After nine months of pregnancy you are left with excess weight that refuses to go down. So how can get your pre-pregnancy body back? Here are some 5 simple guidelines that will help you get rid of some extra pounds.
First and foremost – set reasonable goals you will be able to follow
The process of returning to pre-pregnancy weight may take some time. Most important, it has to be healthy and balanced. Extreme diets are doomed to fail and will cause you damage especially if you breastfeed. So the first tip is to be patient. It will happen. You just need to take it slow. A healthy postpartum diet will make you lose 1.1 – 2.2 pounds a week.
Dietitians recommend postponing dieting to 6 weeks after pregnancy to let your body recover and lose weight naturally before you forced anything on it.
A fixed eating routine
Planning your meals in advance is critical to a successful diet. We strongly recommend eating 5 to 6 small meals a day instead of 2 or 3 larger ones. As much as it may sound hard while treating a baby, it is strongly advisable to eat at regular times.
Practically speaking, your daily eating routine should consist of breakfast, lunch and supper with two smaller meals (vegetables or fruit) in between.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially after birth. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast manage to maintain normal weight for an extended period of time. They are also less tired and more energetic during the day.
Most importantly, you mustn’t skip meals. Avoiding meals will not help you lose weight. On the contrary, it will lead to energy shortage, hunger attacks and eventually to consuming large amounts of unhealthy and fattening food.
Eating the right food
Eat healthy and easy to make meals that include nutritious and unprocessed food. A balanced meal should consist of complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and complete protein. Balanced meals will help your body maintain high energy level you will need to recover after birth. They will also preserve your milk supply if you breastfeed. And most of all, you will feel satiated – which is essential to losing weight.
Examples of healthy and nutritious meals
Breakfast – One of the following options:
- Yogurt with fruit and low fat granola.
- Whole grains without sugar
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread with low fat cheese or avocado.
- A small – medium bowl of oatmeal with little milk and fruit
- Salad, an omelette/boiled egg and a small slice of whole wheat bread.
Lunch – One of the following options:
- Salad with avocado, tuna/boiled egg and chicken/tofu.
- Chicken breast/fish with a medium size glass full of lentils/green beans/rice and salad.
- Lean beef/chicken breast, vegetable stew and a medium size glass full of chickpeas/corn.
Supper – One of the following options:
- Vegetable/ tomato soup with a small glass full of whole wheat noodles.
- Large bowl of salad with tuna/boiled egg and 1-2 slices of bread.
2 in between meals – One of the following options (per meal):
- 1 Energy bar of up to 100 calories
- 1 fruit with low-fat yogurt
- 1 to 2 cups of homemade popcorn with a little oil
Snack meals – Sliced vegetables as much as you want without any limitation
Don’t forget to drink water
Drinking plenty of water will prevent dehydration, will make you feel less hungry and will improve your metabolism. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and if you breastfeed, no less than 10.
Avoid drinking fruit juice or carbonated beverages which are rich in sugar and empty calories.
A Little exercise will do you wonders
Eating properly is critical to losing weight after pregnancy, but exercising is just as important. Physical activity makes the body burn fat reserves while maintaining negative caloric balance. Postpartum exercising can also relieve stress and depression and even help you sleep better.
You do not have to train for the Olympics to lose weight. Moderate activity is more than enough. An aerobic activity of 150 minutes a week divided into short periods of time that will fit into daily routine is ideal.
You can start with short trips with your baby every day on condition that the weather allows it. Gradually you can increase the time you dedicate to sports.
You must not push your body beyond its limits. It is recommended that you postpone exercising to 6 weeks after delivery. But if you feel well and if your doctor approves it, you can start with moderate activity earlier.