A recent study out of Toronto tells us that women who fail to begin to lose the ‘baby weight’ in the first year post-partum put themselves at an increased risk for developing diabetes and heart disease later in life. Not only does losing the weight boost your confidence, and bring you back to “you,” it is important for your health. Where do you start in winning the battle of the baby bulge? Here are five top tips to get you started on your weight loss journey.
1. Have something to eat every 2-3 hours.
Keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism on even keel by feeding yourself fuel every 2-3 hours. The key is what you put into your mouth, not necessarily how much. This is especially true for breastfeeding women, who need extra calories to fuel their milk production.
2. Drink 2L of water a day.
H2O is crucial in keeping your body healthy and hydrated. Breastfeeding takes fluid from your body so it is extra important at this time that you keep drinking water. Herbal tea is also a good option.
3. Don’t weigh yourself in the first 3 months (maybe never).
So the super genetically blessed model sprang back to her normal weight 2 weeks post-partum. This is NOT the norm. Give yourself a break. Take the first few months to spend time resting, cuddling, feeding and nurturing your body, spirit, mind and brand new bundle of joy. Do not weigh yourself in this time. It is actually perfectly ok to never weigh yourself again. Go instead by the way you clothes fit and you feel.
4. Eat 6-10 servings of vegetables every day.
Step up your nutritional game by reaching for 6-10 servings of colourful vegetables each and every day. Incorporate spinach or kale into a morning smoothie, have a big salad for lunch, reach for carrot sticks with hummus for a mid-afternoon snack. You will be surprised how it all adds up, and how awesome you will feel.
5. Don’t eat past 8pm.
Your digestive system and liver need time to take a break. Give this to yourself; don’t eat past 8pm. Bonus: you avoid mindless eating and wake up hungry for a nice big breakfast. If you have to have something while you watch tv, fall in love with herbal tea.
6. Get help from a professional.
You need people in your corner to support you with knowledge and emotional guidance. Someone trained in nutrition is the right kind of person to guide you and motivate you each step of the way. Don’t under-estimate the value of professional advice when you embark on a journey as big and challenging, and yet so transformative as weight loss. We offer one-on-one support, as well as a group program called Nourish Yourself Vibrant (available in May). This is an investment, but so worth it to get back to being you: confident, happy, fulfilled.
Above all else, take time to love yourself and be kind. Give yourself lots of time to shed the weight: slow weight loss is lasting weight loss and this is a time to take things slowly.
Lianne Phillipson-Webb is the founder of Sprout Right, a company that specializes in pre-conception, prenatal, and postnatal nutrition for women, as well as good food and health for the whole family. With over ten years of experience, Lianne is a registered nutritionist, author, member of the International Organization of Nutrition Consultants, and mother of two.