Women :: Pregnancy Diet & How to Lose Baby Fat
You've got lots of special considerations related to your eating and your weight when pregnant. And I won't go into great depth here on how to eat while you're pregnant for one good reason: Weight Loss Answers Online is focused on helping people lose weight, helping them keep it off permanently, and developing healthy eating and exercise habits for life. And you shouldn't be trying to lose weight when you're pregnant.
Your Health and Your Baby's Health
are Bound by Nature
Here are tips designed to set
the two of you up for "healthy success"
with a nutritional pregnancy diet; and
you'll also find tips on how to lose baby fat.
If you're like most women, you're very interested in learning how to lose baby fat after your child is born. And that process is easier if your pregnancy diet - how you eat while pregnant - is nutritionally balanced and properly proportioned.
But I do share a few general guidelines for a healthy pregnancy diet so you'll have an easier time losing the baby fat when the time comes.
What to Include in a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
First step is the check with your doctor. After receiving your doctor's advice, remember that even choosing the right foods is no guarantee anymore. Food poisoning is in the news for a variety of food products - many of which are considered healthy foods. So the best tip for a healthy pregnancy diet is to have plenty of variety.
Don't depend on the same foods every day. You'll dramatically lower your risk of being exposed to something harmful if you eat a wide variety of foods. And of course, you'll also give your growing baby a healthier mix of nutrients by varying your diet.
A well-balanced pregnancy diet includes plenty of nutrients for you and your unborn baby. Use these guidelines for creating healthy meals:
- - 6 to 11 servings of grain products (focus on whole grains)
- - 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
- - 2 to 4 servings of fruits
- - 4 to 6 servings of milk and milk products
- - 3 to 4 servings of meat and protein foods (about 75 grams a day or more of protein)
- - 6 to 8 glasses of water (8-oz each) and maybe also some fruit juice
- - Limited servings of fatty foods and sweets
Pay close attention to the bullet on drinking water (actually, pay attention to all the bullets). When you stay hydrated you have the benefit of avoiding early labor, healthier skin (i.e., more elastic), and a decrease in annoying pregnancy symptoms. These include constipation and swelling.
You will gain weight while you're pregnant. And a good pregnancy diet will help you gain weight that's easier to lose after the baby is born. Sounds strange but it's true. Most women gain about 6-11 pounds during the first trimester. Then your weight gain will be pretty uniform over the last two trimesters - about a pound a week.
How to Lose Baby Fat
After your baby is born you'd like to begin returning to a normal weight. So how do you go about losing baby fat? Once again, double-check with your doctor. Because if you're breast feeding or you had a cesarean section, how you diet and exercise is going to be limited.
One idea - it does require advance planning - is to lead a more active life during pregnancy. This helps to control how much you gain and keep it well within the safe range. Again, check with your doctor on a program that's right for you and your baby.
How else to lose baby fat? Take a hard look at your diet. Are you eating ice cream, chips, candy and carbonated drinks to excess? Are your portion sizes right for you? They'll be smaller than your husband's portion size.
Unless you have some special health considerations, you can generally follow any healthy weight loss plan. This includes a balance of fruits and vegetables, grains (at least half are whole grains), lean meats and milk products. (See Menus & Recipes for guidelines.)
Then of course there's exercise. During the first three months you'll most likely be limited to light exercise (have I mentioned checking with your doctor?). After that you should be able to build in more and more "active" exercise. How to lose baby fat isn't necessarily complicated or excessively difficult. Just stick to it.
Know any other moms? Can you join some of them in daily walks with the babies? This will probably also help you stick to it and lose baby fat faster. Yes, walking is an excellent exercise for a multitude of reasons.
Eating right and increasing your activity levels (your new baby will help out with this, too) ought to take off your baby fat. As a general guideline, try to shed it - or at least most of it - by your baby's first birthday. Then you can both celebrate. And those are the fundamentals of how to lose baby fat.