One thing that most women hate about pregnancy is the inevitable weight gain. Of course, eating for two was fun at the time! But now that you want to get your pre-pregnancy body back, it can be a bit frustrating. It doesn’t need to be, though, as you can use the following tips to get your shape back the healthy way:
- Share recipes with your friends and family – You should email your friends and family members to find out if any of them want to join you on this journey. You will find that there are bound to be one or two of your loved ones that want to get fit and eat better. By trading recipes and hosting healthy lunches, you make the weight loss journey a much more enjoyable one. Having a support system is important when attempting to reach any goal. You will also have a group of people that you feel accountable to, and so you will be less likely to slip up.
- Follow a low-calorie diet – A low-calorie diet is one of the best ways to lose weight efficiently. It’s important that the amount of calories you intake is reflective of your current weight. For example, if you only have a small amount of weight to lose, you won’t need to reduce your calorie intake too much. On the other hand, if you have put on a lot of weight or you were overweight when you fell pregnant, and so you have a lot of weight to lose, then you may want to consider a very low-calorie diet. This type of diet is only for those who are very overweight or obese. The benefits of a very low-calorie diet are extensive. Not only can you lose weight quickly, but studies have shown this type of diet can be effective in reversing Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. However, such diets are not recommended for any women that are still breastfeeding, so please don’t start a low-calorie diet until you have finished breastfeeding.
- Prepare ahead – We often turn to fatty food when we are in a rush. After all, it’s much easier to grab a chocolate bar than it is to prepare a salad. This is why it is important to prepare food in advance. You could divide portions of nuts and cereal into sandwich bags. Why not wash, chop and steam a few days’ worth of vegetables for salads and snacks? You will be much more inclined to eat healthily if everything is ready for you.
- Make it fun – One of the reasons why most women struggle to lose weight is quite simple: it’s not fun. However, there are plenty of ways you can make your weight loss experience more exciting. For example, why not look for some unique recipes on the Internet? Can you turn meals that are typically unhealthy into a healthy dish? Have fun experimenting! You can also make your workout routine more enjoyable too. Are you getting the most out of your gym? You don’t need to follow the monotonous routine of going on the treadmill, and then the cross trainer, and then home! Instead, why not find out about the different fitness classes they have available?
- Eat foods with a high water content – Foods that are higher in water include the likes of soups, vegetables, and fruits. Such foods are good because they fill you up with fewer calories. Water adds volume and weight without adding calories; basically, it will reduce the calorie density of food. If you have soup before a meal, you will eat significantly less than you would if you ate an ‘energy dense’ food that was equivalent in calories. This is something that has been proven by a nutrition researcher at Pennsylvania State University. Drinking hot cups of tea in between meals can also help, as warm foods are more filling than cold.
- Let your baby distract you – If you fancy eating food that you know you shouldn’t, distract yourself. Play with your newborn, or if they are sleeping, take the opportunity to catch up on some TV. You may find that the urge passes. Drinking a glass of water is a good idea as well, as it could be that you were just thirsty. We often mistake thirst for hunger.
- Don’t cut out your favourite foods – Losing weight does not need to feel like a prison sentence. You don’t have to cut out all of the things you love. Instead, try to find healthier ways to enjoy your favourite food. For example, if you love pizza, why not opt for one with a whole-wheat crust? Or, try alternative bases instead, such as tortilla pizzas or those made with a cauliflower base. Thanks to the Internet, you can easily find alternative recipes for your favourite meals.
- Get your vegetables in as soon as possible – If there is one thing that new mums don’t have a lot of, it is time. This is why it is a good idea to have vegetables as earlier on in the day as possible. After all, as the day progresses, mums tend to get busier and busier, and so by the time dinner comes, most end up craving comfort foods rather than something healthy. Kick off the day with a vegetable omelette or have carrot sticks as a mid-morning snack? Not only does this ensure you get the vegetable intake you should be, but also it sets the tone for the day. You will be less likely to fall off track if you have already made a good start.
- Recognise that all fat is not evil – One of the biggest mistakes that people make when dieting is cutting out all fat. If you are to burn fat, you need to eat fat. This is why it is pivotal to incorporate healthy fats into your diet, such as avocado or olives. You can also decrease abdominal fat by consuming omega-3s – these are the healthy fats that are found in the likes of flaxseed oil, walnuts, and salmon.
- Select well-balanced snacks – With such little time available, it is almost impossible to prepare three square meals each and every day. However, this does not mean that you can’t have a balanced diet. Make sure you are eating well-balanced snacks to combat this, such as an apple or a handful of almonds. You should make sure you are eating every three hours, so this means having at least six mini meals per day. This is important because you will feel starved otherwise, as your blood sugar will plummet. A good way to go about it is by having a snack every time your baby has a bottle or breastfeeds. This will ensure you burn those calories by keeping your metabolism revved up.
- Be cautious about what you consume – Last but not least, you need to approach every food package with a scrutinising eye. Learn how to read labels properly. Don’t eat anything that contains any hydrogenated fats, which are also referred to as trans fats. These are bad for you and can clog up your arteries. You should also avoid anything with sugar as one of the first three ingredients. Sugary snacks will only leave you craving more. One of the best ways to go about it is to ask yourself the following: Would I give my new son or daughter that? If the answer is no, then don’t eat it yourself either.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.