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Top tips from the medical community on losing weight after pregnancy

The thought of weight gain during pregnancy might be daunting as many moms-to-be wonder just how easy or hard it is to get back to shape after their baby arrives. How long does it take to get back into shape? What makes it easy and what makes it hard? We asked the experts to share their views and experience when it comes to losing weight after pregnancy and offer their best tips on getting back to pre-pregnancy weight the healthy way.

How long does it usually take to get back in shape?
The time it takes a new mom to get back to pre-pregnancy weight varies significantly. In general, moms to be who kept active during pregnancy and avoided excessive weight gain lost their pregnancy weight faster and easier, simply because they had fewer pounds to lose. Dr. Eva Martin of Elm Tree Medical points out that, on average, 15 pounds of your pregnancy weight comes off as your baby arrives along with placenta and amniotic fluids. So a mom who gained 25 pounds during her pregnancy will have 10 pounds left to lose after childbirth. But if you have gained 35 pounds during your pregnancy, the amount to lose after delivery doubles to 20 pounds, which is likely to take much longer to shed. So if you want to lose weight faster post-pregnancy, keep in mind that that being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean you have to “eat for two” and double your food intake. Read our blog post on healthy pregnancy weight gain here.

What makes it easy to lose pregnancy weight?
In general, healthy weight gain during pregnancy is the key to faster weight loss after the baby arrives. This can be achieved by keeping active with a fitness routine safely modified for pregnancy and healthy eating habits. Pregnancy is not an excuse to indulge in sweets and “eat for two”, although many moms-to-be might be tempted to give in to their pregnancy related cravings. So include walks to your daily routine and reach for a piece of fruit instead that donut. Although Lactation Consultant Leigh Anne O’Connor points out that genetics have a lot to do with the speed your body returns to the pre-pregnancy weight, medical experts also believe that healthy diet and active lifestyle during pregnancy contributes to an easier childbirth.

What should I eat if I want to lose pregnancy weight the healthy way?
Most medical professionals recommend to focus on balanced diet, light exercise and water intake as the top drivers for losing weight after pregnancy. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, smaller but more frequent food portions and increased water intake are all safe for new moms whether they breastfeed or not. When it comes to your new exercise routine, find the time for yourself or join a class for moms and their baby as many yoga and pilates moves can be safely done with your baby by your side. Jason James, Chief of OB/GYN at Baptist Hospital suggests to pay attention to your daily diet and make sure to balance carbohydrates with sufficient protein and fat intake.

Once ready to start losing weight, use QardioBase smart weight and body analyzer to get back to your post pregnancy weight.  set a weight goal and a timeline in the Qardio App and QardioBase will cleverly calculate your weekly target and track progress. With its full body composition capabilities, QardioBase analyzes muscle mass, fat percentage plus water and bone composition. So when you start losing weight, you know exactly if you’re burning fat or just losing water!

Dr. Eva Martin, OBGYN at Elm Tree Medical points
Leigh Anne O’Connor, Lactation Consultant in Private Practice
Jason James, chief of OB/GYN at Baptist Hospital

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