It is completely normal for women to gain a significant amount of weight during pregnancy. In most cases, this weight is shed during the weeks after giving birth, but for some new mums, it can prove very difficult to lose. Caring for a newborn entails a number of lifestyle changes which can make losing weight difficult, but there are five relatively simple things you can do to speed things up a little.
1. Eat well
The worst thing you can do in your search for significant weight loss after having a baby is to starve yourself - particularly if you're breastfeeding. Instead, cut out all processed, high-fat and high-sugar foods from your diet, and eats lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are certain 'super-foods' that will give you the energy you need while leaving you full. Fish is a great source of protein for new mothers, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids that deliver a range of health benefits. Semi-skimmed milk and natural yogurt are rich in calcium, and spinach, carrots and tomatoes are rich sources of antioxidants - which are essential for cell health.
Rather than embark on a crash diet in order to lose weight very quickly, you should begin a regime of healthy eating that is sustainable. Try to always stick within your recommended daily allowance of calories - around 2,000 - and never consume more than 20 percent of your calorie allowance through fat in a single day. Post pregnancy weight loss can be easier with a digital health and fitness app, as it can keep track of your net calorie intake and suggest tasty recipes that are filling without being calorific.
2. Devise an appropriate exercise regime
Fitting in workouts and exercise sessions when you're raising a newborn is not easy. It is therefore critically important that you schedule your activity in advance. However, labour is a demanding process on the human body, so you might want to wait a week or two before embarking on a rigorous exercise regime.
It's important to remember that exercising doesn't necessarily mean spending hours at a time in the gym. You might find it beneficial to start off with brisk walks or cycle rides. Join a local yoga class or sign up for a sporting activity that fits in with your family commitments. Build up your fitness levels gradually - whether you are hitting the gym or enjoying walks with the pushchair. Ideally, you should aim to be performing three to four 30-minute sessions of rigorous exercise every week. Digital weight loss programs for women can help you manage your activity, and in many cases, they can also suggest workouts that might speed up the weight loss process.
3. Breastfeed your newborn
There have been clinical studies that suggest breastfeeding is a good way to bring your weight under control after having a baby. Not only is breastfeeding the best option for your baby's health and development, it allows you to add up to 300 calories to your diet every day, according to WebMD.
Did your baby weight fall off or did you struggle like me? 17 months on and I am still to lose it all. Do you have any tips you would like to share?