Losing weight after your pregnancy isn’t easy. You don’t always have the time or the energy to exercise and to make healthy meals. Following a diet can help you to lose weight, but you have to find the diet that works best for you. Despite the claims of advertisers, no diet is one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for you.
You lose weight when you burn more calories than you eat. All diets work by limiting the amount of calories that you eat, although they do this in different ways. For example, some will have you count the number of calories you eat in a day, while others say that you can eat as much as you want, as long as your food choices come from a specific list of foods (usually healthy fruits and vegetables). A post-pregnancy diet helps you to keep track of what you are eating at a time when your hectic lifestyle can cause you to make unhealthy choices.
Calorie counting diets like the Weight Watchers’ Points system allow you to eat any food that you want–including treats like cookies and chips–as long as you stick within a specific calorie range. Other diets aim to have you eat more healthy foods by limiting the amount of “bad” foods–refined carbohydrates and high fat foods–you can eat. Examples include the South Beach Diet and the Eat Clean Diet.
The best diet for you is one that fits best within your lifestyle. Calorie counting may work for your because you don’t have to deal with guilt from eating certain foods. However, it can be time-consuming, and you have to be strict about measuring foods so that you are eating the number of calories you think you are eating. Diets that allow you to eat as much as you want of certain types of foods can make it easy when it comes to meal times, and are definitely healthy, but you may want the occasional treat.
Drastically decreasing your calories does not always lead to the fastest weight loss. Your body requires a certain amount of calories to function. If you are not eating enough food, your body will hold onto the fat stores that it has. If you are starting with a high weight, are very active, or are breastfeeding, you may need to eat more calories to lose weight. Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to find your ideal calorie range.
If you are breastfeeding, you must eat an extra 400 calories per day to support milk production. This means that if you would normally lose weight by eating 1,600 calories, you must eat 2,000 calories per day. If you don’t do this, your weight loss may stall, and your baby is not getting the nutrition he needs.
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