Postpartum Weightloss Diet

If you decide you want to diet soon after having a baby, your priorities should be slightly different than when you dieted at other times in your life. Now, you've just undergone an incredibly physically and emotionally demanding experience (giving birth) and you're dealing with the equally challenging task of caring for a newborn. If you have chosen to breastfeed, your body needs the nutrients you get from your food not just to keep you going, but also your baby. So, the key to dieting just after giving birth is to do so safely, and with patience and determination. You need to eat balanced meals and aim to lose weight gradually. If you are breastfeeding, sudden and dramatic weightloss could interfere with your milk production. Combining your diet with light aerobic exercise will also help you to achieve your goals at a healthy and steady pace.

The Dos

- Whether or not you are breastfeeding, you must talk to your doctor before you begin your diet and discuss your plans with him. Most doctors will advise mothers to wait two months after delivery before making a conscious effort to lose weight. This allows breastfeeding mothers time to establish a regular milk supply and gives all mothers a chance to recover from the pregnancy and, of course, the birth. This is especially important if the birth was difficult; your body may need extra time to heal.

- If you are breastfeeding - do it more! Breastfeeding itself burns calories and there is evidence that breastfeeding more frequently and for longer (beyond six months) helps a mother to lose her extra pregnancy weight.

- Restrict calories gradually and aim for very gradual weightloss. Ask your doctor how much weight it is safe for you to lose per week or per month. Most doctors will recommend that you lose no more than one and half pounds per week.

The Don'ts

- At the risk of stating the obvious, you should not, under any circumstances, start taking diet pills that you've bought over the counter or ordered via the internet before discussing it with your doctor. Many of these pills contain caffeine or other chemicals that could possibly enter breast milk in very small amounts. The general safety of such pills is questioned by many professional medics, even for women who are not breastfeeding.

- You should likewise avoid quick-fix or fad diets which cut out entire food groups (such as carbohydrates) and deprive you of essential nutrients. Such eating regimes could affect the quality of your breast milk and will certainly have an impact on your energy levels.

The Food To Eat

You should be aiming for a balanced diet which provides you with all the things you need to be healthy; this includes certain healthy fats (such as Omega 3 oils in certain types of fish) and even sugar. Your body needs all these things in the right amounts. The best way to draw up your diet program is to ask your doctor for some leaflets and information on preparing healthy, balanced meals.

You need protein and therefore you should continue to eat meat (if you are vegetarian, keep eating beans and pulses and the other protein sources that you usually rely on). You can eat meat more healthily by opting for lean red meats instead of burgers, for example, as well as lean chicken and turkey and even fish. You should try to ensure that you eat a vegetable and carbohydrate portion for every portion of meat you have. Salads and soups are an excellent way to boost your vegetable intake. The added bonus for new mothers is that salads are quick to prepare and soups can be made in large quantities and stored in the freezer!

When you eat carbohydrates, go for complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, potatoes, and brown rice. These are better for you than refined carbs such as white bread. And don't forget dairy! You can buy low fat milk and cheese if you like, as long as you are still getting that essential calcium. Also, eating fresh fruit is a great way to treat yourself when you feel like having something sweet. If you don't feel like munching your way through those apples and oranges, buy a blender and make smoothies.

Basically, you need to get all the essential nutrients, but from quality sources. Processed and junk foods, such as burgers, fries, pizza, some baked and frozen foods are sources of saturated fats and refined sugars. These are the types of fat and sugar that you should to try to avoid.

Good luck!

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