Losing Weight After Pregnancy
Weight is affected by a balance between "calories in" versus "calories out." For a non-pregnant woman, the cause of weight gain can often be as simple as eating more calories than the body can burn on a daily basis.
But other factors contribute to weight gain during pregnancy. The most obvious -- your baby. Other factors include more blood, fluids, and fat storage, along with the addition of a placenta.
Weight loss, whether after pregnancy or any other time, is not simple, easy, or fast. Many women looking for ways to lose weight quickly find it hard to believe that in this age of scientific innovations and medical miracles, an effortless method doesn't exist -- but it does not.
When you start thinking about losing weight, you need to decide what changes you are going to make to increase your physical activity and decrease the calories you eat. There is no magic pill, and there is no "best way" to lose weight.
Healthcare providers agree that the key to starting a successful weight loss and exercise program after having a baby is to use good sense and moderation. Before doing anything, talk to your healthcare provider about the right plan for you. That plan should take your personal health history and type of delivery you had into consideration.
Reducing your caloric intake and easing your way into a workout regimen are great ways to start losing weight after pregnancy. Do this with your healthcare provider's approval, and keep in mind that the average woman needs a minimum of 1,200 calories a day to stay healthy. Limiting your caloric intake too drastically will decrease your energy level, and your ability to stay active enough to burn fat will be hindered.
After giving birth, continue to keep up the healthy habits you practiced while pregnant, especially if you are choosing to nurse. Continuing that healthy and well-balanced diet is important because you are now taking care of a newborn baby around the clock and introducing a weight loss plan. Dieting after pregnancy can decrease bone mineral density, so it is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
Walking is a great activity to start with (see Exercise After Pregnancy or Benefits of Walking). Use this opportunity to bond with your baby, get outdoors, and do something good for you all at the same time.