Mumbai: In Bollywood, looking fit doesn’t come as an option to most — it is something that is expected out of the stars. Think of a few A-list names, and you’d realise that each of them place an emphasis on fitness. However, some actresses refuse to succumb to this kind of pressure from the society. And Aishwarya Rai Bachchan belongs to this category.
Abhishek Bachchan recently revealed that the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil actress hasn’t been to the gym a day after giving birth to Aaradhya in 2011. He went on to add that once she started receiving flak for all the post-pregnancy weight, she even decided to ignore the comments. And Aishwarya is probably one of the very few actresses who took her time to get rid of all that post-baby fat.
This seems to be a pertinent issue, as post-pregnancy weight raises quite a concern among young mothers today. The dilemma doesn’t seem to go away — succumbing to the pressure of losing weight or ignoring the comments.
Some prefer the former option. For instance, after delivering a baby in December last year, Kareena Kapoor Khan didn’t waste any time pondering over the question. The fitness freak that she’s always been, she got to the gym and put in hours on the treadmill. Another example would be international star Mila Kunis, who lost a lot of weight quite quickly after delivering her second baby, this year.
However, this nowhere goes to say that if one is to spend hours in the gym, they will be losing weight quicker. Sucheta Pal, Zumba expert, advises against this. “An excess of anything isn’t good for the human body. And excessively working out immediately after a delivery is a big no!” she says.
Post-pregnancy weight loss is really differential, and so it is difficult to tell which is the ideal method of losing weight, points out fitness instructor, Prameet Kotak. “Consider Malaika Arora’s body type. She is naturally lean and muscular. So, for someone like her to lose post-pregnancy weight in no time just happens quickly,” he says, but cautions “But that doesn’t necessarily happen with all women.”
Wellness expert and nutrition consultant Tripti Gupta shares the common problems women face when they are pregnant. “They face some swelling in the legs, and also water retention. This restricts their physical capacity, making working out feel like a difficult chore,” she says. Even so, she suggests that it is important to be physically active during the whole pregnancy period. “Because one doesn’t lose all that weight suddenly after delivering a baby,” she explains.
Sucheta agrees with this. “It is important to maintain an exercise routine throughout the pregnancy because otherwise it will become really difficult to get back into shape,” she warns.
And a hot favourite way to remain healthy and in shape during their pregnancies for a lot of star mothers has been yoga. From Lara Dutta Bhupati to Soha Ali Khan, these actresses have preferred to propagate yoga to stay fit, even in the latter halves of their pregnancies.
Sucheta also cautions that exercise routines, post deliveries, are quite different. “If someone has had a natural delivery, they can hit the gym within 10 days, provided they are able to. But if it is a Caesarean section, it could take anywhere between one to three months,” she explains, adding that the area is extremely sensitive in the latter case.
Even so, Tripti suggests one take complete advantage of the fact that the post-pregnancy time is the best time to shed some kilos. “After pregnancy, female hormones go in an overdrive, quite similar to that of a 16-year-old girl. And this is the best time to lose weight. In fact, one can even go a few sizes smaller than the pre-pregnancy body!” she says.
But even so, fitness experts say it is best to decide as per one’s body. One common practice is to workout at home because there is no time to go out amidst taking care of a baby. But, Prameet strongly suggests against this. “Do not attempt any exercise routine by relying on an app,” he begins, adding that expert supervision is important. “I would suggest that one workout under expert supervision for a couple of months and then go without it.”