When you go through pregnancy you of course go through a period of being rather larger than you might like. This is as a result of course of carrying around a whole extra person inside your stomach. It comes with the territory and to a large degree it’s expected and acceptable. However after birth many people who are hoping to return to their original slim size might be disappointed to step on the scales several days after the birth and to find that your weight is still a way off from being ‘back to normal’.
The good news though is that this remaining weight is very likely just a matter of water retention. In other words your body is holding excess water and that’s all that’s adding the weight. Look at your ankles and your hands – if they look ‘swollen’ then there’s a good chance that this is the case. Of course it’s a lot easier to shift water than it is to shift fat and there are some simple tips to help you do this a lot more quickly and that can have you back to your usual weight within a few weeks.
Drink lots of water: It sounds counter-intuitive, but actually the best way to lose water weight is to drink more and you should be aiming for around 10-12 glasses a day. Replace your other sugary drinks with water and add some flavour with some lemon or seltzer if you find it bland. This works not only because it cuts calories through preventing you from drinking lots of sugar, but also because it will encourage you to urinate regularly and ‘flush’ your system in order to get the water out of you.
Breastfeed: This is something you need to do for your baby’s well being, but it will also help you to lose fat and water as your body will draw on these stores for the milk.
Use diuretics: There’s no need to add laxatives to your diet, but it doesn’t hurt to consume some foods that encourage you to go to the toilet. Mints are effective in this capacity, as is tea and coffee and fibrous foods such as fruits and grains.
Reduce salt: Sodium encourages water retention so you should limit it in your diet. Try to consume no more than 1,500 mg of salt daily.
Exercise: You might feel a little tender to exercise at first, but as soon as you feel able you should begin to exercise regularly. This has many positive benefits for you, among which are the facts that it can help you to lose more water through sweat and through maintaining your body temperature. This is also a great way to lose fat too so it’s one of the best ways to lose weight in general. If you want to lose even more water weight while you exercise then wear a sauna suit. These are hot plastic or foil suits that encourage sweating and this way help you to lose a lot of fluids more quickly.
Visit a sauna: For a very quick way to lose water weight, try visiting a sauna or steam room. These are designed to make you sweat and you’d be surprised at how much weight you can lose rapidly. Try standing on a set of scales before you go in and again after you come out.
If you have a shower curtain or an enclosed it’s possible to create something akin to a steam room yourself by running boiling water and sealing yourself in with steam while being careful not to let the hot water burn you or your feet.
Check your medication: If you are taking any medication or supplementation then it is worth researching online whether they encourage water retention. Many supplements do – such as creatine for athletes – as a side-effect and if this is the case you might want to look into switching to an alternative medication.
Reduce carbs: Reducing carbs will prevent fat storage, but it will also prevent water storage and every pound of cabs will result in the addition of 3-5 pounds of water to your body weight. Don’t completely eliminate carbohydrates as the energy is necessary to recover from what you’ve just been through; instead just limit them as much as possible.