In a chat with Ronke Edoho aka loseitnigerian one of the leading weight-loss experts in the industry, who is also the founder of 9jafoodie, we explored the topic “Post-partum weight loss: how to lose the baby weight.” Here’s what she had to say:
Question: WHY ARE SO MANY OF US STILL BATTLING WITH SHEDDING THE BABY WEIGHT. SOME OF US 5-7 YEARS POST-DELIVERY AND WE’RE STILL BATTLING WITH THIS WEIGHT. WHAT COULD BE THE PROBLEM?
@Loseitnigerian: “So, the first question I always ask people is: where were you before you got pregnant? Because I think for most of us, we have to be honest in our approach, honest in the way we deal with the weight.
I know a lot of people, nearly all of us. We want to have this body, we want to…but where were you before you got pregnant?
If you were already overweight before you got pregnant and then pregnancy happened, obviously, you’re going to add a little bit more weight.
So, the weight that you’re dealing with, is it just compounded by your growing a human being which changes your body?
Is the weight still there and your body structure is just changed or is the weight you had before compounded by pregnancy and none of it went away?
I always tell people, any weight you’re trying to shed 1-year post-partum, is no longer baby weight, it’s just weight.
And the approach to losing it is the same in that case. The only special consideration for post-partum weight loss would be: are you nursing? Exclusive nursing? So, where were you before, and where are you, now?
Question: FOR SOME OTHER MUMS LIKE MYSELF, WHOSE CHALLENGE IS NOT PRIMARILY WEIGHT LOSS, BUT WEIGHT FLUCTUATION. A SIZE 10 TODAY, 8 TOMORROW, AND AIMING AT 14 THE NEXT MONTH. WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW?
@Loseitnigerian: In this circumstance, the appropriate thing to do would be to first set a realistic goal. Understanding your body type. We can’t all be size 6.
We can’t all be Kardashians or look like JLO.
Also, we don’t have their nutritionist or their drive to go to the gym, we don’t even go under the knives.
First, you set a realistic goal for yourself and your body type. Don’t judge yourself by other people’s body types. It doesn’t matter. Get to know your own Body Mass Index (BMI) and work towards reaching or maintaining a healthy weight for you.
Secondly, look into your lifestyle.
Are you the kind of person that can’t make it to the gym, you can’t exercise? In that case, the only other option for you is to eat fit.
Because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be reckless with your food choices (diet) knowing that you don’t have the time or drive for exercise. If you can’t make it to the gym, the least you can do is eat healthily.
You have to reach a decision. Ask yourself, is it exercise that I can do to lose the desired weight? And if it’s food, then how do I approach my food in a healthier way for me to get to my goal.
These two things are very significant, and they are personal as well. Another person’s fitness sheet might not work for you; so, you pretty much have to figure out your own, based on your ideal goal for yourself.
QUESTION: EARLIER ON, YOU SAID AN IMPORTANT THING IS TO CONSIDER WHAT YOU WERE LIKE BEFORE YOU GOT PREGNANT. AM I RIGHT TO SAY THAT IF YOU WERE VERY ACTIVE, MORE CAREFUL WITH WHAT YOU EAT, DISCIPLINED, AND ALL, IT WOULD BE EASIER TO LOSE WEIGHT?
@Loseitnigerian: That’s correct. So, if you were more active, exercising more, eating healthy before you got pregnant, you are likely to carry this fit attitude into pregnancy and post-partum, which will make losing the baby weight easier for you.
So, when I looked at my family tree, there was no 2 weeks snapback, so that helped me not to set unrealistic goals like expecting to snap back in 14 days.
It took me six months to lose my baby weight. Six months of eating clean and being active before I went back to the size that I was before pregnancy
So, if you’re that kind of a person that you had a bit of weight before you got pregnant, it might take you a while longer to reach your baby weight loss goal. All in all, how much weight you put on or lose is a lot dependent on your lifestyle.
QUESTION: A MUM SENT A MESSAGE SAYING SHE’S 3 MONTHS POST-CS. BUT SHE STILL LOOKS PREGNANT, HER BELLY IS STILL BIG. SHE’S ASKING TO KNOW IF IT’S SAFE FOR HER TO BEGIN TO EXERCISE.
@Loseitnigerian: I think what is considerate to say on this is “as recommended by your doctor”. He/she would know to advise better, depending on your unique situation, depending on your scarring, etc.
Have You Read: Post-partum Recovery Tips After Vaginal Birth
When you go for your 6 weeks appointment, your doctor will be able to tell you, you good to start engaging in this type of activity or that.
Secondly, I know that most people think the approach to fat loss for people who delivered via CS should be different.
This is incorrect. It is the same approach for whichever way you put to bed. When you can now start exercising, is very much dependent on your doctor’s recommendations.
But what you can start doing early on is eating healthy, which is the most important thing. Part of weight loss. So, pay no mind to anyone pushing you to over-eat in the name of ‘breastmilk for the baby’. You need a normal amount of food, with a lot more fluids.
QUESTION: DO YOU FIND THAT BREASTFEEDING MAKES THE BODY HOLD ON TO FAT TO MAKE MILK?
@Loseitnigerian: I honestly do not think so. A nursing mum’s milk production changes from day to day and it’s a demand and supply situation, primarily dependent on your baby’s needs. Your body’s biological predisposition is to produce more milk or not; to adequately feed your baby. As long as you eat a balanced diet during mealtimes and take enough fluids.
