It took Reese Witherspoon eight weeks; Uma Thurman did it in six weeks; and Heidi Klum hit the Victoria’s Secret runway only five weeks after delivering her fourth child. So, losing weight after a pregnancy isn’t so tough, right?
Well, maybe ... if you have several trainers, a personal chef and unlimited resources. For most of you, it may be a tad more challenging. And it’s reasonable to take up to a year.
It is important, however, to lose the weight within 12 months after delivery. If you don’t, you can develop what’s called a cardiometabolic profile (elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, lower good HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides). That increases your risk for prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and memory problems.
The best way to avoid getting stuck with postpartum weight gain: Avoid putting on excess weight during your pregnancy. But no matter how much you gain, here’s a great meal plan to help you lose the weight and feel more energetic.
♦ Start your day with a post-pregnancy smoothie containing fruit, grains and seeds; it delivers omega-3, calcium, magnesium, protein and fiber — and tastes great.
♦ Eat every four hours. Snack on apples, yogurt popsicles, whole-grain cereal, walnuts and almonds.
♦ Reduce your dinner portions. Serve your meal on a salad, not a dinner, plate. And dish up 1⁄3 protein, 1⁄3 100 percent whole grain and 1⁄3 veggie/fruit.
For more helpful suggestions (and a great smoothie recipe) go to www.doctoroz.com and search for “lose the baby weight.”
❖ ❖ ❖
We’ve quoted Ben Franklin before, but his words are still as true as ever: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s free, preventive medicine coverage as an adjunct to your smart lifestyle choices of no Food Felons (they’re trans and saturated fats, added sugar and syrups, and any grain that isn’t 100 percent whole), no tobacco and no smoking anything, walking at least 30 extra minutes daily (heading for 10,000 steps a day) and de-stressing with mindful meditation — can head off or reverse a lot of health problems. For example, if guys with elevated LDL cholesterol (but no symptoms) are identified and put on a lipid-lowering med, that could prevent 25 percent of non-fatal heart attacks; and if everyone 50 or older had regular colon cancer screenings, more than 60 percent of deaths from that cancer could be avoided.
That’s why it’s good for your health that the ACA provides screening and counseling for abdominal aortic aneurysm, alcohol misuse, breast cancer, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, colorectal cancer, depression, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and tobacco use, as well as sexually transmitted infections. And it pays for vaccination against hepatitis A and B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus (HPV), flu, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), meningitis, pneumonia, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (TDP) and chickenpox. (In Canada, the Task Force on Preventive Care recommends their government-provided preventive services.) So, ask your doc about taking advantage of the ACA’s preventive-health services: You’ll enjoy better health and a younger RealAge.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.