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No-Excuse Fitness Guide For Moms

It has been a couple of days since you have been home after delivering your baby, and finally it seems that your family is settling in and you are getting things under control. The very next thing that new moms’ would like to figure out is, “How and when should I start trying to lose weight?” When will I be able to get back into my figure pre-pregnancy?

Unfortunately, many of us are in the same boat where we struggle to obtain our target weight post-baby, as it really is an uphill battle. Here are some facts and suggestions that may help you get back into the shape that you want.

10 Weight Loss At Birth

Like most mothers, you would like to know how hard you must work to lose weight. If you have gained the recommended 25 to 35lbs during pregnancy, expect to lose up to 12lbs once you exit the delivery room. Here is how that weight is broken down:

Newborn who is born full-term

  • Weighs 5lb 8oz to 8lb 13oz on average

Placenta

  • Is delivered after your baby, 1-2lbs

Amniotic Fluid and Blood

  • The rest of the weight is accounted to the mass amount of amniotic fluid and blood you acquired during pregnancy

Your body will try to go back to it’s normal state pre-pregnancy, so many women find that they will sweat and need to urinate more the first week, so good news! Expect to lose another 3-5lbs week 1 after giving birth. It will take another 4 weeks for your uterus to shrink to normal size, and is recommended that you do not set unrealistic expectations in your weight loss plan. Instead, set a goal of losing weight slowly, between 1-2lbs a week postpartum.

9 When To Begin

 You should wait until your 6-week check up post delivery and get the okay from your physician to begin monitoring your daily food consumption. This is done so that you can be sure your body is healing and ready to take the pressures of dieting and exercise.

If you are breastfeeding, it is recommended to wait at least 2 months before beginning your plan to lose weight. This is because you do not want to limit your baby to nutrients to help her thrive at such a young and susceptible age.  

8 Portion Control

According to the website ChooseMyPlate.gov you should have 3 full or 5 small meals per day that consist of the following portions. It is also advisable to consume foods that are Non-GMO, Organic, and Gluten-Free. Click here to learn more about them.

Fruit

About 4 servings per day (a medium sized apple or orange)

Vegetables

3-4 servings per day (a cup of dark, green vegetables, or veggie juice)

Grains

Whole grains are preferred by at least half of the servings, 6 per day (1/2 cup of brown rice, a slice of bread)

Fat-Free Dairy Products

2-3 servings a day (1 cup of non-fat milk or yogurt)

Lean Meats and protein

Up to 6oz a day (chicken, beef or fish)

Nuts and Legumes

4-5 servings a week

Sugars

5 servings or less a week (1/2 cup of frozen yogurt, or whole fruit frozen bar)

7 Avoid Fried and Processed Foods

Unfortunately, unhealthy foods are typically the ones that are the most delicious and appetizing. If the oils used to cook the food you eat consist of artificial trans-fat, which is a man-made fat, it only packs your body on with bad fat in addition with empty calories, also putting you at a higher risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks, heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Good nutrients are burned to their “death” as the minerals and vitamins are destroyed once all moisture is evaporated in the food being deeply fried. Consuming these types of foods also coerce your kidneys to work hard to filter out harmful fats. This increases bad cholesterol or fat lipids in your blood and is known as Low-density lipoprotein.

This is even more so if you are pregnant, being that these types of foods could cause pregnancy-induced hypertension or (high blood pressure) that poses imminent risks to both mother and baby, and be a cause for a preterm birth.

6 Hydration

It is always important to keep yourself hydrated. If you are breastfeeding, this is even more important as you will find yourself constantly thirsty. This will happen as you feel a prickle in your chest, which means that your milk is coming in and especially after you finish a feeding.

Water is always best, and it is recommended to drink 8-10 glasses a day. However, if you aren’t savvy about water, try adding lemons or limes for taste, or adding fruits such as sliced strawberries and oranges. Non-caffeinated teas such as barley, lavender, or chamomile are options, as you should limit your amount of caffeine intake per day.  

5 Limiting Juice And Soda

 It is also a good piece of advice to drink healthy beverages, as sugary drinks will impede your goal to weight loss. Limit yourself to the amount of juices, sodas, energy drinks and caffeine in moderate amounts.

Most manufacturers squeeze the juices from the fruit, and package them for long periods to prepare them to be manufactured, and as a result, most of the flavor is lost. So to make up for that loss, High Fructose Corn Syrup is added and is hard on your organs, as only your liver is able to metabolize this. In addition, all sources of fiber are lost and are not contained in fruit juice.

