New Mom’s Guide to Losing Baby Weight

No fitness and weight-loss plan to help you lose baby weight is complete without nutritional adjustments. Getting back to your pre-baby weight may be your first goal; however, the most important thing to consider at this time is fueling your body for this next stage of motherhood.

We’ve compiled the most updated expert recommendations to commonly asked questions asked by new mommas who are eager to lose baby weight.

How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Baby Weight?

Fun fact: Your body uses more energy to produce a sufficient milk supply for your little one than it did throughout the pregnancy. In fact, your body requires more calories — approximately 500 calories for the first six months depending on body fat and extent of breastfeeding — than your pre-pregnancy needs. That’s about 200 calories more than your doctor likely advised you to consume during the second and third trimesters.

La Leche League International advises breastfeeding moms to wait at least two months before making a specific effort to lose weight in order to allow your body to recover and ensure a steady milk supply. But you may be able to start a program for losing baby weight sooner if you aren’t breastfeeding or if your doctor gives you the OK.

For those impatient mommas, know that breastfeeding women naturally lose one to four pounds per month without even lifting a finger. OK, to be fair, you’re doing quite a lot to nourish and care for your baby; it’s incredibly demanding work to nurture a newborn! Add that on top of the burn from your new workout routine, and you can safely lose weight while you continue to bond with and nurse your baby.

Just like any other stage of your life, your diet should be healthy, balanced, and varied. An adequate intake for nursing mothers who are trying to lose weight is ideally at least 1,800 calories or more to continue producing a healthy milk supply. Mothers who are unable or choose not to breastfeed don’t need these extra calories.

To find out how many calories you should eat to nurse, stay healthy, and start losing weight, Portion Fix can be adapted easily to meet these needs for new moms following a variety of Beachbody On Demand programs.

To determine which calorie bucket you fall into using Portion Fix, follow this formula:

  • Current weight x 11 = Caloric baseline
  • Caloric baseline + 400 + 500 = Maintenance calories during lactation
  • Maintenance calories during lactation – 750 = Calorie target

*If your maintenance calories or calorie target is less than 1,800 calories, round up to 1,800 to ensure adequate nutrient intake to meet your daily needs — especially if you’re within the first six months of breastfeeding (to ensure a healthy milk supply).

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What Should You Eat to Lose Baby Weight?

There are no “magic” weight-loss foods for nursing mothers, so using the food lists in the Portion Fix guide is a great resource when choosing healthful options.

To maintain a balanced diet while increasing your total daily intake if you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to introduce additional foods from all macronutrients instead of loading up on foods from just one category (no matter how hard that pancake or ice cream craving strikes!).

You can approach this in one of two ways: If you’re using the Portion Fix Container System, we recommend jumping up two buckets. So if you were in Plan C, go to Plan E.

Another option is to add a container from each group:

  • Start with one more protein (red)
  • Add another healthy fat (blue)
  • Add a carb (yellow)
  • Add a fruit (purple)
  • Add one more oil or nut butter (tsp.)
  • Eat two more veggie (green) portions.

This will help you meet these four criteria: healthy, balanced, variety, and — if necessary — adequate intake (the 500 additional calories needed during lactation).

An important point to remember when losing weight while breastfeeding: Slow and steady wins the race. Gradual weight loss can help ensure you’re receiving enough energy to produce breastmilk as well as keep that milk supply safe.

By keeping your milk “safe,” we mean avoiding drastic, rapid weight loss because this may interfere with the quality of your breast milk. Chemicals and pollution in the environment combined with ones we encounter day to day, such as toxins in cosmetics, certain plastics, and pesticides in our food, are fat-soluble and stored in adipose tissue (fat cells). As you lose weight, fat is broken down and these toxins are released.

Your body is extremely efficient and can clear many of these toxins before they reach your little one through breast milk; however, if your weight drops too fast, it could be a larger burden on your system and higher toxin levels may end up in your milk.

