Steadily Losing Weight But Still Have A Mom Pooch
Check yourself for diastasis recti. Diastasis recti abdominis, commonly referred to as diastasis recti, is the separation of rectus abdominis on front of the abdomen. The rectus abdominis are the primary muscles that make up the coveted 6 pack. Diastasis recti is relatively common, affecting 66% of women in the third trimester and up to 53% of women postpartum.
In addition to making it difficult to achieve 6 pack abs, diastasis recti wreaks havoc on the body. Diastasis recti contributes to poor posture, lower back pain, weakens the core, can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, and can even impact your ability to breathe correctly .
If you notice a bulging or coning-in your abdomen when performing a crunch, refrain from further core exercise and make an appointment with your doctor to check for diastasis recti Michalska et al., 2018).
Keep Your Goals Realistic
Despite what magazines and celebrity stories would have you believe, losing weight after pregnancy takes time.
In one 2015 study, 75 percent of women were heavier 1 year after giving birth than they had been before pregnancy. Of these women, 47 percent were at least 10 pounds heavier at the 1-year mark, and 25 percent had kept on 20 more pounds.
Depending on how much weight you gained during pregnancy, it is realistic to expect that over the next 1 to 2 years you could lose around 10 pounds . If you gained more weight, you may find you end up a few pounds heavier than you were pre-pregnancy.
Of course, with a good eating plan and exercise, you should be able to achieve any healthy level of weight loss that your doctor gives the thumbs up.
Heres The Breakdown Of Pregnancy Weight Gain
On average, women gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy in two main areas:
- 35 percent is directly related to the baby. That amount includes the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid.
- 65 percent is related to other factors, such as more blood, water retention, increased breast tissue and additional weight in the uterus.
That means when you deliver your baby, youll lose about 35 percent of the 25 to 35 pounds you gained as part of your pregnancy.
You should lose most of the remaining 65 percent over roughly six weeks as your body slowly returns to its pre-pregnancy state. For example, after birth, your uterus is about the size it was when you were six months pregnant. It slowly shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size. Expect to remain in maternity clothes for some time after delivery, Snell said.
Youll likely carry extra weight in your breasts until you stop breastfeeding.
Of course, not everyone gains 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Some women gain less, and others gain more. If youve gained more, you shouldnt expect the weight to disappear in six weeks. The process of losing excess pregnancy weight takes time, Snell said. With the right lifestyle changes, you can expect to lose 1 to 1.5 pounds per week.
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Youre Not Eating Enoughor Choosing The Wrong Foods
Cutting calories in the hopes of losing baby weight might sound like the right approach. However, its actually not ideal, says Cunningham.
There are many women will help them lose weight. Eating less does not mean you will automatically lose weight, concurs McFaden.
If you are not eating enough food, your body will store fat. Plan meals ahead and make sure you are eating enough well-balanced foods, instead of convenient, packaged foods that are usually full of . And, if you are breastfeeding, this is not the time to try any diet, because you must be sure you have enough nutrients for both you and baby.
Dr. David Diaz, a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility expert at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, notes that women who are breastfeeding experienced an increased metabolic rate, which naturally requires a higher calorie intake.
But, for those concerned about excessive weight gain during nursing, he says making modest changes in food quantity and quality can help manage calorie intake without jeopardizing infant health. He recommends that new mothers aim to consume around 2,500 calories per day.
In the meantime, watch portion sizes, read food labels, and stick to real, whole foods. You can also try to avoid high-calorie drinks in favor of water, tea, or coffee.
Losing The Baby Weight Takes Time
The reality is that after taking almost 10 months to grow a baby, it will take time to lose postpartum weight. A recent study found that only 20% of women return to their pre-pregnancy weight within the first three months postpartum and that 24% of women retain at least 10 pounds one year postpartum.
This means, on average, 80% of women take more than three months to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. I was not a failure because I did not immediately return to my skinny jeans. I was normal! We would all love to lose weight quickly, as the recommended weight loss goal is to lose around 1 pound a week.
For a little help, see these progressive post-pregnancy exercises for weight loss.
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The Best Ways To Lose Weight After Your Baby Is Born
After your baby is born, you might be eager to pack up your maternity clothes and get back into your pre-pregnancy outfits. But all the baby weight doesnt disappear when you give birth. It can take some time to lose the pounds.
Amy Snell, a Banner womens health nurse practitioner at Banner Health Clinic in Page, AZ, said, The biggest mistake I see with women wanting to lose weight after giving birth is the idea that their body will quickly bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight. This process takes time. She explained how your body changes postpartum and what you can do to return to your pre-pregnancy weight and wardrobe.
