Weight loss programs are stressed upon after pregnancy so that mothers can return to their optimal body weight. Medical professionals or doctors suggest that this should normally take only a few months if mothers control their diet-and-exercise routine. This is crucial to being overweight or becoming obese is always to be avoided as they cause numerous psychological and health-related problems. Both psychological and health-related problems, in turn, contribute to obesity, making it a vicious cycle that must be broken.
To lose weight safely and effectively after pregnancy, the following top 3 programs are described below
- A Focus on Consuming Super Foods is Recommended for Weight Loss Programs After Pregnancy
Super Foods are defined as foods that are rich in nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and proteins. But as they are also low in unwanted fats and calories, they provide satiation without contributing to unnecessary weight gain. For nursing mothers, however, the nutrients form the focus, and, in this regard, the following are recommended:
- Fish is highly recommended as they provide Omega 3 Fatty Acids including Docosahexaenoic Acid/DHA. The types of fish suggested consisting of cold water fish like sardines, tuna (meaning canned tuna, preferably light) and salmon.
- Meat, especially lean meat and poultry along with beans are other suggestions. They are emphasized because they are high in protein and fiber while being low in fat.
- Milk, as well as milk products like yogurt is also recommended, as they are rich in calcium. Their consumption results in stronger bones.
- Post-Partum Weight Loss Programs Also Suggest Breastfeeding as Another Way to Lose Weight
Breastfeeding, as part of post-pregnancy weight loss programs, combined with a proper diet, optimal exercise, and resistance to overeating. The mother’s body does burn additional calories to produce milk. At the same time, however, calorie intake recommended for lactating mothers does not include the amount required to produce milk. Studies suggest that it is this deficit that leads to weight loss.
- Food Consumption Balanced with Proper Physical Activity/Exercise, Sleep and Plenty of Water Forms Parts of Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Programs
A balanced diet instead of crash dieting is always encouraged because the latter leads to withdrawal symptoms and bingeing. Bingeing, which usually involves a short period of excessive eating, in turn, leads to severe weight gain. Instead, a gradual reduction of the quantities of unhealthy foods is suggested, which does away with withdrawal symptoms and bingeing. In addition, mothers are asked to drink plenty of water every day, as this provides satiation and prevents dehydration. The former benefit provided by water, that is satiation, helps to prevent weight gain by preventing overeating.
Also, strength-training exercises and aerobics are recommended after pregnancy/postpartum stage, as they strengthen bones and muscles and help burn calories. This helps mothers steadily lose weight, maintain optimal weight and keep depression away as they feel good about their self-image.
In addition to these exercises, brisk walks of increasing lengths are suggested along with an exercise schedule. Finally, seven-eight hours of nighttime sleep is proposed as an essential requirement, as it lessens exhaustion due to inadequate sleep. Inadequate nighttime sleep additionally leads to the production of ‘stress’ hormones and cortisol, unhealthy diet, low physical activity, and poor self-image. All these together ultimately lead to weight gain. Thus, the required amount of sleep can have a positive contribution to weight loss programs.
However, it is a good idea to consult the doctor before starting any of the weight loss programs. In addition, the doctor can very importantly, determine the options that are to be avoided as they are/may be harmful. Finally, the doctor can provide advice and guidance regarding the amount of weight that needs to be lost.