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Post-pregnancy weight loss
Get Ahead reader Manju wants to lose 12-17 kilos in the next two months. However, she has gained most of her weight of 87 kgs during pregnancy. Keeping this in mind, fitness instructor Brinda Sapat has charted out a reasonable fitness goal and regime for her.
Age: 28 years
Weight: 87 kg
Occupation: Student, mother
Working hours: Flexible, depend upon classes and meetings.
Case specifics: I am a regular reader of your articles on weight loss. I have tried to incorporate some of your valuable suggestions in my daily routine and have started aerobics after reading your articles. I have a weakness for sweets, and much of my weight was gained during my pregnancy. My daughter will be a year old soon, but I have yet to lose a single kilo. I have more fat around my belly and thighs. I stopped breastfeeding when my daughter turned four months and started aerobics in September this year, but there is no improvement. What should I do?
Daily routine: I wake up between 7.30 and 8 am and do some household work. My daughter keeps me busy, so I usually manage to have breakfast at around 10 am, and that comprises two wholegrain bread slices with cheese, cucumber, tomato or green leafy salad (depending on the vegetables available), or honey and brown cheese with one cup of low fat milk, or cornflakes with low fat milk (on weekends, I eat two potato/cabbage/paneer stuffed parathas for breakfast.)
I leave for the university at around 11.30 am. I have a cup of tea/coffee with my lunch comprising four wholegrain bread slices with some cheese spread and veggies around 1.30 pm. Around 3.30 pm, I have a fruit or pack (125 gm) of low fat fruit yogurt. Sometimes, I have a cup of tea when I get home at 6 pm. Dinner, between 7.30 and 8.30 pm, consists of 3-4 chappatis or rice, dal and curry (one helping each) and salad. I sleep between 10.30 and 11.00 pm.
I go for aerobics two to three times a week, from 4:15-17:30 pm. At these classes, once a week, I indulge in 45 minutes of aerobics, followed by 30 minutes of weight training. I also cycle 2-3 kilometres everyday.
My fitness goal: To get into the 70-75 kg weight range within the next two months.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl! It's been a year since your delivery and you should indeed be working to get back in shape. Sometimes, however, weight gain is stubborn and takes a good amount of work to go. As regards your fitness goal, I wouldn't recommend trying to lose 12- 17 kilos in two months. That would be unhealthy. Instead, it would be safe to lose 6-7 kilos, i.e. three kilos a month. So, aim for a 12-kg loss in four months. For you to be able to do this, I am going to make some changes in your meal pattern and exercise routine.
* Please consult with your doctor before beginning the diet and exercise program.
You need to cut down on the cheese and bread intake, and add more vegetables and protein. As you haven't mentioned any non-vegetarian items in your profile, I am working out a vegetarian diet plan for you.
Eat breakfast BEFORE doing household chores. You need to fuel your body in order for it to perform.
Note: Alternate between these two combinations. NO parathas!
Carbohydrates should form about 25 per cent of your dinner. The main bulk should come from protein, vitamins and minerals.
Eat dinner three hours prior to bedtime.
It would be best to alternate between these two combinations.
The sweet tooth
Sugar is only calories and, therefore, of no good use to the body. Instead, get your share by consuming natural sugars through fruits. However, if you do crave dessert, take just one small helping of it (equivalent to two bites) and eat it very slowly. You want to relish the taste without worrying about calories. Try to stick with low calories desserts and fruit-based ones. Allow yourself to indulge as rarely as possible.
It is great that you have started aerobics and cycling. Don't be worried about not experiencing any weight loss just yet. It takes approximately two months to start seeing any changes.Your aerobics schedule seems good, but make sure you attend three days a week and not just two days. The weight training combination once a week is very good. Stick to it.
Cycle the other three days of the week for 30 minutes at a medium-to-difficult pace. Gradually, increase this to 45 minutes.
Mommy's weight loss bonus
Your baby will soon start crawling and walking, if she hasn't already. That, in itself, will keep you moving around all day and your weight will drop faster. Also, remember to give your body adequate rest at nights.
Would you like Brinda to review your profile? Post your details.
Make sure to include the following information:
My fitness goal:
-- Brinda is the head of the Group Exercise Department at Gold's Gym, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai. Certified with Training Zone & Progressive Fitness (USA), she has been a fitness instructor for the last nine and a half years.
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