Create A Plan For Gradual Weight Loss During Pregnancy
Even before theyre born, your future baby relies on you in numerous ways. Your body nourishes and carries them for about 40 weeks, helping them grow and develop. Having excess weight can cause problems during pregnancy because it can get in the way of these processes.
Despite such dangers, your best approach to weight loss is through a consistent, yet gradual plan with a focus on healthier lifestyle changes. Gradual weight loss is best for your body and your baby.
If your doctor recommends that you lose weight, heres how to do so safely during pregnancy.
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Getting Help From Your Healthcare Provider
Diet and exercise are the best ways to lose weight healthily for most women, but in some cases, your healthcare provider may need to step in. The following options might be considered if you have a BMI above 30 or have certain medical conditions along with a high BMI.
Medication. If you havenât been able to get your BMI below 30 with lifestyle changes alone, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help with weight loss.
Surgery. This may be recommended by your healthcare provider only if medications donât work, and if you have an exceptionally high BMI.
Your healthcare provider may be able to help you with things like meal plans, safe exercises you can do in the postpartum period, and guidance on how much weight is safe for you to lose in a given time frame.
When Weight Loss Is Advised
Unless recommended by your physician, intentional weight loss is not recommended during pregnancy. In some cases, minimal weight loss is advised for some women who have extreme obesity. However, this is somewhat controversial as research and experts are divided about the benefits and risks of this approach.
“Some studies have shown that weight gain below the recommended limits may provide some benefit for women with higher body mass index > 30 kg/m2 before pregnancy, but may increase the risk for small babies in women with normal or low BMI,” explains Dr. Han.
Modest weight loss for women who have obesity has been shown to lower the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, emergency c-section, and having an overly large baby. However, those benefits may come with a costexcept for women with a BMI over 35as gaining below the recommended guidelines also increases the risk of complications for your baby.
In cases where a woman is in the highest BMI classification, she may have enough stored fat to safely sustain her baby without gaining as much weight. Your doctor will be the best person to evaluate whether or not weight loss or minimizing weight gain would be appropriate in your specific case.
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How Much Weight Will You Need To Lose After Giving Birth
During pregnancy, women gain 25 to 35 pounds. Every woman is different, but here’s a general idea of where the weight you gained goes:
- Baby: 7.5 pounds
- Blood: 4 pounds
- Maternal fat stores: 7 pounds
You may not need to lose as much weight as you think. The good news is you’ll lose about 13 pounds as soon as you give birth. This is the combined weight of the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid. Over the course of the next week after delivery, you’ll lose some more weight as you get rid of extra fluids. However, the fat you stored during pregnancy won’t go away on its own. Here are six tips for losing weight after pregnancy.
How To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding: Getting On Track To Your Pre
The societal pressure for women to lose weight after pregnancy is increasing by the day. Post-baby snapback pictures and hashtags that are littered all over social media put additional stress on women. In light of this, it is no wonder that many women are left searching on ways on how to lose weight while breastfeeding.
In this article, we are going to take a look at questions such as what is ideal breastfeeding diet, how to lose weight after pregnancy while breastfeeding, how to safely lose weight while breastfeeding, and how much weight is safe to lose in a week while breastfeeding among other popular questions.
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You Lack Time And Energy
Speaking of lack of time, most people think that weight loss requires much too strict time requirements in order to reach their goals.
However, with proper time management and method of exercise, you can still reach your goals without strict time requirements.
Finding energy is also tough but exercises actually will help boost your energy levels.
What You Can Do
- Choose High Intensity Interval Training When time is your limiting factor to weight loss, the method of exercise you choose matters most. The more intense your workout, the more calories your body burns AFTER your workout is over. This afterburn effect is much more powerful for weight loss then trekking away doing long, slow and often boring cardio.
- Break up your workouts If weight loss is your goal, your body needs to burn an extra 500-1000 calories per day or 3500 calories per week. This means you need to engage in fairly vigorous exercise for about 3 hours a week. BUT! This three hour requirement can be broken up into much smaller, more attainable time slots. Even just several 10 minute HIIT workouts spread out throughout the day will help you meet your extra caloric burn for the day.
- Time Blocking- In most cases, I find that we lack proper time management skills more than we lack actual time. Using time blocking is one of the best things I have done to find those little pockets of time to exercise.
Know Your Weight Needs
The amount of weight that you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy BMI . Before you decide to lose weight during pregnancy, it is good to know your threshold for pregnancy weight gain. The below chart helps you know how much weight you can gain :
|Pregnancy weight category|
: Institute of Medicine/ ACOG
According to ACOG, women who are overweight or obese can gain lesser weight than that recommended as long as the baby is growing fine.
