Losing baby weight might not be easy, but it’s entirely possible with a healthy combination of diet and exercise under the supervision of your doctor. Although exercise can help you get back your strength and burn fat after having your baby, your fitness regimen is only as good as your diet.
A healthy balance of the right nutrients in your daily meals can turn your post-baby body into a fat-burning machine to help increase the efficiency of your workouts. The following diet plan can be a helpful guide to losing your baby weight, in conjunction with a fitness plan and getting your body back to where you want it to be.
Get the Okay from Your Doctor
First and foremost, you should clear any diet you’re considering with your doctor before starting it. Whether your breastfeeding can play a role in how many calories you should consume every day, but it’s not the only factor to determine a proper diet plan. Your doctor will also take your pregnancy and labor into consideration, as well as your current weight, BMI, and any health concerns you might have.
Especially if you’re breastfeeding your baby, you’ll want to be mindful of what you start and stop eating on a diet plan. You’ll need to consume more calories than if you weren’t breastfeeding, and you should be aware of the critical nutrients you need to pass to your baby. Your doctor can help you figure it out.
Any new mom who’s been given the okay to start dieting from her doctor should do so slowly. Most experts recommend waiting until at least your 6-week postpartum checkup even to consider losing weight since it typically takes at least that long for your body to start healing. During that time, you’ll need extra calories and nutrients to help your body complete the healing process as quickly as possible.
Once you start dieting, remember that it isn’t a race. You should focus on losing only a pound or two, at the most, every week for a healthy weight loss. Depriving yourself of calories will just leave you feeling tired and irritable, so it’s important to stick to the minimum number of calories your doctor tells you to have to lose weight at a healthy rate.
Boost Up the Nutrition Factor
Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite foods, which is a sure-fire way not to keep the weight off, you should learn to add more nutrition to your meals. When you create a balanced meal with healthy portions of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, and vegetables, you can still eat what you love, in moderation, while giving your body more of what it needs to help you build muscle and burn fat.
Strive to add plenty of fresh vegetables to every meal. For breakfast, add green peppers and onions to your one-egg omelet. For lunch, grab a cup of fresh broccoli to have with your tuna wrap. For dinner, you can cook up a stir-fry using whole-wheat pasta and your favorite stir-fry veggies.
The key is to provide balance to each meal. If you can’t go without some steak for a week, that’s okay. Just make it a small portion of steak and add plenty of fibrous vegetables to your meal. And, don’t forget that healthy fats are imperative to a balanced diet, too. Some avocado, olive oil, or pistachios can all give you healthy fat, which helps your body absorb all the nutrients you’re taking in.
Cut Out Unnecessary Calories
One of the best ways to lose weight is to cut calories. Unfortunately, most people see this as something that deprives them of eating the foods they love or feeling as full as they usually do. But, if you look closely at your usual daily menu, you’ll probably find several ways that you can cut out a few calories throughout the day, which can add up to a couple of hundred calories by the day’s end.
For example, if you drink soda, juice, or iced tea, it’s possible that you consume an extra 100 calories or more with each drink. Just three of those drinks per day equals 300+ calories. Instead, opt for flavored water so that you can still get some different flavors without all the additional calories.
You can also cut several calories by cutting back on sauces and condiments you use daily. Mayonnaise is one of the biggest calorie culprits, with just one tablespoon adding about 50 calories to your meal. Try to use a vinaigrette on your sandwich instead of mayo, or swap it for yellow mustard, which has significantly fewer calories. Do you like a salad for lunch? Pack a small container of dressing and dip your salad into it, rather than cover your salad with it. You’ll likely be surprised by how much less you use.
Be Wise About Your Eating Habits
Paying attention to what you eat isn’t the only important factor of a healthy diet; it’s also crucial to pay attention to how you eat!
There’s a reason most experts say to eat more meals every day, but make them smaller. Eating small meals more frequently through the day can help your body work more efficiently, keeping your blood sugar levels more stable to curb hunger cravings. And, the more you practice controlling your portions, the less likely you’ll be to overeat because you’ll have trained your brain to think about your meals differently.
Eating more slowly can have a similar effect on your body, giving your brain time to adjust to the eating process. When you eat, your brain must signal to hormones that the nutrients you’re eating need to get into the body and that you’re getting full. The faster you eat, the more difficult it is for your brain to relay these messages, which can cause you to overeat and pack on the pounds more quickly.
You should also consider having a glass of water with your meals and sipping frequently. When you drink water with your meals, you can feel full faster and consume fewer calories.
Don’t Forget to Exercise
Dieting alone usually isn’t enough to help you keep the weight off. When you combine your healthy diet with an effective fitness routine, you can lose weight faster and keep it off longer. Plus, your exercise routine can make you healthier overall!
Even if you’re not up to completing intense workouts yet – which may take months after you have your baby – you should make sure you stay active in some way. Walk around the neighborhood with your baby or hop on the treadmill for a light run. Or, do some simple floor exercises for your legs and arms. You can even hold your baby for additional weight!
Conclusion: Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back with a Healthy Diet
The right post-baby diet for you will depend on your weight loss goals and your doctor’s opinion about what’s healthiest for you. Once you’re ready to start, there are plenty of ways to diet without depriving yourself. By tweaking the way that you prepare your meals and your daily eating habits, you can boost your nutrient intake and cut calories without a lot of work. Combined with a winning fitness routine, your healthy diet plan can help you shed the baby weight at a healthy pace.