Gaining 20-30 pounds during pregnancy is normal. But, you don’t want to keep the weight until one or two years after the birth of your child. It can be lots of work taking care of your baby, adjusting to a new routine, and losing some pounds at the same time.
However, you need to return to your healthy lifestyle post-delivery, especially if you think of having another kid soon. While doing exercise is the best way to lose weight, you may also consider taking pills to lose “baby weight.”
Here we will see if the post-pregnancy weight loss pills are good or bad. But before that, let’s see why you tend to gain weight during pregnancy. Let’s also see what changes you go through during pregnancy.
Why You Gain Weight During Pregnancy?
Almost every healthy woman gains weight during pregnancy, which is also called “baby weight.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women within a healthy weight range may gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. However, it varies for those who are underweight, overweight or carrying multiple babies.
As per the research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, pregnancy weight gain consists of the weight of the placenta, baby, breast tissue, amniotic fluid, blood, uterus enlargement, and extra fat cells.
The extra fat cells are accumulated in the body of pregnant women so that they get excess energy during the delivery time. However, an excessive gain of fat cells may lead to health hazards, including increased risk of being obese, risk of type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
The rate you lose your postpartum weight depends on your metabolism, however, it also depends on the time you start working out. Studies show news moms tend to lose weight faster in the first six months after delivery than in any other period.
Best Ways to Lose Postpartum Weight
The best way to lose post-pregnancy weight is always to follow natural processes. Eating fewer calories and doing regular exercise are two of the most common ways to lose weight. But, you still need to follow some other guidelines to lose weight effectively. Here we have listed a few ways you can lose postpartum weight.
Eat Fiber-rich Food
Diet fibers are the complex carbohydrates that pass through the digestive system undigested. The presence of fibers in your meal help reduce the rate of consumption of the nutrients. Hence it will make you full for a long time resulting in the fewer intake of calories.
Furthermore, the soluble fibers make a gel-like substance when it comes in contact with water. It helps in slowing down the absorption of nutrients and emptying of the stomach.
Furthermore, fiber-rich foods provide a weight-loss supplement, glucomannan. So, you need to eat fiber-rich food more often when you want to enhance weight loss following pregnancy.
Plant-based foods are rich in fibers such as beans, flax seeds, Brussels sprouts, fruits, etc. Besides weight loss, the fibers also help you reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and colon cancer.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
When you focus on losing weight, you always think about healthy diets and exercise, however, you might never worry about your water intake. Keeping yourself hydrated is equally important to lose weight as it is essential to eat healthy foods and do physical workouts.
Water acts as an appetite suppressant, besides keeping your metabolism best, which makes you consume fewer calories. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water are considered the best to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
Meanwhile, drinking a glass of water half an hour before taking your meal will help you ingest around 75 calories per meal. This alone will help you eat more than 10,000 fewer calories in six months.
Breastfeed for at Least Six Months
There have been several studies on the effect of breastfeeding on weight loss. And, somehow, it is found useful in new moms. Breastfeeding is not the only factor that matters the total weight loss, however, women who breastfeed at least six months from their delivery have a better chance of regaining their body weight before getting pregnant.
As per the reports, the hormonal releases during the breastfeeding cause muscle contractions in the uterus. Every time you breastfeed, your uterus shrinks a bit, and by six months, your uterus comes to the original shape it was before you conceived the child.
Since the expansion of the uterus is one of the major causes of weight gain during pregnancy, it’s contraction will definitely help you lose some weight.
Further, you burn at least 500 calories if you breastfeed regularly since such amount of energy is required to make breast milk. Your body converts stored fat cells and uses calories you intake from food to make food, resulting in reduced total body fat. Using those fat cells for a longer time (say six months) helps you lose the baby weight.
Eat More Protein
Consuming more protein will make you eat fewer calories as protein takes more time for complete digestion than carbohydrates. Besides, protein affects several hormones that induce hunger and fullness, including GLP-1 and ghrelin, which will make you feel fuller for a long time.
One study showed when protein intake was increased from 15% to 30% of the net calorie intake; a person tends to eat around 441 fewer calories per day. Moreover, doubling the protein intake resulted in better weight loss, approximately 11 pounds on average in 12 weeks.
You have to change your routine slightly to increase the total protein intake. Start eating eggs and low-fat cheese in breakfast instead of eating some grain-based food. Increase consumption of protein-rich foods such as beans, nuts, chicken-breast, turkey-breast, Greek yogurt, and lentils.
As long as you can cover your protein with foods, we don’t recommend taking the protein shake. Meanwhile, if you’re breastfeeding, it’s not a good idea to rely upon protein supplements.
Are Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Pills Good or Bad?
Taking supplement pills for weight loss is a matter of choice. There are several pills available that claim to help you lose weight. However, there are a few things you want to know before using them.
Since you’ll be breastfeeding in the first few months from delivery, it is better not to take any supplements. Your diets can directly affect your child, so even if you want to try weight loss supplements, you can do it after you stop breastfeeding your baby.
There are many natural supplements available in the market, which are believed to be beneficial in losing weight. However, those supplements only work fine when combined with other methods like consuming a healthy diet and doing regular exercise.
Some of the best in use weight loss supplements are Glucomannan, Meratrim, Green Coffee Bean Extract, and Orlistat. These pills are natural, so consuming them won’t affect your health badly, however, you might suffer from some side effects like nausea, headache, and diarrhea.