Tackling Postpartum Weight Loss on a Bariatric Diet
A baby brings so much joy, a ton of work and sometimes, sleep-deprived nights. While you’re focusing on your little one, postpartum weight loss definitely is not top of mind. Once you’re physically and emotionally ready to start losing the baby weight, here are some tips to get you through.
If you’re breastfeeding, remember that you need the extra calories to keep up your breast milk supply. Therefore don’t go below 1,500-1,800cal per day. If you’re not breastfeeding, you can resume the 1,000-1,200cal post-operative diet.
Quick and Easy Meals
Babies keep you super busy. Be sure to have some quick and easy to prepare foods on hand so you’re not tempted to grab pretzels as a meal. Especially if you’re exhausted and up all night with a newborn, you want to have some quick and healthy food items ready to go. This helps to avoid the temptation of making unhealthy choices. I always recommend making a mental or written note the night before to know what you’re going to eat for meals the following day. That way, it’s easier to stick with your plan.
Some quick items to grab for meals and snacks include:
- Protein Bars - Recommendations for these include bars that are low in sugar and carbohydrates such as Quest, Celebrate, PureProtein, Atkins and Power Crunch. Bars make a great meal or snack on the go!
- Protein Shakes - Protein shakes are great because they have approximately 20-30 grams in each and are relatively low in calories. Stick with basic shakes with the protein powder mixed with unsweetened almond milk or Fairlife skim milk. Otherwise the premade protein shakes are good to go as is.
- Greek Yogurt - Greek yogurt is a good choice because they have a beneficial amount of protein - approximately 12-18 grams per serving. Stick with varieties that don’t have added sugar such as Oikos triple zero, Chobani less sugar, or Dannon light and fit.
- Cheese Sticks - low fat cheese sticks make perfect snacks because you can bring them with you anywhere. They have approximately 50-60 calories per serving and approximately 6-7 grams of protein per serving.
- Almonds - Almonds are a good choice for a snack because they keep you fuller longer as they provide heart healthy fat and protein. Make sure you stick with the ¼ cup serving size so you don’t go overboard as they’re higher in calories.
Meal prepping helps save time and ensures that you get the right nutrients. Here are a few ideas:
- Boiled eggs - Make a dozen boiled eggs and eat a couple at a time for a meal.
- Bagged salads - Salads that are prepped in advance and bagged make it easy to add a tuna packet or salmon for protein along with your favorite low fat dressing.
- Frozen vegetables - Heat up frozen vegetables in the microwave to add to any meal.
- Frozen meals - Some frozen meals make a healthy choice when you’re tired or pressed for time. The new Lean Cuisine meals have cauliflower rice with chicken.
Support from Family & Friends
It’s important to take the time to adjust to life with a new baby. If you’re used to cooking elaborate homemade meals before your pregnancy but simply don’t have the time or energy now, it’s okay. Healthy meals don’t have to be elaborate. Friends and family may offer to bring you cooked meals, too. Be sure to inform them about your postpartum weight loss and health goals and the meal choices that would work best for you such as a protein mixed with vegetables. You may be surprised to find out how supportive they are.
A few patients have asked when is the right time to start exercising. My answer is always that once they are medically cleared by their doctor, they can begin exercising. I always recommend starting with a walk. Going for walks with your baby is always a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Even if it’s cold outside, you can still bundle up and get out there. Another way to start moving is to try some exercise videos at home while the baby is napping. Once your baby is a little older, a lot of gyms have daycares so you can take the baby while you work out.
As always, we are here to help you out and help guide you through if you’re having with postpartum weight loss. Give us a call to make an appointment to meet with your dietitian, 908-481-1270.