That to lose weight after a pregnancy you need to exercise is no secret. That you need to take proper care of your abdominal skin to help it rebound is also pretty well known, but in general, diets after pregnancy are discouraged. This is because a large percentage of mother’s breast feed for at least a month and postpartum diets can affect the quality of breast milk. However, this advice applies to bad diets, the kind of crash diets that create rapid weight loss and significantly reduced caloric intake. You can diet immediately after having a baby; you just have to eat the right things.
On the upside, a diet that maintains a healthy nutritional and caloric balance to maintain healthy breast milk will also help you lose weight in a healthy way. Those same bad diets that are frowned upon also result in a loss of muscle mass, not just fat. While many women may not be so concerned about losing muscle, they should be, muscle plays a big part in determining metabolism in addition the less you eat the more your metabolism slows in the first place. Meaning while other diets may result in faster weight loss, you will likely gain the weight you lost right back but all in fat.
The trick to postpartum diets is to eat foods that boost your metabolism and to avoid excessive unnecessary fat intake. Couple this with that postpartum exercise routine everyone knows about and you will lose fat, gain muscle, increase your metabolism, and have your pre-baby body back in no time.
First things first what sort of diet is healthy for the baby?
Nursing mother’s need to consume a minimum of 1,800 calories, a day so do not shoot for a caloric intake goal below this. Keep in mind that breast-feeding also burns extra calories. Many mother’s have more energy maintaining close to 2,000-2,700 calories a day. You should not expect or try to lose weight any faster than 1 ½ pounds a week. Faster weight loss than this can release toxins stored in your body fat into your milk supply and make your baby sick.
How should I eat to lose weight after a pregnancy?
Many people assume they should eat less to lose weight and eat more to have healthy breast milk. Both are incorrect and the correct answer is the same for both questions. Eating small but frequent meals will help keep the body constantly metabolizing food and the body constantly in a steady supply of energy to make breast milk.
What kinds of foods should I eat in my postpartum diet?
Your average healthy breast-feeding diet suggests 5-7 ounces of protein. Protein requires more energy to digest which results in a higher metabolic rate. Throwing protein into your snacks can help keep your metabolism revved up. Peanut butter can be a great way to add protein to a healthy snack. Fat is also important to a breast feeding diet in small amounts (which peanut butter has) but be sure to avoid proteins and other foods with trans and saturated fats.
Spices most notably cinnamon and chili powder. Adding just ¼ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to any dish you eat all day will help your body store less fat. Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which increases your metabolic rate temporarily. On a breastfeeding note, spicy foods are thought to add flavor to breast milk giving your baby a special treat of variety in the every day milk.
Dairy is essential to a breast-feeding diet as dairy contains both calcium and vitamin D, which are corner stones of your baby’s nutrition. Yogurt makes an excellent dairy choice because it is low in fact over all and contains probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help aid in digestion, when you digest well the body stores less fat.
Breast feeding a new baby requires an increase in fluid intake (16 cups total a day rather than 8) but this increase in water can also help you lose weight. Water helps keep the kidneys functioning properly which takes stress off your liver. Your liver is a key player in your metabolic rate so if it’s busy helping out your dehydrated kidneys it slacks off when metabolizing fat.
Though caffeine in coffee and green tea has been said to increase metabolic rate it can also dehydrate the body causing the above effect. In addition, caffeine will pass through breast milk to your baby, because of this excess caffeine intake is not recommended.
Remember to maintain a healthy balance of all food groups and to drop below a caloric intake of 1800 simply add the above foods into your postpartum diet and you’ll help yourself lose pregnancy weight while keeping your baby’s milk as healthy as ever.
When can I expect to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight?
This will vary from woman to woman. Generally, it takes around the time it took to put on to take the weight off (around 10 months) Even if your body does not look exactly like it did before your pregnancy, don’t feel bad. Body changes from pregnancy are normal and nothing to be ashamed about.
Muscle Mass and Weight Loss:
Why losing weight should be slow after a pregnancy?
Water intake and weight loss:
Foods that increase metabolism: