Post pregnancy weight loss is a battle that almost every mother has to fight. But when you have someone backing you in this journey, the ease of achieving your goal increases, and what better a partner than your own little munchkin? Here are 5 quick ways in which your baby can actually help you lose that baby weight. Yes, it’s possible!
If you thought those 9 months of pregnancy were the toughest, welcome to the world of postnatal weight loss! Losing weight has never been an easy task and the difficulty increases several folds when you have to shed those extra kilos that you gain during pregnancy. With new responsibilities in your kitty, it is difficult to find time to catch on your sleep or have timely meals, let alone taking care of your own health. And that’s when your lifestyle takes a backseat leaving very little time to include physical activity or stick to diet plans.
But since most of your time is consumed by your bub, wouldn’t it be a blessing if he/she actually took care of you instead? Yup, as bizarre as it may sound, experts have found that your little one can actually help with your weight loss efforts. With this approach, it isn’t very difficult to make time for your weight loss when you have your baby. After all, the apple of your eye is going to be with you all the time! Not only are these methods effective, but they are also a great way to bond with your little one!
The Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Struggle
Let’s face it, snapping back to a pre-pregnancy weight is not possible for anyone right after delivery and neither is it advised to do so. Most women tend to gain about 11-14 kilos during pregnancy. However, it is crucial to understand that this weight gain is a natural process and happens to every woman who conceives. Your body builds extra tissues and prepares itself to nurture another life apart from you.
When it comes to losing the extra weight, it is advised that you take it slow. In fact, for at least 6 weeks, you should let your body heal and rest before going forward with any weight loss exercises or crash dieting (never advised!); they will do more harm than good. For example, even fitness buff Kareena Kapoor’s weight loss was a slow and a gradual process. Hastening the process isn’t a great idea for either you or your baby.
Sometimes, your diet and sometimes lack of sleep and physical activity can cause a hindrance in losing weight. Therefore, despite all efforts, you may not be able to see any results.
However, if you have been trying to lose weight for a while and are struggling with it, it is a good idea to bring about certain lifestyle changes. This will impact your overall health and not only weight loss. We have brought you one amazing solution that has shown weight loss results for many mothers – and this solution involves your baby!
How Can Your Baby Help With Your Weight Loss?
We often consider taking care of our little one as the biggest reason for not having the chance to alter our lifestyle. Where is the time to focus on ourselves when the little one demands all our time and attention? So, if your life revolves around your baby 24*7, why not let him/her help you in your weight loss journey?
1. Baby Wearing Can Help You Lose Weight
Yup, you read that right – wearing your baby can actually help in your weight loss process. Carrying your little one can facilitate weight loss. It is more like doing strength training exercises at home! So, for example, carrying your 9 kg baby is as good as exercising with a dumbbell and that too without actually hitting the gym!
*Bollywood actress Lisa Hayden wearing her newborn baby There are two ways in which you can utilise babywearing to lose weight:
Simple movements by using normal babywearing
You can incorporate three simple basic movements while carrying your little one and get the most of your workout done right here!
- Dino Walk
If your baby gets extra cranky, hold him/her and widen your walk. Taking big steps and walking like a dinosaur (with sound effects, of course) is a fun experience for the baby. This way, you will be doing simple lunges (a very effective weight loss exercise) without even realising it. Your crying baby can actually be helping you out here!
- Calf Raises
The calf is the back portion of your lower leg. Having strong calves is very important for women to be healthy and strong overall. How to do this- While wearing your baby stand with your legs and feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly rise up on the balls of your feet and bring your heels off the ground. Hold on to the position for a few seconds and then slowly come back on your feet entirely. Repeat! When you add weight to your calf raises, they give you a double benefit in terms of toning your leg muscles and getting them in shape. These can be done slowly and your little one too will enjoy the movement.
Little hops are fun for your baby and very good for your weight loss! On one hand, your little one will giggle and on the other hand you will be strengthening your abdominal and calf muscles. Just wrap your baby around and jump! It’s a win-win
- Watch: Mommy Mary Nahorniak shows how she lost weight by doing these simple movements with babywearing!
- Use weighted vest for babywearing
When your little one decides that he doesn’t want to climb on your back or be held anymore (sigh!), you can still reap benefits of the times you did carry them. A weighted vest is made up of supported in-built weight (through sand, etc.) that can be wrapped around your body. This adds extra weight to it. You can wear this gear and go about doing your daily activities including your playtime with your kiddo!
Babywearing is a great practice not only for weight loss but also to bond with your baby. It is a mother’s natural instinct to hold her baby close. However, since this may not always be possible owing to our daily lifestyle, babywearing is the next most convenient option.
“The concept of babywearing is not new and has been a traditional practice among tribal communities where the women take active part in running the family. Even the legendary figure of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi is shown fighting a battle with her baby tied to her back,” – says mommy Nani Muthanmai Porkamalam, who carries her three and a half-year-old son and can withstand about 25 kilos. “Nowadays, my son happily stays in the carrier, hugging on to my back while I cook, wash and pack food.”
