When your Before Photo makes you get all wistful and your After Photo makes you cringe, you know its time to get rid of that postpartum weight. Right! This is going to be easy, said no one! The word diet has its own issues. So let's actually not refer to this plan to pulverize that pooch, a diet. Let's refer to it as a lifestyle plan.
Whether you ate healthy before falling pregnant or whether you were that ‘iffy’ person who kind of ate a balanced meal every now and then, don’t stress, we are here to help get you back on track.
First and foremost, in addition to getting your eating right, you need to look at some exercise. You may be breastfeeding still or not, either way; a well-balanced diet filled with the right nutrients and vitamins is essential.
The Lifestyle Plan Or Postpartum Diet (if you so wish)
6 Meal Mantra
You’ve heard it before. Eat little meals often throughout the day. Well, its not a myth or something made up to send you into Oh-just-shut-up mode. It works!
Your metabolism is sitting on the couch eating a potato chip. She needs to move a bit more. Literally your metabolism needs to pick up the pace so that it can burn that extra fat you’ve taken on board.
Eating smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours in a day will help to pick your metabolism up and in turn burn the fat instead of storing it.
Protein is your friend! Protein should form a vital part of every eating plan and even more so now as you start to bring your body back. Forget to bring sexy back! We are just bringing your body back from baby land into the land of strong and fit … and we may just lash on a little bit of sexy in the end.
Your muscles took a little back seat whilst you were pregnant. They were stretched out, fatigued and downright taken on a not-so-joy-ride. We need to wake them up! And while exercise and strength training will do this, we need to feed those muscles too or they won't cope with a new workout plan
Make sure each of your meals includes a good portion of lean protein; like fish, chicken (skinless), red meat (fatless) and if you go for pork (cut the fat off too). Eggs are adorable. Try to include a whole egg a day plus 2 egg whites. Aim for each meal and snack to have a 40/50/10 % split.
- 40% Protein
- 50% Carbohydrates
- 10% Healthy Fat (more on that later)
Healing the Body With Our Postpartum Diet
Giving birth, whether natural or C-Section, never mind actually carrying a baby for 9 months, takes a toll on your body and especially your immune system.
Eating foods and drinks that boost your immune system is paramount.
- Try green tea twice a day.
- Avoid processed foods
- Learn to love berries (blueberries, strawberries, cranberries)
- Green Vegetables are, well, green
- Fishy Feelings (say Omega 6 and 9)
Healthy Fat Fad
What the heck is healthy fat, you ask? Who needs fat anyway? Simply put healthy fat is needed in your body. Try these fave’s to add to your healthy lifestyle plan:
- Fish Oil (good for your mood enhancement – avoid the baby blues)
- Coconut Oil
- Fruit (high in sugars, but in moderation good nutrients)
- Nuts (stick to raw Almonds, Walnuts, Brazils, Pistachios)
- Peanut Butter or any nut butter from the nut list above (ensure the nuts are baked and there is no added salt or sugar)
Water Water Everywhere
You know you have to do it but its so darn hard to get those 8 glasses down a day! Try these simple tricks:
- 1 Glass on waking
- 1 Glass before sleep
- 1 Glass before you bath or shower
- 1 Glass after you bath or shower
- 2 Glasses before a workout
- 2 Glasses after a workout
Walla! 8 glasses done!
Dairy is Devine
Your bones also took a battering over the last few months, so treat them kindly and give them the calcium they need. Some women are dairy intolerant, but if you can stand to have a little every day, the benefits are huge! Plain fat-free yogurt with low sugar muesli, topped with half a banana and blueberries – simply yummy and filling!
A milk based protein shake – add nuts, a banana, peanut butter, berries and some honey (pre workout or post workout). If Dairy based meals don’t work for you, ask your pharmacist for a calcium-loaded tonic or pill.
Carbs have received a bad name in the past, but they are on the comeback, much like your body. Stick to healthy carbs like:
- Green Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, marrows)
- Fruit (while high in natural sugars, a little a day with your meals is good – try pineapple, watermelon, any berries, any fruit with a pit)
- Rice (brown rice is great or even rice cakes for that add to a snack)
- Sweet Potato (better than a stodgy normal potato and oh-so-sweet)
In ending, be aware of everything you put into your mouth. A real cliché, but you are what you eat or more accurately, you will become what you eat.
Think – Would I feed this to my child? Always a quick rethink is essential! So, don't worry about it, just think Postpartum Diet or Lifestyle Plan and you are well on your way to healthy.