Diet plan for weight loss after delivery: The tendency of gaining weight during pregnancy is a common occurrence. When you are expecting your baby it is normal to gain weight in order to provide the best nutrition to the growing baby. However, most of women often put on more pounds than they planned to. This causes it to be tough to shed off the extra flab in the post-pregnancy days.
Weight gain after delivery is inevitable for some women, but staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to be hard. With these simple diet tips and weight loss tricks, you’ll see that it’s easy to lose weight.
How to lose weight after pregnancy the healthy way
You may be eager to lose weight postpartum, but it’s important to give yourself time to heal and recover from labor and delivery before trying to intentionally shed pounds. When you feel ready to be physically active again, slowly easing into exercise and making mindful nutrition choices can improve your fitness and help you feel more like yourself. Keep in mind too that your body changes after giving birth and may look different no matter what you do. Take it slow, go easy on yourself, and embrace your postpartum body while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
It’s no secret that pregnancy and childbirth change your body. After you give birth, you might be eager to get your “pre-baby body” back, but it’s important to keep in mind that losing weight after having your baby doesn’t happen overnight. Healthy post-baby weight loss requires a combination of smart postpartum nutrition, exercise, and patience.
You may also find that no matter what you do, your post-pregnancy body (especially your postpartum belly) is just different now. It may carry your weight differently, clothes may not fit the same way they used to, and your appearance may look different no matter how much weight you do (or don’t) lose.
Focusing on maintaining an active lifestyle and fueling your body with good nutrition can help you feel better in your skin, reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and set you up for healthy weight gain in future pregnancies.
Take time to recover before trying to lose weight after pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth put your body through a lot, and you’ll need to give yourself time to recover from labor and delivery before focusing on losing weight.
You can start light exercise, like walking, a few days after giving birth. Unless your provider has specifically told you not to, walking helps prevent atelectasis (lung blockages) and blood clots, and improves sleep, healing, and mood. (It may even help you cope with the postpartum blues.)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a postpartum checkup with your OB or midwife within the first three weeks after giving birth. This may be a good time to talk about how you’re feeling and get your provider’s input about which physical activities may be best for you. Keep in mind too that it can take six to eight weeks for your uterus to shrink back to its normal size, and your provider may recommend waiting that long to resume moderate or vigorous physical activity.
Trying to limit your calorie intake may also affect your milk supply, so if you’re breastfeeding, experts recommend that you wait until your baby is at least 2 months old before trying to lose weight.
Starting a diet too soon after giving birth can delay your recovery and make you feel more tired – and you need all the energy you can muster to adjust to life with your newborn. If you’re patient and give your body a chance to do its work, you may be surprised at how much weight you lose naturally. In fact, women lose on average about 13 pounds during childbirth, which includes the weight of the baby, your placenta, and amniotic fluid. And you’ll continue to shed pounds in the weeks after as your body gets rid of the excess fluid it acquired during pregnancy.
Be realistic about your postpartum weight loss expectations
Keep in mind that you may not be able to return to your exact pre-pregnancy weight or shape. For many women, pregnancy causes permanent changes such as a softer post-baby belly, stretch marks, slightly wider hips, and a larger waistline. (Your shoe size may even increase!) These changes are normal, and embracing your new postpartum body can help you develop realistic goals around postpartum fitness.
Don’t go on a strict, restrictive diet. Women need a minimum of 1,600 calories a day to stay healthy, and most women need more than that – between 1,800 and 2,200 calories a day – to keep up their energy and prevent mood swings. And if you’re nursing, you need a bare minimum of 2,000 calories a day (most nursing moms need more like 2,500 calories) to nourish both yourself and your baby.
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If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to make sure to take it slow – losing weight too quickly can cause a decrease in your milk supply. Too-rapid weight loss can also release toxins that are stored in your body fat into the bloodstream – and into your milk supply. (Toxins that can make it into your bloodstream include environmental contaminants like the heavy metals lead and mercury, persistent organic pollutants like PCBs and dioxins, and solvents.)
Weight loss of about a pound and a half a week is safe and won’t affect your milk supply if you’re nursing. To achieve this, cut out 500 calories a day from your current diet (without dipping below the safe minimum) by either decreasing your food intake or increasing your activity level.
Find your favorite postpartum exercise – and stick with it!
There’s no magic pill to help you lose weight after pregnancy: A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to shed the pounds – and to keep them off. And it’s important to exercise while trying to lose weight to ensure you’re losing fat instead of muscle.
