Keep Postpartum Weight Loss Plateau Under Control in 5 Ways

Motherhood is an amazing journey. It is one of the best gifts any woman could ever have! But, you have endured a lot during these past nine months. You go through morning sickness, constipation, unusual cravings & so on.

Your body gets out of shape. Perhaps! You tried a lot of things to trim down the extra pounds. You were near to meeting up your goals. But, suddenly, things go around, and you are unable to shed the last few pounds. It’s a clear indication that you may have reached a postpartum weight loss plateau.

But why does this happen? Could you be able to snap back your pre-baby body again? Fortunately, yes, you can! Stay till the end to know why this plateau hits up and what you can do to beat it. So, Let’s move.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

What Causes Postnatal Weight Loss Plateaus?

When the input of calories equilibrium to burn off calories, the plateau phase occurs. It may take you six months to lose the post-baby weight at a greater scale. But, the stubborn last few pounds (10 lb) seem to be taking no name to go away. 

Don’t give up! You have gained extra weight gradually in these whole nine months. Your immune system may weaken. You may have suffered from nutritional deficiencies. So, it is obvious that you can’t expect to slim down as fast as your pre-baby stage. 

However, knowing the causes of postpartum weight loss plateaus surely helps you to respond more cautiously. Below here, you will get an insight into all the possible reasons that can trigger this phase. 

Your body just starts healing!  

First of all, you have to understand that your body is experiencing a hormonal roller coaster. These fluctuations will not disappear immediately. So, even though you’re giving your utmost efforts to melt off fats, it will hinder the process to some extent.

Relation of breastfeeding to weight 

Now, ask any mother about why they are breastfeeding. They will answer – it boosts up her child’s immunity, it is safe & it also helps to lose post-baby weight. 

However, it’s true for some women.  Some may experience postpartum weight gain while breastfeeding. The reason is your body stores up fat around your stomach, hip, thighs area in preparation for breastfeeding. 

Usually, most women can lose half of this weight within the perpetual period (first six weeks). But, the rest will take around 6-12 months to cut down on. However, inadequate milk production is the commonest issue breastfeeding mothers often face.

To meet the milk needs, mommys’ take lactate cookies, Starbucks Pink drinks, Body Armor, and sugar-filled treats. They surely boost up your milk secretions; at the same time, they accumulate fat. If you’re also taking these supplements, then it might be the culprit. 

Your diet routine 

You are tracking down your calories or eating as per the diet chart. Still, why is everything going in vain? Let’s find out. 

Breastfeeding mothers are often told to take around 200-500 calories extras for adequate milk production. Here is a catch. Most people think that a calorie is a calorie no matter from which source you’re taking. 

It is mathematically true as you can get 4148 Joule of energy from one dietary calorie. But, the human body is a complex machine.

Your body uses different food items taken in similar calorie ranges, all differently during postpartum weight loss plateau. An example may clear it. 

You Should Avoid These Foods During Pregnancy

You can have 100 calorie candy or 100 calorie broccoli – these two contain the same amount of calories. Still, broccoli will prove healthy for your body. Another thing that comes up in this line is the carb cravings.

In this period, your body requires a lot of energy to tackle the new member. Carbohydrate-enriched foods can meet these needs. That’s why you often feel intense cravings for carbohydrate-enriched foods. Again, it is a matter of concern which source you prefer to complete the carb needs.

Do you love to eat cookies, pastries, soda, white bread?  Or, you are fond of having fresh fruits and vegetables. Well, you’re allowed to have these both but try to maintain an 80:20 ratio for vegetables and fast foods accordingly. 

Not getting enough time for working out 

It takes a lot of effort to nourish the newborn. Changing up diapers, uncountable sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and much more have added to your daily routine. All your energy may get invested here. 

That’s why it’s quite hard to manage extra time for working out. Without working out, it’s a bit tougher to melt off the last few layers of fat. This is one of the commonest reasons why most women get into a weight loss plateau.

Mommy duty makes you exhausted & stressed!  

The sudden extra burden of duties often puts the moms into exhaustion. Researchers remark it as a major culprit for pushing you towards a postpartum weight loss plateau.

People usually overeat when they feel stress. This is because your cortisol level increases when you go through extreme tension. This cortisol hormone triggers the hunger center, and you eat more!  So, if you’re in a plateau state, you must consider this one. 

You aren’t getting adequate sleep 

Sleep has a lot to do with completing our weight loss odyssey. It controls two hormones that are responsible for balancing weight; they are leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin gives signals to your brain when your stomach gets full. It is also responsible for burning calories to produce the energy required for your body. 

On the other side, ghrelin tells your body – when to eat & when to stop burning out these calories. When you fall asleep, this leptin hormone rises & ghrelin hormone falls. Here, leptin & ghrelin tells your brain that you’re full and don’t need further eating. 

But, if you are unable to get the proper sleep, the level of leptin hormone decreases. As a result, you feel an intense craving for taking more and more foods. At the same time, ghrelin retains your body from burning the calories. 

Thus, sleep deprivation triggers your appetite, suppresses the calorie-burning process, and accumulates fat.

