Nutrition is an important piece of getting back into shape after baby. Postpartum doesn’t mean just sitting around. Exercising can be limited but getting your nutrition right is not. Finally, you have made the decision to take your health into your own hands and stay fit. When working out, the best way to couple your efforts is to have great nutrition. This is not always easy to do with busy lives, but in this trip of physical fitness, it is the route to take when trying to focus on your health. Both men and women have very different bodies, so here are a few ways that women can focus on their nutrition when working out.
Don’t count calories
Not including enough calories in your diet daily can have the opposite effect of what you are looking for. If you are breastfeeding, counting calories will not work. New moms need their calories. Not having enough calories can cause women to get fatigued easier. They can develop hormonal imbalances and even lead to higher body fat percentages because of low muscle mass. This is something new moms do not need. Start with creating a list of foods that should be eaten before and after working out. Research lists of food that are healthy and great for breastfeeding so that your body is getting a healthy dose of fats and the right calories.
Drink tons of water
Staying hydrated is so important when you are working out constantly. When breastfeeding, it’s important to drink tons of water to stay hydrated. At the same time, it is important to stay away from fruit juices and sodas because large amounts of fructose sugars can cause nerve damage. Water is the recommended choice for women who have working out. Drinking plenty of water can also help remove toxins and carry nutrients to muscles. Making a chart for your water consumption can really be helpful for busy first-time moms.
You need protein
For women, it is suggested that you eat protein regularly to help keep up with metabolism. For breastfeeding women, this is imperative because the baby is taking all of your nutrients. Make a list of different proteins that would be good for you to be eating. Chicken, beef, steak, tuna, are all great suggestions in protein when breastfeeding and getting back into shape.
By adding spinach to everything! Spinach helps control food cravings because it is high in iron and magnesium. It is also a very healthy alternative to add to a salad. Many companies are now creating smoothies that are spinach and kale-based as well. Breastfeeding moms really need this and the best way to include it in your diet is through smoothies.
Make sure to have rest days
Overtraining your body can cause muscles to not get the rest that is needed to recover and that is when tears and rips happen. Making sure to give yourself rest days to give your muscles a chance to recover and strengthen is imperative when staying active. Postpartum is when most moms want to go hard with working out. When running on no sleep, we tend to not know our limits. Make sure to include a rest day in your schedule.
Working out can take a toll on your body if you are not matching it with the correct nutrition. Make sure to use these tips to stay fit and healthy. Although you might love fitness every day, don’t forget to give your body a resting day to recover.
Jennifer is the owner of Motherhood blogging community for busy moms and military spouses, Teach.Workout.Love. Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.