21 Jan How to get rid of post-pregnancy weight!
During pregnancy, a certain level of weight-gain is completely natural and expected. What comes after is a little more complicated. For many new mothers, the weight they put on during pregnancy just doesn’t seem to go away, or worse, it keeps increasing.
There are multiple reasons for this, which we’ll discuss another time. For now, let’s dive straight into the subject that probably interests you the most – how to lose the extra pregnancy weight.
1) A strict, weight-loss diet is not usually encouraged. You need a lot of nutrients and restricting what you eat won’t help you with that. Try following a balanced diet, containing fruits and vegetables (daily), white meat and fish 2-3 times a week, red meat 1-2 times a week (mainly beef, since lamb has a lot of fat. You can try pork too if you eat it. With all red meats make sure to cut off the visible fat), pulses 3-4 times a week.
2) Following that advice above, try to go back to the volume of food you used to it before pregnancy. During pregnancy, you needed approximately an extra 300 calories, so you might have increased the amount you eat. Now, you don’t need these calories anymore, that’s why you should go back to your old consumption.
3) Breastfeeding is your friend. Not only does it make your baby healthier, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest that breastfeeding can help you lose weight, due to increased energy requirements.
4) Whenever you feel hungry during the day, you can have a low-calorie snack.
For those that like savoury snacks: 8-10 dried nuts, 1 slice of bread with turkey/ham, 2-3 crackers, 2-3 breadsticks, a carrot or ½ cucumber cut in sticks with hummus.
For those that like sweet snacks: 2% yoghurt with a teaspoon of honey/jam, 1 slice of bread with honey/jam, a bar of cereal, cereal with skimmed milk and honey, a small pot of jelly, 3 small pieces of chocolate, 2 chocolate digestive biscuits, 4 rich-tea biscuits.
All of the above range between 100 – 200 calories. Eating one of these when you start to feel hungry can really help you avoid binge-eating.
5) Hydration is really important after a pregnancy, so make sure you drink at least 6-8 glass of fluids per day. Always prefer water, since it’s both healthier and has no calories. To help you further reduce your calorie intake, try drinking water before and during a meal to better control your appetite.
6) The first months of pregnancy can be really tiring. Fatigue and stress can increase your susceptibility to binge-eating. So, whenever you can ask someone for a bit of help, try to take a break to rest or sleep a bit. Getting enough rest and time for yourself can really help you maintain a healthy dietary schedule, on top of making you feel better.
7) Physical exercise. If you want to hit the gym or get some instruments at home, that’s great. But, if you’re not into that, there are other ways to exercise. Try taking your baby out for a walk in its stroller, for example. The calories you’ll burn will help you achieve weight-loss. In general, anything that gets you moving can help you with that.
If you see that you’re not losing weight as efficiently as you’d like, you can try a stricter diet, provided 6 months have passed from your child’s birth.
In the next few weeks, we’ll talk a little bit more about the physical and psychological changes that occur after pregnancy, and how they can affect your eating habits.
See you next time,