Medically reviewed by Shanmukha Priya, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
Pregnancy is one such a time when a woman’s weight is the least of the concerns. However, the very fact becomes an issue after delivery!
Does it mean pregnant to-be moms should look at the weighing scale closely while being pregnant?
The answer is both yes and no.
Table of Content
- Avoid fast food completely
- Choose whole grains instead of refined
- Avoid sugar-laden drinks
- Avoid incidental salt intake
- Pay attention to snacks
- Use healthy oil to cook food
- Make exercise a daily thing
- Be realistic and keep calm
The entire ‘eat for 2’ is wrong advice, to begin with. Everything depends upon the balance of nutrients in the mom’s diet.
Only then will it nourish and also fuel for normal baby growth in the womb.
A big part of the post-partum weight loss depends upon the nutrients consumed during pregnancy.
Read on to know more.
What qualifies as healthy weight gain during pregnancy
A lot depends upon your pre-pregnancy weight.
If you are a woman with a normal BMI, then you must gain 25 to 35 pounds (between 10 kgs to 15 kgs) throughout the 9 months of pregnancy.
If you are underweight then the figure increases to 28 to 40 pounds (between 12 kgs to 18 kgs). if you fall under the overweight category, then you must gain only 15 to 25 pounds (which is approximately between 5 Kgs to 10 kgs) during the course of pregnancy.
Unaware of your BMI? Here is a free BMI check for you.
On an average, you must gain a pound a week during your pregnancy. Healthy food choices can help you in meeting the nutritional needs too.
Here’s what you can do to have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy
1. Consume 5 small meals a day. That can help combat acidity and heartburn, which are common conditions during pregnancy.
2. The choice of snacks are extremely important. Nuts like almond, raisins, walnuts, khakra, multi-seed laddoos, yogurt or even hot Indian snacks like poha, upma are good
3. Protein is very important. It will help fuel the rapid growth and development of your baby while reducing cravings for high fat, high sugar foods. Good protein sources like skimmed dairy products, quinoa, pulses, legumes, sprouts are recommended.
4. Drinking adequate water is very important.
Top tips to lose weight post pregnancy
Upon delivery, you will lose some weight contributed by the baby, placenta, amniotic sac.
However, post pregnancy you have to ensure a healthy diet along with exercise to burn away the extra weight.
Otherwise, the extra weight can lead one to diabetes, heart disease and other issues commonly encountered with a high body weight.
We give you some simple ways to lose all that baby fat.
1] Avoid fast foods completely
Post delivery, tending to the baby could be a demanding task. It is important to not get swayed and order fast food. If you are breastfeeding the baby, then optimum nutrition is needed for the baby’s health too.
Even otherwise, you require good nutrition to recover from a marathon like an event; childbirth. Opt for boiled or sauteed vegetables, high protein egg, chicken or fish to help ward off those hunger pangs.
Rely on greens and keep a lot of fruit handy to curb the cravings enough for you to cook a wholesome meal.
2] Choose whole grains instead of refined
Stock up on millet like jowar, bajra, ragi or even whole wheat products to minimize refined foods.
When opting for products like bread, go through the nutrition labels to find the ones made from whole wheat.
Check out this delicious bajra khichdi recipe!
3] Avoid sugar-laden drinks
This is cardinal sin a new mom could commit. Opting for reconstituted beverages or even ready-made fruit juices will simply add more readily available sugar to the diet.
The result, excess weight gain. Instead, eat the fruit whole or when you have been blessed with some time or help, squeeze the juice freshly.
4] Avoid incidental salt intake
Salt can cause water retention. First things to do would be to eliminate table salt and then add less salt to the foods that are cooked.
5] Pay attention to snacking
Snacks are when the empty calories sneak in. with the announcement on childbirth, you will be loaded with sweetmeats. It is important to consume them sparingly and not gorge on them.
Also just as in pregnancy, keep high protein snacks around like nuts, khakra, crackers etc.
6] Use healthy oils to cook food
It is recommended to blend oils and to consume unrefined ones to reap the antioxidant benefits.
Hence keep at least 2-3 different seed oils in their unrefined format and simply drizzle them on the food than deep frying. Also use healthy cooking methods like steaming, boiling, sauteing, braising than deep frying.
7] Make exercise a daily thing
While this may seem like a tall task with a newborn around, the best thing would be is to get physically active at home.
So go on, dance for your child or skip or simply pace around your home, to begin with. Once you get help in managing your child, join a gym for weight training.
8] Be realistic and keep calm
While all your efforts might or might not yield immediate results, being in a good mental state is important.
Hence step out, get some alone time and even eat what you feel like on cheat days. Remember a happy mom means a happy and developed infant.
If you are looking for healthy ways to lose your post-pregnancy weight, you can always drop by to any of the Possible Centres and ask our Nutrition experts themselves.