Below are answers to questions received from various pregnant ladies in our “Ask the Fitness Expert” series:
1. Pre pregnancy, I was 69kg, I gained an extra 20kg in pregnancy. My baby is 3 months now and I have dropped 15kg out of the excess, so now I weigh 74kg. It seems I’m no longer shedding the extra fat no matter how hard I try. What do you advise I do as I would love to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight?
Answer: I am asked this question quite often, there are two major reasons why people stop losing weight; One is because you have not increased your exercise intensity or you keep doing the same thing as always, so your body isn’t responding the way it should. Two is if you’re exercising; please watch your diet also. You can lose that weight; you just need to work out more.
2. My tummy used to be relatively flat until I became a mother. I have tried getting rid of the fat but there is this flab below my belly button, what can I do to get rid of it?
Answer: Belly fat is one of the most difficult parts of the body to lose weight from. You can do a 30mins aerobic exercise for a minimum of thrice weekly and watch what you’re eating especially the time you eat.
3. I want to get back to my pre-pregnancy size, I was a UK size 10 before the babies, now I am a size 14. I eat light and drink a lot of water too, what do you think can help?
Answer: It’s good you’re eating light, just ensure you’re eating three square meals. Also you need to start exercising for weight loss and not just for fitness; many don’t know there is even a difference. So engage yourself in an aerobic programme doing 30 minutes for at least three days a week.
4. Hi, I am breastfeeding presently, my baby is barely 4 months and I have started on some exercises too. But I still have excess weight of about 10kg, I want to start on a no-carb diet, what do you think?
Answer: No, please do not start a no-carb diet, some moms have found that very low carb diets decrease milk supply. There is a sudden decrease in calories, when new moms go on a diet, especially if your body is accustomed to a certain level of calories, an abrupt drop due to dieting (or illness) may reduce your milk supply.
5. My baby is 6 weeks today, when is the earliest time to get back to the gym? I miss my training time at the gym.
Answer: That’s about the recommended time for resuming your exercise programme after putting to bed. Please ensure you consult your doctor before you begin any physical activity and make your class progressive. Start from very low intensity exercises then gradually build up.
6. I started on sit-ups two weeks ago. I can’t say that I have some extra fat left by the pregnancy but my tummy is obviously not yet back in shape. A friend says sit-ups won’t make my tummy flat. How true is that?
Answer: Your friend is correct, because to lose proper weight from any part of your body, like your belly, you need cardiovascular or aerobic exercises that help burn or remove the fat. So start an aerobics class today and then tone your belly muscles with the sit-ups.
7. Can I still do some light weight lifting in pregnancy? I have noticed that my arms are growing really big now that I am pregnant, I have some dumb bells at home, can I work with them?
Answer: Yes you can, actually it’s important to exercise during pregnancy, it prepares you for delivery and helps your body recover fast after. Ensure you consult your doctor before you start, also endeavour to get a qualified antenatal trainer.