Keep in mind that if you experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you have a 50% chance of acquiring diabetes Type 2 later in life. You will also be also at risk for heart disease, and heart attack.

Even drinking Diet drinks are risky as though it is advertised to have 0 calories and sugar, the soda contains artificial sweeteners that are proven to be unhealthy as they can cause seizures and multiple sclerosis.

Phosphoric acid is contained in all soda, and this blocks your body’s ability to consume calcium, leading to osteoporosis. This can also have an impact on your teeth, causing plaque build-up and creating cavities and gum disease.

Caffeine can cause an increase in blood pressure, and disrupt your precious sleep cycles. Americanpregnancy.org advises limiting your caffeine to 200mg a day for pregnant moms and 2 cups a day if you are breastfeeding.

4  Breastfeeding

 According to Babycenter.com, if you decide to breastfeed, this causes your body to burn calories, up to 600 a day! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your baby for one year, and though this thought may tire you, have this encourage you to not give up because this benefits both you and your baby.

Breastfeeding is tiring and time-consuming. The majority of moms do not prefer the experience, which makes you feel like a ball linked with a chained anchor. However, breast milk is considered to be a super food for your infant, providing them with your immunity and valuable nutrition. So if you can kill two birds with one stone, by losing weight and giving your baby the best nutrition, breastfeeding should be a no-brainer.  

3 Kegel Exercises

Many women experience urinary incontinence especially during their last trimester of pregnancy, and this can continue post-partum. Kegel exercises are recommended to re-strengthen your pelvic floor that consists of your small intestine, bladder, uterus, and rectum

An example of a Kegel exercise is to stop your urine midstream, holding the contraction, and allowing yourself to complete the process. It is not recommended to do this too often, as this can cause you to easily obtain a UTI, but it is a perfect example of allowing your body to understand the exact muscles you should use.

There are other methods of doing Kegel exercises, and one technique is by using vaginal weighted cones. You insert the cone into your vagina and by contracting your muscles, are able squeeze and hold the cone in place.

You should repeat the contractions 4 to 5 times per session, and aim to have a minimum of 3 sessions per day. The best part of doing Kegel Exercises are convenient to do as they can be done discreetly, on the couch at home, while sitting at your desk, or as you are driving. Click here for more information and for more videos on how they can be done.  

2 Exercise

It is recommended that you perform 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and up to 300 minutes a week. Recent study has shown that you can start exercising as soon as you feel ready, so there is no need to wait for the okay from your Doctor.

Start simply by not being lazy. Park your car farther from the store, decide to take a walk to the nearest pharmacy instead of driving, and encourage tummy time with your baby by participating with her. Go ahead and use your own creativity to include your family in your workout sessions.

Here are some recommended exercises that you can include in your fitness plan.

Pilates:

Invented by Joseph Pilates to strengthen your powerhouse or abdominals and alleviate lower back pain. It focuses on alignment, coordination, flexibility and endurance.

Cardiovascular Exercise

The focus is to raise your heart and metabolic rate and is one of the most popular types of exercise. It pressures your body to use your heart and respiratory system and challenges your endurance and stamina. Hit the gym for an aerobics or spinning class, or use the elliptical or treadmill, or go for a swim.

Yoga

Its goal back in history is to achieve “liberation”. It focuses on your flexibility and breathing, as well as encourages a meditative state of spiritual calm and peace.

Anaerobic Exercise

This includes the strengthening, size, and endurance of muscle mass in your body. It uses the gravity of weights or resistance exercise and is practiced through machines, dumbbells, or elastics to enhance muscle power.  

1 Don't Accept Insulting Remarks

For many of us, there is always someone that will make a snide or rude remark about your post-baby body, regardless if it is to your face or behind your back. As a woman, you have been given a precious privilege to bring a child into this world. You are a new mother who is beautiful inside and out regardless of the way you look.

It is important to not let yourself go, but that you put effort into leading a healthy lifestyle because you care about yourself. If you run into someone who tries to put you down because of your imperfections, be polite and firm with them that “Though you appreciate their honest observations, that you only take comments into consideration only when they come from a genuine and credible source”.

Remember that your baby will grow up loving you for who you are, and you’re your looks do not account for any sort of importance. This is similar in how your dog loves you and the attention you give her simply because you are their owner.

Your child will love you unconditionally the moment he is aware and is able to recognize your face. He loves you because you are the most important person in the world to him, for now, at least. And because you are the one that he is most dependent on, as you are the one that has the ability to provide him with the best type of care to fit his needs. And that to most moms’ is what really matters.  

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