Incremental amounts of toxins from normal exposure haven’t been shown to affect babies’ brains or development so there’s no reason to stop or avoid breastfeeding. But it’s best to be mindful of these sources and choose safer alternatives such as natural cleaning supplies, re-usable BPA-free water bottles, and organic produce. Overall, the antibodies, nutrients, and other benefits of breastmilk far outweigh any potential risks.

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Nutrition Tips for Moms Who Want to Lose Baby Weight

Stay hydrated

Mothers often feel extreme thirst while nursing. First and foremost, keep a glass or bottle of water by your side throughout the day, and drink enough to satisfy your thirst. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes, adequate intake (AI) for water during lactation is 3.8 liters (about 16 cups) a day of total water, which is made up of the water in food plus 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) as total beverages, including drinking water.

If you’re working out, you may need additional water, depending on your sweat rate and the intensity and duration of your workout. Clear, light-colored urine can help indicate proper hydration.

Is it safe to have caffeine and/or alcohol while nursing?

Need a little coffee or tea in your life? According to La Leche League International, a little bit of caffeine shouldn’t pose a problem for most mothers and babies. The kicker is to keep it to a reasonable amount, less than 24 ounces (approximately 285 milligrams caffeine) of coffee, and possibly hold off until three to four months postpartum, as this is when the baby develops the ability to metabolize caffeine. If you notice your baby is fussy, wide-eyed and too alert, forgo the tea, coffee, chocolate, and other sources of caffeine.

If three to four months sans caffeine seems horrific, especially in your sleep-deprived state, just think back to the nine (plus) months you went without alcohol. Which begs the question, “Is it safe to ‘pump and dump’ or even have a glass while breastfeeding?”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s advised to avoid habitual use of alcohol during the nursing stage; however, moderate use with ample time before the next feeding or pumping (at least two hours per drink) will allow the body to process and rid itself of the alcohol.

But alcohol clearance time varies for each individual, so be mindful of your unique response. In addition, alcohol can modify the taste of breastmilk, which your baby might reject. This could ultimately reduce his or her nutrient intake.

Are supplements safe?

In all likelihood, the intensity of your post-pregnancy workout routine won’t constitute a need for any specific sports-performance supplements. Nursing mothers should always consult their medical professional before beginning any fitness program or taking any supplement or meal replacement product, including those created by Beachbody, such as the Performance line and Shakeology).

Eating more food will most likely supply the additional macro and micronutrients necessary for milk production, as long as the meals are balanced and contain a wide variety of foods to supply a range of vitamins and minerals.

In general, women who are nursing compared to non-pregnant/non-nursing women need additional vitamin A, folate, iodine, and zinc. Other vitamins and minerals of concern include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and certain B vitamins. Your doctor may suggest a post-natal multivitamin or specific supplements according to your personal health needs.

The Bottom Line

Remember that while some days you may feel desperate to get your old body back, it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Try to make slow, incremental changes as your body and mind adjust to this major life change.

Eating healthy and exercising will not only make you feel better in the long term, but it’ll also make you a better mom because you’re taking care of yourself. What’s more, as your baby grows, he or she will see and mimic your active and nutritious lifestyle — and that’s a gift that will just keep on giving.

 

Originally published on the Beachbody Blog on  

The Shocking Number Of Calories In Your Favorite Coffee Drink

If you’re not ordering regular coffee, there’s a good chance your morning cup has more calories than you think

For many, a cup of coffee is an integral part of their morning ritual.Shower, pack lunches, drop the kids off at school, pick up a cup of coffee and head to work.

Unfortunately, if we aren’t careful, this ritual can sneak hundreds of calories into our mornings. As you can see in the infographic, the calories in your drink can add up quickly, depending on what you order. Not only can the calories make a dent in your daily allowance, but also, most of them come from sugar.

In fact, many of these drinks have the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke; in some cases, it’s twice as much.

If you’re not careful you’re going to start your day with a sugar spike, which can leave you feeling drowsy — pretty much the opposite of what you want from your morning coffee.

Not only that, but if you order the same drink every weekday morning — say, a white chocolate mocha — this can add up to over 2,000 calories a week!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite coffee drinks. By using the tips outlined below, you can successfully reduce the amount of sugar and calories you consume in your coffee:

Nix the Whipped Cream

Removing the whipped cream on top of your drink can save you about 70 calories and half the fat.

