Even though having a baby is the most rewarding and uplifting experience a woman could ever go through, the after effect on her body can make it a depressing time as well. The average woman gains between 25-45 needed pounds during her pregnancy. Needless to say, the baby doesn't come out weighing that extra weight.
The best way to make sure you can lose the weight after pregnancy, is to START planning before and during the pregnancy. Although genetics plays a big part on how quickly a woman will lose weight, the way a woman is taking care of herself can also play a strong hand.
First of all, talk to your doctor to see what they recoommed you gain during your pregnancy. A woman who is already overweight is typically told they should LOSE weight during their pregnancy. The extra fatty tissue does not help the baby grow and develop, but a helathier you will! On the other hand a woman who is underweight will need to gain more than the typically recommended 25-35 pounds.
Just because we know we are expected to gain weight doesn't mean we should be reckless and eat whatever we want. Remember, you are carrying a living being who is also sharing in your diet. Of course a yummy snack here and there won't hurt...
The best ways to keep your body in tune:
1) Eat small meals, 4-6 times a day. The more often you eat the better for your digestive system and metabolism. Lavish on yogurt, fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grain/fiber. Look for recipes that promote low fat, high fiber content.
2) Drink lot's of water. Sounds simple enough but you should drink about a gallon of water a day! If you are at all dehydrated, your body retains water making you bloated. If you over hydrate your body will flush itself and the fat with it.
3) Focus on cardio and large muscle groups. You don't need to be running 12 miles a day or spend hours at a gym to keep your body tone. Making slow controlled movement with light weights will build strength. When you build muscle you will burn more fat. For your lower body focus on walking, lunges and squats to encorporate your major muscle groups. For upper body focus on your back and shoulders. When you use your major muscle groups you automatically are using your minor muscle groups (triceps, biceps, abs, calves etc..).
If you follow these three things during and after pregnancy, you will automatically gear your body up to lose the weight quicker.
And another tip, breastfeeding not only promotes a healthy baby but burns additional calories for a healthier you!