QUESTION: SO, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS WE HAVE ABOUT POST-PARTUM WEIGHT GAIN AND LOSS?
@Loseitnigerian: one of the first is that nursing mums have to eat a large quantity of food to produce or sustain their milk supply. In reality, consuming a balanced diet, water, and other fluids is all you need.
If we’re thinking about it in calories form (the measurement of food), you probably need about 500 extra calories per day. Which is like 2 cups of rice. And in taking things that were not formerly in your routine diet like, pap, custard, lactation cookies, you’re definitely getting those.
The second thing is that we think “if we cannot exercise, we can’t do anything else about our baby weight. This is untrue. Exercise is great for our health and has a lot of benefits, but you do not need exercise to lose weight.
We do not have to exercise at all to burn fat. The fat in your body is a factor of energy, and energy is a factor of what you consume.
It’s simple: if you eat more, you’ll gain weight; if you eat less, you’ll lose weight. So, you just have to change the way and amount of food you eat.
The other thing is: people think if I’m not going to the gym, then I’m not exercising. Whereas, if you’re walking, taking baby on a stroll, you’re exercising. Riding a bicycle, swimming, skipping, etc. being physically active is what counts as exercising, not necessarily going to the gym.
Something as relatively simple as walking, even skipping. Anything that elevates your heart rate. You can do it with your kids/spouse. 50 skips with mummy 3 times a day; 100 pushups with the husband every day. Feel free to make it a fun journey for yourself. Go on YouTube for more inspiration.
QUESTION: RONKE, YOU’LL AGREE THAT MOST OF THE PROBLEMS MUMS HAVE ARE EXCESSIVE FAT IN THEIR ARMS, STOMACHS, AND THIGHS. CAN JUST EATING RIGHT HELP YOU BURN LIKE YOUR ARM/BELLY FAT?
@Loseitnigerian: I want to start by saying where your body stores fat is a matter of genetics. It’s not about anything else, simply genetics.
If your natural predisposition is fat storage in your arm, it will go there.
And then for women, it’s a symbol of fertility. Having fat in your mid-section means that you’re fertile.
So, you’ll body is no doubt going to go there first, going to go where there’s excess fat to use.
So, you can tone a particular area. By engaging in exercises targeting your arms, for example, you’re increasing the muscle mass to fat ratio.
When you have a higher muscle mass as opposed to fat. You can tone a certain area with exercise, but you cannot lose fat in just one specific part of your body.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KETO DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
@Loseitnigerian: I have an article on it on my website. I don’t want to dismiss the place of the keto diet. Keto has its foundation in disease treatment. The weight loss part that comes with it is just in addition.
It is important that you first have a good knowledge of what keto entails in order to use its effective results.
Keto is a complex diet, and it’s not something you indulge in and stop. It’s a lot, so do proper research first.
On water fast for weight loss, the first thing you should know is that it’s a very dangerous adventure to embark on, which is people who are convinced that it is what they want to do are advised to do so under medical supervision; like being in a health facility kind of supervision.
It is a way to lose fat very quickly but is a style that’s not meant for the faint-hearted.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE DO YOU THINK ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING?
@Loseitnigerian: Intermittent fasting is incredible. By reducing your eating window, you’re creating a calorie deficit and you’re losing weight.
It’s a great way to lose baby weight if you’re disciplined.
QUESTION: KINDLY ADDRESS DEALING WITH LOOSE SKIN AND CELLULITE AFTER WEIGHT LOSS
@Loseitnigerian: Like other things, cellulite and loose skin are mostly genetic. But then things like toning exercises, lifting some amount of weight will help. It’s something that can be addressed by exercising, not necessarily by food.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TAKING SLIMMING TEAS & PILLS FOR WEIGHTLOSS?
@Loseitnigerian: The one thing that I’d want everyone to take away from this is: best case scenario is that it’s a placebo and you’re losing money. The worst-case scenario is that there are harmful chemicals and you’re losing your life. So, I tell people: before you buy and commit yourself to a slimming tea, first do that with a normal green tea. Then progress to the so-called slimming tea and then compare and contrast changes in the same range of time, let’s say 30 days each. You’d most likely see the exact same results. By taking tea 3 times a day, you automatically eat less because your tummy is filled up by fluids. That’s how it works.
As for the slimming pills, most of them are made with a solvent for making explosives, as part of the ingredients. My take is: if you do not know what it’s in it if the vendor cannot expressly say this is what we did to arrive at this pill, please do not buy and consume something that’d endanger your health all because you want to shed weight.
If you can get on a healthy diet, you won’t have a need for laxatives containing teas or pills.
QUESTION: WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON PLASTIC SURGERY?
@Loseitnigerian: By all means! If you find a professional, you can afford it and are willing to put in the maintenance work, please go for it. Just do your research first. Go to the clinic, check out their facilities and all, find clients and ask them about their own experiences. Do it, if you can afford to, do it and do it well.
QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WAIST TRAINERS?
@Loseitnigerian: waist trainers do not have the ability to help you lose fat. What they do is compress your breathing and ability to eat a lot, thereby giving you a smaller waist outline, which will immediately snap back when you eat a lot.
But the traditional belly wrapping is a practice meant to help women expel post-partum fluids faster. That’s all it’s meant for.
The summary is this: you can lose weight by watching what you eat, and back it up with exercise to tone up the loose fat.
Find more resources on motherhood here.