Lighten Up the Milk

Instead of 2 percent or whole milk, opt for nonfat milk or coconut, soy or almond milk. Oftentimes, dairy alternatives will have no-added-sugar options, too.

Drink in Moderation

By reducing your drink size from 24 to 16 ounces, you can cut a third of the calories. A switch to 12 ounces will cut sugar and calories in half. Plus, do you really need a drive-through coffee every morning (and afternoon)? Making that cup of joe at home will help your health — and your wallet.

Ditch the Syrup

Instead of using flavored syrups for flavoring, add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to help add flavor.  You can also add a drop of your favorite flavor extract.

 

10 foods that will spice up your sex life. Natural libido boosters recommended by nutritionists.

Originally shared via Parisa Hashempour @ bodyandsoul.com.au JANUARY 21, 20197:38AM

It’s the middle of a sweltering summer, which means you may not feel like getting hot and sweaty under the duvet with your significant other. Plus, thanks to factors like hormonal changes, low energy, stress, alcohol, drugs and even low self-esteem, at certain times in our lives, our libido can feel as though it’s lagging a little. In fact, research from The American Sexual Health Association has shown that 30-50 percent of people will deal with having a low sex drive at some point in their life.

If you’re feeling this way, team Healthista has got your back. We spoke to three experts about the best natural libido boosters and ways to rev up your sex drive. So in the words of Marvin Gaye, ‘let’s get in ooonnnn.’

Oysters.

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Unsplash.Source:BodyAndSoul

Zinc for a bit of chemistry

Oysters – that age old libido-boosting remedy that has staff at seafood restaurants rolling their eyes daily. Well, there might just be something to it. All thanks to one little mineral – zinc. Nutritionist Rob Hobson explained that ‘oysters are the historical sign of aphrodisiac because they look like female genitalia – this view was especially common in the Edwardian days when they were incredibly cheap to buy. These days, we know it actually has more to do with the high zinc content in the shellfish. If you have low levels of zinc this could lead to a low sex drive as it helps with testosterone production. It’s especially helpful for men as they also use the mineral to make sperm cells – so it’s also something to consider if you’re trying to get pregnant.’

Nutritionist May Simpkin agrees that zinc is a good call if you’re looking to up your libido. ‘Zinc is such an important mineral because it’s involved in so many chemical reactions in the body. If you want to really maintain your health and performance you’ve got to have a lot of zinc. That’s why when you don’t eat meat (which is a really great source of zinc) you’ve got to find it elsewhere and it’s not always easy… Oysters have really high levels of zinc but there’s also beef and lamb and sometimes fortified cereals will even have it as well. But if you’re not a meat eater I would say try and eat nuts, chickpeas and mushrooms.’

NHS guidelines suggest women have 7mg of zinc a day. If you feel as though you might not be getting enough zinc from your food, it might be an idea to try a supplement.

4Image:BodyAndSoul

Vitamin E to increase sex hormones

Another micronutrient that can help with testosterone production is vitamin E, found in plant oils, nuts, seeds and wheatgerm. ‘If you’re lacking interest in sex or lacking desire, I recommend Vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for sexual desire because it increases testosterone levels, which therefore increases stamina and also raises desire. For men, it also raises sperm count and motility which is important as well. Increased testosterone levels also help with blood flow, oxygenation of the body and this makes it one of the key vitamins to enhance sexual performance,’ said Hay.

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Good cholesterol to help your hormones

Good cholesterol is found in flaxseed, soy foods and fatty fish and Simpkin explained that it is essential in keeping our hormones balanced. ‘Cholesterol is actually the building block of our sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. So the whole concept of eating zero cholesterol and reducing it to very low levels could damage this. Eating foods that are high in good cholesterol helps in the production of female hormones and that does include testosterone, even though as women we have less testosterone – but that is what gives you that oomph.’ So Simpkin recommends getting your hands on foods like avocados, nuts, seeds and even eggs.

