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In this article, I will share with you 7 ways of losing weight after pregnancy and maintaining it thereafter because I know how important your self-esteem and self-confidence are. Babies are magical and downright adorable! Even though the whole nine months of carrying your precious little one may be painful and hard, nothing beats the joy of holding your little bundle of joy in your arms. Nothing is as sweet and magical as the smell, feel, and the sight of a new baby.
Giving life comes second to nothing; it’s beautiful and you must enjoy it fully and also enjoy your body confidently afterwards. However, what may accompany this blessing may be baby fat, a flabby belly and probably a drop in self-confidence and self-esteem. You may look at your image in the mirror three years later and shudder at the sight asking yourself how you allowed yourself to grow that careless?
I haven’t always been on the small size I was chubby and hefty in my teen years. I used to get words like, you will be a very fat woman once you have children! To be honest, I hated those words more every time I heard them. The determination to prove them wrong was so strong that five children down the line, this is me.
And I will share with you my secrets to looking this young.
Although this article is about the maintenance of weight in motherhood, I need you to know that losing weight does not define beauty. Being on the small side does not mean beauty either. Everything I am sharing must be used for your own pleasure and not for you to appear a certain way to society.
It’s normal to accumulate baby fat during pregnancy. Usually, I weigh about 65 to 68 kg after delivery and this takes me about 4 to 6 months to return to my desired 58 – 62 kg. That’s the ideal weight against my height if I want to fall within the normal BMI (Body Mass Index) range. Click here to know more about BMI and how to calculate it.
So the thing about weight loss is patience, determination and consistency. Don’t rush results or use shortcuts. That is your body, with corresponding systems and mechanisms whose focal point is nutrition.
My top secret
I feel it unfair and untrue if I don’t share this one thing with you. My top secret is I have always avoided hormonal contraceptive methods. So how do I achieve family planning? Well, I used natural methods and all my boys are spaced two years apart, my daughter 3 years from my last son. Studies say hormonal contraceptives may increase appetite and promote fluid retention in cells thereby increasing body mass. Some women may also experience changes in body composition which may include alterations in the amount of fat deposition in the body and its distribution.
I guess you now have an idea why I can’t stand those things. I dislike anything that is likely to disrupt the normal functioning and mechanism of my body especially if I can help it. If you share my feelings but can’t help but take hormonal birth control pills, Healthline advises taking birth control pills that have a lower dose of estrogen. This is because estrogen has been found to be the culprit of increasing appetite and water retention.
What are the natural methods of birth control (contraception)
These are methods that are considered natural in that they are not mechanical and do not manipulate your hormonal system. To learn more about these methods, kindly refer to Medline here. A few of these include;
- Breastfeeding; This is also referred to as lactational infertility and it worked quite effectively for me. However, some women have conceived a few months after having the baby that may still be lactating. So it is risky somehow.
- Basal body temperature
- Cervical mucus method
- Calendar rhythm method
Other non-hormonal mechanical birth control methods include barrier methods such as condoms, cervical caps, diaphragms, non-hormonal and spermicides.
Kindly note that I am not a gynaecologist and I have basic knowledge on family planning mostly based on my own experiences, so PLEASE, be sure to discuss your options with a professional.
Okay, so now that you know that I do not take hormonal birth control pills, let get right into business.
How to lose baby fat up-to 6 months after pregnancy
Focus on your baby and your belly
During this stage, my main focus is my baby and my belly. This is the most crucial period for the development of the baby. One thing for sure, don’t go on a diet no matter how much you want your body back in shape especially for the first 3 to 6 months after having your baby. Your baby needs all the good it can get out of you and dieting might deprive it and disrupt mental and physical development.
Take a lot of fluids and water
Take a lot of fluids, especially water and natural fruit juices. I must confess that the first six weeks after delivering, I take four to five cups of nutritious hot beverages such as milo with milk. I also eat to my fill, however, I watch out for fats.
Invest in an abdominal corset
Day three after giving birth, I begin using a corset. You can use a wrapper (chitenge) if you don’t have a corset. Though I have found a wrapper a bit painful when just beginning. Don’t stop, the pain will eventually go away. Use it for at least 3 hours per day till you’re able to go long hours without pain.
About a week after having my baby, when postpartum stress has reduced and the number of painful body parts has reduced, I start with abdominal exercise. I start small with just quarter sit-ups and curl-ups. With time I progress to straight leg raises and later core rhythm abdominal workouts.
Always listen to your body, when you can’t take it anymore give yourself a rest. Progress with your exercise program at a steady and comfortable pace.
How to lose and maintain weight 6 months onwards after pregnancy.
Continue breastfeeding your baby
Personally, I take advantage of breastfeeding as another way of giving out excess. In average, I go up to 1 year 5 months breastfeeding my babies alongside their usual meals. It’s good for the baby and good for you too.
Following a strict and effective exercise routine is very difficult especially if you’re a working mom, wife and a blogger like me. Even if you’re none of these things it’s just so hard to stick to an exercise routine sometimes. It requires discipline, dedication, and focus. If you possess these three qualities, go to the gym regularly or join routine exercise classes. As for me, every day comes differently it’s so hard to stick to a strict routine, so I don’t really panic when I fail to adhere to my usual routine.
So my usual exercise routine includes about 30 minutes of core rhythm abdominal workouts which are readily available on Youtube. I try to do this at least once or twice per week. No fixed day because something always comes up to disrupt my schedule.
In addition to core rhythm, I take fifteen to twenty minutes to do these exercises at least thrice per week.
- Jumping jacks
- Skipping rope
- Squat exes
- Quater sit-ups
During weekdays, (5 days a week) I do intermittent fasting. I go 16 hours without food every day. So if my last meal is at 7 pm and my first meal is usually at 11 am. I also make sure that my meals are healthy. Honest truth is I love chocolate and I do treat myself to one or two slabs per month. I also junk once or twice per month when I go out with the family.
Drink enough water; As a routine, I take two glasses of warm water first thing in the morning and ensure that I take at least two litres of water per day.
I take a tablespoon of ground moringa daily in tea, in my early morning water, or as a garnish on rice. I also take cinnamon with milk, Cayan pepper and ginger.
I also consume as many seeds as I get my hands on such as Pawpaw seeds, pumpkin seeds that are readily available in my location. When I get the chance to go to Tuesday market in Lusaka, I buy sesame, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.
It has been proven scientifically that adopting a healthy lifestyle and habits keeps you looking young, vibrant and healthy.
Don’t do this
- Don’t starve yourself or adopt harmful eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia Norversa. While you may stay thin with these habits, you are shortening your lifespan because you are destroying the cells and systems of your body.
- Don’t take slimming pills while eating recklessly. That’s the fastest route to weight gain. In fact, avoid slimming pills and soaps altogether especially if you are nursing.
- Don’t go on extreme diets as these do not offer lasting results. A drastic loss of weight is usually followed by a drastic gain. The idea is to adopt a routine that will be easy for you to keep up with for more lasting results.
Hope you have found this article helpful, feel obliged to reach out for any other queries and concerns. Remember that a slim body is not everything in life. Your focus is to stay fit, healthy, and to enjoy wholeness and bliss.