EAT, LIVE AND LOVE BEING A NEW MUM
(and shed the unwanted flab!)
Have you been eating, living and loving pregnancy so much that your fat cells have ballooned and your waistline isn’t looking quite as trim as it was at the time of conception? Or, are you just so goddamned tired that your diet is the last thing you have time to focus on and post-baby weight loss is an immense struggle?
Research shows that whilst we only need an extra 300 kcals each day to gain a healthy pregnancy weight (unless you are expecting more than one) the ‘eating for two’ thing can get a bit out of control and it is all too easy to gain anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds over nine months. Breastfeeding* can be your post-baby fat loss saviour in the first few months after the birth but many new mums either can’t or choose not to breastfeed so a healthy diet that includes regular exercise is the way to go.
Nutritionist, Fiona Kirk has devised a fat loss plan that not only badgers the fat cells into giving up their stores and shrinking but also concentrates on foods that deliver a whole bunch of nutrients to brain and body to ensure you fire on all cylinders all day and well into the night. And, chocolate, alcohol and coffee are not off limits!
So, what works and why?
- Calcium-rich foods help you burn more calories per day. Add rhubarb yoghurt, tinned salmon, bean soup, Swiss cheese, spinach and watercress to your day.
- Omega 3 fats encourage fat burning and inhibit fat storage. Snack on walnuts, drizzle flax seed oil on your soups and stews, add avocado to your salads and eat more mackerel and sardines.
- Spices turn up the fat burning furnace. Get down to your local curry house or Thai takeaway and experiment – the hotter the better! Body swerve the creamy dishes and say no to the naan bread, rice and noodles.
- Beans, lentils, peas, broad beans and oats prompt less fat storage after a meal. Learn to love porridge, have ready-made bean and lentil salads for lunch and keep bags of frozen peas and broad beans in the freezer for a speedy green addition to your evening meal.
- Salmon, prawns and their pink swimming companions increase the usage of fat for energy and accelerate fat burning during exercise. The powerful antioxidant that gives them their pink colour also keeps the gut healthy and prevents bloating and discomfort which can hamper fat loss.
- The antioxidants in red wine (and white to a lesser extent) not only reduce the risk of heart disease but also help to avoid blood sugar dips that see us reaching for sugary/salty snacks. Eat a little protein before or with a glass of your favourite poison (meat, fish, beans, nuts, eggs, yoghurt) to lessen the sugar spike and match each glass of wine with a glass of water.
- Regular exercise increases the production of dopamine (the reward chemical) in the brain but so do foods. Fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, eggs, chickpeas and bananas hit the spot and don’t add inches to your waistline.
- A double espresso first thing in the morning before you exercise increases the use of body fat for fuel and allows you to perform both longer and harder AND increases the number of calories the body burns after physical exertion.
- Adding foods that promote the production of testosterone within the body (guys need loads of it but girls need good levels too) enables fat busting accelerators in body cells to outnumber those that prefer to store it on our hips and bums. Apple, broccoli, red peppers, garlic, onions and lean beef are tops.
A DAY OF FAST FAT LOSS
First Thing in the Morning
- Have a double espresso with no milk or sugar to increase the use of fat for fuel.
- ‘Get physical’ for 30 minutes if you can. Exercising first thing in the morning prompts the body to fat burn for up to 8 hours afterwards.
- Shower, turning the temperature to cool/cold for the last 2 minutes to encourage the body to burn more calories.
- Have a large glass/small bottle of water.
Throughout the Morning
- Fresh fruit – whole or chopped
- Fresh fruit juices mixed 50:50 with still or sparkling water
- Home-made or bought fruit smoothies – avoid the ones with yoghurt
- Juiced fruits – if you own a juicer, go for it. If not, find a juice bar and experiment
Late Morning (11.30am/noon)
- 3 Bean Salad from the deli section OR
- A couple of oatcakes with tinned, mashed salmon and cucumber
- Large glass/small bottle of water and/or a cup of green tea (great fat burner)
- Bowl of soup (meat, poultry, bean, lentil, fish but not creamy)
- Large mixed salad dressed with olive/flax seed oil and lemon juice. Make it as colourful as possible but avoid fruit
- Large glass/small bottle of still or sparkling water
- A tray or pack of raw baby vegetables with a small pot of hummus OR
- A cold, cooked chicken leg/breast (remove skin), a couple of tomatoes and a handful of fresh nuts
- Large glass of V8 or spicy tomato juice
- A good helping of lean protein (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, tofu). Get plenty of garlic, herbs and spices in for extra fat burning
- At least 3 different vegetables, steamed, stir fried or roasted (not potatoes or root vegetables) drizzled with fat busting flax seed oil
- Glass of red wine (two if it has been a really stressful and tiring day!) and a bucket-load of water
Bedtime/Middle of the Night Snack
- A mug of Green & Blacks hot chocolate made with soya milk. If you are up and down all night with the new baby, this will help you to get back to sleep. These foods are rich in the amino acid tryptophan which encourages the production of the sleepy chemical, serotonin
Fiona’s book and diet plan, 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane (Painless Publishing) is available from www.fatbustforever.com at the special offer price of £7 plus p+p (quote ref NAR1011)
*dieting while breastfeeding is not recommended as there is a risk that your baby could be deprived of essential nutrients.