Once you’re ready to begin losing weight, start by eating a little less and being more active – even if you’re just taking a walk around the block with your baby in the stroller. The benefits of postpartum exercise extend beyond the scale: Regular physical activity can help boost your mood and decrease stress as well as strengthen and tone abdominal muscles that were stretched during pregnancy.
While you can likely start light exercise, like walking, days after giving birth, check in with your provider before engaging in more vigorous workouts or exercise programs. It’s especially important to get cleared for exercise by your provider if you’re recovering from a c-section or still feel sore from a vaginal delivery weeks after giving birth.
Focus on eating the right foods for postpartum weight loss
With a new baby and schedule, it can be hard to find the time to eat. But skipping meals can make energy levels lag – and it won’t help you lose weight postpartum. Many moms find that eating five to six small meals a day with healthy snacks in between (rather than three larger meals) fits their appetite and schedule better. (A small meal might be half a sandwich, carrot sticks, fruit, and a glass of milk.)
Don’t skip meals in an attempt to lose weight – it won’t help, because you’ll be more likely to eat more at other meals. (And you’ll also probably feel tired and grouchy.) And even if you’ve never been much of a breakfast person, know that eating breakfast can help keep you from feeling famished – and tired – later in the morning, and it can give you the energy to be more active.
In addition, studies show that skipping breakfast can sabotage your weight loss efforts. One study found that consistently eating breakfast, along with other lifestyle changes, like limiting fast food and eating more frequent and smaller meals, is associated with long-term weight loss management success.
It also might be helpful to slow down your eating, too, if possible: When you take your time eating, you’ll notice that it’s easier to tell when you feel full – and you’re less likely to overeat.
Here are some more nutrition tips for losing weight after having your baby:
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Eat more fruits and veggies. If you aren’t a huge fan of eating fruits and vegetables plain, you can find creative ways to incorporate them into your meals. Make fruit (or veggie) smoothies; use fruit or vegetable salsas or vegetable reduction sauces (sauces made from puréed vegetables) over fish or chicken; add shredded carrots to your sandwich; or try grilled vegetables or puréed vegetable soups. (Puréeing your soup makes it creamy without having to add cream, which is high in calories and saturated fat. It’s also a great way to eat veggies you might not ordinarily eat on their own.)
Look for foods high in fiber. Studies show that eating foods high in fiber can help keep you satiated between meals and encourage weight loss – as well as help with any postpartum constipation. Try to incorporate foods rich in fiber, like apples, beans, lentils, or whole grains, into your meals.
Choose the right fats. Fat has twice as many calories as carbohydrates or proteins, and that’s not always a bad thing! Eating the right fats can help you feel full and balance out your diet. Healthy, unsaturated fats – such as avocados, olives, salmon, and nuts and seeds – are a great mealtime addition or snack and can help lower cholesterol and boost heart health. Avoid unnecessary fats that are found in fried food and sugary drinks, like soda or high-calorie coffee beverages. Including some fat at each meal will help you stay full and keep you from overeating carbohydrates.
Add a source of protein to every meal. Consuming lean sources of protein – like eggs, beans and lentils, and lean cuts of chicken or tofu – can help boost metabolism and decrease appetite.
Stay hydrated. Drinking water offers many health benefits, including lubricating your joints so you can move more easily and helping keep you satiated so you consume fewer calories. Plus, hydration is important for breastfeeding. The amount of water you need depends on several factors, like your age, size, and where you live, but it’s best to aim to drink at least 11 cups of water a day.
What Is The Best Diet For Postpartum?
The best type of diet in the postpartum period is one that is varied and has adequate amounts of all 3 macronutrients.
Those macronutrients are:
You might think that in order to lose weight fast, you have to do low carb, become vegan, do intermittent fasting, or put your body into a state of ketosis.
The good news is:
You don’t have to do any of these!
In fact, doing these diets can be detrimental to your health and well-being- especially for new mothers!
Instead, you must focus on consuming a balanced diet consisting of real, whole foods, with minimal processing is the best diet you should consume postnatally.
Let me show you how.
An Easy Postpartum Diet You Can Follow
So now let’s go over the postpartum nutrition diet plan. There are only 5 rules you have to follow.
Here are the rules.
1. You must eat at least two servings of whole grains per day
Carbohydrates are the macronutrient for energy. This is the food group that will keep you going, throughout the day.
The key is that they must be whole grains. These include:
- Brown rice
- Steel-cut oats
Don’t be afraid of these carbohydrates. They contain many vitamins (like the B vitamins) that you cannot get elsewhere!
