Joanna Helcke Video

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Lose baby weight

Spotlight on:

When can I start to lose baby weight?

How should I eat to lose baby weight safely?

What post natal exercise should I do to lose baby weight?

Top 10 foods for motherhood

Grab-and-run meal planner for super busy mums

 

Squeezing exercise into your day and eating a healthy diet is not easy now that you are a busy mum. My online post natal fitness and wellbeing programme is safe for new mums, it really works and you can do it anytime anywhere! Perfect!

Give it a go for FREE!

 

When can I start to lose baby weight?


First of all I think it is really important to get out of the “going-on-a-diet” mind set and to get into the “finding-a-healthy-way-of-eating-that-works-for-me” mind set. Most of us don’t need a “diet”, most of us know exactly what we should be eating (more wholegrains, vegetables, fruit, less sugar, less processed fat etc) but somehow it doesn’t quite work. Why? Because we “go on a diet”, because “the diet” is not a sustainable way of eating, and because we see it as a short term measure with an end in sight. A quick fix.


So when you ask the question “when can I start to lose baby weight?” I’d like you to start off by throwing away the implicit question “when can I go on a diet?” General guidelines are couched in euphemisms, advising you not to think about weight loss for approximately 2 months after giving birth. The problem with that advice is that it is likely to be interpreted as follows: “I can eat whatever I like for two months and then after that I must go on a diet”.


So let’s wipe the postnatal weight loss slate clean and come at it from an entirely different angle: healthy, nutritious eating can and should start from day 1 (before, actually!). 

How should I eat to lose baby weight safely?


Here are my top tips on healthy eating for busy mums. Follow these and you won’t even need to think about how to lose baby weight because it will just happen, slowly but surely:

 

  • Lose baby weight #1: Have as varied a diet as possible so that you get a wide range of nutrients.
     
  • Lose baby weight #2: Test out the little-and-often way of eating. It works very well for many people and avoids sugar slumps which lead to what I call “the dreaded 4pm munchies”.
  • Lose baby weight: greensLose baby weight #3: Make your vegetable and fruit intake as colourful as possible – this will ensure that you are getting lots of vitamins. Notice that I put vegetables before fruit. That’s because you need to tip the daily balance in favour of vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water and fruit infusions, especially if you are breastfeeding. Avoid fruit juice and have the real thing instead – an apple will give you so much more than a glass of apple juice. If you really cannot manage without fruit juice, then swap to smoothies, as these include a certain level of fibre in them.
     
  • Lose baby weight #4: Try and eat as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible. I know that time is short and you are tired but there are lots of shortcuts available in supermarkets which are pretty healthy options. Try buying ready prepared fresh vegetables (carrot sticks, trimmed green beans, sliced greens, chopped curly kale) or even ready sliced fruit for those early days and weeks when the going is tough.
     
  • Lose baby weight #5: Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds and dried fruit (apricots, prunes, figs, cranberries) make easy snacks, can be added to raw oats and natural yogurt for breakfast, and are incredibly nutritious.
     
  • Lose baby weight #6: Wholegrains: yes, you are always being told to eat wholegrain cereals. It is becoming ever easier to do so, and there are even entire ranges of ready cooked extra healthy grains in the supermarket, such as quinoa, puy lentils, bulgar wheat and couscous.
     
  • Lose baby weight #7: Free range eggs are my absolute favourite superfood: they encapsulate an amazing array of nutrients and they are just so quick and easy to prepare and eat when you are in a terrible hurry.
     
  • Lose baby weight #8: Try and focus on getting your protein from fish and poultry. Keep reading for an incredibly quick, easy, tasty and nutritious fish recipe…
     
  • Lose baby weight #9: Make sure you get your FREE “Be Fridge-Perfect” guide on what to stock your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer with when you are a health-conscious, busy mum.

 

Download your FREE guide from the top right hand corner

What post natal exercise should I do to lose baby weight?


