6 Rules for a Healthy Postpartum Slim-Down

Unless you’re a celebrity, slimming down after giving weight is not easy. But, losing your baby-weight is not impossible either. As with any weight loss program, the key to losing postpartum weight is a combination of healthy-eating habits and regular exercise. But unlike other dieters, your body needs certain nutrients to keep yourself – and your baby healthy.

That said, Health.com recommends the consuming foods that will boost your energy and trim you down, all while caring for your newborn.

Protein

Protein-rich foods contain a "hunger-fighting" hormone that will make feel fuller than carbohydrates can. Many protein-rich foods are also packed with iron and vitamin B12, both of which have been found to increase energy levels. Just make sure to pick lean cuts of meat.

Anti-inflammatory

Giving birth puts the body under a lot of stress that it can cause the immune system to respond (to the stress) through internal inflammation. Thus, it is important to load up on anti-inflammatory foods. These include berries, green tea, and spices such as garlic and turmeric. Avoid processed sugar as this can increase inflammation and raise your blood sugar.

Additional calories

If you’re planning on breastfeeding your newborn, most doctors suggest adding 500 calories a day to your diet. Get those extra 500 calories from fiber-rich foods. Also drink lots of water and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Keep in mind that what you consume makes its way into your milk. If your child has diarrhea, gas or even a rash, it could be the result of an allergic reaction to something you ate.

Milk producers

If you have a low milk supply, experts believe that some herbs like chamomile, fennel and fenugreek seeds may help boost your milk production. However, many of these herbs have yet to be "scientifically evaluated," and as thus, consult your doctor first before adding them to your diet.

Vitamin ABCs

Vitamin A – a lot of vitamin A is lost through breastfeeding. Get all the vitamin A that your body needs by eating vitamin A-rich foods like spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and kale. You should get 1,300 micrograms of vitamin A per day.

Vitamin C – vitamin C plays an important role in the growth and repair of tissues, and in blocking some of the damages caused by free radicals that cause a number of diseases. Since our body is unable to store Vitamin C, it is important to keep a steady supply of vitamin C in your diet. Aim for 120 milligrams per day by eating foods packed in vitamin C such as oranges, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin D – vitamin D keeps bones strong and healthy. It is made when the sun touches our skin. But since being a new mom means spending most of your time indoors, get your 200 IU everyday from eggs, mushrooms, and fortified milk.

Potassium – is important in balancing the body’s pH, for normal water balance, muscle growth and healthy nervous system and brain function. It also helps lower-blood pressure. Get your 3,500 milligrams per day from potassium-packed foods such as bananas, prunes, raisins and apricots.

Calcium

A lot of calcium is lost during breastfeeding. To keep your bones and teeth healthy, eat lots of calcium-rich low-fat dairy products such as low-fat (fortified) milk and low-fat (fortified) yogurt, or calcium-rich products like figs, beans, peas and green leafy veggies. Your aim is 1000 mg of calcium per day.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have shown that it can boost a baby’s sensory, cognitive, and motor development. Breast milk is packed with DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that facilitates brain growth.

To get your 0.5 grams of DHA per day, eat tuna, salmon and walnuts.

Source: health.com