Last Updated on November 21, 2023
Losing weight after delivery can seem like an uphill battle for new mums, but thankfully, there is now a proven way to prompt weight loss post-birth and help you reduce excess tummy fat after pregnancy – intermittent fasting!
You may have heard about intermittent fasting (IF), as many celebrities have endorsed its health and weight loss benefits. IF is also frequently discussed and suggested as an effective way to lose weight and boost overall general health and well-being by scientists and doctors.
But when it comes down to fat loss after pregnancy, you do need to be careful, as your body needs to recover from the birth.
Don’t expect miracle weight loss postpartum, as you need to take things easy and not just jump into a diet and exercise regime as soon as you have your baby at home.
So, what is the best way to lose weight postpartum?
Let’s take a closer look at pregnancy weight loss and see.
Here’s a look at how long it takes to lose weight after childbirth, the benefits of intermittent fasting postpartum, and why so many new mothers are now turning to fasting to help them get their bodies back on track after delivery.
- 1 How long does it take to lose weight after pregnancy?
- 2 How to lose tummy fat after pregnancy
- 3 Why use intermittent fasting for post-maternity weight loss?
- 4 Is intermittent fasting a safe way to lose weight after pregnancy?
- 5 The benefits of IF for postnatal weight loss and health
- 6 The best intermittent fasting plan for postpartum weight loss
- 7 Takeaway: Why IF is the best way to lose weight after childbirth
How long does it take to lose weight after pregnancy?
All pregnancies are different, and some women do put on more weight than others during pregnancy; it’s therefore difficult to categorically state how long it takes to lose maternity weight gain.
The good news is that most women lose at least half of their baby weight within six weeks of delivery. It is then possible to return to your pre-maternity weight healthily within a year to eighteen months if you are motivated and incorporate moderate exercise and a healthy diet plan like intermittent fasting into your daily routine.
How to lose tummy fat after pregnancy
It’s hard being a new mum.
Dealing with the demands of a baby, like the sleepless nights and hectic feeding schedules, does take its toll on your body and mind.
The want to lose excess weight and baby fat can make a new mother feel stressed and depressed, so it’s understandable that you might want to put steps in place to feel better about yourself as soon as you feel up to it.
For many mums, the first step towards post-pregnancy weight loss is breastfeeding, as it is a great way to burn a lot of calories and is also beneficial for your child. However, while breastfeeding, you must ensure you consume enough nutritious food to produce a sufficient milk supply, so strict diets are rarely suggested until you have finished breastfeeding.
Providing your body has healed, exercise can also help you get back in shape and boost postpartum fat loss. Grabbing the stroller and walking around the block or trying a simple post-pregnancy weight loss routine at home are excellent ways to tone up and burn calories.
Fat loss postpartum and weight loss are all possible, provided you give yourself time and don’t put your body under too much stress too quickly.
Intermittent fasting is a proven way to help you shed pounds and boost your health. To start to see the benefits today, sign up for Fasting Kompanion.
Why use intermittent fasting for post-maternity weight loss?
If you are a mum struggling to lose excess fat postpartum and eager to get back into your pre-maternity jeans, you have probably considered many diets.
However, the demands of looking after a new baby or toddler and a lack of time and sleep can make it extremely difficult to stick to a strict calorie-controlled diet or attend a gym regularly.
Intermittent fasting offers an alternative, as it limits the time you eat rather than what you eat, meaning you can choose fasting times that work around you and your baby’s schedule and eat the foods you enjoy during the times you consume calories.
Intermittent fasting has proved to be a fast and healthy way to lose weight, and it also does wonders for your mood and self-esteem, which is a real advantage if you’re a busy mum trying to get back in shape. This said, intermittent fasting is not for everyone, so you do need to check with your doctor if you intend to start fasting after giving birth.
Is intermittent fasting a safe way to lose weight after pregnancy?
Yes, intermittent fasting is a safe way to achieve weight control after delivery once you have stopped breastfeeding and if your doctor has said you are in sufficient health to begin dieting.
The reason IF is not suggested while you are pregnant or breastfeeding is that studies have suggested that fasting for extended periods may reduce the macro and micronutrients that support milk supply in lactating mothers.
Although some do consider it safe to fast for shorter daily periods like the 12:12 or 14:10 plans, providing you ensure you drink enough fluids and consume a balanced and nutrient-rich diet during your eating windows, it may be best to err on the side of caution and embark on a gentle intermittent fasting plan gradually, once you have finished breastfeeding.
The benefits of IF for postnatal weight loss and health
Mothers can enjoy many health benefits by incorporating intermittent fasting into their daily routines. Some of the most notable advantages include:
IF boosts weight loss postpartum
Intermittent fasting will help you fit into those pre-pregnancy clothes, providing you stick to the plan and fast correctly!
Managing when you eat and fasting according to your circadian rhythm will help you lose weight.
Intermittent fasting and consuming zero calories for 12 or more hours prompts your body to enter the fat-burning stage known as ketosis, whereby you lose weight.
