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Beating The Baby Bulge

weight-loss-pregnancy

By Sophie Halls Anning, Nutritionist.

With celebrity mums boasting how their bodies ‘bounced back’ to size six in a matter of weeks following birth, it’s no wonder new mums feel under pressure to look great in a hurry. But most mere mortals don’t have the time, money or energy to employ a chef or personal trainer; can be confused about how many extra calories to consume when breastfeeding and are learning to juggle a whole new set of responsibilities so counting calories ends up at the bottom of mum’s to do list.  So what’s the solution for new mums wanting to put away those generously-waisted jeans?

1. Be realistic: Women in a healthy weight range before conception should gain 11 – 16kg during pregnancy and take six to nine months to lose at a rate of .5 – 1kg per week. To ensure your body gets all the nourishment it needs after the physically demanding process of birth and the extra 500 calories that breastfeeding mums need, you should wait three months till commencing a weight loss program.

2. Don’t eat like a man: Men’s bodies are different to ours – that’s why they need around 25% more calories than women, so it’s really important to pay attention to portion size. If your smaller plate makes you feel deprived, fill up on low calorie vegetables (without butter!) and salad until you make the psychological adjustment and begin to see the benefits once you start losing weight.

3. Eat mindfully: Make eating a meal on your own or with your partner your ‘time out’ from your role as a new mum. Eat slowly, chewing each mouthful 20 times so you’re really tasting each bite. Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and use the time to connect with the rest of your family (not the TV!). You’ll find that the greater appreciation you have for the quality of the food you eat, the less quantity you’ll eat of it.

4. Make wise food choices: Females require 2000 – 2500 calories per day, so use these calories wisely. Fat contains more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates so should be consumed sparingly. Good quality, low GI carbohydrates which are easily recognised by their symbol, will not only help you feel fuller for longer but also contain other vitamins and minerals that a regular durum wheat pasta and white rice don’t.

5. Stay hydrated: We need two litres of water daily for our bodies to function properly, with breastfeeding mothers needing another ½ a litre to replace the fluid lost in feeding. Many of us struggle to remember to drink this amount, but many studies have shown that hunger can be mistaken for dehydration. Try a cup of herbal tea instead of reaching for a snack, then decide 15 minutes later if you’re really still hungry. Hopefully, you’ll be in a more mindful state to choose a piece of fruit, a small handful of raw nuts or a yoghurt to keep you going.

This article was written and submitted by Sophie Halls Anning (BA) Hons, Dip Nut. Sophie is a Sydney-based nutritionist specializing in fertility and pregnancy nutrition at her clinic, Broody Foodie. Sophie provides dietary analysis, nutrition advice and healthy recipes for each step of the pregnancy process either in person or via online consultations. To find out more, visit www.broodyfoodie.com.au

 

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Sep 17, 2010 | Category: Food and Nutrition, Health and Beauty | Comments: none | Tags: , ,

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