Postpartum nutrition and weight loss
You might be concerned about fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans, but skipping meals or reducing calorific intake too much could actually prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals. Skipping meals or not eating enough actually SLOWS down your metabolism. When your postpartum nutrition is inadequate for your caloric needs (which go up when you are breastfeeding), it sends a signal that your body is in starvation mode. Your body holds on to as much fat as possible until you can “find” your next meal. On top of that, you’re busy with baby – your next meal may be a packaged energy bar, which is really not much better than eating candy. What should you do instead? Eat whole foods that are minimally processed. Be sure to include plenty of protein and healthy plant-based fats (foods like avocados, nuts, and olives are great sources) to keep you feeling satisfied longer. Focus on filling your plate with vegetables and treat meat as the side dish, with servings no larger than your palm.
Your body has been through a lot and if you’ve had an epidural or a c-section, your digestion has probably slowed considerably. Opt for foods that are easier to digest, like cooked vegetables and lean meat like chicken, and fish. Processed foods are not only harder on your digestive system, but they also lack the nutrients that your body needs to feel best. On top of that, many processed foods are loaded with sugar. Did you know that your body stores unused sugar as fat? Your afternoon pick-me-up may be the reason why you aren’t losing weight as quickly as you’d like.
You can help to boost postpartum nutrition with supplements like probiotics, enzymes, and l-glutamine. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your colon and help digest the food that you eat. They also fight off illness and help you from feeling bloated. Enzymes help to break down your food into smaller molecules so that it is easier to digest. L-glutamine is an amino acid that helps to reverse leaky gut, and can also reduce sugar cravings. (https://draxe.com/l-glutamine-benefits-side-effects-dosage/)
Quick food and snacks for great postpartum nutrition
Let’s be honest, you’re probably not sitting down to eat a meal and you’re definitely not eating with utensils. Let go of the rules of etiquette for now and focus on eating healthy finger foods. Good postpartum nutrition needs meal prep! Keep hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies, diced meat (or nitrate-free deli meat), and sprouted bread stocked in your fridge. Leafy greens are perfectly fine as finger food! Or toss a cup of spinach in a blender with an equal amount of fruit (berries are a great low-sugar option) and liquid (coconut water, almond milk, etc.) and about a tablespoon of nut butter. Add some ground flaxseed or hempseed to make it more filling.
Hydration for healing
DRINK WATER. You’re busy and tired. Fill a large water bottle and drink from it often. First thing in the morning, before meals, when you think you’re hungry at 3 pm, after dinner. Drink, drink, drink. If you need a bit more flavor, add some fresh lemon and cucumber slices for an instant spa treat, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, toss in some mint and ginger too.
A little about Jamie… Pregnancy leads to many physical and emotional changes. Since my third c-section, I’ve been on a mission to learn all that I can about diastasis recti, IBS, the role of stress on the body, and the biomechanical forces behind these conditions. Now I’m on a mission to help you! Work with me to learn how to improve your digestion, strengthen your core muscles and pelvic floor, and be present in the here and now to lead a more fulfilling life.