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5 Ways To Get Your Body Back In Shape After Pregnancy

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5 Ways To Get Your Body Back In Shape After Pregnancy

Pregnancy changes a woman in many ways.  Aside from experiencing the emotional challenges of growing a tiny person in her womb for 9 months, she will undergo physical changes in her body that may last for a while, sometimes forever. And while she sees these as but small sacrifices of motherhood, she will do anything to get her body back in shape.

What can a woman do to lose weight after pregnancy?

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1. Eat Right during Pregnancy

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can pig out for 9 months. Don’t take the phrase ‘eating for two’ way too far. According to experts, pregnant women should gain just about 15 to 35 pounds (or 6 to 15 kilograms) in the course of her pregnancy. She should also avoid too much fatty foods and sweets and get healthy alternatives for her cravings like fruits and vegetables.

Studies have found that mothers who eat too much during pregnancy increase the risk of low IQ, eating disorders and psychosis in children. It’s okay to indulge in your cravings but it’s better to exercise caution and listen to your body and know when it’s too much.

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2. Give Your Body Time to Recuperate

Is it realistic or healthy to slim down right after pregnancy? The answer a big NO.  Experts are strictly against diet programs or heavy exercise during post-pregnancy.  Remember that your body is still in healing stage and you don’t want to rush things. You should give your body enough time to recuperate and restore normal processes. The healing stage can take up to 12 weeks or more, during this stage it’s important to avoid cutting calories and going into heavy exercises to lose weight.

3. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding helps you shed some extra pounds that you may have gained during pregnancy. Babies who have been breastfed also tend to be healthier than those who haven’t. Since breastfeeding can make you lose about 300-500 calories a day, it’s quite important to eat extra calories during your breastfeeding period to maintain an appropriate and healthy diet.

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However, just because you are breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. The best way to keep your weight in control is to have proper diet every day.

4. Get Plenty of Sleep

Babies have strange sleep cycles which make them oblivious to differences between day and night. They will doze off at odd times and become fully awake at the wee hours of the night. Sometimes they will sleep in short intervals ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Because of this, a new mom may find it hard to rest. Not having proper sleep can upset your metabolism, making it twice harder to lose weight.

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If you don’t have someone to take turns with you caring for the baby while you sleep, you can sleep at the same time your baby is sleeping. Even if your baby wakes up for short intervals, idle resting is a good way to keep your energy high throughout the day.

5. Do Post-Natal Exercise

Want to get back your toned abs and perfect waist? A good post-natal exercise can help you return to your pre-pregnancy body weight faster. Post-natal exercises are usually simple exercises such as walking, water aerobics (after your bleeding has stopped) and light weight programs. It will also reduce back pain, leg cramps, constipation and improve your sleep. Exercise is also a good activity to improve your mood and cope with the various challenges of motherhood.  While mommy makeovers or post-pregnancy surgeries can promise a much faster shaping of your body, a good post-natal exercise can reward you well in the long run.

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Examples of Post-Natal Exercises

  • Pelvic tilts
  • Bridge Exercises
  • Pilates and Yoga
  • Aerobic exercises such as running, biking, swimming

Featured photo credit: Freestock.org via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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