Get your pre-baby body back



Estimated Reading Time 3 Minutes

In the weeks after giving birth,
most new moms look at themselves
in the mirror and don’t
recognize their own bodies.
They worry that their skin looks
too saggy or that the baby
weight is coming off too slowly.
“Getting back in shape takes
time, but there are things
you can do to help
guarantee your success,”
says Lauren Jawno,
certifi ed nutritionist, fitness
trainer, wellness/lifestyle
coach and the author of
Change4Good: The Ten
Essentials for Food, Fitness
and the Good Life
(www.change4good.ca).

Here are seven of Lauren’s
high-impact tips for getting
your body back – for good:

Keep a food journal

Research shows that people
who keep food journals have
the greatest success at losing
weight and maintaining their
loss. According to one study,
the more you track your food
intake, the more weight you
are likely to lose. Journaling
gives you a chance to track
quantity and makes you
aware of your portion sizes.
Without tracking and measuring
– and writing – most
people underestimate calorie
intake by 20-60 percent!
Writing also gives you time to
reflect on your food choices
and your goals.

Eat often

Eating
nutrient-dense foods regularly
throughout the day will nourish
your body with what it
really needs and help reduce
cravings, manage your hunger
and keep your energy and
moods steady. Make sure to
spread your meals and snacks
evenly throughout the day to
about every three hours. This
will ensure that you don’t
become over hungry and over
eat and that you don’t eat too
frequently, which prevents
your body from burning
stored calories (fat).

Eat well

What you eat
matters – the more nutrientdense
foods you consume,
the better. Eating processed
foods harms your health,
adds weight and stimulates
your appetite for more junk
foods. Empty calories leave
you feeling hungry, and even
though you are consuming
calories, they aren’t the
calories your body needs.
Make sure you’re eating the
right amounts of protein,
carbohydrates and fat as well
as fibre. Also have foods with
vitamins, minerals, enzymes,
antioxidants and drink water.
These nine basic nutrients
will ensure your body has
energy and will optimize your
health and well being.

Drink water

Drink one
to two litres of water every
day. (One litre is just over
four cups.) Drink more water
when you work out and
drink an extra cup of water
for every cup of coffee you
consume. Drink herbal tea
and avoid juices and pop.
Start your day with warm
water and a slice of lemon
in the morning – this will
stimulate the colon and clean
the liver. Bring water with you
wherever you go.

Control your
portions

There are three
basic tricks to portion control.

  1. Listen to your body. You
    should feel satisfied but not
    full to the point of discomfort.
  2. Keep a half-cup measure
    and a tablespoon measure
    on your counter; if you
    guestimate, you could end up
    having more than a portion of
    cereals, grains, yogurt, cheese
    and oils.
  3. Use your hands. A portion
    of starchy carbohydrates or
    fruit should be the size of a
    clenched fist. A portion of
    non-starchy vegetables should
    be what you can fit in two
    cupped hands, though you
    can eat as much of this as
    you like. A portion of meat or
    protein is the size of the palm
    of one hand. A portion of
    healthy fats should be the size
    of your thumb (1 teaspoon
    to 2 tablespoons depending
    on what you’re eating). You
    shouldn’t necessarily eat with
    your hands but you should
    measure with them!

Splurge

Follow the 90/10
rule. If you’re eating healthy
90 percent of the time, you
can afford to eat the fun foods
too, though you will want and
need them less intensely. Enjoy
a slice of pizza or a piece
of cheesecake once a week.
And don’t feel guilty about it.
You earned it.

Exercise

Exercise at least
30-60 minutes every day.
Physical activity burns calories,
increases your metabolism
and energy and relieves
stress. To lose one pound
of fat, you need to burn
3,500 calories. Make sure
you combine cardiovascular
activity (running, swimming
or spinning, for instance) with
weight training. Increasing
muscle tissue increases
metabolism, which means
that your body will burn fat
faster.

For more information, consult your physician or visit Lauren Jawno’s site.

Originally published in ParentsCanada: Best Wishes, Spring 2012.

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