New moms have an awful lot to contend with, so losing the baby weight often falls pretty low on the list of priorities. In addition, waking up every two hours to feed an infant leaves very little energy left over for exercising and preparing healthy meals. However, if the extra weight gained during pregnancy is not lost during the first six to nine months, it usually sticks around for good.
Nursing mothers need maximum nutrition, so foods must be chosen carefully so that mother and baby are both getting what they need. When you throw weight loss into this equation, it is necessary to choose foods that are very high in nutrients, but also relatively low in calories.
There are several great foods for new moms that satisfy the above conditions. Fresh fish, wild salmon in particular, is a great choice, as it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. One of these fatty acids is DHA, which aids in brain and nervous system development. Sardines and light tuna are also rich in omega-3 acids.
Leafy greens such as baby spinach and kale are also good choices, as they provide tons of nutrients and only a handful of calories. Fresh berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries should also be on your grocery list. Ensure that you are getting adequate calcium by consuming a few servings of Greek yogurt each week.
There are studies that suggest that breastfeeding will accelerate the rate of weight loss following pregnancy. This is still up for debate in the scientific community, but breastfeeding is great for your baby, and it also allows you to consume more calories each day and still drop those extra pounds you gained during your pregnancy. For best results, make sure the extra calories you consume are from healthy foods such as those mentioned above.
Increase Your Water Intake
Staying hydrated is crucial for anyone who is trying to lose weight, and it is especially important for nursing mothers. Another big perk of staying hydrated is that it decreases appetite and cravings. Much of the fluid we consume each day comes from food, so it is no surprise that being dehydrated increases hunger. Next time you are craving a snack, drink a glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes. More often than not, the hunger will have subsided. Drinking water may also speed up the metabolism.
This section is titled activity, not exercise. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have to go to the gym to burn calories. Chasing a toddler around the house, scrubbing the floors, vacuum and going up and down the stairs 30 times per day in other words, staying active will get the job done just the same. When the weather is nice, put the baby in a stroller and walk around the neighbourhood. If you can get to the gym or do a traditional workout like yoga burn, that is great, but if not, just make sure you spend a good portion of your day moving around.