So, you have completely changed your diet during these 9 months of pregnancy to be able to feed for two during this period. You may have even given in to some natural cravings during your pregnancy. And that’s all really fine. But after your childbirth, you may feel like it is time to get back to a more healthy and stable diet. But where and when to start?
A lot of our clients ask us questions and tips about the post-natal diet they should pursue to slowly and safely get back to their pre-pregnancy weight and general fitness.
To answer this question, we questioned our personal trainer Sade, who is one of our pre and post natal experts. Being a mum herself, Sade went through this difficult period of readapation and shared with us her advice-based on her own experiences as well as a 3-day meal plan to bring her learnings to life.
How many calories should you consume a day?
If you want to lose weight while breastfeeding your newborn, you must take some precautions:
- You should aim to stay around 1,800 calories a day to keep yourself and the baby healthy within the first 2 months. Breastfeeding can zap a lot of your energy leaving a lot of our new mums feeling tired. When breastfeeding you are losing around 200-350 calories a day on this activity alone.
- When the 2 month post-natal period is over, you should make sure that you don’t lose weight too fast even though this may be tempting. Lose weight at a safe rate of around 1.5 pounds a week, so your milk supply is not affected.
What would a 3-day meal plan look like?
When you have just had a baby, you will be feeling a mix of emotions. You will probably be elated at the joy of being a mum, exhausted with the lack of sleep and rushed off your feet with all the new responsibilities that motherhood brings. As tempting as it is, to reach for caffeine and sugar and processed foods, this won’t help. It may disrupt your sleeping patterns even further and it won’t give you the nutrients your body needs for recovery and repair. Try our 3 day meal plan below, which has a mix of energy releasing carbohydrates, muscle repairing protein and natural sugars for a boost.
- Breakfast – Porridge with banana and blueberries
- Snack – Almonds, peanut butter and hemp milk smoothie
- Lunch – Steak, sliced sweet potato and broccoli
- Snack – Carrot sticks/Celery with hummus
- Dinner – Grilled turkey breast with spinach, kale and asparagus
- Breakfast – 2 slices of rye bread with 2 whole boiled eggs + 1 banana
- Snach – Fat free yogurt with granola
- Lunch – Grilled chicken breast fillet salad with spinach, tomatoes, peppers and croutons
- Snack – Nut mix (walnuts, almonds, Brazilian)
- Dinner – Salmon with sweet potato and asparagus
- Breakfast – Avocado on a slice of wholegrain toast
- Snack – Fruit smoothie (banana, nuts and dates)
- Lunch – Lentils with wholegrain pitta bread
- Snack – Wholegrain crackers with cheese
- Dinner – Steak with brown rice and broccoli
What type of physical exercises should you do?
If you are up to date with your GP it is advised to work on diaphragmatic breathing to further enhance stabilisation of the core as pregnancy causes changes in breathing. You should also work on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles to prevent any possible incontinence, especially when progressing to perform more intense movements. Last but not least, you should also continue to practice strengthening the deeper core muscle (transverse abdominis) as well as working on stretching the hip flexors and calf muscles.