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Post-pregnancy diet

by cheree Published on 21 July 2009

If you aren't breastfeeding or have stopped doing so, you can start to diet fairly soon after giving birth, if you wish to, but take note of our advice.

Losing weight after pregnancy
> Start off slow: During the weeks after the birth you won't necessarily be firing on all cylinders, so don't eat under 1500-1800 calories per day. Aim to lose 500g-1kg per week.

> Eat a variety of foods: To avoid deficiencies (which are common after pregnancy), don't eliminate any food group from your diet: alter your quantities instead. Limit your fat and sugar intake but carry on eating fruit and veg, starchy foods, meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and seeds.

> Prioritise Omega 3s: These give you energy and beautiful skin! Eat walnut and rapeseed oil (1 tablespoon per day), walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds (1 handful per day) and oily fish (3 times a week).

> Allow yourself one or two healthy snacks a day: You're around the house, exhausted by baby's arrival, and the contents of your cupboards will seem tempting! Get rid of savoury and sweet snacks (crisps, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc) and stock up on healthy alternatives (yoghurts, fruit, slices of wholemeal bread, etc).

Here's a typical day's intake for the weeks post-birth

Breakfast

Tea or coffee (unsweetened)

2 buttered slices of wholemeal toast or 30-40g cereal

1 low-fat dairy product

1 piece of fruit

Lunch

Salad without fatty dressing

150g meat or grilled fish

100g cooked starchy food or nuts/seeds

As much steamed veg as you like with 1 teaspoonful of oil

1 dairy product

1 piece of fruit


Dinner

Soup

50-100g of white meat or fish

As much steamed veg as you like with 1 teaspoonful of oil

1 slice of bread with 30g cheese

1 piece of fruit

+ 2 snacks if you're hungry (yoghurt, fruit, wholemeal bread etc), spread throughout the day.

Getting your pre-pregnancy figure back
Putting on weight and losing muscle tone aren't the only consequences of pregnancy. Babies certainly do change everything, but the changes to your body can be reversed:


> Dull and undernourished skin and hair require regular care specific to type (greasy, dry etc). To restore vitality, take supplements containing Vitamin B and minerals such as magnesium and iron.


> Due to the changes your breasts have undergone, they will be fragile. To firm and tone them, apply firming cream every day, wear a body-sculpting bra, and at the end of your shower spray cold water over your breasts.


> Your legs are prone to water retention, so they may swell and feel heavy. Nothing relaxes and lightens them better than exercise, especially swimming and water-based sports. Avoid wearing tight clothes and high heels for the time being. Dietary supplements which help drain your body of toxins can also relieve heavy legs. .


> Depending on the quality and texture of your skin, stretch marks fade over time. To reduce their appearance, you can get hold of special creams you apply daily to affected areas.


> There's no miracle cure for cellulite, but a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, anti-cellulite cream and massage rollers can seriously improve matters!

by cheree

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