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Why Women Gain Weight
For many women out there, being a mother is one of the greatest joys that the cycle of life has to offer.
You are responsible for creating another human life and now you have someone who will be there for you for your entire life.
You may have troubles and hardships with your child but it should pay off in the long-run when you realize you have raised a wonderful human being.
The joys that a baby brings into a mother’s life usually surpass all other emotions and pain that a woman has to bear.
Despite all these positive aspects, there are a few downsides of giving birth.
In the first few years, you are never by yourself and always have to keep an eye your young one.
Furthermore, you need to juggle your daily life in addition to looking out after your kid.
These are all very concerning issues, but motherly instincts usually teach women in how best to handle their baby, and they all vary from person to person.
Yet one similar problem that many mothers face after giving birth is the stretch marks and a flab around your tummy (1).
To add to the damage, we see many celebrities whether from TV, movies or Instagram flaunting their perfect waistline only a few months after giving birth (2).
This either motivates them or becomes a factor for self-shaming.
Unfortunately, not many mothers know what to do about their bellies and get them in a better shape.
It is a true fact that you can never achieve a similar waist, as slender as the one that you may have had before pregnancy (3).
However, one tries to remain healthy and not have a flab surround your belly.
There are multiple ways that you can do that, and this article discusses all of them so that the new mothers can have a proper sense of direction on what they are supposed to do.
Eat Regular Meals
Most people think that skipping a meal is compensation enough for the weight that they have gained in their pregnancy.
They have a misconception that they will eventually lose that weight if they skip eating sometimes (5).
This is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do for herself.
Anyone who doesn’t eat can instead gain weight the next time they have food since the body overcompensates by storing more fat for the last skipped meal.
In addition to that, the mother is in a weaker position as she has to nurse the baby and provide him/her with her breast milk as well.
If she doesn’t take the recommended nutrition herself, she is bound to get weak and vulnerable to more diseases (6).
Reduce your Portions
Just as any other person willing to lose weight, a new mother can also lose her belly fat through taking more meals throughout the day.
However, the amount of food that you eat must have smaller portions than the one you normally take (7).
When you have planned meals after shorter intervals, then you run a lower risk of munching on junk food and other unhealthy snacks.
Furthermore, you will have a full stomach more often and be energized to perform your daily tasks with much more vitality throughout the day.
These everyday tasks also add up to you getting some form of exercise, hence you burning some extra calories (8).
Eat Super Foods
Since you are a new mom, there are multiple foods that you should be taking for proper nutrition.
This ensures that you are healthy enough to feed the baby and support yourself (9).
Some of the best-recommended foods for post-pregnancy weight loss are known as super foods.
This includes natural things like fruits, yogurt, lean protein, beans and foods that contain high fiber.
These types of foods let you maintain a healthy weight and prevent you from gaining any extra flab (10).
There are multiple ways that you can exercise after only a few months of your delivery and not hurt yourself in the process.
Although in the case of a surgery for delivery, you may want to start later than 6 weeks, but after a normal birthing process, you can start in 14-day time.
Some of these exercises are workouts that are primarily meant for women trying to get rid of their post-pregnancy belly fat (11).
There are multiple other exercises that can be performed throughout any stage of life and are not specific to just losing belly fat.
- Pelvic Tilt is an exercise that you can start working only after 2 weeks of the delivery, provided that you had a normal delivery and not a C-section (12). If you have had a surgery, you should at least wait 2 months to start exercising again. This routine involves you lying on your back and bending your knees. Place a pillow under your hips and your knee. With your arms at your either sides or feet flat on the ground, inhale deeply, hold for 5 seconds and then exhale. While doing so, draw your stomach in as much as possible comfortably and squeeze in your buttocks and tuck your pelvis under slightly to complete the exercise. Do at least 10 reps (13).
- Towel Pulse can also be done 2 weeks after your delivery time and is another great exercise for your stomach. To do the exercise, place a single towel around your upper shins and hold each side of the towel with your hands (14). While gripping the towel, lift your shoulders from the floor gently and draw in your abs. While you lie back on the floor, exhale your breath. This strengthens your back and hip joints while also burning off belly fat. Repeat 12 times.
