5 post-partum weight-loss tips
Now that your baby’s arrived, you’re probably eager to fit into your pre-baby jeans again. But if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of following a special diet or a strict exercise program, don’t despair. Making a few changes to your diet and staying active can help you lose those pregnancy pounds.
A word of caution: If you’re breastfeeding, don’t go on any severe diets or start up any exercise routines that may affect your health and diminish the quality of your breastmilk.
A more healthful diet can come from making some simple changes, such as these:
- Clean out the kitchen. Rid your kitchen of high-fat, high-sugar foods, even if you have older children who eat them. You’ll eliminate temptation while also helping your older kids have healthier diets.
- Stock up on whole grains. Whole-grain foods contain fiber, which is good for your health but also keeps you feeling full. Instead of buying white bread and other products made with refined white flour, choose fiber-rich whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals. Look for “100% whole wheat” listed in the ingredient panel on the label and check that the product has at least a few grams of fiber per serving.
- Eat more produce. Eat at least five fruit or vegetable servings every day. Low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables fill you up without filling you out. Here are easy ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet:
- Top your cereal with fresh fruit, berries, or raisins.
- Layer tomato slices, torn spinach, cucumbers, sweet peppers, or finely shredded cabbage onto your sandwiches.
- Add baby carrots or celery sticks to a sack lunch.
- Grill vegetables alongside meats for easy barbecue serve-alongs.
- Toss pasta with cooked vegetables and a jar of marinara sauce. Frozen vegetable blends work great.
- Add chopped green bell pepper, carrot, and celery to soups and casseroles.
- Serve fruit for dessert. It can be fresh or baked. Top the fruit with a spoonful of low-fat yogurt.
- Every week, buy and serve one fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried before.
- When baking, choose recipes that call for bananas, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, apples, or other produce. Or add dried fruits to muffin and bread batters.
- Eat breakfast (and other meals). By skipping meals, you’ll only be extra hungry at the next meal and more likely to overeat.
- Don’t fill up on liquid calories. When you’re trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. You’ll feel more satisfied if you eat those calories rather than drink them. Avoid sodas, juice drinks, special coffee drinks, and other beverages with calories. The exception to this is skim milk, which is an important source of calcium and vitamin D.