Motherhood comes with a bundle of infectious smile and unstoppable cuddle. But, let’s face it! What it also tags along is the stress of how to lose the pregnancy weight and how to get rid of the bulging tummy.
Are you somebody who is struggling with the same problem?
Do you feel rejected? Have you given up on all the hacks of the viral videos?
Or you are amongst the one who feels helpless due to the endless excuses our life throws at us?
I am sure, whether you have accepted it already or have plenty of valid excuses, a secret desire of getting shredded is hidden deep inside your heart. If that’s the case, then do give it a read and learn some simple tips that worked best for me to lose all the pregnancy weight.
WHY ANOTHER WEIGHTLOSS ARTICLE?
I admit I am not a fitness expert, but just like you, even I dealt with post-pregnancy depression, got indulged in “desi ghee ke gondh ke ladoos” and neglected myself entirely to prioritise my child’s need. My mother had warn me not to try any strict diet as that would have affected the milk supply. At the same time, everything looked so difficult to manage as I always wanted to rest, rest and rest.
Friends asked me to wait till my baby grows a little more and elders asked me to stuff myself with nutritious food. I knew it wouldn’t be that easy this time. To start with, I must have watched hundreds of YouTube videos. I also tried to gulp the detox drinks and spoken to many friends to know about their weight loss journey.
@ 5 months of pregnancy
Internet was flooded with articles and videos on how exercise can help you to lose weight, but very few talked about how to do it. There was nothing that could motivate me to begin the journey. Mothers around me either lost their pregnancy weight effortlessly or were not bothered to lose them. If I have to confess, nothing really worked on me.
Soon, I understood that I have to come up with a solution to fix this up. However, squeezing that one hour time looked like going on a war. Challenges were many, which only looked like getting multiplied with time.
So, what should we do now? Wait till our little ones are grown up or get comfortable in our new body? Well! No, let’s begin this journey together and trust me everything will fall in place. Just like it did to me, it will help you too to lose the pregnancy weight in a short period.
@ 9th month of pregnancy
WHAT ANSWERS CAN YOU EXPECT HERE?
Before I introduce you to my fitness story, let me confess that I had a house help who did the regular household chores but no dedicated person to look after my child. My husband had a busy work schedule, so I had to stay content with whatever little help he can offer to me.
My clothes were not fitting me, which gave me reasons to not go out for walks. After managing the nursing and burping sessions fantastically, the dark circles warned me for yet another sleepless night. As if this was not enough that the endless screams of my colicky child, made me felt so useless that focusing on any other task seemed a wasteful act.
But I pulled myself out of those GUILTS and I am glad I did that. In this story, you can expect the answers to some of the following questions that I hope, inspires you to begin your fitness journey soon and to lose the stubborn pregnancy weight.
- How much weight did I lose?
- How much time did I wait to start my workouts post-delivery?
- What did I do to lose my pregnancy weight?
- Did I try any strict diet?
- How many hours of workout did I get engaged in?
- What other things helped me to achieve my goals?
- How did I manage my sweet cravings?
- Did I try the maternity belts to fix my tummy?
- Challenges I faced during this fitness journey.
HOW DID I LOSE MY PREGNANCY WEIGHT?
A quantified nutrition + 1 hour of exercise + Immense support from my husband + Consistency = Loss of pregnancy weight
@4 months post delivery
HOW MUCH WEIGHT DID I LOOSE?
I remember the day of Jan 2017, when I discovered my missing chums. After four years of our wedding, I was hoping for a piece of good news this time. A home pregnancy test confirmed the sign and believe me I was on cloud nine.
I was 60 kg when I conceived and reached around 74 kg by my 9th month of pregnancy. I lost about 4-5 kg right after my delivery and got rid of 10 kilos in a span of 4-5 months.
@ Vanika’s first birthday
MY PRE-DELIVERY ACTIVITIES
Eating healthy and just enough + any moderate exercise (after consulting with a doctor) = Just the right amount of weight gain during pregnancy
Honestly, I was pretty active during my pregnancy and patted myself for gaining just the right amount of weight. Experts suggest that anything between 10 – 16 kg is a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. However, this range may differ in case of women with thyroid or gestational pregnancy.
Staying active and performing some exercise actually helped me to maintain a healthy weight throughout the pregnancy. From relocating to one city from another to renovating my house, my baby had to experience everything sitting silently inside my womb.
I was also pretty regular in my walk as suggested by my doctor, and I must swear by the squats and butterfly exercises. Oh! Before I forget please try some breathing exercises; It really helps while attempting normal pregnancy.
Some doctors do suggest pre-natal yoga exercises too, but I am not a big yoga lover. Other than this, I did my regular household chores and ate just enough for myself and for my little one. Mind you; I didn’t eat for two as usually, our elders suggest.
