After having your baby, you may be wondering how to shed the extra weight that you put on during your pregnancy. The first thing that health specialists recommend is patience with yourself. You can gradually shed the pounds that took nine months to accumulate.
Don’t be overwhelmed by wanting the immediate results that some celebrities can show. “All the magazines ask, ‘How did he do it?’ The most important question is, ‘Why did you do it?’ Grow-WebMD, Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
“They do this on very, very strict diets, and many of them do it by getting back into activity before their body is really ready for it,” adds Johnson.
It is not wise to make risky decisions to lose weight after pregnancy. Mayo Clinic notes that after pregnancy, proper nutrition is still important, especially if you are breastfeeding. The clinic offers four tips to regain your pre-pregnancy weight.
1. Eat more plant foods: fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat. The water and fiber they contain add volume to your dishes and can give you the feeling of being full. The best thing is that these foods also provide you with essential vitamins and minerals and other substances important for your good health.
Substitute high-calorie ingredients for low-calorie fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains like whole wheat, barley, wheat grains, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and foods made with these ingredients provide you with fiber and other nutrients. They maintain a constant blood sugar level instead of causing sharp spikes. Sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar can lead to hunger and cravings. Additionally, fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract.
2. Choose lean protein
Eating protein can increase your metabolic rate and reduce your appetite. Protein keeps you feeling full better than fats and carbohydrates. According research, protein makes you feel full and helps reduce carbohydrate cravings.
Healthy proteins include fish and poultry (chicken and turkey). You can also get vegetable protein from legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.) and nuts.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts and beans is a safe and healthy way to lose weight, say Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
3. Limit sweets and salt
The added sugar provides zero nutrients but a lot of added calories. It favors obesity, diabetes and can increase the risk of heart disease.
The main source of added sugar is soft drinksOther sources are baked goods (such as cakes, muffins, cookies, and cakes), ice cream, and candy. Check the labels, many products tend to disguise the added sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for most women. One teaspoon equals 4g of sugar.
Eating a lot of salt can cause bloating. Excess sodium from eating a lot of salt can also seriously affect your health, it is associated with hypertension, an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
4. Control portion sizes
It is important to control the size of the portions. There are healthy high-calorie foods that should be eaten in small portions, such as walnuts, peanut butter, or chocolate.
To avoid the temptation to refill your plate over and over again when you eat at home, bring the food to the table on individual plates, rather than putting the serving trays on the table. When eating out, consider that many restaurants serve more food than a person needs at one meal. You can divide the main dish in half with a friend or ask the waiter to pack half of the food and take it home.
Choose quality foods
Instead of choosing foods based only on caloric value, choose healthy, high-quality foods and minimize low-quality foods.
Lower-quality foods include highly processed snacks, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods like potatoes.
High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and healthy sources of protein.
Mayo Clinic explains it can take six months to a year to regain your pre-pregnancy weight, breastfeeding or not. Most women lose about 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) during delivery, including the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid.
During the first week after delivery, you will lose additional weight as you eliminate retained fluids. Fat can be reduced with a healthy diet and regular exercise, up to 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) a week.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.