Motherhood is certainly one of the most cherished occasions of a woman’s life. Of course, it comes with its trials and tribulations, but the very thought of bringing a new life into this world is a feeling beyond words! While there are several myths around pregnancy, the biggest is to stuff yourself all the time and “eat for two”! Of course, your baby needs nutrients to grow in a healthy manner, but that does not mean you go overboard. Studies suggest that a pregnant woman needs only about 300 more healthy calories a day than she previously consumed. This will help her gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy, and prevent her from the trap of obesity.
It is said that a woman who has an average weight should gain about 35 to 45 pounds after pregnancy, while an underweight woman should gain 28 to 40 pounds. With overweight women, the weight gained should not be more than 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to focus on a healthy diet that benefits both the mother and the child.
How to keep fit during pregnancy
We know how women have to keep a track of ovulation and their fertile window to get pregnant, but it doesn’t end there right? After you get pregnant, there are other areas you need to take care of, and what features at the top of the list is fitness.
To begin with, keep your cravings in check. We know how difficult it is to not gulp down that tub of chocolate ice-cream or binge on those fries, but try and exercise some moderation there. Instead, focus on a diet that’s rich in lean protein, whole grains, and calcium to keep obesity at bay. There are a ton of healthy alternatives today, so try and indulge in junk food only once in a while!
Next, try and be as active as you can. Of course, putting your body through a rigorous exercise regime isn’t the right thing to do, but you can always go for low-impact aerobics. Experiment with different kinds of exercises – you could also try swimming or some pre-natal yoga. Avoid poses that require you to lie on your back or belly, but rest is good. It will help you to de-stress, and at the same time, enhance your body image.
The other tip to keep in mind is to stay as hydrated as possible. We know that the image of being bloated is all over your mind, but ladies, you don’t want to get dehydrated, right? Keep sipping on water through the day and believe us, you will feel much better!
How to lose pregnancy weight
Most women are in a hurry to shed their pregnancy weight right after they deliver a baby. For healthy women, the average time to return to their pre-pregnancy weight is between 6 & 12 months after delivery. It is mandatory to follow a healthy diet with exercise to lose the extra pounds. Besides, even breastfeeding helps with post-partum weight loss.
The most significant tip is not to rush weight loss, since it might take longer for you to recover after delivery. In fact, if you are breastfeeding, wait until your baby turns two months old and your milk supply has normalised, before you cut on your calories. Studies suggest that healthy women should go for a weight loss of about a pound-and-a-half per week.
If you are breastfeeding, your body needs an additional number of calories than you did before pregnancy. Try and get these calories from healthy choices such as fruits and vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein to prevent obesity. Remember not to skip meals even if you want quick weight loss. It might be tempting to lose all that fat as soon as possible, but with crash diets, the weight loss is only temporary. That’s not all, it will also reduce the amount of milk your body produces, so do not go that way!
Lastly, a healthy diet must be complemented with regular exercise, especially in the case of healthy women. With a proper exercise regime, you know you are losing fat instead of muscle. Keep in mind that you do not have to push yourself too hard and be realistic about your weight loss goals. Start with taking a short walk around the park or doing some yoga to feel relaxed.
Keep these tips in mind and you will gradually shed all the weight you gained during pregnancy. After all, slow and steady wins the race!