Losing belly fat after pregnancy, is a never-ended topic for new mums. In our previous article we have talked about getting back in shape after birth by postpartum exercises, and a postpartum belly wrap. Today we will talk about losing belly fat by a sensible postpartum diet, which can help you shed pounds gradually while giving you enough nutrients to keep your energy up. Let’s read on for easy postpartum diet tips!
Postpartum Diet Tip 1: Need-to-Know Nutrients
When you eat foods rich with nutrients, you’ll notice that your calories go a long way. These are suggested food sources in postpartum diet:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens
- Lean protein, like fish, beef, and soy foods, eggs.
- Dairy, choose skim or low-fat milk
- Iron, especially if you suffer from postpartum symptoms. You can find this in things like fortified cereals, prune juice, and lean meats.
- Vitamin C, which can help with wound healing for mothers who delivered via C-section. Find this in oranges, tomatoes, and natural fruit juices.
- Vitamin D and Calcium, which help to strong bones and teeth. Find this fortified milk, eggs, mushrooms, dairy products and calcium-fortified fruit juices & breakfast cereals, and also get vitamin D from sunlight.
Postpartum Diet Tip 2: Healthful Snacks
If you’re in the mood for a snack, think carefully before you choose. Steer clear from snack packs since they are stocked with tons of artificial sweeteners. Instead, either have a tiny portion of what you actually want or pick from one of the following:
- Whole-grain crackers with hummus
- Nuts (stash some in your purse in case you get a craving on the go)
- A cup of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
- A hardboiled egg with some carrots
- Low-fat cheese with a piece of fruit
- Peanut butter on an apple
- Plain Greek yogurt — add in a cup of berries to avoid added sugar from the flavored kind.
At the same time, limit high-fat snacks and sugary sweets that pack on pounds without offering any nutritional return, such as chips, candy, and soda.
Postpartum Diet Tip 3: Eat Well And Often
Eating well and often will help keep your energy up at a time when it’s probably pretty low. Experts recommend three meals, plus two to three snacks per day. Between meals, graze on fruits and vegetables and lean protein sources.
It is quite important to eat frequently if you’re breastfeeding, because you need enough calories to fuel breast milk production, the baby’s sole source of nutrition.
Postpartum Diet Tip 4: Forgo Fad Diets
In other words, a good postpartum diet after baby is a slow-and-steady one, though it won’t necessarily get you into your prepregnancy pants overnight. Crash diets, which live up to their name when it comes to how they affect your energy level, as well as your mood, are definitely not the way to go — though you may see results faster, you’re not likely to sustain them (or the restrictive eating style they require). Skip any eating plan that leaves out healthy carbs, limits choices to one basic food type (all fruit, all protein, or all liquids, to name a few), or severely curbs your calorie intake.
Postpartum Diet Tip 5: Load up on fluids and fiber
Constipation is a common problem for many women post pregnancy. To prevent it, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day, and even more if you find yourself feeling thirsty, especially if you’re nursing. Water is a good choice, but you also can opt for fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, and up to 8 ounces a day of 100% fruit juices that contain important nutrients. Sugar-free soft drinks (decaffeinated is preferred) can be included as part of your fluid intake but are nutrient-deficient.
As for fiber sources: The gold standard is fruit, veggies and whole grains, but sometimes that’s not enough. If you’re still having problems moving your bowels, try drinking lemonade or warm liquids such as herbal teas.
Postpartum Diet Tip 6: Burn Calories By Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding helps, especially in the early months after childbirth. Mamas who breastfeed burn extra calories to make milk, so they usually lose pregnancy weight more quickly than women who don’t nurse. As if you’re nursing, you’ll need to work in calories and nutrition to keep up milk production. Nursing also triggers contractions that help shrink the uterus, making it a workout for the whole body.
But, don’t go on a severe postpartum diet, losing weight too quickly can cause a decrease in your milk supply. Also, when you diet too much, you may not eat enough nutrient-rich foods, which means your baby may not get all the fat and vitamins he/she needs from your breast milk.
Finally, it took 9 months to gain the weight, it might take more than 9 months to lose the pregnancy belly fat. So go easy on yourself and cut yourself some slack (just don’t cut yourself another piece of cake), and enjoy the new life with your baby! Before you know it you’ll be back in that favorite pair of jeans!