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One of the most distressing side-effects of pregnancy is this: weight gain! While the extra weight is important when you are expecting, it can prove to be very stubborn to lose after delivery. Even if you have never been too figure-conscious or lean, the post-pregnancy flab, especially on the tummy and hips region, can take a major shot at your self-confidence. To resolve this, you exercise without fail and you’ve tried every diet in the book. Yet every time you climb on the scales, the reading doesn’t change! You keep asking yourself – why can I not lose weight? Well, turns out there could actually be a good reason for not losing weight after pregnancy – actually seven of them!
There are some people who, no matter what they eat, don’t seem to put on weight. Then there are others who just seem to expand by smelling food! Some lose weight as easily as they put it on, returning to their pre-pregnancy body with ease. But many others keep having a hard time losing weight no matter how much they work out and diet! All that effort and nothing to show for it can be demotivating for anybody. But have you stopped to wonder why this happens? Are you simply stuck with the extra weight as a permanent side effect of becoming a mother?
Our body is made up of a lot of chemical processes. You’ll be surprised to know that not being able to lose weight is not necessarily due to lack of effort. There could be some core systemic imbalances that may actually be making you RESISTANT to weight loss! According to Australian dietitian Susie Burrell, there is a simple key to losing weight that many women are ignoring.
What The Expert Found
As per Susie, the reason many women suffer from losing weight is because they have a condition called Insulin Resistance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to control your body’s blood glucose levels. If your body is functioning normally, insulin transfers glucose from the blood into the liver and muscles. This glucose is then used as energy. However, when you have insulin resistance, this is what goes wrong:
- The insulin in your body does not work as efficiently as it should
- As a result, the body is forced to produce more and more insulin to process the same amount of glucose (from the food you ate)
- There is more insulin circulating in your body at any given time
- The more the amount of insulin in circulation, the harder it is to burn fat!
So, if you are suffering from insulin resistance, no amount of dieting or exercising will make you lose weight.
What Causes Insulin Resistance
You could be more susceptible to developing this condition if you have:
- Family history of diabetes
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- A diet high in processed carbohydrates
- An inactive lifestyle
- Genetic factors
How to Check if You Have Insulin Resistance
Look out for the following signs:
- Sugar cravings
- Fat deposited around the abdominal area (insulin resistance tends to lead to a larger belly)
How to Deal With Insulin Resistance
If you have any of the above signs and have been struggling with weight loss, visit your doctor. A Glucose Tolerance Test will be able to diagnose the condition. Your doctor will also recommend a strict diet plan for you to help overcome the problem.
You can also start treating the condition at home by following the right diet. The best solution for insulin resistance is to follow a high protein diet. However, do not cut down on carbohydrates completely as the body needs carbs for energy. But consume carbs in moderate amounts. Strictly avoid processed foods.
Tips to Lose Weight With Insulin Resistance
- Consume protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, etc.
- Eat wholegrain carbohydrates such as multigrain bread, oats, etc.
- Cut down on processed and high-sugar foods like cakes, pastries, fried foods, etc.
- Go in for 30 minutes of physical activity every day. You can go for a brisk walk, take your pet for a walk, do some skipping, go for zumba classes, etc.
6 Other Reasons for Not Losing Weight Post Pregnancy (With Solutions)
Don’t think insulin resistance is what you are facing? Here are six other reasons for not losing baby weight that you should check out. These reasons could be why your weighing scales don’t budge, no matter what you do:
1. You’re not getting adequate sleep
Well, this is nothing new for every new mom, but when you realize that this could actually be making you ill and overweight, you surely need to worry! We need at least 7 to 9 hours of undisturbed quality sleep every day. No, those 10-minute daytime naps don’t count! You’re definitely at risk of putting on weight if you fail to get your beauty slumber even if you’re exercising and eating right.
Here are five excellent ways to get over sleep deprivation and start seeing results in your body!
2. You’re way more stressed out than is normal
Again, stress and motherhood go hand in hand, especially in the first few years. But you may unknowingly be taking on way more stress than your body can handle. The result is this: your body releases more stress hormones. Higher levels of stress hormones break down muscle and store fat. This is one of the most common causes for not losing any weight after pregnancy.
You need to start looking at de-stressing techniques as opposed to weight loss measures. Yoga, meditation, a walk – find out what works for you to reduce your stress levels and prioritise it over everything else. You’ll be amazed by how good you feel too!
3. You unconsciously have a high amount of certain some toxins in your body
This one is scary: it could be toxins that are making you fat! Recent studies have indicated that environmental toxins could trigger diabetes and weight gain. This could be the root cause of your trouble in losing weight after baby! How will you know whether you are suffering this problem? Well, sensitivity to smells, resistance to insulin, and even sex hormone imbalances can signify high toxicity.
Consult a doctor at once and speak to him about a detoxification programme to get rid of the toxins in your body. In the meanwhile, start eating a diet rich in proteins, good fats, and sulphur. You can also follow this easy detox program that you can do at home.
4. You’re facing thyroid problems
This is the bane of good health for many moms, as thyroid issues really dictate if you’re resistant to weight loss. It meddles with your body’s metabolism, sex hormones, mood, and the ability to build muscle, thus leading to slow weight loss. After pregnancy, especially, your body is such a whirlwind of hormones, that this problem suddenly becomes even more severe.
If you suspect thyroid problems, you should get your FT3, FT4, and TSH levels tested and consult a good endocrinologist.
5. You have a food intolerance that you don’t know about
What if we tell you there are certain foods that could be interfering with your weight loss? No, this is not necessarily fattening food; it’s just food that can trigger food intolerances thus leading to a leaky gut. This hampers your digestion and metabolism, thus making weight loss dicey. Some of these foods are gluten, peanuts, dairy, corn, soy, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
If you are having a hard time losing weight, try a diet where you completely eliminate one of these foods and consume calorie-burning foods instead. Try this for a few weeks and see if your weight reading changes. It might!
6. It’s your genetic makeup that’s making weight loss difficult
If all else fails, blame your parents and ancestors! Yes, several studies show that weight loss resistance could be genetic. This doesn’t mean you can never lose weight; it just means you need to make different lifestyle and diet choices.
Consulting a dietician and drawing up a plan customised for you will help here. It will also help you make the right choices for your child who has inherited his genetic makeup from you and your husband.
It definitely is hard to lose weight after baby. But it is very much possible, as the weight loss stories of real moms reveal. As we just saw, the above reasons may be why you can’t lose those kilos even though you eat healthy and work out often. While you may think these reasons are beyond your control, don’t lose hope. Consult a good fitness expert and a nutritionist to help you learn how to fight weight loss resistance. Try to stay active, concentrate on eating good food in small portions frequently, and talk to people going through the same weight issues to avoid stressing out. All the best!