How to lose that baby weight without losing your mindhttps://indianexpress.com/article/parenting/health-fitness/how-to-lose-baby-weight-pregnancy-5377016/

How to lose that baby weight without losing your mind

All your goals, be it fitness, weight loss, spot reduction, anti-aging or simply looking good are best served with one easy formula—increase muscle and reduce fat.

postnatal weight loss
Be patient and enjoy the weight loss journey. (Source: Dreamstime)

Aim for a body fat goal that is realistic and can be reached within your time frame.

By Karishma Chawla

Pregnancy weight is the collective gain of the mother and child, which involved the mother eating for two while she was expecting. If one focusses on the beauty of motherhood, instead of just getting rid of the post-baby weight obsessively, fat loss can once again be a playful journey. It is important to aim at a target weight, but it is equally important to enjoy the journey of reaching there.

Choose a realistic goal over an optimistic one. A gradual focussed fat loss approach is more sustainable in the long run and vital to enjoy the swings in weight. Therefore, there is no need to rush on a strict fat loss plan, but yes, eating the right foods to stabilise energy levels and minimise fat storage is a must, gradually moving to a strict plan resulting in maximum fat loss.

As soon as you get yourself mentally ready to start shedding the post pregnancy weight, you can begin a fat loss programme, followed by a good exercise regime. Usually, it takes about six weeks for recuperation, but this can be subjective. Therefore, it is best to take permission from your doctor and meet with an expert trainer who specialises in post-natal exercises.

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THE WEIGHT LOSS PROCESS

The traditional weight loss approach has now been replaced by the new (and improved) fat loss approach.  Let’s look at the three ways your body loses weight:

Dehydration: NOT a recommended method of weight loss, for obvious reasons.

Lean weight loss: This is the most abused form of weight loss, but what people don’t get is that they put on weight as quickly as they lose it, while harming their bodies unknowingly. Lean weight loss happens when people go on crash diets, cut back on their calories too much and improper exercise. Lean weight loss is actually the breakdown of muscle, which is highly detrimental to the body. This leads to reduction of the BSR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and jeopardises the body structure and function.

Fat Loss: The key to adjusting your body composition should be determined by reaching a body fat goal that is realistic and can be reached within your time frame. Depending on the goal, it may take weeks or months. Crash diets, starving or unrealistic eating regimens commonly adopted by many for quick loss are best avoided. When you do this, you end up losing muscle mass, which means a drop in BMR and increase in your body fat percentage. All your goals, be it fitness, weight loss, spot reduction, anti-aging or simply looking good are best served with one easy formula—increase muscle and reduce fat.

Principles for fat loss 

fat loss
Avoid high-fat, sugary and fried foods. (Source: Dreamstime)

Eat every 2-4 hours and avoid skipping meals.

  • Improves energy level and muscle recovery.
  • Increases metabolism and body tone.

Eat lean, complete protein with each meal.

  • Improves muscle growth, activity and recovery.
  • Increases metabolism and fat burning.
  • Improves body tone and workout performance.

Eat high-fibre foods with each meal.

  • Increases metabolism and fat burning.
  • Reduces free radical attack, and risk for cancers, diabetes, heart disease.
  • Increases digestive health.

Eat good fats daily.

  • Reduces risk for cancers, diabetes, heart disease.
  • Increases metabolism and fat burning.
  • Reduces inflammation, improves fluid balance, improves skin and hair.

Eat whole grains.

  • Maintains steady energy levels.
  • Provides calories with minimal chance of fat storage.

Exercise daily

  • This should comprise of aerobic as well as resistance training

Avoid foods with sugar or trans fats.

Avoid refined foods, fried foods and heavy sauces.

Do not eat out daily. These foods are usually high in fat, salt and calories.

Losing the final pounds

Stop overusing that weighing scale! Fat loss is healthier than weight loss; your weight is not (and should not be) the only indicator of how healthy you are.

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  • Accept your post baby weight.
  • Be patient
  • Make a realistic goal.
  • Be patient.
  • Do not compare yourself to any other mother.
  • Exercise your will-power.
  • Enjoy the journey!

Don’t fall prey to quick fixes or fad diets. Low carbohydrate and protein deficient diets or fasting lead to weight loss aka muscle loss, which is not a preferred way to lose fat. It is important to understand that good lactation depends on the quality of food and not eating too much food. Exercise must comprise of aerobic activity—walking, running, jogging, swimming—and strength training—pilates, weight training and functional training.

(The writer is a nutritionist.)