Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Friday, February 10, 2012

Postpartum Care – Eat to Lose Weight

Your baby is finally out. You have lost a lot of weight that you had gained during pregnancy but there is still some more weight to be shed in order to look your old self again. With a baby around, your diet should be nutritious, balanced and rich in vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, good fats and fiber, so that your breast milk is enhanced for your baby’s growth in addition to improving the strength of your bones and muscles.

While you must not neglect yourself while taking care of your baby, don’t go overboard with eating either. Any weight gain after childbirth will be hard to go and will only add to any subsequent pregnancies. Women usually become obese after childbirth due to uncontrolled eating and lack of exercise to burn up excess fat. So, how can you eat smartly and lose weight in the bargain?

Have a Balanced diet
It cannot be stressed enough that your diet must contain all the nutrients in order to recapture the lost strength at childbirth as well as to nurse your baby healthily.(read Postpartum Foods for New Mothers)

Eat a nourishing breakfast of oats porridge with chopped dry nuts and fruits added to it to enhance its nutrition. Oats fulfills your fiber needs and the nuts are rich in omega 3 that is essential for repairs of tissues and cells.  Lunch should include proteins & carbohydrates from eggs, lean meats, whole grains, pulses and dairy. Dinner should include vitamins, iron, folic acid and minerals from lentils, cereals, leafy veggies, citrus fruits, beans, broccoli, avocado, meat and fish.

Eat smaller portions
Reduce your food portions. By eating smaller portions, your blood sugar and insulin levels will remain stabilized, on account of which you will not have any hunger pangs, thereby reducing your calorie intake and helping weight loss. By taking in lesser calories than you can burn, your body will use your fat reserves to get energy. This will help weight loss even more.

Eat 6 times a day
Eating several times a day regulates your metabolism. Breakfast should never be skipped because it jumpstarts your metabolism after your body has gone without food for nearly 8 hours the night before. If you evenly space out your meals and eat small portions for about 5 to 6 times a day, your metabolism will stay alive and kicking for the rest of the day. Your energy level will be enhanced and you will not have food cravings, which usually makes a person eat more than necessary. When you overeat, your body is unable to process such large quantities of food, due to which it stores the excess calories as fat. So, eat less, 5 to 6 times a day.

Say no to fried foods
Fried food is heavy with calories that you need like you need a toothache. French fries, onion fries, potato chips, doughnuts, pakoras, tikkis, etc are oil drippers and pound packers on your hips.  So, have the strength to resist them. If you feel tempted, look at your old picture taken before your pregnancy. That is sure to stop you from reaching out for a fry.

Snack on healthy sandwiches instead
Make a super veg / chicken club sandwich as a healthy choice from your fried snack. Alternatively, snack on berries, grapes, watermelons and other nutritious fruits. Dry fruits and nuts are also a healthy option.

Stash nutritious whole grain crackers and cookies in your bag
Whenever you are traveling with your baby, these snacks will satiate your hunger for the time being until your next proper meal. They are good for health and will not cause weight gain.

Go for healthy substitutes
You can substitute your craving for a chocolate with a mug of hot cocoa with skimmed milk or almond milk shake. Ice cream can be replaced with nonfat flavored yogurt and potato chips with roasted dry fruits and sunflower seeds.

Cook your veggies the correct way to preserve nutrients
Always cook your veggies the right way to get total benefit from eating them. Use little fat, little water and stir fry on high heat for a short while so that it gets cooked just enough and the nutrition in them is preserved as well. Overcooking or overheating will destroy all the nutrients in the veggies and render it useless for your body.

Right combination of veggies for better absorption of vitamins
Sometimes, certain nutrients found in vegetables are better absorbed by your body when they are added with some other specific nutrients. For example, iron is better absorbed with vitamin C. veggies that are rich in iron pass through your system undigested because your body is incapable of absorbing the iron in them. But if it is cooked with citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C, your body can absorb  iron easily. In the same way, calcium is better absorbed with vitamin D. Take supplements of vitamin D daily.

Use these tips in order to lose weight rather than gain them. However, exercise is a must to succeed totally in losing weight. Good diet coupled with a good workout is the only way to achieve your weight loss goals.

Click to know how to make Almond milk shake

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