Here is the good news: belly fat loss after pregnancy is possible. You don’t even have to look at Hollywood’s examples of successful post-pregnancy weight loss stories to confirm this. But of course, it’s a little hard not to get envious of Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and so on, when their “progress” so to speak is so heavily documented and celebrated like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. The lesson here is that while Hollywood glamorizes this whole concept of rapidly losing weight after having a baby, you may find that going at it slow is better as it can help promote a lifestyle of good health. Remember that there is no magic bullet to shedding all that baby weight. Celebrity or not, all new moms need to focus on eating healthy, incorporating physical activity, and committing to a healthy lifestyle to get back to that pre-baby shape.
“How soon can I start exercising after giving birth?”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that it is safe to gradually start or resume exercising as soon as your body feels up to it. Exercise will not affect your production of breastmilk. If you were exercising during your pregnancy and had a normal delivery, you can resume exercising within days after giving birth. Do light aerobic exercises like walking and stretching at first, gradually progressing to moderate exercises thrice a week after your first postpartum week. Make sure that your breasts are supported when you work out and do not do abdominal exercises for the first two months to avoid injury. It takes between four to eight weeks for the gap in your abdomen caused by the pregnancy to close. But if you had a complicated delivery, a cesarean section, or underwent extensive vaginal repair, talk to your doctor first before starting an exercise regimen.
“I’m exercising and eating right, why am I not seeing results?”
Rather than thinking you are doomed to carry that extra weight forever, you shouldn’t give up on your fitness routine even if you can’t get into your sexy jeans just yet. According to experts, one factor that may be contributing to the slow belly fat loss is lack of sleep. One study notes that women who got seven or more hours of sleep were more likely to lose the extra pounds quicker than new mothers who slept only five or fewer hours a day six months after giving birth. Now, this is where you should be really patient considering every new mother has to deal with her slumber being interrupted or cut short, especially in the first year after the birth of her baby. Just remember to continue eating right and working out, and catching zzzs when you can.
“I’ve heard rapid weight loss after giving birth is dangerous. Is it true?”
Yes. This is another reason why you need to map out your own weight loss plan instead of patterning your routine after famous moms who were able to drop the pounds like magic. Don’t forget that celebrities have their own army of nutritionists, fitness experts, and personal chefs to make the whole thing easier for them. If you are regularly working out and cutting back on food, you need to make sure that you do not starve yourself such that your body is taking from your bones, tissues, and muscles to make milk for your little one. And besides, when you drastically reduce your caloric intake, the toxins that are stored in your fat tissues could end up in your breast milk. There’s also the fact that your body will go on to starvation mode, lowering your metabolism in order to conserve energy, which would make losing that baby weight a lot harder than it needs to be.
“Can breastfeeding make me gain weight?”
A lot of new moms swear by breastfeeding as the one factor that made them lose weight easily. However, there are also women who hold on to those gained poundage despite breastfeeding. This is what experts know for sure: moms who breastfeed have an advantage over formula feeders in terms of losing weight more rapidly. But if breastfeeding isn’t making your wobbly bits budge, perhaps it’s time to look at your eating habits. After all, being a new mom isn’t a walk in the park. It’s a happy occasion definitely, but it can also be pretty stressful. Stress could lead anyone to overeat plus if you have other kids to take care of, you may just grab whatever’s there even if it’s not something healthy like a piece of fruit or a celery stick.
Author: Francine Luke is a blogger and fitness enthusiast who writes for SweetSweat.com, the scientifically-tested topical thermogenic workout enhancer. Burning your body fat fast requires regular exercise. Making Sweet Sweat part of every workout helps you exercise better, harder, and longer as well as recover faster.