Lose Weight After Pregnancy Weight Loss

Diet Plus Exercise Advised for Healthy Weight Loss After Pregnancy.

A recent review of several trials indicates that women who want to return to pre-pregnancy weight after giving birth do better with a combination of exercise and dieting than with either alone.

Weight gain is natural and healthy during pregnancy, and many women find that the extra poundage drops off gradually after childbirth. However, a significant number of women retain much of the new weight, a possible contributor to obesity rates in females. Many different programs and regimes are promoted in the media for women anxious to lose weight and regain their pre-pregnancy figures.

The Cochrane Systematic Review considered results from weight loss six trials, in which a total of 245 women took part. The participants in exercise-only trials did not have better weight loss results than women who had standard post-childbirth care. But weight loss was improved in those women who were in trials that combined exercise and diet control.

A gradual return to pre-pregnancy body weight is important to overall health. Women who have gone back to their pre-pregnant weight within six months after childbirth are less likely to be overweight ten years later. According to Amanda Amorim, an epidemiologist working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the advantages of a diet-plus-exercise program are multiple. “As well as helping weight loss, exercise has the added advantage of improving the women’s cardiovascular fitness and preserves fat-free mass … [whereas] dieting alone reduces fat-free mass.”

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