For most new mums, one of the things most of us struggle with is the post baby weight. You are aware that you want to eat healthy, start losing the kilos and you know its important to do it the healthy way.
Especially as a new mum you need a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to heal. What’s more, with a new baby in the house, you’re undoubtedly fatigued, and you need healthful foods to refuel your body. And if you’re breastfeeding, your baby is relying on you for crucial nutrients.
The eating patterns you set in the first six months after having a baby can help you lay a foundation of healthful eating for the rest of your life.
Below are basic top nutrition and weight-loss tips for new moms. Start following them now and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, trimmer you—from your baby’s toddler to teen years … and beyond.
1. Know your nutrient needs
Folate is important for future pregnancies; vitamin D and calcium are vital for bone health; iron will help with anemia; vitamin C is necessary for iron absorption; and protein is crucial for building and repairing your tissues. You need even more of these nutrients during lactation for milk production and because they leave your body with the milk.
2. Stock up on healthy foods
Why? If they’re around, you’ll eat them! When you’re tired, short on time and hungry, it’s tempting to grab a bag of chips and a soda—if they’re handy. “But you want to be able to open the refrigerator door and grab something healthful that’s ready to go.
Some suggestions: low-fat and fat-free yogurt; low-fat deli meats; low-fat or fat-free pudding made with milk or containing 30 percent calcium (especially good for quelling chocolate cravings!); part-skim cheese sticks; prepackaged sliced fruits and vegetables; ready-made salads; cooked whole grains such as brown rice; whole-grain cereals, breads and pastas.
With healthful foods readily accessible, you’ll snack less on chips, candy or white-flour-based, highly processed munchies, such as cookies and cakes. They’re also irresistible, and it’s easy to eat an enormous amount.So do not keep too many of these foods in your cupboards.
3. Ask for Help with Grocery shopping
Ask friends, neighbors and relatives to take turns bringing you healthful food from your list every few days. This way, you’ll take care of your nutritional needs and get a dose of companionship—a godsend in those first few weeks.
4. Eat often, eat enough
It is recommended that you eat three meals, plus two to three snacks per day. Between meals, “graze on fruits and vegetables and lean protein sources,”
Here’s why eating frequently is important: If you’re breastfeeding, you need enough calories to fuel milk production. It’s very important for breastfeeding moms to get enough calories [to make] breast milk, the baby’s sole source of nutrition. Drink lots of water, too.
You need energy. Eating often will help keep your energy up at a time when it’s probably pretty low. It will help you lose weight. You have to eat well—and often—if you want to lose weight, or you’ll be hungry all the time,” “And there’s a limit to how long you can go hungry.” If you’re overly hungry, you’re likely to binge on sugary foods for energy.
4. Pay attention to what your body says
Ask yourself the following questions when you feel the urge to munch: Am I really hungry? If so, give yourself permission to eat. If not, are you just tired or bored? Rest, call a friend, take a walk, pick up a bestseller—just don’t eat because you can’t think of anything else to do. What am I hungry for? Sometimes it’s better to satisfy a craving instead of trying to distract yourself with other foods.
5. Be aware of portion sizes
We are starting to become accustomed to supersized portions of everything from salad to soda. Portion sizes have gotten out of control and people feel cheated if they go out and get a [formerly] normal-size meal. Keep to your normal sized portion.
6. Go easy on yourself
It can take a year or more to lose the pregnancy weight. You need to think of pregnancy as an 18-month experience: nine months of gestation, nine months postpartum. This is a time when there’s a lot happening—you’re adjusting to your new life, your body is trying to replenish itself after pregnancy, you’ve gone through labor and delivery, and you may be breastfeeding. It’s a lot to adjust to, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not bouncing back as quickly as you’d like.” It might take time so hang in there.