Pregnancy And WeightlossMost diets are not healthy
Weight Loss After PregnancyIt's a pretty obvious to most of us that, after giving birth, most women's bodies have to make considerable adjustments.
Sweeping hormonal changes are quite common, and mood swings, and other related reactions are not unusual either.
In order for her to do that safely and in a way that produces genuinely beneficial long-term results, a woman must take it slow and steady. Weight reduction and regaining muscle tone after birth takes time.
A lot of hype in the media about rapid weight loss after pregnancy is common. Articles are published in supermarket tabloids on celebrity moms show them making miraculous changes after birth and regaining those million dollar figures seemingly overnight.
Many of these people often have better than average metabolic systems in the first place.
After all, that's part of the genetic package that gives them an edge in that profession in the first place. They also have very expensive consultants, trainers and money to burn on all kinds of exercise equipment. The average woman can forego a lot of needless guilt by not trying to emulate their results. Instead, focus on what's normal and average for most new moms.
It will generally take up to 6 months (maybe more) for the average woman's body to return to "normal" after giving birth. Normal, here, just means the average metabolic rate and hormonal amounts that were experienced before conception. In some areas, and to some degree, those norms may never quite return. Motherhood often produces some permanent changes.
Calorie reduction should definitely not be an overriding concern during a period of breast feeding after pregnancy. Apart from the still-required (though somewhat less) additional amount of energy, the added stress of worrying about weight is not something new mothers need. Night feeding and continual round-the-clock care for a year or more is difficult enough without unnecessary, self-imposed psychological burdens such as extreme dietary regimens.
For the first few months at least, the focus should be very much on simply eating a healthy diet. A 2000 calorie diet that includes 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, 10% fat with an adequate amount of fiber is a good, common sense starting point.
You might notice that the numbers don't quite add up to 100%. Every diet should leave a little leeway for enjoyment, uncontrollable increases or decreases of the other factors, etc. Going to extremes is the most common mistake most make when considering nutrition...pregnancy or no pregnancy.
Moderate exercise is always a good choice, but here again the keyword is "moderate". New mothers are busy enough without having to worry about whether they are getting that 5-mile run in every morning. The focus should be on gradually increasing stamina, tone and overall fitness. The goals should be mood-elevation and general health, not looking like a movie star.
After a few months, the program can be stepped up gradually to the desired levels. The average gain during pregnancy is between 25-35 lbs and during birth about 12-14 of this is lost immediately. The other 12-21 pounds can be shed over 6-8 months without risk. Take it slow and steady and your results will persist over the long term.
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Page Updated 3:54 PM Wednesday 9/2/2015