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8 smart diet moves after pregnancy

By
WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

In the world of celebrity new mums, jelly bellies morph back into six-packs in super quick time!

In the real world getting to grips with looking after your new baby will most likely be your priority.

When the dust has settled and you’re starting to think about losing the baby weight you may want to change some of the less healthy food habits you may have picked up while you were pregnant.

There’s no rush and you shouldn’t feel pressure to lose the weight fast but when you are in the right mindset think about making these changes:

1. Don't eat for two

Even when pregnant you’re not really supposed to eat for two as the old wives’ tale goes, but many of us do!

Pregnancy can provide an excuse for over indulgence. So if you went a bit overboard on the calories it’s time to cut back now.

Sioned Quirke from the British Dietetic Association says: "Being a new mum is very hard work so having a balanced, varied diet is essential to make sure your body recovers from giving birth and supplies you with the energy and nutrients you need to get through [being a new mum] it!"

2. Keep up the breastfeeding

Breastfeeding if you are able to or choose to, can help.

" Breastfeeding uses around 500 calories a day therefore it can aid weight loss," says Sioned.

Make sure you are eating a healthy diet that’s not too low calorie though as you will need energy to breastfeed.

3. Avoid too-good-to-be-true diets

Don’t go on a quick fix wonder diet. It’ll make you feel tired and you need a lot of energy as a new mum.

It’s tempting to think a certain diet will magically transport you back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Even if you do lose a lot of weight in a quick amount of time you’re likely to put it back on as soon as you return to 'normal' eating.

" Healthy eating is the key," says Sioned. "You need to make lifelong changes, look at it as a healthy lifestyle rather than a diet."

4. Control cravings

When you are pregnant your hormones may actually make you crave certain foods, with ice cream and chocolate high up the list.

Once baby’s born that excuse won’t wash anymore so try to keep a lid on high fat and high calorie treats.

It may be stress or exhaustion that gets you heading for the junk food but try to pick better alternatives that are easily to hand. Keep frozen fruit slices in the freezer and pre-cooked hard boiled eggs in the fridge as grabbable hunger busters.

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