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Baby Fat: Shedding Those Post-Pregnancy Pounds

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Most women look forward to the opportunity to let their guard down and give into their cravings during pregnancy. Yet, after delivery, many ladies are eager to get their “old” body back..

But, after nine months of eating freely, getting back into shape may mean more than sheer determination, but also a healthy diet and plenty of regular exercise and patience.

Serve Up Smaller, Single Portions:

Changes are when you were pregnant you were hungry enough for two (sometimes full-grown adults) and allowed yourself to “splurge”. But, now you’re going to have to retrain yourself to once again eat for one. And, keep in mind that proper nutrition is especially important for moms who are breastfeeding.

· Make fruits, veggie, and whole grains the focus of your meals and snacks. These foods are delicious and nutritious and help you feel full longer. Other options include low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses. White meat poultry, most fish, beans and lean cut meats are also recommended for protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins.

· Keep only healthy foods in the house and opt for “healthier” restaurants or selections off the menu when eating out. And by all means stay OUT of the junk food isle at your local market.

· Eat more often, not more. Consider smaller portions of healthier foods (such as fruits and veggies) but refrain from skipping meals which may only make you hungrier and ultimately result in you eating more and of the wrong stuff.

· Learn to distinguish between hunger and “cravings” and eat only when you are hungry. If you start thinking about food when you’re not hungry, find something to change your direction and take your mind off food.

Get Up And Go:

Keep in mind that previously women were advised to gain no more than 20 to 30 pounds during pregnancy, and they were instructed to start exercising at least six weeks after giving birth. However, new research suggests that if you’re generally healthy and has a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated birth, you can probably start getting back into shape a lot sooner, within a few days in fact. However, if you had a C-section or a complicated delivery discuss your exercise options with your doctor.

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead:

· Invest in some comfortable clothing and a support bra and make sure to feed baby (if you are breastfeeding) before exercising.

· Don’t rush it. Start slowly and with light low-impact activity, such as walking, stationary cycling or swimming. Refrain for highly impactful exercising such as jumping that may cause jerky movements and/or injury.

· Make it a mother-child moment. Find new and innovative ways to exercise with your baby. From Mommy and Me classes to going for a walk or biking on the boardwalk, invest in the proper equipment, take baby along for the ride and double your pleasure and your fun.

· Concentrate on your abs (since you’ve likely seen the most change there).

· Don’t forget the Kegels. While they won’t help you shed the weight, they will help you get your pelvic muscles back in shape.

Finally, make sure to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to stop exercising should you start experiencing any significant and/or unusual discomfort or pain.

Also make sure to keep you goals realistic. Most women can expect to lose about 10 pounds during birth, including the weight of the child, placenta, and amniotic fluid. Also during the first week after delivery, you can expect to lose some additional weight and you eliminate retained fluids, but stored fat need extra attention.

Through diet and exercise, it’s reasonable to expect to shed about half a pound a week, whether your breastfeeding or not. And, experts suggest, holding on to these healthy eating principles for life.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Baby Fat: Shedding Those Post-Pregnancy Pounds

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