Women who have embraced motherhood describe it as being the most exciting phase of their lives and they also agree that it also brings along a different set of challenges. It takes incredible amount of energy and love to nurture another human being and hats off to all mothers out there who selflessly put their children before anything in the world. But post-pregnancy, most moms also struggle with a few issues – shaking off the excess weight is one of them, they find it’s much more difficult than before and cannot deduce exactly why. There are a few reasons why it’s so hard to lose postpartum weight, and in this article, we will shed light on some of them. Most importantly, it’s essential to consult a doctor before making any changes to the diet and exercise routine after pregnancy, especially if you have recently given birth.
1. Hormonal Changes: During and after pregnancy, the body undergoes dramatic hormonal changes. There are several hormones whose levels can contribute to weight gain. Estrogen and progesterone levels can increase during pregnancy and remain high after delivery. The elevated levels of these hormones can stimulate appetite and promote weight gain. High estrogen level promotes fat storage around the abdominal area. Likewise, prolactin is a hormone that is needed for milk production in breast-feeding mothers but it can also stimulate appetite at the same time. Another hormone worth mentioning is cortisol, which is the stress hormone that not only promotes weight gain, it’s facilitates buildup of excess fat around the belly area.
2. Sleep Deprivation: New mothers often struggle to get proper sleep because of obvious reasons – they have to care for the newborn. Newborns do not follow a set sleep routine and moms have to be in tune because newborns require frequent feedings and diaper changes around the clock. Moms have to give up on their sleep routine and take care of the baby’s feed and diaper routine. Now, it has been established through research how there’s a strong link between sleep deprivation and weight gain. Slashing down sleeping hours by just a few hours can increase the appetite by a great degree the next day, a study says you can consume up to 300 calories extra than normal. Researchers have also found that people who get only 4 hours of shut-eye have a 9% increase in belly fat than people who managed to sleep soundly for 9 hours. Also read: “Does Poor Sleep Make It Difficult to Lose Belly Fat?”
3. Increased Stress Level: Motherhood can be challenging and it can increase stress in post-partum moms, and stress means increased appetite. Stress can trigger the release of cortisol which increases appetite and cravings for calorie-dense food and sugary treats. Cortisol also promotes the storage of fat in the body, particularly in the abdominal area. Stress can also trigger emotional eating in some women, where they turn to food for comfort or as a coping mechanism, and a result, resort to overeating, adding more calories than the body needs.
4. Reduced Physical Activity: With their entire routine revolving around the baby, new mothers find it difficult to squeeze time for any kind of physical activity. Lack of physical activity makes it difficult to burn off excess calories at the end of the day.
5. Poor Eating Habits: Many new mothers struggle to eat a balanced diet and find it difficult to stick to proper meal timings, often having food at erratic timings and indulging in food that may be calorie dense. They often neglect portion sizes and often give into their cravings. Also read: “5 Ways to Lose Weight without Giving up your Favorite Food.”
Overall, it may feel as if it’s quite difficult to lose weight post-partum but the truth is that by following a healthy and balanced diet, getting restful sleep, finding ways to relax and reduce stress will help a great deal in weight loss. Most importantly, a healthy and balanced diet (you can find such diet plans on the Rati Beauty app) combined with physical activity, can help new mothers to drop weight safely. As mentioned previously, do get your doctor’s approval making dietary changes and indulging in physical activity to ensure that you are ready for these changes 😛
Does Poor Sleep Make It Difficult to Lose Belly Fat?
5 Ways to Lose Weight without Giving up your Favorite Food