10 post-pregnancy diet tips to help you get back in shape

Posted on February 16th, 2017

Nutritionist Hannah Kaye gives tips and advice on healthy eating and weight loss post-pregnancy.

Post-pregnancy weight loss

WonderFit jeansMany factors affect your return to your normal weight. This includes whether you’re breast- or formula-feeding your newborn. Also, if you were overweight before pregnancy, reaching a more desirable post-pregnancy weight may take extra effort.

Keep these tips in mind

1. Forget the fads

There’s no easy miracle diet to help you shed your extra baby weight. Commit to following a nutrient-dense diet that will help you lose weight safely and keep it off.

2. Pack in protein

Instead of reaching for a slice of bread or rusk when you’re hungry, opt for a boiled egg or some chicken strips. Protein helps regulate blood sugar levels and will keep you fuller for longer.

3. Snack regularly

You probably won’t have time to prepare lavish meals for yourself, so snack every few hours. This will stop you from bingeing on calorie-packed, high-sugar foods. Keep healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, vegetable sticks and hummus within reach.

4. Say yes to help

If anyone volunteers to prepare meals or buy groceries, accept graciously. A fridge filled with fruit, wholegrains, veggies and protein will keep your energy up and the weight off.

5. Freeze

If you’re making a healthy meal, triple the recipe and freeze a few portions. That way you’ll have something healthy to eat – even if you haven’t been shopping for a few days.

6. Embrace the internet

Most grocery stores have an online shopping and delivery option. Stock up with essentials once a week.

7. Plan ahead

Why boil one egg? Rather boil four, so there’s enough for tomorrow. Salad for one? Salad for six will last for a few days in an airtight container.

8. Hydrate

Don’t confuse being thirsty with being hungry. Keep yourself hydrated – this will help combat fatigue and those unhealthy carb cravings.

9. Get physical

Exercise will help you burn extra calories, while the endorphins that are released will boost your mood. A brisk 15-minute walk is a good start.

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10. Be patient

It took you nine months to gain your baby weight, so be kind to yourself. If you lose weight gradually, it’s more likely to stay off.

5 Superfoods for moms

Salmon
Salmon is loaded with a type of fat called DHA, which is crucial to developing your baby’s nervous system. All breast milk contains DHA, but levels will be higher if you include more DHA in your diet. The DHA is salmon may also help your mood and play a role in preventing postpartum depression.

Lean beef
It’s important to boost your energy by eating iron-rich foods. Iron deficiency can drain your energy levels and will lead to chocolate cravings.

Berries
Sweet, tasty berries are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to give you a healthy boost. They also give you a dose of healthy carbs to keep your energy levels up.

Eggs
Eggs are an easy way to meet your daily protein needs and they don’t require a lot of effort to make. They’re also rich in breastfeeding nutrients.

Leafy greens
Green leafy veggies like spinach, kale and broccoli are a good non-dairy source of calcium and are packed with nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C is especially important if you’ve had a C-section.
Green veggies are low in calories, but packed with fibre so they’ll keep you fuller for longer.

Your calorie intake

  • If formula feeding, your nutrient and calorie needs are the same as before you were pregnant. Don’t cut calories drastically. You still need to build up your strength and nutrients, so eat sensibly. Avoid sugar, high-fat foods and alcohol.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, you need to take in about 500 calories more per day than before you were pregnant. It’s more important to get in enough nutrients than to skimp to lose weight faster. If your restrict calories, your milk supply will decrease. You’ll lose weight from breastfeeding and exercise – rather than dieting. Your body needs plenty of healthy calories for recovery and energy.