Reducing belly fat after pregnancy is a challenge most women face. Between nursing the baby, sleepless nights, and planning for the future, new mothers must also take care of their bodies and mind. While there is nothing wrong with post-baby belly fat, if it is bothering you, we can help. After all, that squishy round tummy may cause you to feel that you may never be able to lose belly fat. But fret not – the right exercises, diet, and lifestyle changes can help you get back in shape quicker. Check out these 10 tips to lose belly fat after pregnancy. We also discuss why your belly still looks slightly bloated and how you can reduce that. Scroll down!
In This Article
Why Do I Still Look Pregnant?
Here are the reasons you might still look pregnant.
- Think of your belly like a balloon. As your baby grows, your belly slowly stretches. Now, when your baby comes out, the balloon doesn’t pop. Instead, there’s a slow release of the air inside the balloon. And if you have noticed, balloons tend to hold up a little air even when they are shrunken and most of the air is out.
- After your baby is born, the hormonal changes in the body cause the uterus to slowly shrink back to its pre-pregnancy shape. But it takes 7-8 weeks for the uterus to come back to the normal size.
- The extra food that you have consumed during your pregnancy to nourish your baby gets stored in the form of fat. And as you know, belly fat is stubborn – it will take time and proper care to shed that fat.
How Long Will It Take My Tummy To Shrink Back?
It rarely happens that a new mom’s tummy shrinks back to normal in just a few days. For most new mommies, it takes a few months to shrink back to normal. Unfortunately, some mothers do not lose the pregnancy pouch. Don’t be alarmed because if you stay active, have nutritious and healthy food, and follow a few good tips, you will be able to reduce the mommy belly quickly. So, let’s find out what you should do to reduce belly fat after pregnancy.
10 Best Tips To Shed Belly Fat After Pregnancy
1. Breastfeed Your Baby
Breastfeeding not only helps build your baby’s immunity but also helps you lose the baby fat and reduce the post-pregnancy belly. It does so by accelerating the shrinking of the uterus (1), (2). Talk to your doctor and start breastfeeding to get rid of that belly pooch.
The simplest form of exercise, not just after childbirth, but in general, is walking. It does not seem like much at one go, but when you are recovering from the frequent body aches, headaches, and soreness, it is particularly beneficial. Moreover, the fun part is, your little one could be your companion. Spending the evenings taking a gentle walk in the park is a wonderful idea. Carrying your baby in a front pack is a good idea too. Once you gain control over your body, you can make the necessary changes. Track your recovery with regular visits to the doctor and proceed accordingly.
3. Get Good Nutrition
Many women make the trivial yet disastrous mistake of skipping their meals or replacing a proper meal with dietary supplements post childbirth. It is crucial that you maintain your diet to produce enough milk. It should be enriched with micronutrients that help maintain the metabolic cycle of the newborn’s body and ensure proper postnatal development. Trust the nutritionists and doctors when they say you need your energy. Have green leafy veggies, other colorful veggies, lean protein, spices, green tea, and drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins.
If you want to lose that stubborn belly fat after childbirth, you have to sneak in at least 20-30 minutes of cardio and strength training. Do it when your baby is fast asleep. Workout when your baby is sleeping. Do crunches, push-ups, planks, tricep dips, high knees, spot jogging, jumping jacks, lunges, squats, jackknife, bicep curls, tricep extensions, Russian twists, leg raises, etc. But first, you must talk to your doctor to know if there are any exercises that you must avoid.
5. Practice Anulom-Vilom
The Vedas and the Puranas glorify the benefits of yoga and its contribution to the regulation of body functions. Yoga gets its target organs extremely right, and thus yields results. Anulom-vilom is a breathing exercise that involves drawing air from your diaphragm and holding it in your abs. The regular rhythmic contractions involve considerable tightening (during inhalation) and relaxation (during exhalation), which help in toning your upper and lower abdomen. Maintain a straight posture, and as you begin to feel stronger, increase the time for which you can hold the air. It also improves digestion by increasing peristalsis or gut movement.
6. Get Rest
Not resting enough causes toxin build-up in the body, which causes inflammation. When the body is in a continuous state of inflammation, it causes the fat receptors to move to the central region. And the fat molecules get stored in the belly region (3), (4). With a newborn in the house, it can get a little tricky to get proper sleep, but take as much rest as you can.
7. Avoid Extreme Diets
Sometimes, new moms panic and slip into depression post-childbirth. And to get back in shape, they take extreme measures and go on diets that make them malnourished and ultimately affect the baby’s health. Starving yourself will never help; it will only make the situation worse. Talk to a dietitian to find out what, how much, and when you should eat to lose the flab quickly.
8. Relieve Stress By Practicing Meditation
A newborn baby is quite a handful, and for a few months, you will not be able to do things that you love (such as painting, reading a book, etc.) to help relieve your stress. So, it is best that you practice meditation – it will help you focus, minimize the background noise, release the negative energy from your system, and improve your sleep quality. And most importantly, you will not disturb your baby’s sleep.
9. Try Belly Wraps
Like body wraps for total body weight loss, belly wraps or maternity belts may help tuck your abs and accelerate the process of the uterus shrinking back to its original size. This is one of the most old-fashioned ways of reducing belly fat, though there is a lack of scientific evidence to suggest its efficacy. However, research suggests that belly wraps may help improve posture and reduce back pain (5). What you have to do is wrap your midsection with a piece of soft cloth. Make sure it is not too tight or too loose. However, you can also use the maternity belts available in the market. Talk to your doctor before wearing the belt or wrapping your tummy with a soft cloth.
10. Go For A Full Body Massage
A massage can be very effective when it comes to losing body weight without having to sweat it out at the gym (6). Get a massage that will target your belly and help reduce the tummy fat. It will release and distribute fat in the body and improve metabolism, thereby helping you get rid of the baby fat. Get a massage every week to see best results. However, while there is some evidence to suggest that massage therapy helps in weight reduction in individuals with obesity, further studies are needed to support the efficacy of targeted massage for fat loss.
In a gist, belly fat takes time to reduce after you give birth. Remember, belly fat is naturally stubborn, and it takes time and effort to decrease. Moreover, the hormonal and physical changes in your body will take time to get back to their pre-pregnancy form. Follow the tips listed above to reduce belly fat after pregnancy effectively. Also, pair these tips with a healthy lifestyle, daily workout regimens, and a balanced diet to see weight loss results. As you follow these tips, the weight you gained during pregnancy will reduce over a period of time.
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- Effect of Combined Manual Acupuncture and Massage on Body Weight and Body Mass Index Reduction in Obese and Overweight Women: A Randomized Short-term Clinical Trial