It is merely a fact of life that society puts more pressure on women to stay slim and attractive, and the subsequent result is that women are by and large more concerned with body image than men are. This is especially true following a pregnancy. Millions of women scramble to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy, while many not only fail to lose the weight but put on additional weight.
Longer hours awake, less focus on proper nutrition and exercise, and a higher daily calorie intake when breastfeeding to ensure the baby’s optimum health – just being a good mother can result in weight gain after a pregnancy unless you’re trying hard to avoid it.
Mothers can easily begin packing on the pounds, so it is important to recognize the issue and work to resolve it.
5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain after Pregnancy
1: Sleep when Able
Your hours are going to be very sporadic as a new mother, so the most important thing you can do in order to prevent weight gain is to get plenty of rest. Not only does proper sleep help to keep your body functioning properly, but being up longer means you will inevitably be eating more.
2: Toying with the Balance
A balanced diet is the best approach for anyone to avoid weight gain, but mothers need added calories if they’re breastfeeding their babies. Just make sure that you’re not getting these calories from foods laden with fats and carbs. Seek out protein and fiber-rich food sources.
3: Supplement the Protein
Breast milk is made up mostly of proteins and fats, along with other vital nutrients. This means you will need plenty of protein to keep producing the best milk in the most quantity. And while you can eat whole grains, eggs, yogurt and other protein-rich sources, you can also add the protein and avoid too many calories by taking a protein supplement. This is also a great way to fight hunger.
4: Snack Fresher
When you’re up with the baby, you’re going to need your energy levels up, and thus you’re going to need to eat. This is where a great snack always comes in handy. But instead of eating any packaged chips or sweets or chocolate products that will boost your waistline, shoot for some fresh fruits and veggies to satisfy your hunger without adding bad carbs and fats.
5: Never Neglect the Exercise
Being awake all hours of the night and only sleeping a few hours at a time will most certainly make you feel worn out, but you will still need to keep up with the exercise in order to keep your body’s mechanisms from storing calories as fat (which they’re inclined to do after pregnancy).
At any opportunity, you should be walking with your baby or other physical activity, like riding an exercise bike, lifting dumbbells, etc.
With a balanced diet, most mothers will eventually lose the weight they put on during pregnancy, but there is always the possibility of letting that balanced approach lapse while raising a child. Heed these tips and stay vigilant in your health. You can raise your baby and yield to the high demands of motherhood without having your waistline suffer for it.
It’s natural, as a new mother, to neglect one’s own health and focus entirely on the baby. However, this is the main contributor to post-natal weight gain. Your body naturally stores more fat after birth, but not that much. However, if you eat irregularly, binge eat, and eat high fat foods, your body’s fat storage mechanisms go into overdrive.
Here are five things you can do to make sure you stay healthy and slim after pregnancy:
- Protein, Protein, ProteinBreast milk is made out of proteins and fats – but mostly proteins. In addition to this a nursing mother, who is usually getting little sleep, needs a constant source of easily-available energy. Proteins and carbohydrates provide this, but so do sugars and processed carbs.
The trick is to make sure you eat plenty of natural proteins, such as those in fish and nuts, and to make sure your diet consists of plenty of complex carbohydrates to give you the long term sustained energy you need to make it through the day (and night).
Some of the things you should eat more of include:
- Yogurt (low fat, and not the trendy six-packs of tiny yoghurt pots covered in branding. Simple, plain yoghurt is the best, regardless of what advertisements tell you.)
- Whole grain breads
- Oatmeal with fruit
- GrazeAs a new mother, you will need to be awake longer, and maintain a sustained level of high activity. The Western tradition of eating three meals a day is radically unsuited to this kind of lifestyle. Rather switch to eating five or more small meals a day, focusing your calorie count on breakfast and lunch.
This will give you the energy you need, and keep you feeling full for longer, so you won’t snack as much.
- Snack HealthyIf you have to snack, and you will, then make sure you stick to healthy foods. Sign up to a food delivery service like Graze, which delivers little packs of healthy snacks every few days. Some of the things you should keep on you at all times are:
- Fruits, fresh and dried
- Whole grain breads and crackers
- Low-fat dairy produce – If allowed by your doctor
- Nuts & Seeds – Providing you have no allergy to nuts and seeds
- Peanut butter – again, as long as you are not allergic
- Drink More WaterJust about everyone knows they should be drinking more water than they do. If you are ever going to pick up the habit of drinking eight glasses a day, then now is the best time. If you are breastfeeding then you will need as many as ten glasses a day.
Remember – and this is extremely important – that tea, juice, coffee, or even supposed ‘health drinks’ like Vitamin Water (which can be very harmful to your kidneys) do not count as water. In fact, they count as almost the opposite, because they contain so many electrolytes which dehydrate you.
If you have a soda, it means you need to drink an extra glass of water that day, not one less.
- Take Your Baby For a WalkBeing a new mother can be isolating, so make sure that you get yourself and your newborn out of the house at least once a day – even if it’s just for a walk down to the shop. The fresh air and exercise will keep you healthy and prevent you from gaining weight, but it will also help to prevent the depression and loneliness so common amongst new stay at home mothers.