MY POST-DELIVERY ACTIVITIES
Unlike most of my friends, I was never blessed with a slimmer body. Moreover, I was always a food lover so, breaking up with my food platter looked rather unfair. In the past, I always pushed myself to a gym or got enrolled in a Zumba class. But, little did I know that the pregnancy is going to mess with my metabolism soon.
WHEN DID I START?
I started quite late. First few months were so overwhelming and tiresome that I hardly got any time to think about anything else. I don’t even remember making a hairstyle other than a simple bun, forget about thinking of a workout session.
It was almost after 4-5 months of my daughter’s birth when I started with the brisk walk. The health experts recommend waiting at least till 6 weeks in case of normal delivery. The period may extend to 8-12 weeks in a cesarean case. However, some of us might have recovered sooner also, so the best approach should be to listen to your body and plan your goals accordingly.
WHAT DID I DO TO LOSE MY PREGNANCY WEIGHT?
Like every pregnancy is different so is the weight loss story of every mother. These are the 7 smashing yet simple tips that I followed to get a significant result.
1. EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING
Right from our doctors to our mom to our friends, everybody makes sure to tell us about the importance of breastfeeding. Not only it passes healthy nutrients to our infant, but it also gifts an excellent immunity system. Additionally, it minimises the chances of developing breast cancer.
But why are we discussing breastfeeding on a fitness story? Well! Ladies, this is an excellent way to lose those extra calories we wish to get rid off. Exclusive breastfeeding increases metabolism and eventually results in weight loss. So, let your baby enjoy the nutrients and you simultaneously get rid of the excess fat.
2. LOADED MY KITCHEN WITH CLEAN FOOD
The food is the fuel of our body; The healthier it is, the better the transformation we can expect.
Refraining from any form of Junk and sugary food helped me to confuse my bulging belly. As they say, it uses the already stored fats from our body that eventually helps in losing weight. I did not hesitate to stay away from fried foods and any food prepared of all purpose flour.
Although, giving up on desserts and pudding was the biggest challenge as I have a sweet tooth, but somehow I managed it. I treated myself with a cheat meal once in a while, that got reduced once I started seeing the results.
I did not go for any particular diet as such, just avoided the processed food (sugar, Maida, packaged food etc) and tried to eat home cooked meal. Also, when I mention sugar, I meant no sauce, no jam, no mayo and no flavoured drinks or breakfast options.
Adding healthy fats like ghee, peanuts, nuts, etc not only made my meal delicious but also improved my skin. The proteins on the other hand (chicken, eggs, fish, paneer, moong dal chila, dal, soya chunks, peanut butter and curd) helped me in repairing my body from the tear caused by the intense workouts. Similarly, the low-calorie vegetables like bottle guard, cabbage, pumpkin, spinach etc were like a blessing in disguise.
DID I TRY ANY STRICT DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT?
No, I didn’t. Dieting not only drops the energy level but also reduces milk production. Our lifestyle and our food habits inevitably affect our child’s health and growth and no mother wants to take that risk.
Often, people opt for fad diets to get an instant result. But such foods insanely screw up our metabolism. Also, it gifts us back the lost weight as soon as we switch back to the regular menu. Sooner or later, the consequences are seen that includes loose skin, hair loss and other complaints as well.
3. A CHECK ON THE CALORIE INTAKE
The primary way to lose weight is based on the deficit calorie intake. Like every human has a different physique, appearance, taste etc, the maintenance calorie requirement is also different for us. So, when we eat below the required calorie, we tend to lose weight as the body starts utilising the already stored food from our body.
Often, when we dig into our favourite cuisine, we forget about the portion control. Thus, keeping a check on what we are eating and how much we are eating becomes essential. Now, we don’t have to measure our food like the bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts, but tracking our calories on any fitness apps would help in staying within our macros.
Like, I tried the free version of HealthifyMe app that required me to feed every food item I consumed in a day. It has categories for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and shows the approximate calorie of the food we have consumed.
Eating everything in moderation is the best learning that I like to take forward in my life now. Also, I do not prefer to fill myself with useless calories like chocolates and ice creams are high in calories and do not really provide any nutrition to us.
4. RESERVED A SLOT OF 1 HOUR FOR EXERCISE; BUT HOW?
We all know that exercise helps in weight or fat loss, but how to take out time from our busy schedule is the main question.
- Workout while your baby is sleeping
- Ask for help from other family members
- Prioritise your work
I tried to fit my fitness routine as per the sleeping schedule of my baby. In addition to that, I asked my husband to adjust to the meals I could provide. It meant no lavish meals anymore. Also, I did not shy away from asking for his help whenever I felt like breaking down.
Initially, I couldn’t think of anything other than walking, that needed just a pair of shoes and a ground to walk on. I started going for an early morning walk and covered a distance of 5 km every day. After those disturbing nights, mornings were the best time to get a peaceful sleep for my little angel. So, leaving her in the safest hands of her father, I continued my brisk walking for a month.
