LOSE THAT MUMMY TUMMY
Being a mother is the most amazing feeling in this world. The 9 nine months of pregnancy takes us through a lot of physical changes and a roller coaster of emotions. The new joys of motherhood and the challenges it lays ahead for you brings up an important question in your mind ‘how do I get back my pre-pregnancy body?’
Losing weight is the ultimate goal for any new mother. But as this period is of crucial importance for both – mother and the baby, any drastic step towards weight loss can prove harmful. Be realistic about your weight loss goals. You haven’t put on all those kilos in a day, so do not expect to lose it very soon. Give yourself atleast 6 weeks to adjust to the new routine. Reducing you caloric intake drastically can just leave you exhausted affecting your milk supply. Keeping achievable goals like losing not more than 1 kg/week is a smarter choice to make.
The best way to lose the mummy fat is slowly and gradually by the following ways:
· Feed your baby: Breastfeeding is the most effective and convenient exercise to lose the extra fat as it helps you to lose good amount of calories and also strengthens your emotional bond with your little one. It is like a miracle food for your child and the best gift you can ever give him/her.
· Eat, Eat, Eat.
- Never starve yourself when lactating as this can reduce your milk production and leave you fatigued and drained out. Besides that when you starve, you tend to eat more in the next meals gaining more weight instead of losing it. Starving also reduces muscle mass thereby your metabolic rate slowing down the weight loss process.
- Eating 5-6 six meals with small snacks rather than 3 large meals helps you lose weight and feel better (snacks like carrots, fruits, makhanas are healthy options). Small meals help to up your metabolism
- Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. Breakfast, helps you and your baby need to kick start your day and keep you energetic enough to do all the running around. Breakfast also helps to avoid overeating in the latter half of the day.
- Proteins are extremely important for the wear and tear and recovery from the delivery process. Choose clean protein options like sprouts, chia seeds, pulses, tofu etc to stock on proteins without the unwanted fat.
- All fats are not bad, opt for MUFA and PUFA rich oils like olive oil, rice bran oil or blend oils like rice bran and sunflower/ safflower mixed oils. Avoid saturated fats like butter, ghee and margarine. Try as much as you can to avoid baked and fried foods as they contain trans fat which can increase your cholesterol levels. Omega 3 fatty acids especially DHA is extremely important for the development of your child’s brains and for your overall health as well. Consuming fish 2-3 times/week or 2-3 tbsp of powdered flax seeds/day can help you meet your omega 3 requirement.
- Omit processed, sugary and salty foods, artificial sweeteners and any other food with harmful chemicals which increase water retention and can enter your baby’s body through your milk.
- Include good amount of fibrous foods like whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa, jowar, ragi, bajra etc, fruits and raw vegetables to prevent constipation and give you fullness. Eat the fruit and vegetables, not its juice.
- Galatogauges like methi seeds, fennel (saunf), alfalfa seeds etc help in increasing milk production thereby indirectly aids in weight loss.
- Early days of motherhood can be quite taxing causing lot of water loss due to perspiration. Drink 100-150 ml water every half an hour to keep yourself hydrated. You can opt for lemonade, buttermilk, jaljeera, green tea etc. Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol as they are dehydrating to the body leaving you famished and sluggish.
Embrace exercise: Exercise along with a balanced diet is the ideal way to shed the pounds. Six weeks after normal delivery and 8 weeks after C-section is when you can start an activity like walking, jogging, swimming, body conditioning and strengthening for 10-20minutes/day and slowly increase your exercise time to 30-45 minutes/day. An active lifestyle also helps to reduce depression and improve blood circulation.
It is understood that motherhood takes a toll on the women. Also the new routine of bringing up the baby takes away all her time. That is when she has to take extra efforts to take care of her food and lifestyle. It is best to make a daily time table, keeping alarms in your smart phones and planning your day in the morning so that you don’t miss out on the important things for your baby and yourself. Be gentle with yourself and take pride in your healthy lifestyle, because only healthy mothers can raise healthy children.