One of the most popular questions I receive from my readers relates to the weight gained during a multiple pregnancy. More specifically, they want to know what I (and others) do/did to shed the excess weight and return to pre-birth weight. While it is a matter of genetics and/or metabolism for some, there are some things anyone can do to speed up the process, and put you in a better mood to keep pushing toward weight goals.
Luckily, water retention is a major player in the weight gain during pregnancy; that is the easy part of the battle, as that will stop happening after the births. There is also a condition known as preeclampsia that is associated with multiple births, which leads to sudden weight gain. This condition is also temporary, and in many cases can only be rectified with the birth of the children. If you are interested in reading more about preeclampsia, here is a link to some information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment:
Aside from factors that will disappear after the birth of your multiples, there are several other appetite curbing and weight loss methods that anyone can follow-even though sleep is at an all time low for you!! Here are some easy tips:
#1-Water, Water everywhere!!
Drinking water is the base for any healthy diet, whether someone is looking to lose weight or not. If you are on a diet, any one worth its weight will tell you to drink at least 8 (8oz) glasses every day. I have found that drinking a large glass before meals, or even when I feel hungry makes me eat a lot less when I do get the chance to sit down. It really does fill you up if you give it a 15 minute head start before you eat. Add lemon or lime juice for a little flavor and vitamin c, and making it ice cold helps you feel even more full!
#2-Nurse if you can.
It is estimated that the average breastfeeding mother burns 20 calories for every ounce of milk produced. If you have two hungry babies drinking 8oz of milk at a time, basic math will tell you that you just burned 320 calories while sitting in front of the television! If breastfeeding is a problem, even pumping can produce results. If you aren't able to do either-don't worry; most women reduce their milk production within 6-12 months of giving birth anyway.
#3-Learn to eat from the babies
Follow their lead-babies eat a tiny amount at the beginning, and eat more often. They don't know it, but this is the best way to eat healthy-eat less, and eat more often. The fact is, nothing boosts a metabolism more than cutting portions and eating more often instead. Think of your stomach as a furnace-the less wood it has to burn off, the quicker it will finish the job. One small meal every so often will keep the metabolism going much more efficiently than if someone consumes 2-3 huge meals in one day. It will keep your energy up as well; think about how everyone gets tired after that huge Thanksgiving meal!
#4 Be "three (or four)" with nature
If the weather allows, get yourself and your multiples out for a walk. The combination of walking, fresh air, and sunlight will do wonders for you waistline, mood, and energy level (the house probably smells of Diaper Genie and sour milk anyway). Regular exercise boosts your metabolism, and with your new eating pattern, you'll be back to the old you in no time! Not to mention, real sunlight is a natural mood enhancer. And who couldn't stand to benefit from some fresh air?
#5 Use help
If you have friends or family members around to help, take advantage of their generosity. If they want to watch the babies while you grab a quick nap, visit the gym again (finally), or even have lunch alone with your partner, any of these things will give you some drive and energy to keep the other tips above from falling behind. Feeling good is a mindset; do everything you can to keep yourself happy and motivated, and there is nothing you can't do! There are twin mom forums all over the internet that can keep your spirits up too!