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  2. Adjusting to motherhood
  3. Weight and body image

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Post-pregnancy Weight Loss Diet: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Extra pounds you gain during your pregnancy can be difficult to get rid of. Learn what foods can help you to get back to your prenatal weight.

During pregnancy, you gain some extra pounds. This extra weight comes from the growth occurring within you. The growing baby, the placenta, amniotic fluids and larger breasts contribute to this extra weight.

Additionally, you also pack on more fats in your deposits around the various areas of the body. This fat is a reserve of energy that you’ll need when you are giving birth and in the energy-sapping months that follow.

Baby weight is part and parcel of life after giving birth to a child. However, you shouldn’t keep this extra weight for too long lest you gain health issues.

By minding your diet, here’s how to lose weight after having a baby.

When you are trying to lose weight after giving birth, stay away from rigorous crash diets. You need to have a balanced diet. Not only does this keep you healthy but it also ensures that you provide your young one with high-quality breast milk. There are some foodstuffs that need to be included in your best diet after pregnancy to boost both the baby’s and your health:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Fruits
  • Leafy greens
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Water.

Low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt provide both you and the baby with much-needed vitamins B and D as well as calcium. The low-fat nature of these foodstuffs also provides the added advantage of not packing on the pounds.

Bear in mind that dairy products can have a negative impact on the baby’s condition. So be careful and don’t misuse them.

Whole-grain foods are perfect if you are thinking about how to lose weight in a month. They provide plenty of fiber which adds bulk to food. Not only does this improve your digestive health but it also prevents you from adding extra weight.

You should eat fruits very often, especially if you need a snack. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are important to your health. Leafy greens also provide you with minerals and vitamins.

You should improve your diet by adding spinach, broccoli, kale or Swiss chard. Greens have very few calories so you should not worry about gaining more weight when you eat them.

Eggs are almost the perfect food. They – alongside fish like salmon – contain protein that is the building blocks of the body. The skin and underlying muscle of your stomach after delivery are stretched out and loose. The body uses protein in the repair of this belly skin and muscles, returning you to your pre-pregnancy figure. Fish and eggs also contain omega 3 fatty acids like DHA that are important for the fetus development.

As you lose weight through metabolism, you need to drink enough water to flush out the wastes. Plying your body with plenty of water also helps it to burn more calories.

During the breastfeeding period, your appetite goes up. This happens so that your body can pack enough nutrients into the breast milk for the baby.

This heightened appetite will increase your cravings – many of these won’t be healthy foods. You should resist the urges to gorge these unhealthy foods:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Fried and greasy foods
  • Fizzy soft drinks
  • Some seafood.

When you take alcohol, it can seep through to the breast milk you feed your baby. There are studies that also show that taking alcohol reduces the amount of breast milk you produce.

Like alcohol, the caffeine in coffee can also get into the breast milk. This makes your baby fussy and restless, preventing them from getting peaceful sleep.

Fried and greasy foods are full of oils and fats that will add to your baby weight. Also, if you are thinking about how to lose weight after cesarean delivery, you should cut these fatty foods out of your diet. They don’t assist the body’s healing process.

Speaking of the healing process after a cesarean, you should also stay away from fizzy drinks. They make you bloated, bringing discomfort to the abdominal wall. They also contain a high number of empty calories that not only interferes with the healing process but also leads to gaining weight after baby delivery.

Earlier we talked about fish being a beneficial part of your post-pregnancy diet plan. However, not all fish and seafood is good for you and your baby. A lot of seafood contains mercury, which is poisonous when you consume it.

During your pregnancy, the body prepares for the rigors of breastfeeding by increasing its fat stores. (Fat is a great source of energy).

Therefore, it’s only right to wonder if breastfeeding will help the body shed this excess fat. The answer is that it does.

If you follow a healthy diet that is well balanced and contains assorted foods, you can gradually lose the baby weight as you breastfeed. This also ensures that both you and your baby maintain good health.

To regain their original body after baby delivery, many women do a lot of cardio and follow crash diets. 

Although this might show desired results in a relatively shorter time, it has some drawbacks. The rapid cut down of fat releases toxins which end up in the breast milk, making it less nutritious for the baby.

You should, therefore, endeavor to eat well and take things slow. Gradually, the weight gain after pregnancy will reduce and you will be back as you were before.

During your pregnancy you're likely to gain around 25-35 pounds of extra weight.

This is usually due to the weight of the growing baby, the enlarged uterus, and placenta. The amniotic fluid, increased breast tissue, fat, and blood also add to this poundage.

So, when you give birth, it’s only right that this weight is shed off. Depending on the size of your baby, you can lose about half of the extra baby weight after delivery. The weight due to the baby, amniotic fluid, and placenta is lost.

But this still leaves you with the half weight gain to shed later on.

The question, therefore, still remains: how much weight do you lose after giving birth and when will you lose it?

While you can lose a significant portion of your baby weight within the six months after delivery, the rest of it will take longer.

You should, therefore, expect to be a little bit heavier than you were before you got pregnant. However, with exercise and a balanced healthy diet, you can gradually lose weight and return as close as possible to your pre-pregnancy body.

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