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When is it Safe to Start Dieting After Pregnancy?

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Something to always remember when you are ready to start dieting after pregnancy is that it took 9 months for you to gain the weight you did. In this same vain, you should expect it to take at least 9 months to lose it again at a healthy rate of weight loss, however many women find it takes much longer. As well, many women find that pregnancy has made permanent changes to their bodies. For example, hips and chest may be larger than before pregnancy even after you have lost the weight.


Choosing when to lose weight after your pregnancy is a common worry of women.  While they might be ready to drop their extra pounds, their doctor might want them to rest after the tremendous energy expended by the birth process.  The good news is that the body takes on a lot of fluid when you are pregnant and this fluid will leave the body generally within the first two weeks after giving birth, leaving most women eight to twenty pounds lighter.  But after this time frame, you might be anxious to drop the remaining pounds.  Here’s how to do this safely.


Checking with Your Doctor

The first thing to do is to make sure that your doctor gives you the okay to lose weight after your pregnancy. Your doctor may not want you to lose any weight if you were underweight to begin with, while other doctors might have recommendations on when your body might be ready to start losing weight.  It never hurts to check in with your physician first to ensure you are staying healthy and making sure that your body has the nutrition it needs.  For some women, it might not be a good idea to try to lose weight – especially when you’re breastfeeding.  You actually need additional calories in order to produce the healthy milk your baby will drink, often up to 500 calories more a day.


Eat Healthy All the Time

The best advice is to begin eating healthily as you did during and before your pregnancy.  This way, you can slowly lower your calories while also giving your body what it needs.  Take some time to think about what you are hungry for before you eat it and add more glasses of water to your daily routine.  In doing this, you will eat only the calories you need to sustain your energy, allowing you to be a good parent as well as a lighter parent in time.  Once your doctor gives you the okay, then you can begin to count your calories and begin to change your eating pattern a bit more.


When to Start an Exercise Plan

While dieting is good, adding exercise will help to speed up weight loss.  The manner of your birth will determine when you will need to start an exercise plan.  If you had a traditional and normal vaginal birth, you should be able to start exercising in four weeks after delivery.  If you’ve had a caesarean, you will need to wait about eight weeks for your incisions to heal before you can attempt any strenuous exercise.  Trying to move around more after birth is always a good idea, but listen to your doctor to ensure you aren’t doing more than your body can handle.


Together with a healthy diet, you can begin to lose your pregnancy weight in a safe manner.  This will allow you to feel better about your body and the healthy foods will speed up any healing which needs to take place after the birth.