‘That’s why there is so much hoo-ha about statins [medication taken to help prevent heart attack]. They reduce your cholesterol level but they can sometimes reduce them too low and then you just don’t have enough to make all your sex hormones so then your hormone levels are all haywire.’

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Fish oil to fix your mood

Nutritionist Rick Hay clues Healthista in on another great way to improve energy levels. ‘Research has shown that Omega 3’s and their benefits on mood and their ability to decrease anxiety and depression which in turn means that if these two are decreased your desire will be increased. Bio-Fish Oil can help to increase dopamine levels. Dopamine will improve mood but also help to trigger arousal. Omega 3 can also help with the moisturization of the skin and also help to moisturize mucus membranes which help to reduce dryness and create lubrication during menopause and hormonal changes.’

Dried Ginseng slices, capsules and roots. 7: iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul

Ginseng for an energy boost

And if you’re looking for a natural remedy boost – Hobson has the herbal remedy for you. ‘Ginseng is known to have a restorative effect and improve physical and mental energy as well as stamina. In China, it’s always been revered as a libido booster and I think that’s down to its energy boosting quality. Ginseng might be great for somebody that’s got a low sex drive that is linked to stress or fatigue to boost their overall wellness and energy levels. You can either have this herb as a tea or a capsule.’

St John’s Wort. Image. 8.Source:BodyAndSoul

St John’s Wort for a pick-me-up

St John’s Wort is another natural remedy that’s been described as being helpful for a flagging sex drive. While Hobson explained that a lot of natural remedies for libido are anecdotal rather than based on stacks of scientific evidence he does say that ingredients like this have stood the test of time. ‘Remedies like this have approved health claims, just down to the fact that they’ve been doing this job for a very long time. St John’s Wort has always been something that has been regarded as helpful as a natural alternative for depression. The idea is that if you treat your depression, you’re more likely to get your sex drive back.’

Chamomile. 9 iStock.Source:BodyAndSoul

Chamomile for a good night’s kip

Simpkin stressed that getting enough rest is essential for revving up your sex drive. ‘If you’re constantly fatigued and you’re constantly lacking in sleep you’re going to be exhausted and that’s going to have an effect on your energy levels which is not going to help your libido.’ Hay suggests products which include ingredients that help aid sleep such as chamomile. ‘Chamomile seems to have the ability to connect to GABA receptors in the brain which promote the production of melatonin – a hormone that helps you sleep better.’

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Gingko for better blood flow

Hay explained exactly how herbal remedy Ginko helps to improve your blood flow and why this makes it useful to improve libido. ‘It’s a botanical and as a herbalist, I’ve used it for many years successfully with my clients. Ginkgo aids blood circulation and it’s crucial to have good blood circulation to the sexual organs to help with good sexual function. BioCare Ginkgo Biloba is one supplement that I recommend. Ginkgo also reduces platelet aggregations which means that it helps to clear blood vessels and promotes vasodilation [which helps with blood flow to sexual organs]. Ginkgo contains terpenoids and ginkaloids, these are the chemical factors that help Ginkgo to produce its sexual enhancement results – it’s one of my favorite botanicals.’

11iStockSource:BodyAndSoul

Peanut butter for a protein punch

Energy levels have a huge impact on mood particularly with getting you in THE mood. Simpkin revealed that the most important thing you can do for your energy levels is to learn to control your blood sugars. ‘Control them so that your energy levels are not dipping. Make sure you’re combining your protein with carbohydrates and avoiding processed sugars like cakes, sweets and biscuits. They’ll give you a boost but you’ll come crashing right down as your blood sugars are removed and that’s not going to help with your energy levels.’

To avoid these energy dips, Simpkin suggests opting for foods that are high in protein. ‘You want to eat something that will release sugar more slowly, a good snack would be nut butter with oat cakes.’

 

My Experience with Meditation – That led to Wine

Ohhhhmmmmmm…….

Breathe in…..hold your breath….exhale.  The wonderful art of meditation, keeping women sane for many years.  Due to my bodies reaction to stress, my doctor recently suggested I start meditation to allow my body to fully relax at the days end and at times when life may get a little stressful.  As a mom and wife….this can be tricky and leave you thinking, WTF?!  I wanted to share my experience as I tried meditating and see how many others can relate.

