Pregnancy itself can be a draining and difficult time, and you may not feel completely back to normal for up to a year after childbirth. It’s important to put your physical and mental health first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward getting back into shape.
If you’re interested in achieving the form and function you experienced before pregnancy, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of rest to help your body recover. These are some of the most effective strategies for getting in shape after pregnancy.
Eat Sufficient Calories and Key Nutrients
Many women experience cravings and find it difficult to maintain their normal diet during and after pregnancy, but you should try to get back to healthier foods soon after giving birth. You may be surprised to learn that diet is much more important than exercise when trying to lose weight.
The average woman needs about 2200 to 2400 calories per day while breastfeeding, and closer to 2000 or 2200 after. Other important nutrients for recently pregnant women include iron,
calcium, and protein. They are especially crucial during breastfeeding as you will lose significant levels of these nutrients in the milk.
For the same reasons, you should never try to lose your pregnancy weight too quickly. Many women attempt crash diets or other options designed to help lose weight in a short period of time, but these can be extremely problematic for your health—especially when your body is already dealing with the stress of recovering from pregnancy.
If you’re trying to lose weight in time for a big event or the summer months, consider wearing shapewear on special occasions instead. This is an easy and stress-free way to get the look you want without pushing your body too hard through exercise or strenuous activity.
Keep Nutritious, Filling Snacks Around the House
No matter how carefully you plan your meals, your body’s needs can be unpredictable and you’ll likely end up snacking throughout the day. Many common snack foods contain lots of added sugar and simple carbs without offering any real nutritional value, so you should reach for healthier choices whenever possible.
Simple adjustments like whole wheat bread instead of white or hummus instead of ranch dip go a long way. You can also go for a protein-heavy snack such as an egg salad or peanut butter sandwich, as these will keep you full for longer than other options.
Eat Healthy Fats
Many people assume that limiting fat is the easiest way to lose weight, but this is far from the truth. While it’s good to cut down on unhealthy fats like chips and fries, there are actually a wide range of healthy fats that are important for your body.
Some of the most common sources of healthy fats include nuts, avocados, and olives. Omega-3 fatty acids are an incredibly nutritious fat that can actually cut down on abdominal fat, and they’re found in things like walnuts and salmon.
Recovering from pregnancy is a long-term process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps toward improving your overall health and physical fitness. These three tips are a great starting point if you’re trying to regain the body you had before pregnancy.