As vain ladies (c’mon, we are all vain in our ways! And we have our rights to be), we are always concerned about how that big pregnant belly will go away. We know it is cute, and what rests in there is even cuter. But when the baby is out, we no longer want people to ask “how many months along are you?” anymore. Shedding that weight is important to recollecting good self esteem, and I personally believe, important in minimizing risk of post partum depression. I was blessed with some good genetics, but I also did my fair share of work to shed the weight (read my other post on how to minimize excess weight gain in the first place to make this simpler). I lost a lot of weight in the first month, then it fluctuated with a big waist line not going down for the next 2 months. But before my son turned 3 months, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and was wearing all my pre-pregnancy tight fitting clothes! 🙂 Never had I felt so good about my weight. Here’s what I did:
- Breastfeed. You’re transferring your fats to your baby, a win-win situation. Pregnancy weight gain, in the first place, is a natural way of the body to store fats to ensure sufficient food supply for your child when he is born. So breastfeeding is the natural way to transfer the fats to the ‘rightful’ receiver. They need lots of fats to grow the way they do, so be happy giving it. (I know breastfeeding also tends to make you hungrier and eat more, but I don’t think it leads to overeating)
- Take care of your own baby. That sounds like a given, but sometimes we leave the work to our helper, family, nanny, or infant care. Though we want all the help we can get, we should also engage with our baby and bond along the way. Change some diapers, feed, maybe bathe. Just getting on our feet a little will burn those extra calories. This is especially so when baby starts to become a little mobile – flipping, rolling, crawling. I crawled along with my son when he was first crawling and was very unstable. I developed lots of muscles then, and definitely burnt a lot of calories! You’ll enjoy this time with your baby too, so it’s a win-win again.
- Eat healthily. Think of your baby, and that what you eat is what he eats. That is a very strong motivation to reduce junk food intake. Because junk food makes us fat, eating zero amount of junk food prevents us from getting fat.
- Hit the gym. Not just to lose the weight, but the burst of endorphines with even a short 15minute run on the threadmill will make you feel better. I strongly believe the moods and emotions do affect our weight as well, because feeling down and under can lead to comfort eating.
- Take your time. Remember, your pregnancy weight took 9 months to accumulate. So do not expect to lose it all within 9 days. Your body needs to be loved and cared for. Also, if your weight loss is too rapid, there will be lose skin all over, which is even uglier than a small little tummy! So take your time, slow and steady wins the race!
- Choose good fats. Although the fat content in breastmilk remains relatively constant regardless of what you eat, the TYPE of fat matters. So in order to make sure your child gets the right fats for brain and eye development, make sure you eat the right fats in your diet. This means fats from fruits, vegetables and nuts. Think avocado, walnuts, almonds, soybean. Say no to pig’s trotters and deep fried nuggets.
- Pack on the protein. Protein, as mentioned in my previous post, is very important to a growing child. Protein is also highly recommended in regular weight loss diets, as they contain a hunger fighting hormone that will fill you up more than carbohydrates. Fish and eggs are a good source of good protein. They’ll also increase your energy levels, which make you feel more like going for a run and losing even more weight.