The sights and sounds of your new baby may bring you great joy. However, looking in the mirror might be about as appealing as changing a stinky diaper. Pregnancy can cause you to gain weight that remains with you, long after you give birth. Fortunately, diet and exercise can help your body return to a healthier state. Although you may think your figure will never be the same, making some healthy changes to your activities and your diet can help you regain your energy and lose some of the weight you gained during your pregnancy.
Avoid junk foods. Although your doctor may ask you to refrain from dieting while you are breastfeeding, avoiding certain foods may help you avoid empty calories. Eliminate fatty cuts of meats, pastries, deep-fried foods and candy. These items can quickly add calories to your diet, without supplying healthy nutrients.
Eat a healthy diet can help you regain your strength and obtain valuable nutrients, whether you breastfeed or choose to use formula. Select foods that contain high amounts of fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These foods can help you feel fuller longer, making it easier to avoid tempting sweets. Consume low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as skim milk or low-fat yogurts and cheeses. Get your protein from beans and legumes or lean cuts of meat, such as chicken breasts and fish.
Cut back on portion size to minimize your caloric intake. Use a smaller plate to keep from feeling deprived. Don’t skip meals or allow yourself to become overly hungry. Snack on nutritious foods before you feel ravenous. Wait for your tummy to tell you it is time to eat. Avoid eating just because the clock says you should or because someone encourages you to share some high-calorie treats.
Raise your level of activity gradually after giving birth. Get off the couch to encourage your body to burn calories. Take your new baby for a walk in a stroller or get a sitter and join a yoga group or low-impact class. Swimming can strengthen your body while relaxing your mind.
- Get your doctor’s permission before starting a strenuous routine or altering your activities if you suffer from a health condition.
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