- Heel Slides are done so to support your core and your lower back. This exercise can be done 3 weeks after any normal delivery. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and bent knees. The feet must be your hip length apart. Then draw in the air. Flex your left foot while you press your foot on the floor. While you keep your pelvis still, inhale and exhale deeply and use your abdomen to push your right heel as much away from its original position as possible all the while keeping the knee slightly bent. Do the same process with the other side and complete the rep by going back to your original position. Do as much as 10 reps a day and then advance in later weeks (15).
- Kneeling Pelvic Tilts is something that you would need to start doing well after your delivery. To give yourself time for recovery, start this exercise at least 75 days later from your delivery date in case of a normal delivery. In the case of surgery, waiting 4 months should keep you safe from any harm. For the exercise, you must start by bending down on all fours and your back should be straight and not arched. Tilt your pelvic area and rotate your pubic bone upward while inhaling, also pull your butt forward and hold the position for the count of three. Then release. Do this for 15 rounds and then increase the workout after a week (16).
- Yoga Boat is another exercise that must not be attempted fresh off from the delivery and 2 months’ time is required to heal in a normal delivery. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet placed on the ground firmly. With putting pressure on your abdomen, lean slightly towards your knees and get your back off the ground. Lift your shins as well so that they are parallel with the floor. Your back should form a 45-degree angle with the floor and your arms should be outstretched to your knees. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then lie back down. Do 10 sets and increase the count after 2 weeks (17).
- Dolphin Plank is done with an exercise ball and can help you burn your belly fat. Place your elbows on the stability ball, and stretch your legs behind you so that you form a straight plank position from head to toe. Hold this position for thirty seconds and then rest. Do so for at least 10 reps. Wait to do this exercise for at least 2 months after a normal delivery, and in the case of surgery, wait 4 to 5 months (18).
Tools to Assist you in Losing Weight
There are multiple tools to help you in your journey that will finally rid you of your fat around your belly.
Waist Trainer can be your number one device when considering losing belly fat especially after having a post-pregnancy belly.
These waist trainers can increase the intensity of the workout and the concentration of fat burning around your waist.
Not only does this help you in your weight loss, but it also gives you a slender waist (22).
Weight Loss Calendar not only helps you in keeping track of the weight that you started off with, but it also makes you motivated for your goal.
With a constant reminder of what you want to achieve, you are inspired to work harder and better than before (23).
The Right Attire can play a vital role in the person’s level of comfort when it comes to exercising.
The clothes that you wear during your workout session should be able to provide you with enough space for you to move around comfortably (24).
Detox Water can help anyone stay refreshed and release all the toxins from your body.
This method can help you lose weight faster due to the presence of cucumber in the water (25).
Green Tea is also used by many to lose fat, especially around the belly.
It can be taken after any meal or before a workout.
However, it shouldn’t be taken too often as you also need to feed the baby and caffeine in your breast milk isn’t recommended for the child’s well-being (26).
Although one should always aim for having ample amount of water, but the importance of staying hydrated should be more for a newborn’s mother as she loses a lot of liquid during breastfeeding.
If she is working out then the need for water can increase by a lot.
Therefore, drink plenty of water and make sure that you always have a bottle of water with you wherever you go (27).
The more you stress yourself, the unhealthier your lifestyle becomes and you are vulnerable to seeking comfort in different forms such as binge eating or snacking all day (28).
Both these activities, in fact, make you gain weight instead of losing it.
Stress also impacts your ability to produce milk and breastfeed the child.
So avoid stress at all costs for the sake of yourself and your baby (29).
Get enough amount of sleep in order to let your body develop and heal normally after a workout or feeding session (30).
Each woman has her own criteria of beauty and one must not always strive for a picture perfect belly.
It is not possible for any woman to have the same belly size as every person is made different and has a different metabolism.
Furthermore, women should also recognize that things do not happen overnight and all of this will take a lot of time.
Hence, you must always be patient and considerate of yourself and stay from self-loathing.
Being a mother is undeniably a blessing, yet one should not lose focus one’s own health.
There are multiple ways to lose weight for any ordinary weight reduction program.
However, losing post-pregnancy belly fat depends not just upon a healthy diet but a lot of aforementioned aspects.
So it is important that you take care of yourself along with your newborn baby.
Furthermore, it is important to have the support of your partner during all this, so that you can get time to work on yourself and begin your journey for a healthier you.