You’re dehydrated

Can dehydration cause postnatal weight loss plateau? The answer is a big yes. When your body deprives you of water, it affects your metabolism. Also, your body gets misled with a thirst for hunger. 

For now, you come to know the facts which are responsible for this weight loss plateau. The next thing to do is find out the most reliable way to beat it. Next, I will discuss some most effective & easy-to-do postpartum weight loss plans. 

How to Overcome the Postpartum Weight Loss Plateau? 

Many people wonder how long it takes to get past the postnatal weight loss plateau. While you are trying everything to bounce back pre-baby weight, some lose weight without trying after pregnancy.

Don’t give up seeing them because every woman differs in their physiques. How long it will take to beat this plateau phase is highly individual.

Nutrition, emotional status, genetics, and sleep are the key factors to decide how fast or slow you will overcome. If thousands of moms who were in the same shoe once can reshape their figure, then you can do it as well.

I did thorough research to find out the secret sausages which help them to shed their baby fat. And I discovered some simplest yet most effective ways to break through the stubborn fat. Here you go.

Track your meal 

It is the most tedious job to record everyday meals, snacks & drinks. But, you can get a good insight into how many calories you’re consuming doing so. Also, it will let you know where the unnecessary calories are coming from.

You can track the foods by writing in journals or using a food tracker app. Some of the trackers also help to monitor whether you are deficient in particular nutrients or not.

Cut back on carbs 

Research work shows that those who take low-carb food reduce weight at a greater scale. Most importantly, when your weight is stuck on a particular page, it will again start to shed your fats. 

A question may arise, can breastfeeding moms take low-carb foods?  Well, they can. But, they should not follow a healthy low-carb diet as it will lead them to nutritional ketosis. For a safer play, you should stick to moderate or liberal low-carb recipes. Like, you should take at least 50 grams of carbs per day. 

For easy-going, you can eat three fruits or some root veggies per day. Thus you will get all the essential nutrients & also be able to beat the plateau. 

Increase the frequency or intensity of working out 

You may have heard that exercise helps to lose weight fast. But, for this, you have to meet the line on which your fat layers will start to melt off. You have to exercise for at least  30 minutes every day without skipping. 

I found whoever reached the weight loss plateau doing work out irregularly. If possible, push yourself to do more. Changing or increasing the intensity of exercise will help you to break through the plateau. 

If you find it boring or you need motivation, then team up. Next time, tell your partner to take you for a walk. It works! 

Get a good sleep

Above I showed you how sleep deprivation plays a role in stopping weight reduction. So, try to sleep at least 7-9 hours. It will help you boost the postpartum weight loss plateau. 

Hydration 

Dehydration makes you more hungry. Your body often mistakes the thirst for food and ends up eating extra foods. 

You should aim to drink 2.35l water per day to combat it. When I advise this to moms, they often say that they forget to take it. In such cases, I told them to keep the bottles full with water near their eyesight. 

mother drinking water to control postpartum weight loss plateau
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Also, you can track whether you have done today’s hydration or not via the MyFitnessPal app. Thus, you will be able to flush away the extra pounds with water.  

These are all you can try to break through the plateau. All these tips are scientifically proven. You may not need to do them all. Recheck what you’re missing and bring that into your habit from today.

FAQ

Do you lose weight after the first postpartum period? 

No, the mother often started to shed the baby fats three months after delivery. It occurs in eight out of ten cases. And, around 75% of women can lose weight between three to twelve after delivery. 

What causes rapid weight loss after pregnancy?  

The reason is not fixed, but extreme pressure, lifestyle, or health issues may be to blame. However, if you notice unusual weight loss without looking far, contact a doctor. 

When do you lose the most weight while breastfeeding?

During pregnancy, women usually gained around 11.5-16 kg weight. Losing this weight is highly individual. On average, women can shed these off within six to eight months of the postpartum period. Food habits can also enhance this process.

The Bottom Line

Don’t overthink about the postpartum weight loss plateau as you have delivered a beautiful human being!  You are already a rockstar. Instead of focusing on shedding weights, you should focus on rebuilding your stamina & endurance first.

Be patient! Don’t be too strict on yourself. It may take time to get fit in your old jeans, but it’s worth waiting. Remember, you have been through all the hormonal imbalances. That’s why it may take time to get back to your previous form. Now, all I ask you to follow is the tips above. Hopefully, it will help you to pass the weight loss plateau. 

And don’t forget to share your journey here. Stay safe!

Hi there! My name is Nishat Tasnim. I am studying M.B.B.S in Army Medical College Jashore (3rd year). Being a medical student, I know how important it is to maintain our fitness & health properly. However, the term " Doctor" itself means "teacher".Because, what they learn during this 6.5 years course, they use that knowledge to educate their patients throughout life. That's exactly the reason why I'm here today. My curiosity for different things always drags me to know more. That's being told, sharing your knowledge is the first step to humanity. So, I choose writing as a media to impart my knowledge & thereby make people conscious about their health & well-being. Hopefully, my efforts will add value to the life of people now, & in the near future.

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