2. You must consume at least two servings of lean protein per day
Protein is probably the most important macronutrient of the three.
It is the macronutrient that keeps you satisfied the most, and is responsible for the development and maintenance of lean muscle tissue.
This is especially important if you exercise regularly (which I’ll get to in a bit.)
The best protein sources include:
- Lean chicken breast
- Wild-caught salmon (limit to 1-2x per week if you are breastfeeding)
- Greek yogurt
If you could only focus on one thing for postpartum recovery, protein would be it.
3. You must consume at least two servings of healthy fats per day
Fat consumption is not something you should be afraid of.
It is a necessary nutrient that is vital for hormone production, hormone absorption, and cell membrane support.
For example, Vitamin D, one of the most essential nutrients for postpartum women is a fat-soluble vitamin.
However, it’s important that you consume the right kinds of fat.
In general, you should avoid trans fats at all costs, and keep your saturated fat intake to a minimum. Unsaturated fats tend to be the healthiest, especially the omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are the best sources of healthy fat:
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
- Fatty fish (limit to 1-2x per week if you are breastfeeding)
- Chia seeds
I recommend keeping red meat intake to a minimum.
4. Add fruits and vegetables wherever you can
Everyone knows that they need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
But the key is, you actually have to do it.
There is no way to satisfy your nutrient needs without these important food groups.
After reading this post, go ahead and make a list of fruits and vegetables you are going to eat every single day…
… starting today.
5. You must avoid liquid calories
Did you know that you could lose a decent amount of baby weight and improve your diet significantly if you stopped drinking your calories?
There are so many calories in soda, juice, milk, coffees, etc. If you simply cut all of these things out of your diet, you would see a big change in the way you look and feel.
Diet Chart For Post Pregnancy
The time post the pregnancy is crucial. A lot of blood and body nutrients are lost during the process of giving birth. Months before the pregnancy, a lot of care is taken in terms of health of mother and her diet. This ensures proper health of the child as well. During pregnancy, there can be various complications and to overcome the loss of nutrients from the body, the mother should follow a post pregnancy diet.
The post pregnancy diet focuses on reimbursing the lost nutrients and energy of the body. This diet will help in regaining the energy back which is required to take care of the baby. Mother’s milk is considered to be the purest form of nutrient resource for the born baby. Therefore, the diet should include all the necessary elements.
Eggs are a good supplement to be included in diet. If you are a vegetarian, you can opt to choose leafy green veggies, fruits – oranges especially, legumes, fruits like blueberries. A whole-grain cereal will bring a healthy start to the day. Consuming water is necessary as it helps to keep the body hydrated.
Following a proper diet plan will ensure the optimum use of the diet.
Food Items To Limit
- spices (cinnamon, garlic, curry, chili pepper)
- citrus fruits and their juices, like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit
- the “gassy” veggies (onion, cabbage, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and peppers)
- fruits with a laxative effect, such as cherries and prunes
Do’s And Dont’s
Do’s & Don’ts:
- Get plenty of rest. Get as much sleep as possible to cope with tiredness and fatigue.
- Seek help. Don’t hesitate to accept help from family and friends during the postpartum period, as well as after this period.
- Eat healthy meals. Maintain a healthy diet to promote healing. Increase your intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein.
- Exercise. Your doctor will let you know when it’s OK to exercise. The activity should not be strenuous.
- Eat high-fiber foods to stimulate bowel activity, and drink plenty of water. Ask your doctor about safe medications. Fiber can also relieve hemorrhoids, as well as over-the-counter creams or sitting in a sitz bath.
- Losing weight also involves eating healthy, balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Food Items You Can Easily Consume
- Low-Fat Dairy Products : Milk delivers a boost of bone-strengthening vitamin D. In addition to providing protein and B vitamins, dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium.
- Legumes : Iron-rich beans, particularly dark-colored ones like black beans and kidney beans, are a great breastfeeding food, especially for vegetarians.
- Blueberries : These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and they give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.
- Brown Rice : Mix healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice into your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body the calories it needs to make the best-quality milk for your baby.
- Oranges : Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent breastfeeding foods, since nursing moms need more vitamin C than pregnant women.
- Eggs : Opt for DHA-fortified eggs to boost the level of this essential fatty acid in your milk.
- Whole-Wheat Bread : olic acid is an important nutrient in your breast milk that your baby needs for good health, and it’s crucial you eat enough for your own well-being, too. Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with it, and also give you a healthy dose of fiber and iron.