. Therefore, any plans which are too hard or that ban certain foods such as carbohydrates will be impossible to maintain for a long period of time.
2) Focus on healthy eating and taking in as many nutrients as possible, as opposed to obsessing about the scales. When our cells are fully nourished then they will work better – and this leads to better digestion, a stronger immune system and better metabolism. All of which will help with weight loss.
3) Increase lean protein and fibre in your diet to help you feel fuller for longer and build lean muscle.
4) Go for a 30 minute walk with your pram every day to increase cardio and try and do some exercises that use the larger muscle groups to help burn body fat – the squat is a great one to do.
5) Drink water – this will help control hunger pangs and improve the digestion and help to flush out toxins.
The key point to remember is that to lose weight in a healthy way takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Adopting these healthy lifestyle practices will not only ensure that you lose your baby weight but will also get you into good habits for maintaining your weight loss and feeling fantastic.
Rhian Allen is owner of www.healthymummy.com which provides mums with healthy weight loss plans to follow post-pregnancy.
This article originally appeared in Issue #4 of The Natural Parent Magazine, 2011.