your post-pregnancy diet plan:
delicious and nutritious
With a newborn baby around, you’ll be needing plenty of energy. Fortunately, a healthy, balanced post-pregnancy diet will help keep you fighting fit all day. Here’s how to get started with your new healthy eating plan.
when to start
In the weeks after giving birth, your body needs time and energy to recover. Doctors recommend waiting until your postnatal check up – around six to eight weeks – before you start dieting. If you’re worried about your weight in the meantime, try switching to low-fat options and stay away from foods with a high sugar content.
what to eat
When you are ready to start your post-pregnancy weight loss plan, keep your diet balanced and full to maintain your strength. Make sure you’re getting five portions of fruit or veg a day. High-starch foods like pasta, rice, potatoes and bread should be the main part of each meal. This will give you energy and fibre to keep going through the day.
what not to eat
As usual, sugar is best avoided. Though it’s tempting to snack on high-sugar, convenient foods when you’re busy with a newborn, these will lead to a slump later in the day. Swap sugary snacks for fruit instead. It’s also best to stay away from processed foods that are high in fat. Cutting high-fat foods is the easiest way to kick off your post-pregnancy weight loss.
making it routine
Try to make a routine for your own meals. It's important to stop and eat regularly – a spoonful of baby food or your toddler’s leftovers here and there isn’t quite going to cut it. Making a batch of meals at the start of the week to freeze will mean that healthy meals are on hand and quick to make – ideal at the end of a long day.
what exercise to do
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to exercise in the first few weeks. No matter how fit you were pre-pregnancy you shouldn’t do strenuous exercise until after your postnatal check up and even then you should seek advice from your health advisor.
That said, a little gentle exercise might be just what you need to boost your energy levels. Start small by going for a brisk 10-20 minute walk. When you’re ready, try to find baby-based exercise classes in your local area. This is also a great opportunity to meet other mums.
losing weight while breastfeeding
It’s perfectly safe to lose weight whilst breastfeeding as long as you do it slowly. Shifting the weight gradually will help to keep it off in the long run too – think of losing one to two pounds max per week. If you decide to breastfeed your baby, you'll need more calories in your diet than if you choose to formula feed. Breastfeeding uses an extra 330 calories a day – add these to your diet in healthy wholegrains or good starchy foods.