Within weeks of giving birth, Heidi Klum was strutting down the catwalk wearing nothing but some tiny underwear and a smile. While the rest of the women in the world could only shake their heads in bewilderment and utter one word?How?!
For most of us it is easy to feel that you have no hope of ever regaining the body you once knew and successfully losing your pregnancy weight gain.
So how did Heidi achieve, so effortlessly, what seems such an impossible task for the rest of us mere mortals? The answer is of course that she, like many celebrity mothers, was able to have expert help with her post pregnancy weight loss. People like Nicole Ritchie and Gwen Stefani have access to Nannies, Personal Trainers , Chefs and nutritionists to personally guide them through their post pregnancy diet.
As awe inspiring as these women are we have to realise that we can not compare ourselves to them and expect to see the same kind of weight loss after pregnancy. And perhaps more importantly, we need to understand that we should not even be trying to put our selves through any major post pregnancy diet.
After growing gradually bigger and bigger with weight gain during pregnancy, many women can begin to obsess about getting back in shape. That old saying “9 months to put it on, 9 months to get it off” can seem terrifying. But it is a sensible guide to follow.
The average woman has an average of 25 to 30 pound pregnancy weight gain. But actual childbirth results in an immediate weight loss of around 12 to 14 pounds, made up of amniotic fluid, the placenta, and of course the baby!
It is recommended that you don’t rush straight into a post pregnancy diet immediately after giving birth, but give yourself a few months to ease into losing your pregnancy weight gain. Your body has been through a lot during your pregnancy and birth, go easy on it and give it time to recover!
As in all weight loss plans, 2 pounds loss per week is a realistic and healthy target to set . While it might be physically possible for some women to have more dramatic post pregnancy weight loss, like Heidi or Gwen, it can have a detrimental effect on your health.
Look after your body and give it what it needs to look after you! You need a good balance of nutrients to provide you with the energy you will need at the time in your life when you will feel the most tired!
And obviously this is an even more important consideration if you are breastfeeding. Obsessively counting calories shouldn’t be a priority when breastfeeding because your baby is depending on you to provide it with all of its nutritional needs. And because of this it is recommended that you have at least 1800 calories a day. But this is a good incentive to start to really improve the quality of your diet so that you can lay the foundations for long term, sensible approach. The best way to do this is to eat small, well balanced meals approximately every 3 hours, which will help to keep your metabolism and energy high.
And lets not forget that many women consider breastfeeding itself to be the bodies secret weapon, burning off up to 500 calories per day!
It is never too soon to start exercising however! It might seem hard to contemplate with a new baby to keep you busy but some gentle daily exercise, such as walking, can help to get you back into shape and also help to boost energy levels. Yoga and pilates are both excellent, low impact ways to start to firm and tighten your body.
There are other things that you can do to make you feel good about yourself and your body during this period. Concentrate on rewarding your body for the hard work it has done for you! Treat your skin to anti cellulite treatments, fake tan and stretch mark creams. All of which can give you the confidence boost you need at a time when you feel a little out of control of your own body. And when breastfeeding is no longer an issue and your body has recovered from the pregnancy, you can begin to introduce supplements into your diet to help you regain your post pregnancy shape.
Herbal teas such as Pu-erh can help to stimulate a sluggish metabolism post pregnancy and herbal supplements such as Hoodia, which Nicole Ritchie is rumoured to have used after the birth of her baby, can help to control appetite.
So whether you are pregnant and worrying about the rate at which you are steadily growing, or if you have just given birth and feel the need to instantly address your weight gain – Stop! Enjoy those first few months with your new baby, relax, look after your self, eat regular, healthy, balanced meals and remain active and you will regain your post pregnancy body. Sadly there is no guarantee that you will get Heidi Klum’s post pregnancy body!