I gained a little over 40 pounds during the course of my pregnancy. And although I lost a lot of my pregnancy fat without going to the gym during the first 4 months postpartum, I felt weak. I felt mushy and lifeless for the most part of the day even though I was in better shape.
To make matters worse, in my rush to get rid of the fat fast, I signed up for a gym membership and watched my health derail completely!
A week into wanting to “kill it” at my workout sessions, my body had gone into complete denial and my joints started acting crazier than ever.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Working out at the gym is great if you have done it before. But, it is a different story altogether if your first time hitting the gym is right after you deliver!
Plus, I have never been a gym person due to my innately weak joints. Every time I’ve tried going to the gym regularly, I’ve ended up feeling miserable.
I like the flow of Yoga better than hitting it hard at the gym any day!
So, to cut the long story short, I had to rethink my weight loss strategy with the gym plans having been jeopardized due to my inflamed joints.
The idea of getting back into shape was great but the problem was that my body was not the same as before. While I wanted to fit into my old clothes desperately, I also knew I wouldn’t be able to knock the extra inches I had especially collected on my stomach and waist without incorporating an exercise routine.
June 2018 vs. March 2019
So, here’s what I did to lose weight without having to go to the gym or using gym equipment:
- Breastfeeding– Yes! Research says it that breastfeeding and breastfeeding longer than six months aides maternal weight loss. According to MayoClinic beyond providing nourishment and helping to protect your baby from getting sick, breastfeeding can also help you lose weight.
Moreover, I have felt eternally hungry ever since I embarked onto my breastfeeding journey. So, by making healthy eating choices, I feel that the pounds shed themselves naturally as I burn calories nursing.
- Yoga- OK, so you have read my rant about having failed miserably at keeping up with the strenuous gym exercises. So, I went right back into following the exercise routine I feel works best for me. YOGA!
Now, I have been practicing Yoga since quite a few years and also did light stretches during my pregnancy. So, it was relatively easier for my body to slowly get back into the groove.
CAUTION: Speak to your Ob/Gyn about the right time to begin ANY form of exercise postpartum!
I only got a green signal from my doctor after 3 months of normally delivering baby A. If you are a C-Sec momma, you might need more time to recover.
Additionally, I could go on and on about the benefits of practicing Yoga, not only before and after pregnancy but also DURING your pregnancy. (But only after speaking to your doctor!)
A daily 20-minute stretch routine not only helped shed weight but also kept my postpartum blues away. If you haven’t read my post about the benefits of practicing Yoga to keep away and cure Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, click here.
- Walk– Even before I started doing Yoga again, I walked. I would accompany my husband when he went to walk the dog and walked down to pick grocery and run errands. Also, I took my son along since carrying him when he fussed about laying in the stroller was a workout in itself with the added weight. I started with 30 minutes of daily walking and gradually increased to 70 minutes of brisk walking.
- Eat consciously– It is a known fact that breastfeeding makes you hungry (and thirsty, but more on that later). Initially, when my baby was exclusively breastfed, I found myself waking up at nights with extreme hunger pangs. I would feel hungry right after lunch or dinner, and end up stuffing myself with junk until the dear husband stepped in and decided it had to stop.
We now try to eat the cleanest, freshest foods available to us. We also snack on seasonal fruits and nuts for those occasional hunger pangs. And while this didn’t happen overnight, remaining true to myself about what I ate helped.
The hardest part was to cut refined carbs especially since I have a sweet tooth. So, I started with substituting sweet cravings with either dates or fruit.
- But…eat your candy– There! I said it. No, it hasn’t helped my weight loss journey at all but eating chocolate has helped keep the stress of motherhood at bay. However, I do try to eat dark chocolate whenever possible since it helps reduce cravings.
- Don’t wallow– It has been (still is) the hardest to avoid sweet cravings. But I realized that every time I did end up giving in to gluttony, I actually ate a lot more too! So, now every time I eat something sweet, I don’t wallow in guilt nor self-pity. This change in perspective has helped me eat better and I find myself become more efficient at conscious eating.
- Drink water– Not only does breastfeeding make you hungrier, but it also makes you feel thirsty! Very thirsty! Plus, by drinking enough water I ensured I stayed away from readily available, high processed drinks and juices.
Additionally, I drink a cup of milk every day.
- Sleep– Irregular sleep patterns are known to make you cranky and have an adverse effect on health. They are also known to manipulate hormones that end up in you feeling hungrier.
And no, I don’t have a heavy sleeper of a baby either. Even though I wake up several times a night, I ensure to stay in bed for 7 hours each night. Additionally, I co-sleep with baby A which makes night time feeding as simple as possible. What’s more? Co-sleeping with babies is known to have many long term health benefits for babies too!
- Breathe– This might sound crazy, but focussing on your breathing pattern several times in a day helps to manage weight. Along with that, it also releases stress.
- Weigh yourself– But not too often!
Most people either spend too much time on the weighing scale or none at all. And while it isn’t advisable to keep a constant check on your weight, I make sure to weigh myself once a week every Friday morning. It motivates me to see the numbers drop.
While it has taken me a good 11 months to go down from nearly 200 lbs. to 161 lbs., I haven’t felt this good about myself in a long time. I believe that following these above-mentioned steps can help you lose weight effectively too.
I would like to know more about your weight loss journey! What helped you shed your pregnancy weight? Leave me a comment!