Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Programsby Maggie McCormick
You may be itching to get back to your pre-pregnancy body even before your baby comes out. Though celebrities seem to bounce back instantly, it's important for you to take your time and lose your baby belly in a healthy manner. By combining exercise and diet, you'll be able to get rid of the extra pounds.
It's important not to jump into things too soon. Your body goes through a lot of trauma during the birthing process, and you need to take time for it to heal. In general, you should wait until you get the OK from your doctor -- after about 6 weeks -- before you do strenuous exercise. Those who had a C-section may need to wait longer. You can, however, practice light exercise, like pushing your baby in a stroller around the block. This can be a good way to burn some extra calories while still protecting your body.
Your body needs energy to heal and to nourish your baby if you're breastfeeding. This is not a good time for strict diets. Instead, you should focus on eating healthy foods and only eating when you're hungry. If you do need a framework, you can keep a food diary or follow a healthy diet plan, but make sure that you aren't letting yourself go hungry.
Exercise is an important component of a post-pregnancy weight loss program. Once your doctor tells you it's OK, you can start doing more strenuous exercise to help you lose the weight. If it's difficult to find the time now that you have a baby, consider taking him along with you. You can carry him in a sling or carrier as you do lunges and squats and push him in a jogging stroller as you go jogging. Some fitness centers also offer free daycare programs while you work out.
Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
If you're breastfeeding, you need a program that will take that into consideration when you plan your meals. Breastfeeding women need more calories than those who are formula feeding. Make sure that you choose a weight loss program that offers you additional calories -- up to 500 per day -- for breastfeeding.
Weight loss programs may not be able to get your pre-pregnancy body back. You may have stretched out skin that jiggles, and your hips may be a bit wider. Try to go easy on yourself and count the blessings that you do have.
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images