When most women get off birth control, they expect to lose weight. But that is not always the case. Gaining weight after quitting birth control can be very frustrating if you do not know what to do to counter it.
The post-birth control weight gain can be attributed to the composition of the birth control pills or injections. They contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which might send your bodily functions askew.
Secondly, some birth control pills contain diuretics that prevent water retention. Thus, once you get off them, your body retains more water. In fact, it has been shown that the weight gain really is just retained water.
The other reason is some birth control pills suppress appetite. Your appetite might spike once you stop using them, causing you to eat more and subsequently gain weight.
While the weight gain is supposed to go away on its own after some time, there are so many things you can do to hasten the process and get your body back.
How to Stop Gaining Weight After Stopping Birth Control
1. Take Exercise More Seriously
Strive to be more active than you were when you were on the birth control. If you did not exercise before, start now and aim to exercise at least 30 minutes every day.
You do not have to wait till you get home to start being active. Stand and walk around the office if you feel you have been sitting for too long. Take the stairs instead of the lift.
The aim is to make sure your body burns more calories to counter the weight gain. These stunningly simple home workouts have been proven to enhance weight loss.
2. Drink More Water to Prevent Water Retention
Water retention has been linked to post-birth control weight gain. Drinking more water will not cause your body to retain more water. Instead, it will help remove the excess water and prevent further retention of water.
The body responds to dehydration by holding on to the water that it has. Women should take at least 2.7 liters of water. Replace flavored and sugary drinks with plain, pure water.
3. Avoid Alcohol
The alcohol has to go in this period, at least until things stabilize. Alcohol dehydrates the body and beats the purpose of taking more water to counter water weight gain.
Alcohol is also laden with calories which when converted into fat, will make you gain more weight. Take natural juices and virgin cocktails instead.
4. Monitor Your Calorie Intake
Are you finding it difficult to keep track of your calorie intake? You might just have to keep a food journal and write down the foods you eat in order to better monitor your calorie intake.
If you’re looking to lose weight, maintain a calorie deficit of 500 to 800 calories. This doesn’t mean you have to obsess over every calorie you consume. You can easily maintain a calorie deficit by increasing your intake of low-calorie foods.
Take foods that are low in calories yet are filling, such as fruits, whole grain, low-fat yogurt, legumes, and cereals.
5. Eat High-Fiber Foods
High-fiber foods keep cholesterol and glucose under control. Oats, beans, avocado, and lentils are some of the foods you should now consider adding to your diet.
Besides aiding fat loss, they are good for digestion and overall gut health. Here are the best high-fiber foods.
6. Consume Healthy Snacks to Curb Appetite
You might feel hungrier than usual at this time and be tempted to eat more. Instead of taking whole meals every time you feel hungry, snack on healthy foods instead.
An orange, a cup of blueberries, half an avocado, a bunch of grapes, two boiled eggs and air-popped popcorn are some of the snacks that are below 100 calories that you can take.
7. Watch Your Portions
Don’t start ignoring portion sizes because you’re eating healthy foods. Beware overeating healthy foods can lead to weight gain
Therefore, serve small portions. However, feel free to consume as many vegetables as possible.
8. Avoid High-Sodium Foods
Foods high in salt promote water retention, which is the last thing you want. Pick unsalted butter over salted butter. Air pop your popcorns at home instead of buying ready-made, salted ones.
Avoid processed foods because they are notoriously high in sodium. Did you know the bulk of our daily sodium intake comes from processed foods? Foods like bananas and avocados, on the other hand, can reduce sodium.
9. Cook Your Own Meals
This will take more time and effort, without a doubt, but the results will be extremely rewarding.
Cooking meals at home puts you in control of the kind of seasoning, spices, amount and type of oil and ingredients you use.
If you need to align your meals to fall within the calorie bracket you want to stay within then it is better to cook yourself.
10. Cook with Natural Diuretics
While diuretics should not be used expressly to lose weight, you can incorporate natural diuretics in your cooking to help you get rid of excess water.
Parsley, ginger, and dandelion are some of the natural diuretics you can spice your food with.
You might want to consult your doctor first before adversely using natural diuretics. Steer clear of the diuretic supplements that have not been prescribed by a physician.
11. Cardio Workouts May Help
Cardio workouts offer extraordinary results, especially when combined with strength training. However, make sure you don’t overdo it because it can lead to fatigue and intense cravings.
Do not look too far away for cardio workouts. This stair climbing workout will give you a good cardio workout. Walking briskly for thirty minutes can be rewarding as well.
12. Eat Foods High in Protein
Proteins will help you curb the hunger birth control withdrawal might induce. They also boost metabolism.
Just make sure they do not go outside your calorie bracket. This does not mean you should ditch all the carbs because if you do, where will the energy to workout come from?
Just remember that in this period, it is important to eat well-balanced meals while keeping an eye on the portions and exercising consistently.
If you’re too busy to go to the gym or do long workouts, use these intense short workouts to transform your body in as little as 4 weeks.