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Eat Frequent But Small Meals
This could help you manage your weight, whether you are pregnant or not. Eating frequent but small meals helps you manage your portion size. This is especially useful during pregnancy when eating a full meal can make you feel sick. Experts advise eating three not-too-big main meals and two to three smaller meals per day .
Heres What You Can Do To Lose Weight After Giving Birth
Snell said exercise is essential, both for weight loss and to increase your general health and wellness. She recommends 30 to 60 minutes of activity most days. But she concedes that making time to exercise can be challenging when youre caring for a new baby. You dont have to fit in exercise all at one time, she said. Short spurts of exercise, like 10- to 20-minute increments a few times a day, might be more manageable. Ask others to help with the baby so you can find time to exercise.
Making good food choices can also help with weight loss after your baby is born. You want to watch the number of calories youre consuming. If youre not breastfeeding, you should get back to the calories you were eating pre-pregnancy. For most women, thats around 2,000 a day.
If youre breastfeeding all or most of the time, you need an extra 450 to 500 calories per day. The quote, eating for two is not accurate, Snell said. Most breastfeeding women need 2,500 calories per day.
You also want to choose a diet loaded with vegetables, fruits and whole grains, rounded out with lean dairy and meat. Proper nutrition is managed one bite at a time, Snell said. Pre-planning food and cutting up fruits and vegetables for quick snacks can help.
If youre breastfeeding, choose foods high in calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals for your extra calories and avoid fish thats high in mercury.
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Your Care In Pregnancy
If you are obese in pregnancy, you’ll be offered a test for gestational diabetes.
You may also be referred to an anaesthetist to discuss issues such as pain relief in labour. You’re more likely to have an instrumental delivery , and it can be difficult for an epidural to be given.
Talk to your midwife or doctor about your birth options. Ask if there are any particular safety concerns for you around giving birth at home or in a birthing pool.
You may be advised to give birth in a hospital where there’s easy access to medical care if you need it.
Find out more about your options on where to give birth.
Breastfeeding And Weight Loss
Gradual weight loss of 500g per week, is all right while breastfeeding. Losing weight more rapidly through dieting might mean you dont pass on enough nutrients to your baby.
Breastfeeding is not only best for your baby, it can help you lose weight gained during pregnancy because your body uses fat stores and energy to nourish your baby. You might find you dont lose weight until you have stopped breastfeeding. However, overall, women who breastfeed their babies for at least the first few months tend to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy faster than women who do not breastfeed.
Breastfeeding can make you hungry. Eating extra vegetables, protein and other nutritious choices is best and you should try to avoid processed foods high in fat or sugar. You need to drink plenty of water too.
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Why Do Overweight Women Need To Manage Weight During Pregnancy
According to the UKs National Health Services , being overweight increases the risk of a miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia , blood clots, postpartum hemorrhage, and heavy babies in the mother.
In the babies, there could be risk of stillbirth or early birth . However, these risks are not unique to women who are overweight because they could happen in any pregnant woman .
The NHS recommends women not to try losing weight during pregnancy even if they are very overweight.
The best way to avoid weight issues during pregnancy is to reduce weight before conception. But if you have conceived even as you were trying to lose weight, make sure you are having a controlled weight gain so that you are not crossing the threshold of the recommended weight gain .
You May Have Started Working Out A Little Too Soon
Arndt says that many women return to high-impact exercise too quickly after having a baby, rather than focusing on low-intensity workouts for the first several months.
But, doing too much too soon can lead to complications like diastasis recti, pelvic issues, or simply overexertion. Be sure to get cleared by your doctor before starting a postpartum exercise routine, and, on the whole, plan to give yourself at least six to eight weeks of rest and recovery first.
Recognize your body has changed, a lot, says Cunningham. Dont rushthe weight will come off. Slowly ease into exercise again, and eat healthy foods. Find someone qualified to help you get back into fitness postpartum to make sure you dont do anything you might regret down the road.
McFaden agrees, acknowledging that losing baby weight may seem impossible, but it is totally doable. She also suggests hiring a postnatal trainer to create a holistic plan tailored to your individual needs.
Low-impact cardiovascular exercise, pelvic floor and core work can help heal your body from pregnancy and delivery, says Arndt.
Make sure you get as much sleep as you can, focus on the right exercises, and eat nutrient-dense snacks and meals regularly. If you find yourself gaining weight or lacking energy/appetite postpartum, speak to your doctor.
Check out some of our workout samples here. Our expert trainers will guide you through each workout.
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