Although, as a new mother, you need to be careful what IF plan you choose and work up to longer fasts gradually, intermittent fasting should produce weight loss results quickly and consistently, especially if you cut back on the sugar and fat and enjoy healthier options during your mealtimes.
IF helps to reduce inflammation
Many women suffer from inflammation following the birth of a child, and although most swollen ankles and legs subside within a couple of weeks, some women do experience inflammation of their belly and body for far longer.
Intermittent fasting has proved an effective way to reduce inflammation. It can also help to prevent and treat many chronic illnesses caused by the condition, including Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and stroke, to name but a few.
The health benefits of IF are the main reason many doctors and dieticians now suggest controlled intermittent fasting as one of the best ways to improve your overall health and maintain a healthy weight.
Fasting can regulate blood sugar levels
During pregnancy, your body changes in many ways, including how it deals with blood glucose and insulin.
After giving birth, your body is far more sensitive to insulin, so monitoring your glucose levels and getting your blood sugars back on track is essential, especially if you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes or were diabetic before becoming pregnant.
Intermittent fasting has shown to be an effective long-term way to help regulate insulin-glucose levels and reduce blood sugar fluctuations, providing your doctors monitor you closely and oversee your fasting efforts.
IF promotes heart health
After pregnancy, the demands of a child at home can cause you to eat more junk and convenience foods and put on additional weight rather than lose the baby fat – unless you take action.
Excess belly fat and adipose tissue put stress on your heart and can lead to heart disease, which is a serious chronic condition with a high mortality rate.
The best way to reduce this risk is to lose these extra pounds and exercise regularly.
Intermittent fasting has proved to help you lose weight and help prevent and manage existing cardiovascular conditions, thereby boosting your heart health.
Fasting helps you look younger
Most people eat regularly throughout the day, which means their digestive system works continuously and doesn’t get a chance to rest, detox, or generate new cells, which can lead to aging and looking older.
When you fast, your body gets the time to enter the cellular repair process called autophagy, whereby it gets rid of old cells and replaces them with healthy new ones.
This fasting period of cell development boosts your immune system and does wonders for your body, hair, and skin. One study even believes that fasting and autophagy could potentially extend your lifespan – and what woman wouldn’t want to feel great and look younger after pregnancy?!
IF helps you get rid of mummy brain fog
Do you suffer from forgetfulness and “mummy brain?”
Pregnancy not only takes its toll on your body, but it also affects your mind, and many women experience periods of absent-mindedness and brain fog long after birth.
Although research into the way fasting affects brain function is ongoing, it has proved to help boost brain function and help to treat and prevent many neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
Fasting produces these positive effects by helping your body get rid of toxins in the blood and cleaning the lymphatic system to allow your body and brain to function correctly. This supports your memory by helping to increase the volume of nerve cells, thereby helping you think clearly and combatting fuzzy brain fog and new mum forgetfulness.
The best intermittent fasting plan for postpartum weight loss
If you want to get your body back in shape after pregnancy, it’s important to do so sensibly and choose the right intermittent fasting plan to achieve weight loss after birth.
Before embarking on any diet or intermittent fasting plan, you must ensure you have given your body sufficient time to heal and recover and check with your GP if it’s okay to start dieting to lose the excess baby weight.
There are many intermittent fasting plans out there. Still, it’s best for new mothers to start with an achievable and gentle plan, like the 12:12 or 14:10, rather than plugging for challenging warrior fasting plans with very short eating windows.
The 12-hour fasting plan involves a fasting period of twelve hours, whereby you only drink water and zero-calorie beverages and eat food during the other twelve hours.
To maximize results, cut out sugary drinks, high-fat foods, unhealthy takeaways, and limit your alcohol intake during your eating times, and opt for a nutrient-packed mix of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, and legumes instead.
Once your body is used to fasting and eating healthy, incorporate moderate exercise into your daily routine and consider stepping up your fasting times to a 16:8 plan.
Your fasting times and progress can easily be monitored and tracked using Fasting Kompanion, our handy smartphone app that you can fit in your pocket or baby bag.
Takeaway: Why IF is the best way to lose weight after childbirth
As a mother, you have your hands full with your new bundle of joy, so it’s unlikely you will have the time to prepare fancy low-fat meals or enjoy sticking to a strict calorie-controlled diet and exercise routine. Preparing the latest fad diet drinks and smoothies is also time-consuming and rarely satisfying, let alone easy to maintain long term.
However, none of this fuss is necessary with intermittent fasting as you work the fasting and eating windows around you and your baby’s daily schedule. For example, if your toddler wakes at 7 am and wants breakfast, you can start your 12-hour fasting window and eat during the day, enjoy your meal before 7 pm, and just drink water and herbal tea until bedtime.
As we have seen, intermittent fasting is a scientifically proven way to help you lose weight safely and consistently; plus, it also helps improve your brain function and keep that baby’s brain fog at bay.
Fasting is the best way to lose weight after delivery, so don’t hesitate and become one of the many mothers already losing their postpartum pounds by intermittent fasting!