Watch: Bengaluru Mom’s flashmob while wearing their babies
2. Yoga With Your Baby
Mental peace and balance is integral to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It also aids weight loss. If you are not the kind who likes doing extensive hardcore workout and prefer yoga, here is the perfect solution for you. And yes, in case you are worried about leaving your baby alone while you indulge in some zen time, make them your yoga partner! Your little yogi and you will get some ‘us’ time together while you shed some extra kilos!
In fact, experts suggest that if a child spends more time on his/her tummy, it helps improve their upper body and neck strength. Therefore, practising yoga together in the long run will help with their physical development too.
Here are some quick yoga asanas that you can do along with your baby. They have been proven to assist weight loss in the postpartum stage.
Cat & Cow Pose
i) Begin on hands and knees with your little one on the mat underneath you and ensure you both are face to face.
ii) Keep your hips over your knees, and shoulders over your wrists.
iii) Inhale and tilt your tailbone up and lift your chest forward. (cow pose)
iv) Exhale and tilt your tailbone down and ensure you round your back. (cat pose). This is when you look at your munchkin and exchange silly faces and sounds. They reciprocate extremely well! This pose helps with lower back pain too.
i) Sit on the floor with bent legs in front of you and place your baby on your lap facing you.
ii) Hold your baby and slowly lift your legs until they are parallel to the floor.
Iii) Hold your little one here and breathe slowly straightening your knees.
iv) Once you feel your baby is secure, try letting go and extend your arms alongside your legs.
Hold this pose for about 10-15 seconds, as this will help build abdominal strength and relieve stress. Brownie points for doing the exercise with your little one’s weight!
i) Start with sitting up, knees bent and baby against your shins.
ii) Hold onto your baby and roll to your back so he/she is above facing you.
iii) Now, hold his/her hands or body and play around with moving legs side to side, back and forth and moving their shins up and down (or however you want!)
This pose is a fun way to strengthen your core with the help of your baby’s weight. And also, tummy time on the floor is a good idea as well!
Note: Just like any physical activity, some special precautions must be exercised when practising yoga with your baby. They do not have sufficient control over their movements until about 6 months and that’s why you must be careful. Ensure they don’t overstretch and their head should always be protected. Besides, the entire duration of the exercise shouldn’t exceed beyond 20 minutes.
Yoga is a great option to consider, and in case you have been contemplating for a while, get your yoga buddy along and begin now! Just keep in mind these appropriate tips that help with post pregnancy yoga.
3. Breastfeeding Aids Weight Loss Too
You must be aware of the several benefits your baby receives with breastfeeding, but did you also know that it works for your health too? Breastfeeding can help burn about 500 calories per day! Yet another beautiful way in which your baby cares for his mom!
While this holds true, breastfeeding doesn’t help on its own. It needs to be fuelled with the right diet and moderate exercise. Although following a strict diet for breastfeeding moms can be dicey, as you need a required amount of calorie consumption for milk production. Therefore, make sure you eat enough but healthy, and maintain an active lifestyle.
4. Walking With Your Baby Is a Good Weight Loss Trick
Taking your baby out on his stroller is one of the healthiest activities for both of you. Not only does it give you a breath of fresh air, but walking also helps burn about 150-200 calories!
Here are some important tips to remember to lose weight while walking with baby:
- Keep up the pace: Speed and pace are integral when it comes to brisk walking. Ensure you speed up (but be careful with that stroller!) as this will help burn more calories. It is also important to not overdo this- warm up for 20 minutes and keep going for another 40. That’s a good approach to adopt.
- Be consistent: Consistency is the key. Your baby and you require that fresh air daily and you particularly need the exercise every day. So, maintain consistency and do this every single day.
- Switch off your phone: It is you and your baby’s time! Make sure you don’t let anything disturb this time of yours and you focus on what’s required. Instead, turn on some happy music that you and your baby love, as this will help both of you enjoy the walk.
- Go everywhere: If you need to buy groceries or pick up your baby’s diapers- walk it! Whenever you have the choice of driving down or walking, choose the latter. You will thank yourself for these choices you make!
5. Indoor Mom and Baby Workouts
No time to hit the gym? No problem! You can do some simple exercises right in the comfort of your home along with your baby. Here are a few simple mom and baby workouts that are proven to boost weight loss as well as bonding!
- You can dance along with your baby. Yes, even little ones learn to dance very quickly as these 8 adorable dancing babies show!
- Stretch along with your baby
- Squat around with your baby
These aren’t heavy duty but are a lot of fun when you do them with your baby. Here are some more mom and baby exercises for you to try. They mean a fitter you without leaving your baby alone for even a minute.
So moms, while bonding with your baby is really important, getting fit shouldn’t be ignored either. With all the above methods, this has not only become possible but quite easily achievable too! Losing your post-pregnancy weight can be a challenge, but every challenge is more fun when you have a partner in crime to help you through the journey!