When it comes to the question of how to lose baby weight, a two-pronged approach is needed:

 

  • Putting in place a healthy, sustainable way of eating that suits your lifestyle
     
  • Finding the right sort of post natal exercise which fits into your busy life as a mum
     
postnatal fitness Postnatal exercise
Starting off with this.... ....and building up to this!

 

It is important that you choose to do exercise which is appropriate for the postnatal period, and that you construct firm foundations on which you can gradually build your fitness levels. Rushing into high intensity cardiovascular exercise in a bid to lose baby weight is very risky indeed, so try and imagine yourself as building a mighty tower of fitness, starting at the very base in the early weeks and months post pregnancy and gradually working your way upwards. This is what your tower needs to look like:

 

Constructing a strong tower of fitness

Start at the foundations and work your way up the tower

 

Type of exercise

When can I start doing it?

Impact cardiovascular exercise: jogging, running, plyometric work such as jumping, hopping, skipping 6+ months postnatally depending on how pelvic floor reacts
More advanced core stability work using unstable surfaces  such as a fitball or a wobble cushion 6-9 months postnatally depending on progress made
Buggy fitness: power walking and body weight exercises tailored for the postnatal period after 6 week check up or 8-10 weeks if you have had a C section
Postnatal Pilates After 6 week check up or 8-10 weeks if you have had a C section
Gentle cardiovascular exercise such as leisurely pram walking Once you are comfortable to walk
Deep abdominal and postural work Soon after birth under specialist guidance
Pelvic Floor exercises From birth
My online postnatal Pilates programme From birth


Be sure to arm yourself with knowledge - my FREE Post Natal Exercise Guide is ideal (see the PDF download at the top right of the page on post natal exercise) - so that you are aware of what you can and can't do when it comes to post natal exercise.

 

My online postnatal fitness and health programme is designed to build up your fitness in the perfect way and to help you lose baby weight and keep it off for ever.

Give it a go for FREE!

 

Top 10 foods for motherhood

 

  • Avocados are a complete meal in themselves because they contain everything that a person needs to survive – the ultimate form of fast food! Never be put off by the fact that they are fatty - it is GOOD fats and when trying to lose baby weight you still need good fats.
     
  • Free range eggs are packed full of nutrients and good fats and will give you sustained energy if you have them for breakfast. Another perfect fast food that will keep you fuller for longer and help you lose the baby weight.
     
  • Walnuts provide you with zinc which tends to be low in breastfeeding mothers and is needed to support your baby’s growth. Walnuts will also give you much needed energy, and the protein and nutrients encourage the production of serotonin, helping you fight off the baby blues and postnatal depression. Sprinkle some over your breakfast oats.
     
  • Bananas are ideal for boosting your energy levels, as well as giving you vitamins C and B6 which help lift your mood. Eat them slightly under ripe and combine with a few walnuts, so that they give you a slower release of sustained energy.
     
  • Sweet potatoes have got so much more goodness in them than normal white potatoes. The calcium and magnesium will help reduce anxiety levels, help you relax, and encourage sleep. They are also packed full of vitamin C, supporting your immune system so that you can fight off bugs. They make a handy lunch on  weekdays when you are busy. I would suggest baking a few of them in the oven on a Sunday night, so that you then have a quick, hassle-free, ready prepared supply during the week. Top with grated cheese, humous or a poached egg. Sustained energy to help you lose baby weight...
     
  • Dried apricots are rich in beta-carotene, iron and vitamin C, and they help with bowel regularity – very important if your pregnancy and the birth have given you haemorrhoids. They are also delicious and make an ideal snack with some nuts or seeds when you are out and about.  
     
  • Natural bio-live yogurt will provide much needed calcium, especially if you are breastfeeding. Even if you are formula feeding your calcium stores will have been depleted during pregnancy so it’s important to rebuild these stores. Bio-live natural yogurt balances the bacteria in your gut and is easy to digest. I love natural Greek yogurt called Total.
     
  • Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc and are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
     
  • Spinach, with its dark green leaves, is full of protective antioxidants, iron, vitamin C – which aids iron absorption – and vitamin K, which helps with your baby’s bone growth if you are breastfeeding. Dark green leafy vegetables are the backbone of good health and you need to be eating them every day. Pop spinach into the blender with banana, water and a couple of dates for an energising start to the day.
     
  • Prunes are very high in antioxidant levels, protecting you from catching viruses and infections – the last thing you need when you are looking after a little baby. They are also very easy to snack on when you are in a tremendous hurry. I would suggest having no more than around 4 a day because they have a naturally high sugar content. Too many will also have an excessive laxative effective.


You’ve had my top 10 foods for motherhood, so now’s the time to get your FREE “Be Fridge-Perfect” guide on what to stock your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer with when you are a health-conscious, busy mum who is going to lose baby weight.

 

Download your copy from the top right hand corner of this page

Grab-and-run meal planner for super busy mums


As mentioned earlier, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to a healthy postnatal diet. You need to have a play around and see what works for you. Here I am giving you a “foody day in the life of a busy new mum” as an example of what might work for you. Give it a whirl and if it suits you, then you’ll be able to adapt it and use it as a basis for healthy eating.


Breakfast

Carrot cake oaty breakfast: mix together raw oats, grated carrot, a few walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, bio-live natural yogurt and a splash of maple syrup.

Too busy for that?

Blend together a glass of Innocent Smoothie with some cashew nuts and raw oats. Gulp it down!

Mid-morning

Slightly under ripe banana with a palm full of pumpkin seeds

Lunch

Baked sweet potato (bake it the night before) with grated cheese. Serve with steamed green beans. Buy frozen extra fine green beans – they are ready prepared, don’t need washing, and are super quick to cook. For pudding have natural yogurt with honey and nuts.

Too busy for that?

Have a large, ripe avocado and some ready prepared salad.

Mid- to late afternoon

Have a boiled egg and a Food Doctor Wholesome Pot (just add hot water).

Supper


Super healthy fish dish for two

 

  • Choose two fillets of whatever fish you enjoy eg salmon or Vietnamese river cobbler
     
  • A handful of frozen prawns (always keep a bag in the freezer for things like stir fries
     
  • A bag of Food Doctor Easy Grains
     
  • A generous squirt of Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs or pesto
     
  • Some chopped black olives (I always keep a great big jar of the ones in brine for cooking and for my youngest son, who eats them by the tablespoonful).
    Alternatively you could use some chopped sundried tomatoes…or both.
     
  • Lots of frozen spinach and crusty wholemeal bread to serve

 

1.  Make 2 boat shaped containers out of aluminium foil and place a fillet of fish in each one, along with a few prawns.

2. In a bowl mix together all the other ingredients, except for the spinach.

3.  Divide up the mixture and sprinkle it over the fish, creating a sort of crust.

4. Seal your aluminium boats and pop them into the oven at 180ºC on a baking tray for around 20 minutes

5. Whilst they are cooking place LOTS of frozen spinach into a frying pan with some olive oil and let it defrost and cook. Season to taste.


That’s it: herb crusted fish with a mountain of spinach and some bread. Delicious, fast and incredibly healthy.

Too busy and tired for that?

Have an Innocent Veg Pot or one of the dishes from The City Kitchen range of ready meals. Neither of these brands have any nasties in their ingredients lists. Accompany with lots of steamed greens.

Late evening

A warm herbal infusion – I like Twinings “A moment of calm” range. I think it’s the name that particularly appeals to me. It somehow seems appropriate for a mum with a crazily busy life like mine!

 

For loads of other healthy shortcuts for mums that will help you lose baby weight, get your FREE “Be Fridge-Perfect” guide on what to stock your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer with.

 

Download your FREE guide from the top right hand corner

 

For the perfect combination of weekly postnatal exercise and healthy eating advice, recipes and tips, how about giving my online membership a go for FREE?

 


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Be fridge-perfect!
This is the ulitmate FREE guide on what to stock your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer with when you are a busy mum who wants to ditch the baby weight and be sensible about it.


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