Monday, January 21, 2013

Making Post-Pregnancy Easier

Losing weight is a challenge. Losing baby weight is a bigger challenge, isn’t it? You know how some women come home from the hospital in their pre-pregnancy jeans? And it is frustrating because you still look 3 months pregnant after your baby is a 4 months old. Well, maybe there’s a way, a way to combat the difficulties of losing baby weight and it be easier than trying diets and exercising 2 hours a day. Now we know that some women have genetics to make their skinny figure possible, I’m not dismissing that. But some people’s genes do not give us an excuse to not take our bodies into our own hands by making the right choices and being disciplined. 

    Getting your pre-pregnancy body can start during pregnancy! Obviously exercising is a good way to keep in shape. Lifting weights is important because it will keep you from gaining too much body fat. If you can keep up with the muscle you have and even increase your muscle during pregnancy, this will greatly help your chances of getting in shape quicker. The more body fat you have, the slower your metabolism is, the larger you are, and the more difficult it is to lose weight. During pregnancy women must gain more body fat, it is a natural occurrence because our bodies need more for housing a growing child. But many women gain more body fat than necessary and this is a fatal blow to losing baby weight in a timely manner. It is understandable if exercising can be difficult, if you are a woman who has morning sickness a lot. But having a good routine down before pregnancy is important because of that reason. Hopefully you have breaks from sickness to get workouts in when possible. 

    Focus on the parts of your body that are possible to maintain pretty normally with weights. This would be extremities such as your arms and legs. Keeping up with muscle tone in your arms and legs will help with post baby because you can be more focused on your mid-section. Also, accumulating more body fat in your arms and legs will raise your body fat percentage and it make it more difficult to lose weight, not to mention making you more self conscious. So keep up with arm and shoulder exercises, plus lower body exercises such as squats and lunges. 

    Another way to prepare for losing baby fat is watching what you eat. We all know that, right? I (Stephanie) cannot stress this one enough. Eating is over half of having the body you want. If you are getting the exercise in but still aren’t achieving your goals, then take a look at your eating. You could exercise 3 hours a day but not lose one pound if you are not being careful with what you’re putting in your body. Sure cravings can get the best of you, but don’t let it rule your pregnancy. Of course we have those dreaded hormone fluctuations which also makes a lot of things difficult, including our moods and watching what we eat. Take control though! It is possible to be disciplined enough to control our habits. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and meat. Eat those things first for your meals and hopefully you will eat less of simple carbs and dense calorie foods/drinks that you don’t need. This will keep down cravings and give the baby lots of nutrients, while helping your body look better. It’s ok to give into dessert cravings here and there but limit yourself and stay focused. 

    Watch how many sodas and other calorie filled drinks you consume. Hopefully you’re already doing that if you are pregnant. Drinking Mountain Dews and Cokes does not give your baby good nutrients. But the added sugar and calories will add to your pounds of body fat very fast. Also, consuming those types of drinks only makes you crave more sweets and calorie dense foods. Try to stick to water, fresh fruit juices, and good teas. If you are a soda lover, keep it down to one a week or every other week. That may seem hard but you are growing a little being inside of you and you want to make losing weight easier. 

    Eat slower. When I get hungry I eat way too fast, it’s a big struggle for me. But if you slow down and really think about whether you are hungry or not, you can stop sooner and prevent over eating. They say it takes 20 minutes for your body to register and feel full. Slowing down will help greatly because your weight gain will be slow and steady, which will help assure that you will only gain what’s necessary for the pregnancy. Try different methods of this, such as carrying on a conversation during eating, counting how many times you chew your food, and not waiting to eat till you’re starving. Try drinking more water before you eat, or maybe there’s another method for you that will help you eat slower.  Figure out what works for you. 

    It is possible to look great after pregnancy, don’t give up hope. If you incorporate these principles, you will maintain a healthier weight during pregnancy and make it easier to lose weight after pregnancy. The lady at the top of this article is Lindsay Brin. Yes, both of those kids are hers that she birthed. No, the picture is not photo-shopped of her abs. She actually has 3 children now and looks just like that picture...again. She is a great example of what eating right and exercising does for you. So keep your chin up!

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