Yes, ladies, it’s perfectly natural to gain weight during pregnancy and I bet a lot of you are anxious to drop those pounds fast once the baby is born! But before you jump feet first into your sneakers – know that exercise is only one piece of the puzzle: nutrition and lifestyle changes play a leading role in post-pregnancy weight-loss.
First things first, get your Dr.’s ok to start up an exercise plan; and once you have the go-ahead, start slowly! If you are breastfeeding, you are ultimately eating for two and eating healthy foods throughout the day will maximize the little energy you probably have as a new mom so make sure you get all the nutrients you and your baby need. It will benefit both of you. Avoid empty calories including many types of sugars, simple carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats.
Here is my top-5 list for achieving a toned tummy after baby!
Eat Breakfast Eating breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, allowing you to more effectively process food and preventing you from becoming extra hungry throughout the day. This reduces your chances of overeating and negating any progress you may have made through exercise.
Green-UP! Green vegetables are a great source of iron, which you will need to help you gain energy, recuperate and recover. Consider eating spinach, asparagus, green apple, collards and rapini. If you’re not a fan of greens, add fresh herbs, seasoning and lemon for flavor or toss them into a smoothie and you’re “green” for the day!
Time to MOVE Mama! A body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest! Your tummy will shrink faster, you’ll feel more confident and you’ll gain more energy! Whether it’s going for a walk, doing a quick workout at home or heading to the gym for a fitness class – moving your body is always a great thing! There are so many women who are in the same scenario as you – find some locals in your area or join a 'mommy and me' class – you’ll be surprised what a boast in attitude you will feel when you are held accountable. If you are worried about going back to the gym post-baby – my secret to a flat tummy was always wearing my Belly Bandit Belly Wrap! I found that wearing my Belly Bandit during my workouts helped improve my balance, supported my back and gave me a bounce of confidence in my post-baby gym gear!
Get to me to the Fenugreek! Fenugreek seeds are a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals. They are commonly considered to help prevent back and joint pains. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors that increase milk supply. Some believe this happens because breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek stimulates sweat production. It has been found that fenugreek can increase a nursing mother's milk supply within 24 to 72 hours after first taking the herb. Toss the seeds in your salad or smoothie or enjoy as a relaxing tea.
And most importantly, love YOURSELF! Devote time every day and take care of you. Get your nails done, go out for a walk, take a yoga class, food-prep, de-clutter! Whatever it is to help you stay motivated – do it! This is the ONE rule that I stuck too with each and every one of my 4 pregnancies - I started to look better once I took care of me.
To read more of Adele’s tips head to, www.adelecavaliere.com