Becoming a mother means a big change in your diet, and if you’re not careful, that can mean some unwanted pounds.Here are nine helpful tips to help any mother keep from falling into bad habits that can lead to unwanted weight gain.
Eating for the Baby
Pregnant women often use the excuse of “eating for the baby” as a reason to eat as much of whatever they want. A pregnant needs to only increase her daily calorie intake 15-20% to sufficiently nurture the child. Nothing is healthier for a baby than a healthy mother, and there’s no better to do that than by eating healthy and sensibly.
Manage Pregnancy Cravings
Pregnant women are known for their intense food cravings. While it’s certainly acceptable to indulge in those cravings, it’s important to not let them become a consistent habit that will continue once the baby arrives.
Don’t Drink Too Much
There is a lot of dietary freedom once the baby is born, especially for mothers that choose not to breastfeed. After nine months of drastically decreasing caffeine-intake and completely avoiding alcohol, there is the temptation to jump right back into using both, which can add a lot of unnecessary calories. The best idea is to use the nine months of pregnancy as an opportunity to make a lifestyle change and avoid them altogether.
Wean Along with the Baby
For women that do breastfeed, it will be necessary to keep eating extra calories to provide milk for the baby. When the baby starts to wean off the breast, it is important for the mother to wean herself off the extra calories too.
Pick Healthy Snacks for a Boost
Being a mother to a newborn likely means a lot of sleep-deprivation. When new mothers are tired, they often turn a quick-fix in the form of a sugary snack for an extra boost of energy. Those may be a short-term solution, but they provide little nutritionally. A better solution would be to chose a healthier snack that will an actually provide you with more energy.
Don’t Keep Eating for Two
Once a child is old enough to begin eating his/her own food, there is bound to be a lot of food that ends up going uneaten. While it’s a shame to let good food go to waste, if you plan on helping your child by finishing their food for them, make sure you remember to calculate that in when measuring how much you eat in a given day, because those extra calories can make a big difference.
Avoid Kids’ Food
Food that is designed and marketed towards children can be shockingly unhealthy. Be sure to check labels and avoid food high in sugar and low in protein and fiber.
Don’t Snack with Your Child
Children have incredibly fast-working metabolisms. Rather than sitting down for three meals a day, it’s far more likely your child will want a series of smaller snacks throughout the day. Snacking along with your child can lead to weight gain if you don’t have the same fast metabolism.
Limit the Fast Food
The stress and busy lifestyle of motherhood can make the quick fix of fast food look awfully tempting, but resorting to those high-fat, high-calorie meals too often can be very unhealthy.