Weight loss issues during pregnancy and post birth: A common problem for women that become pregnant is that they assume they are “eating for two.”
While it is true that your body requires additional calories in order to sustain a growing fetus, medical professionals suggest a conservative approach to weight gain.
How Much Weight Should Women Gain During Pregnancy?
According to WebMD, medical professionals suggest three main weight gain scenarios:
- If a woman is at an average weight before pregnancy, she should only gain 25 to 35 additional pounds.
- Suppose you are underweight pre-pregnancy, then you stand to gain 28 to 40 additional pounds.
- If a woman is overweight prior to pregnancy, doctors recommend she only gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Weight Loss & Pregnancy
The amount of weight you gain during pregnancy can increase or decrease the extra cardio it will take after giving birth. Shedding baby weight depends entirely on the individual because everyone’s body responds differently. Some new mothers immediately look like they did prior to pregnancy, while others take years to get their bodies back in shape.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I only gained 18 pounds. I thought it would be easy to return to my normal weight immediately afterwards. However, I remained 10 pounds heavier. It was not until almost 2 years later, once my daughter began to stop breastfeeding (at least as much) that my body went back to the size it used to be. This leads us to the ultimate question on postpartum body and weight loss from breastfeeding.
Does Breastfeeding Help With Weight Loss After Birth?
I personally did not experience rapid weight loss from breastfeeding. Not to cause panic and fear in some of our pregnant readers, but breastfeeding had the opposite effect on my body.
However, other women I have spoken to swear they’ve lost a ton of weight during breastfeeding. One study suggests that mothers that breastfeed beyond 6 months have a greater chance of shedding extra pounds. I ate right and exercised regularly but could not shed the extra 10 pounds. The weight came off finally, but only after I began to wean my 2-year-old toddler off breast milk. So, every woman’s body responds differently after giving birth.
The 4 Main Ways To Lose Weight Post Childbirth & Beyond:
- Cut Sugar
- Reduce Alcohol Intake
- Eat More Protein
- Employ a Consistent Exercise Routine
Some mothers opt to not breastfeed, which is perfectly fine. If your child is on formula, then you can enjoy a glass of wine now and then. However, limiting alcohol helps reduce calorie intake and help to shed unnecessary weight faster.
Why Reduce Alcohol? Alcohol Contains Extra Calories & Sugar
If you are breastfeeding, you are not supposed to drink alcohol because it passes through to your child via breast milk. Some mothers who want to drink alcohol one night will “pump and dump.” This means, they will evacuate their breast milk and then throw it out.
Excess alcohol can make you gain weight because of the caloric intake and the sugar content of some mixed beverages. Too much alcohol can equally disrupt your sleep pattern and affect how you feel the next day. According to the National Foundation For Sleep, drinking alcohol can disrupt the amount of chemicals in your brain needed for proper rest.
The same study concludes the following:
“Another reason people get lower-quality sleep following alcohol is that it blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.”
Reduce Sugar & Eat Higher Protein + Complex Carb Meals
Cutting sugar while maintaining a high-protein diet is another recipe for success. This means you might want to reduce the amount of fruit you eat and work on eating complex carbohydrates with your protein-heavy meals.
Consistency + Adopting the Right Mindset
Being consistent with your diet and exercise is key to weight loss and personal success. If you want to do your body and mind a favor, then remain consistent. Stick to your weekly achievable goals as long as they are realisitic and attainable. Remember, having a child is a big deal and a life-changing event. Plus, your body is experiencing a range of hormones. So be gentle on yourself and to try to adopt a healthy lifestyle rather than fixate on body image.