While it’s true that the obsession with body image is a problem to be reckoned with, seeing Hollywood moms shed the pounds so quickly only presses other moms to search for the proper ways to battle the bulge.
Although regular moms may not have access to expensive trainers, nor the motivation to keep a svelte figure to stay at the peak of their careers, there are a few things you can learn from celebrities who have managed to look fit and fabulous after pregnancy.
Celebs like Naomi Watts and Helena Bonham Carter have spoken about the benefits of breastfeeding. Pop star Christina Aguilera recently told Access Hollywood that it is “like a workout within itself." Ob-gyn Dr. Connie Alfiler adds, “Breastfeeding really is the number one way to shed pounds because it uses up the reserved food stores or fats (gained) during pregnancy.“ Apart from burning an extra 500 Calories, it releases hormones that enable your uterus to return to its normal size.
When it comes to “traditional” exercises, Dr. Alfiler advises that a mom wait six weeks before striving to lose weight, as this gives the body time to recover faster. However, there is a kind of exercise called Kegels that a mom can do immediately after giving birth in order to tighten pelvic muscles and prevent urinary incontinence. Pelvic tilts and leg slides are also safe to do after pregnancy as long as it is not contraindicated.
As for post-partum diets, it’s best to go high-fiber, vitamin-rich and low in fat (but not fat-free). Coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks should be avoided. Drinking plenty of water also facilitates the melting of fat in the body.
Proper sleep is also one thing that moms should never let slide. Filipino women in particular, Dr. Alfiler observes, tend to eat more to compensate for lack of sleep.
Overall, it is very important to be patient with yourself. It took nine months to put on the weight, and it will take some time to lose it as well. It’s best if you can keep a realistic regimen regularly rather than an overly vigorous one.
Dr. Connie Alfiler, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Plaza, Mandaluyong
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