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10 Tips to Lose the Baby Weight By Eating Healthy

by Katlyn Joy | September 7, 2014 11:18 AM
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Once the baby is born, a woman may feel anxious about returning to her old shape and dropping all those baby pounds. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it takes a woman on average 6 weeks to recover from childbirth. Of course, those who had cesareans or difficult labors may need a bit more time. Most women lose half of their pregnancy weight at that six-month mark and the aim should be to get to your pre-pregnancy weight by the six month postpartum point.

However, crash or fad diets are not only unwise, they are quite unsafe. Don't try to take a fast or easy route to your old body. By making a commitment to eating right and staying fit, you will reach your goal. It's better to go slow and steady rather than taking shortcuts that can cost you so much in the end.

10 Tips for Eating Your Way Back to Your Pre-Baby Shape

1. Eat several small meals a day.

Kathy McManus, RD and director of the department of nutrition at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston gives this advice, "One of the main things a healthy diet can do is give new moms energy." She recommends, "It's important to spread food throughout the day so that you get an even amount of calories. This will give you lasting power to take care of your baby and yourself."

2. Have a specific calorie goal.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a good rule of thumb is to drop 500 calories from your current diet. To make sure you are in the right range, discuss your dietary goal with your physician. Make certain you don't drop below that minimum level, however. You don't want to deprive your body of what it needs and push it into starvation mode.

3. Make those calories count.

You want to eat healthy foods that make you feel full. To that end, opt for whole grains, and other high fiber foods like fresh fruits and veggies. Don't waste your calorie allotment on junk food which will leave you lacking the nutrients you need.

4. Be sure to eat breakfast, and don't skip it.

Start your day right and eat a nice healthy breakfast, so you don't start out tired and more liable to make poor food choices later.

5. Drink at least 8 ounces of water throughout the day.

It will help you flush fat from your body and keep you hydrated, which is especially important if you are breastfeeding.

6. Breastfeed your baby.

Besides the benefits to baby, nursing helps you burn calories and get back to your ideal weight sooner. Plus, can you think of an easier way to burn calories?

7. Make yourself aware while you eat.

Eat slowly and avoid filling up fast and going beyond your hunger level. Don't eat out of emotion or boredom. Plan your diet for the week to make sure you have achieved the healthy balance you want.

8. Plan for healthy eating by shopping for nutritious foods.

It's hard to be good when surrounded by bad choices. If you have particular food weaknesses, find acceptable alternatives. If you love a sweet snack before bed, have some naturally sweet fruit or a yogurt smoothie for instance.

9. It matters how you prepare food as much as what food you eat.

There's a significant difference between a grilled piece of chicken and fried chicken. If you want to do it right, bake a potato and top with plain yogurt versus slathering fries with cheesy chili sauce.

10. Keep a food diary.

It can be a simple notebook where you jot down everything you eat, or you can use something like the SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate.gov. This site will keep track of your calories, your nutrient levels, and help you calculate how many calories you burn through exercise.

If you want real results, don't try to lose weight and get in shape by food choices alone. You need to get active. Try to take a daily walk with baby in tow. Enjoy some toning and stretching yoga moves that have the added benefit of helping you unwind. Since muscle burns fat, consider starting a strength training program to build muscle. Have a variety of activities you participate in, to keep from getting bored. Even better is if you can employ an exercise buddy to keep you motivated and accountable.


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