Q: What is the best diet to help me lose all my unwanted weight gain since having my baby?
There is a lot of pressure on mums to lose the pregnancy weight soon after birth, but what’s more important in these early stages is to stay healthy and active while you bond with your baby and adjust to changes in your lifestyle.
Focus on healthy eating from the five core food groups: wholegrain foods, vegetables, fruit, reduced-fat dairy and dairy-free alternatives, and protein foods such as legumes, eggs and nuts, and being active. This will ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition, keeping your energy levels up, building strength and supporting your mood, all with the added side-effect of losing some of that unwanted weight without even thinking about it.
Here are some tips to make healthy eating and exercise easier when you’re busy looking after a new baby:
- Prepare healthy meals in bulk and freeze portions for a quick meal later on.
- Consider ordering meal kits or having your groceries delivered, at least initially.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand, such as portioned bags of mixed nuts and dried fruit, pre-chopped vegies and fruit in the fridge, pre-portioned cheese and crackers.
- Some ideas to keep active with baby:
- Take a walk around the block, in the local park, to the shops or to a friend’s house with baby in the pram or sling. You can also check if there are mother-baby walking groups in your area or take a friend to combine exercise with a catch-up.
- Incorporate gentle strength exercises into playtime with baby, such as working on arms and abs by lifting baby up and down in the air, or doing sit-ups while baby is sitting in your lap.
- Do some squats and lunges while baby is in a sling.
- Turn on your favourite music and dance with your baby for a light cardio workout.
- Try some mother-baby stretching classes or mother-baby exercise apps on your phone if you prefer to stay indoors.
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