After gaining weight during a pregnancy, you may have a beautiful baby to bounce on your knees, but you haven't necessarily bounced back to your prepregnancy self. With barely enough time to shower or sleep, who has the energy to work out and cook healthy meals? It seems difficult, but these tips can make the process easier.
- Remember, you're no longer pregnant: If "eating for two" gave you an unofficial green light to eat anything you wanted, then it's time to start a new eating plan. As a mom, it's essential to take care of yourself; taking care of your little one requires energy, and a diet based on pizza, chips, chocolate, and late-night pints of ice cream just won't cut it.
- Eat small meals: Moms who breastfeed need about 500 extra calories a day to make milk. Since your hunger level is likely to be high, instead of eating three larger meals and two small snacks, eat six to eight small meals (about every two hours) to keep hunger at bay.
- Plan ahead: Since your free time is spent changing diapers, doing laundry, or sleeping, it's difficult to make time each day to prepare wholesome meals and snacks. Set aside an hour or so each week to write out a weekly meal plan, complete with a shopping list so you'll have the ingredients to whip up nutritious food all week long. Cut up fruits and veggies and store them in the fridge to make preparation easier, and when you find the time to cook, make triple or quadruple the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal later.
- Eat a salad for a meal once a day: This ensures that you eat veggies at least once during your busy day. Start with nutritious baby spinach, and add a variety of fresh veggies, beans, a lean protein such as grilled chicken or marinated tofu, and some diced fresh fruit, and go easy on the high-calorie toppings such as cheese, seeds, avocado, and dressing.
Keep reading for more tips on how to lose the baby weight.