5 Tips to Lose Weight After Pregnancy

Perhaps you didn’t know it, but besides my private practice, I am also working at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. I am currently covering for the obstetrics clinics, including the multiple pregnancies, the gestational diabetes and all the other diet-related complications. Regardless of the clinic, a question I often get asked is: “What about after? How do I get back to my normal weight?”

If you’ve recently become a mom and want to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, you are not alone! Here are 5 tips to reach your natural weight after childbirth:

1. Avoid diets

Childbirth is a demanding physical process; therefore, your body needs energy to recover properly. Dieting will only add more stress on your body and, as you and I already know, stress and weight loss don’t go well together. In addition to being exhausting, a restrictive diet may also impair milk production. And as diets in general do not work, you will most likely regain all the weight lost and even more.

It is therefore counterproductive. Instead, aim to eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein foods. Those sources of fiber and protein will keep you satisfied for longer and will help you manage your portions more easily.  

2. Breastfeed

While it is possible to regain your natural weight without it, breastfeeding increases your daily energy expenditure. Indeed, the energy contained in the breast milk comes directly from the mom! About 210 calories are used to produce 1 cup of breast milk. In total, about 400 to 500 calories are expended per day!

Besides promoting weight loss naturally, breastfeeding will also help build up your baby’s immune system, strengthen the bond of attachment between you and your baby and reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.

3. Eat mindfully

While working as a busy bee all day or all night, we have become completely disconnected from the signals our body is sending us. While the body is an incredible machine which can tell us when it needs energy and when it’s enough, we often fail to notice it. It takes practice to recognize these signals and respect them.

Avoid spending too much time without eating throughout the day. By allowing yourself to eat when feeling a little peckish, you will avoid overeating at the next meal. Conversely, learn to leave a bite, or more, on your plate when you feel full so as not to eat more than necessary.

Since listening to your body is a lifelong habit you will acquire, this will allow you to lose weight gradually and above all, keep it off.

4. Be active

Integrating a balanced diet with regular physical activity is a winning combination. It will potentiate the weight loss. Being physically active will also reduce your stress levels and help you preserve your muscle mass. Discover an activity that you enjoy and give it a try! It is always more motivating to exercise for pleasure rather than by obligation.

5. Trust the process

Regardless of the pregnancy, losing weight takes time. The faster you lose those extra pounds, the higher the risk of regaining them afterwards. It took you 9 months to accumulate the weight, it is normal to need a few more to lose them back. On top of that, the body needs about 6 weeks for the blood volume and the size of the uterus to return to normal. Patience is key!

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