My Fit band acted like my best friend here as it prompted with the number of steps and the distance I covered in a day. These days most of the phones track your distance covered so you can take help of that too.
5. HOME WORKOUTS & WALK WITH YOUR BABY
If your baby is too small and you do not have anyone to look after your baby, then even walking gets challenging. One can still begin their fitness journey by doing home workouts.
I was happy with the walking results however, had to stop it after a month as my husband’s office hours got changed. Instead of getting disappointed, I followed the videos of Lesslie walk (you can try 3 miles at first and then go for her video on 5 miles) that had jumping jacks, squats, knee jumps, and other cardio exercises that were great to race my heart rate.
In addition to this, I also tried lunges, squats and some arm exercises with dumbbells. How can I forget my strength training exercises with 2 litres of water bottles in each hand (in my initial days). In addition to this, I also tried the intense weight training workouts in the gym (whenever got some time). Since my girl is 22 months old now, sometimes I take her to the gym with me.
Other than this, I really enjoyed taking my girl for walks in her pram and would strongly recommend to others. Invest in a nice baby sling carrier and enjoy your brisk walk or opt for a stroller. Remember, every step counts.
6. SET A REALISTIC TARGET
Setting up a realistic target not only helped in providing a positive direction to chase but also acted as a motivational booster. Looking at my new role and challenges, I knew that expecting a model figure would be too demanding. Not like, I ever had a model like figure, but I had a toned body for sure.
Anyways, all I wanted was to fit in a lovely dress on my girl’s first birthday. Yes, that was pretty much what I wanted at that point of time. I gave myself a target to at least lose 10 kg before my girl turns out to be one. As my hard work paid, much before September 2018 (that’s her birth month), the digital machine shouted 60 kg. Yes! I did it! I had lost almost 10 kg in a span of 5-6 months which felt like a great achievement.
7. TAKE HELP OF A FITNESS PARTNER OR WEIGHT LOSS GROUPS
The motivation should start from within, but to continue the journey, one needs a constant push. At least, I fall in that category who wants to get encouraged all the time. I am blessed to have a husband who takes care of that and inspires me to get fit.
What also worked for me was having a fitness buddy. My friend was kind enough to accompany me in my long walks that made the process more comfortable. Even now, when I go to the gym, I have a gym partner who always pushes me to workout harder. We ensure that none of us is missing a single workout session.
Other than having a fitness buddy, I also joined a few fitness groups on social media. Transformation stories of many women and men intrigued me and kept motivated me to continue my journey. I did join few weight loss groups on Facebook, including SQUATS and WLOB that kept me inspiring all the time.
HOW DID I CURB MY CRAVINGS?
Just like any other individual, even I had my weak moments and wanted to binge on my favourite food. So, I loaded my kitchen with some handy but healthy snacks that were accessible easily to munch anytime I felt like cheating.
Some of my favourite snacks are roasted peanuts, roasted makhanas, roasted khakras, roasted chiwda (roasted poha with peanuts), murmure, roasted chana and roasted papad.
To satisfy my sweet cravings, I treated myself with dates and frozen bananas and strawberries. The best way to use them is to make a puree that turns out to be an excellent alternative for ice-creams.
I would suggest you to not fall for the diet snacks as you never know the reality of such packaged food.
DID I TRY THE MATERNITY BELTS?
No, I didn’t as my doctor updated me that the belly would go automatically after a month or so. Pregnancy and delivery make a lot of internal changes in our body and this takes time to put everything back to its place.
However, please feel free to use the belts if you find them useful.
CHALLENGES I FACED DURING MY WEIGHTLOSS JOURNEY…
- I went through many challenges like my husband got super busy in his official work that put a halt to my fitness regime.
- There were days when my daughter just refused to go to anyone other than me.
- Whenever she was in her teething stage or at a growth spurt, my workout went for a toss.
- There were many days when my house help went for extended leave without giving prior notice. I was overflooded with the extra work of household chores as well as taking care of my infant.
- Social gatherings and birthday parties were equally responsible for a break in my fitness journey.
- Also, there were a few days, when I didn’t have the energy to dig into any extra task. The only solution I could think of was to wait and start again. It was essential to continue my journey instead of sobbing for the unproductive days.
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Once a doctor told me that it’s not the pregnancy that makes a woman fat. It is because we mothers tend to neglect our needs and forget to take care of our body. We cook rich food filled with ghee and nuts for our children and put the leftover in self’s tummy instead of throwing it away. This is a prime reason that we do not reach our goals on time.
There is no denial that challenges will be there and our children will be our priorities. However, treating that one hour of your day with a quantified nutritional diet does not seems to be that difficult too. Trust me, it feels so good to be a fit mommy.
Let’s treat ourselves with a healthy body because to even take care of our family fitness is a must.
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