Recently, American model Sarah Stage created a stir in the virtual world when she posted pictures of her dashboard stomach on Instagram, just four days after delivering a baby. While her toned look might serve as an inspiration to many, doctors say that subjecting your body to a strenuous workout soon after delivery is not prudent.
From left: Sarah Stage with son James Hunter, Kim kardashian with daughter North West and Jennifer Lopez with her daughter Emme Maribel Muñiz
“Clinically, drastic weight loss is not advised for a new mum because physiologically, she is not ready to sustain this weight loss. Also, if you wish to breastfeed your baby for the first six months, then weight loss or dieting is not advisable. This is because the mother’s body nutrients need to be replenished to avoid any problems later in life,” says Indrayani Pawar, team leader— dieticians, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Khar (W).
However, the gradual shedding of fat is recommended.
Burn it out
Post-delivery exercises not only help you shred post-baby fat, but are also integral to regain your body’s strength. They also heal your internal system. Start with simpler exercises, and gradually opt for the strenuous ones. “If you have had a normal delivery, you can resume exercising after four weeks. But in case of a caesarean delivery, you should start exercising only after six weeks,” says Neeraj Mehta, fitness expert and nutritionist.
Here are a few more easy and quick solutions prescribed by experts to get back in shape, keeping in mind one’s overall health.
* Hip Thruster: This is an effective workout that gives quick results. It strengthens the pelvic girdle, and improves stamina.
* V-pose hold and push up: This form of workout helps shred abdominal fat fast, strengthens your back, and builds stamina.
* Plank: This works on your core. It’s a great way to burn belly fat.
* Lunges and squats: These always top the list when it comes to leg workouts. These exercises work on your lower body and core.
* Chest workout: This should be an essential part of your workout routine to keep your breasts in shape.
* Deadlift: This full body workout cuts fat, and regulates your lymphatic gland for hormonal balance.
What to eat?
It’s important for a new mum to eat healthy. While training for weight loss, never think of starving or reducing your calorie intake.
* Go colourful: Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your diet. They have different benefits, like yellow or orange coloured fruits strengthen your immunity, and fruits such as papaya, peach and lemon are rich in vitamin C. Such foods are rich in fibre and have less calories. Include more green veggies in your diet.
* Antioxidants are important: Foods rich in antioxidants help with weight loss. Green tea is also an excellent choice for losing weight. Dry fruits (eaten in moderate quantity) can be healthy snacks too.
* Drink more water: Drinking plenty of water will help you achieve your fitness goal faster. It enhances the metabolic process, and burns fat faster.
— With inputs from Dr Anil Patil, MBBS; Indrayani Pawar and Neeraj Mehta