Pregnancy is a beautiful and magical occurrence but many women struggle to achieve a healthy weight after pregnancy. Your body goes through so many different biological changes before and after pregnancy, and there are many things that can naturally help you lose weight but there are also things that stand in your way.
In this post, we will discuss how to safely lose weight after pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding so you can ensure to keep your newborn healthy. Also, if you are currently pregnant and expecting then read the full post as we have a wee gift for you. We care about your health and well-being as well as your baby’s, so we’ve decided to provide a list of ‘10 pregnancy superfoods’ that will keep you strong and healthy through the pregnancy. You can download it for FREE at the bottom of this post.
Let’s firstly go over why it’s actually important to gain some weight during pregnancy.
Why weight gain occurs during pregnancy?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is a normal process, your baby is growing inside of your womb and it needs more nutrients to grow and develop. As a result, some women believe that they need to eat for two since they have themselves to feed and the baby. However, an average woman will only need to increase her daily calories by 200 in her 3rd trimester. So, this is where things can go wrong. If you eat too many calories and give in to your cravings, you can gain more weight than you should and later struggle to lose weight.
Many mothers, maybe like yourself, are cautious about gaining weight during or after pregnancy and that’s understandable. However, gaining too little weight or too much can lead to complications. Your body actually has a natural mechanism to lose weight after pregnancy that we will go over in a moment.
How much weight is recommended to gain?
Below is a table that shows you how much weight is recommended to gain to help you and the baby to stay healthy. On the left-hand side, you can see Body Mass Index (BMI) and on the right-hand side, you can see weight gain in lbs that is recommended. Firstly, you’ll need to calculate your BMI.
To calculate your BMI, follow the equation below or simply use the automatic BMI calculator provided by the NHS. However, the manual calculation is fairly straightforward, you’ll need your weight in kilograms and your height in meters. You simply divide your weight by the square of your height in meters.
BMI = KG/ M2
|<18.5||28-40lbs / 12.7-18.1kg|
|18.5-24.9||25-35lbs / 11.3-15.9kg|
|25-29.9||15-25lbs / 6.8-11.3kg|
|>30||11-20lbs / 5-9.1kg|
What happens if you don’t gain enough weight?
Gaining an insufficient amount of weight can lead to premature birth or the baby being born with low birth weight. Babies with lower birth weight have a higher risk of developing certain diseases in adulthood. This includes heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
What happens if you gain too much weight?
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases the risk of the mother developing type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy. In addition, gaining too much weight can also cause complications during birth and the mother may be more likely to need a cesarean operation.
How to lose weight after pregnancy
As you have read above, gaining weight is very normal and every woman will go through this process. After giving birth, women feel quite eager to lose weight which is understandable but it’s also very important to know that you shouldn’t start losing weight until after you’ve had your post-natal check-up with a doctor. This normally happens after 6-8 weeks after giving birth which also gives time for the body to recover after labour.
Tips on losing weight after pregnancy
Losing weight is actually fairly easy for women who are breastfeeding as their bodies will naturally burn an extra 500 calories per day. This is a very good calorie deficit and one that is required to lose 1lb of weight per week. However, due to hormonal changes, a woman could still face constant hunger, and a strong appetite and cravings until the body’s hormones return to normality.
In addition, since the body is naturally burning a lot of calories, it is fair to say that this is one of the reasons why the mother could feel very hungry on daily basis. This is a crucial moment and one that certainly exercises the mother’s willpower and commitment. Therefore, to lose weight naturally after pregnancy is simply to control what you eat and let the body naturally burn calories. If you allow this process to occur and simply keep your food intake under control, you should be able to see your pre-pregnancy weight return within 6 months to 1 year.
One of the best ways to speed up weight loss is exercise but before you attempt any sort of exercise, make sure to get the thumbs up from the doctor or nurse as the body needs to recover. Also, the exercise should be light until recovery is completed and then you can build up on the intensity. Maybe start with a 2-3 mile run and then build upon the length and intensity of the workout. Later you can start doing High intensity (HIIT) workouts. Below you can download 2 HIIT workouts, one that is gym-based and one that is home-based.
Another weight loss tip is getting enough sleep. Make sure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night to speed up your metabolism so you can burn more calories at rest. One of the most underrated sleeping tricks is getting into comfy pajamas or a sleeping gown. Check out the 10 best nursing nightgowns to help you get better quality sleep.
Download 10 Superfoods for pregnant women
Most commonly asked questions
Is it safe to diet during breast feeding?
Yes, as long as you avoid crash dieting, a safe rate of weight loss is 1lb or 0.5kg per week.
Does it matter if I don’t return to my normal weight?
Yes, failure to lose the excess weight after pregnancy is a key predictor of long term obesity. It is especially important to return to a normal BMI prior to becoming pregnant again because being obese increases the risk of complications during pregnancy.
Below, you can download a list of 10 pregnancy superfoods that will help you and the baby to stay healthy during pregnancy. The below document includes a list of superfoods and the benefits of eating them for you and the baby. If you are expecting a baby, we wish you all the best!
In summary, gaining weight during pregnancy is a very natural process and required for the baby’s health and development. In addition, losing weight after pregnancy is quite easy as the body naturally burns 500 calories per day thanks to breastfeeding. The only thing that can really cause a struggle is the hormonal imbalances and the natural calorie deficit which can increase appetite and hunger. If you have enjoyed this post, make sure to leave thumbs up at the bottom!
Also, we care about your health and fitness goals, and as a result of our passion we’ve decided to share proven 20 nutrition and exercise tips as well as 6 fat loss recipes for FREE! Subscribe below to download your copies.