You must have already guessed why I am writing about this – yes, coz I am in that phase of life. Baby Raajas (henceforth to be mentioned as R) is one and a half months old and now is the right time for me to be getting on a diet which restricts my calorie intake a bit. But then, thankfully I don’t have a huge weight loss goal in front of me- just a couple of kilos to lose and I will be good to go. Fifteen days after R’s birth I was back in my old jeans. This did come as a surprise to a lot of people as it was not like I had not gained any weight during pregnancy. A lot of my acquaintances/clients, on getting to know of my pregnancy, used to think/say – ‘lets see if she can get back to her normal weight post pregnancy’ or ‘now she will know how difficult it is to shed those kilos’. 🙂 They were the ones who were surprised the most. But how did this really happen?
I am no superwoman with special powers to control my weight. I have also had weight issues which have been compounded by the fact of me being a foodie. All it took was taking extra effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle before conceiving and during pregnancy (yes, the actual work needs to be done way before the baby is born).
Four months before we began trying to conceive I had begun exercising regularly (yes, I used to have days of laziness before that too!), quit all forms of alcohol (except a very rare glass of wine at a party) and kept a close watch on the calories that I was consuming. During pregnancy, I had just added about 300-400 calories to my routine diet as only that much extra is required to support the baby’s growth. By the end of nine months, I had gained 12 kilos and was looking quite a sight (which you have seen in the pic above) but had all health parameters normal.
My diet during pregnancy:
1 glass of milk
Breakfast: 1 portion upma/poha or 2 brown bread toasted with 1 egg omlet
Mid-morning: 1 banana (this is one fruit I had plenty of!)
Lunch: 2-3 rotis, 1 katori subzi, 1 katori salad, 1 katori dal or 1 serving chicken or fish curry
Tea time: 1 cup tea and later I would snack on 1 katori chiwra (spicy rice flakes) or a tomato and cheese sandwich
Dinner: Idli/Dosa and sambar or kadhi khichadi or vegetable pulao or parathas + 1 katori curd + salad
Post dinner: 1 glass of warm milk
Of course, I did deviate at times when I was struck by a craving to have some eight dosas or two large scoops of chocolate mousse icecream or when I went to my favorite kerala food restaurant- Sunny’s. But then, that would happen on one or two days of a week. And yes, I continued my regular exercise (1 hour walk and other stretching exercises as recommended).
Fifteen days after having a baby I was eight kilos lighter and now had only 4-5 kilos to shed.The fact that I am a breastfeeding mum helped a lot (in case you are not breastfeeding then you need to put in much more effort towards weight loss). Just when I thought, ‘another month and I would be back in shape’- my mom decided to load me with foods rich in dry fruits, proteins and carbohydrates. As a result, I lost only 1 kilogram in one month (see what a glutton I am!). So now, I have restricted my consumption of those ‘heavy’ foods and gone back to a regular roti subzi diet and whenever I get hungry (other than a meal time) I snack on a fruit!
Here are some quick tips to get back in shape:
– If you are breastfeeding, you will need about 400-500 extra calories per day. This you can manage by adding another portion to your breakfast and then having some of those traditional calorie rich foods.
– Walk, walk, walk! Of course after about 40 days of having a baby, as you will need that much time to recover.
– Try and consume about 3 fruits a day and keep regular meal times. Don’t worry, your baby will not leave you with time to eat much more. 🙂
– Watch what you drink as the full cream milk, fruit juices, milk shakes etc. are also loaded with calories.
– A healthy portion (about 400 grams) of vegetables a day will provide you with all the necessary vitamins and minerals that both you and your baby need.
– Drink as much water as possible (about 3 litres).
– If you have had gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure then keep a watch on your diet and stick to your medications and doctor’s advice.
-Most importantly, keep your goals small and realistic. Enjoy motherhood and do not get depressed if you are not able to lose weight quickly. Every woman and her pregnancy is unique so there can be no ‘one formula works for all’ here.
Always remember that it is the easiest to lose the initial weight while the final few kilos take the most time and effort. Once your weight loss goal is achieved do not stop your weekly weigh ins as its super easy to gain weight post pregnancy too!
Now then while my baby sleeps, I must go do my exercises for the day (stretching and muscle toning exercises + 30 mins brisk walk everyday).
Here’s my favorite mommy blog these days- Mommygolightly by Lalita Iyer.