After your baby is born, one of your immediate concerns is how to get back to your usual form or at least lose some of the weight you gained during your pregnancy. How soon you may be able to shed weight depends on how much weight you may have gained in the meantime, as mothers who gained only 25 to 30 pounds will find it much easier to get back in shape than those who may have gained 50 pounds or more.
The right way to lose weight after childbirth, however, is not in crash dieting or vigorous exercise. Your body needs proper nutrition in order to recover from the physical trauma of childbirth and to maintain good energy levels for all those sleepless nights with your baby.
A good weight loss program is one that is safe, healthy and produces results over a period of time. It is not only enough for you to lose weight, but also for you to keep the weight off permanently. Above all be patient and kind to yourself. Here are a few tips for new mothers:
Start a fitness routine. As soon as you get the green light from your doctor, try low impact exercises that allow you to sweat a little without hurting all over. A good warm up is always recommended to prevent you from muscle injury. Start with a 12-minute workout for the first few days and work your way up to 20 to 30 minutes daily.
Lifting some light weights (2 to 4 pounds each), brisk walking, and light aerobic activity not only hasten weight loss but also boost energy levels. In time, you should be able to increase you cardiovascular activities in order to reach your weight loss goals. Whether you sign up for an exercise class or get a good instructional video, with regularity, your efforts should yield some results in a few weeks' time.
Stretch and tone your way to a slimmer body Discard the old belief of "No pain, no gain" in order to get back into shape. Health professionals are turning to certain types of yoga and stretching techniques as safer alternatives to the muscle tearing weights exercises. For instance, yoga can be used to help the uterus get back into place while strengthening core muscles that have been weakened by pregnancy.
Stretching exercises have also become increasingly popular because of its toning, shaping and relaxing effects on the body. Sign up for yoga instruction classes or follow an instructional video at home.
Maintain a healthy diet Most mothers experience significant weight loss after eliminating soft drinks, deep fried food and starchy pasta from their meals. Replace these items with fresh fruits, green and leafy vegetables, rice, lean beef and other sources of protein. Make it a habit to read food labels so that you know exactly what it is you are feeding your body.
You'll want to avoid high fat, high sugar and high sodium content. If you find these recommendations too drastic for your taste, try incorporating the healthy items slowly until your taste buds get used to them.
In addition to making the right food choices, ask your doctor about vitamin supplements appropriate for your postpartum healing. Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, for example, is known to boost the body's recovery process while strengthening the immune system.
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