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Having a baby definitely changes the body quite a lot, and one of the most visible changes is the extra weight we tend to put on. This pregnancy-weight is extremely hard to shed for many of us; in fact, many moms tend to put on even more weight after childbirth. Well, all a part of being a mother and a natural side effect of pregnancy, right? Not necessarily! Research has found that your pregnancy is not to be blamed for the weight problem… it is something else that is stopping you from getting your pre-baby body back!
Not losing weight after pregnancy? you’re not alone. A lot of women find it difficult to get back to their old sizes post-delivery. No matter how health-conscious a woman may have been, motherhood quite literally wreaks havoc in the body! One of the unavoidable effects of pregnancy seems to be the weight-gain associated with it. As mothers, we are now more aware about our bodies and ensure good levels of health and fitness since the very initial days of pregnancy. However, no matter what we do, the post-pregnancy weight turns out to be the most difficult to shed.
But what if we told you that your pregnancy is not the full reason weight loss has become so difficult? As per research conducted by the University of Michigan, we need to stop blaming pregnancy for post-baby weight problems. It is actually something else that is making weight loss after motherhood so tough.
Surprising Reasons That Make Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Difficult
As per the research, it is in fact poor or wrong lifestyle that is leading to this seemingly irreversible change of “weight gain”. Based on data collected for 30,000 women, the doctors found that there was a sharp difference in weight between those who gave birth and those who did not.
The research team has shared the 5 major factors contributing to weight gain post-pregnancy – and how to deal with them. Find out if one of these could be the real reason you too are struggling with weight loss, so you can take corrective action at once!
1. Finishing Your Child’s Meals
The thought behind this is noble – moms do not want to waste food. So what do you do when your child leaves food on the plate? You eat it up. But as per data, it is this that makes you add more and more kilos with time. Ultimately, you’re eating more than what your body needs or can burn.
Instead: Carry a small empty tiffin with you, and pack up whatever your child doesn’t eat. Try and prepare smaller quantities to feed your baby. You can always make more if the meal you prepared turns out to be insufficient for your baby.
2. Sedentary Lifestyle
As much as we love our kids, we’ve got to admit – a baby slows us down considerably! As a new mom, you’re bound to spend more time sitting down in one place – to feed your baby, to put your baby to sleep, to change your baby’s clothes, to play with your baby, etc. So, even though you are tiring yourself out with so many chores, the overall lifestyle is still sedentary as all these activities require you to sit down and stay put in one place! A sedentary lifestyle is the biggest reason behind not losing pregnancy weight.
Instead: Try and get as much mobility and movement as you can. Instead of sitting down and playing with your baby, strap your baby up in a baby-carrier and go for a walk. Put your baby in a carry cot and use it around the house. Instead of staying put in one place to mind over the baby, carry your baby around the house as you do your chores.
3. Lack of Sleep and Food Cravings
Moms are among the most sleep deprived people – but who knew lack of sleep could be actually making you fat? Why this happens is simple. Hunger is mostly controlled by two hormones – Leptin (which tells you to eat) and Ghrelin (which tells you to stop eating). When you are sleep deprived, the body realises that you are going to be awake for longer periods; the body in turn produces more ghrelin and tells you to eat to keep your energy levels up as you stay awake longer. This is how sleep depriviation is linked to hunger, binging and food cravings. And lets face it – all moms are sleep-deprived! When you are all sleepy and stressed, you also tend to develop cravings for sugary, fattening food and that only makes things worse…
Instead: If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try to squeeze in some hours of sleep in the afternoon. Siesta can do wonders for your health and body. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your husband or family to help you with minding the baby so you can get some sleep.
4. Calorie Management and Workouts
Who wants to simply go on gaining weight? No one! We all know and understand that. But as a new mom you will have less (or NO!) time to figure out what you can do about it. It’s not that you don’t WANT to prepare healthy meals, read labels while grocery shopping, and hit the gym every single day… a baby just makes it difficult to do all these things!
Instead: There is nothing to weight management but maths and science – the maths of counting calories, and the science of understanding what each foods do to your body. Plan your meals for the 5 weekdays on each Saturday, shop for appropriate groceries each Sunday, and stick to your plan through the following 5 days. Squeeze in 30 minutes of walking every day. Kareena Kapoor certified this for us recently when she said in an interview that walking is probably one of the best exercises you can do post-pregnancy to get your weight back on track.
5. Putting Your Name at The End of Your Priority-List
Finally, and many of us mothers may find this surprising, but – one of the biggest reasons moms tend not to realise the weight they are gaining is because their name is at the very bottom of their own priority-lists! Moms tend to give more priority to looking after the baby and the household, and this itself takes up most of their time and energy – ultimately, they are too tired to do anything for themselves!
Instead: Realise that you don’t have to be selfless at the cost of your health! As much as you love your baby, you’ve got to love your body too. Prioritise your health along with that of your baby’s, and do not neglect your body. Put your name in the list, together with your baby’s – so its a win-win for mommy and baby!
When it comes to any kind of weight loss, and especially post-pregnancy weight loss, remember that – it is NOT going to happen overnight, and there is no one super-solution that will do it for you. Adopting a holistic approach is of utmost importance if you want sustained weight-loss and overall fitness. All the best!