Yes, I work from home but I still treat my business like a business.  I have set hours and yesterday was my day off.  A truly wonderful day, spent with my husband, spent by the pool, enjoying life and loving that I get to do what I do.  After school is out, we do the regular routine…homework…snack…walk the dog, omg mom I am still hungry snack and dinner.  A round of FortNite is also in there at some point.   “Now is the time, I can do this, I can completely relax and clear my mind for 10 minutes” I tell myself as I prepare to sit on my yoga mat and mediate.  I close my eyes and start my breathing.  Long inhales, holding my breath and slowly exhaling, seems easy enough.  I begin my silent mantra “I am more powerful than my stress, I am in complete control, I will…why the hell is the dog in here trying to crawl in my lap. Dammit Tucker, go in the other room.  Try this again.  Close my eyes, start breathing.

“MOM, MOM, MOM where are you?”  MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Me – “WHAT!?”

Child – I am hungry

Me – we ate dinner, go get a piece of fruit

Child – that was dinner, it was at 5pm, that was like a late lunch

Me – no that was dinner, go ask your father to make you something and leave me alone for a few minutes

Stomps off….end scene.

Inhale…..MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!

Me – Seriously dude, what is it that can not wait 10 minutes?

Child – dad won’t make me French fries, how much oil do I use in the fryer.

Me – Absolutely not, it is too late and too dangerous to cook fries.  GO eat something healthy, it’s late.

Child – I’m going to starve in this house

Me – Can you starve quietly

How in the hell do moms meditate?  Note to self, send doctor a note and tell him he is out of his ever loving mind if he thinks this is going to work.  I still have 7 minutes, let’s see if I can get in the zone.   Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, what the hell is the dog doing now…he is eating the cat, move on.  Inhale…exhale.  This is nice, I could do this.  Did I pay the electric bill, dammit woman focus. Yes I did….inhale, exhale, inhale, my butt cheek is cramping up, how do people sit like a pretzel, this is stupid.  Inhale, exhale, inhale, french fries do sound so good, I haven’t had french fries in forever, damn, focus, inhale, exhale, inh…

Spouse – hey babe, how do you usually cook the fries, whoa are you like channeling your inner sex chakra?

Me – there is no sex chakra and it’s too late for fries

Spouse – there should be a sex chakra, would it help if I stood in front of you naked?

Me – I’m going to punch you in the nuts if you don’t leave and keep the kids out.

Spouse – so sex later then?

Me – rolls eyes, then says to myself hell yes we are.  A lady has needs after all, just can’t give away all my secrets.

Again, maybe if press my hands together in the prayer position it will help.  My tailbone is really hurting, how do people sit in the floor for this long.  This has been an eternity, I know I’ve been down here at least 20 minutes.  Looks at clock…6 minutes.  Are you kidding, ONLY 6 minutes in this chaotic hell, suffering on the floor?  Fine, start over, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inha….

Front door opens then slams shut.  Apparently no one realizes their own strength around her and slams doors for NO reason

Other child – where’s mom, I need her MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM ( I think they believe I will respond better with long drawn out calls)

Me – yes, I am in my room, can it wait?

OC – No, I need gas money.  And can we go fishing for a while tonight?

Me – I gave you $20 yesterday, how are you already out of gas?

OC – I might have used a couple bucks to get something to eat.  Now I am really on empty and need gas though.

Me – Fine, take my card and get $20 THAT’S IT!

Me – God, please let me child make money at his new job.  They are going to have to put me in a home if this doesn’t stop.  God – welcome to parenthood child HA HA HA

I have realized that my 10 minutes is up, I am not relaxed and now I am sitting in a pretzel shape and my leg has stiffened so I am unable to actually extend my leg.  Finally manage to untwist myself and stand up…BUTT cramp holy hell.  How long was I down there, it seemed like an eternity.  Crawl over to the bed and use the base to push myself back up into a standing position, look over and see the dog has claimed his spot on my yoga mat, dragging his ass and balls all over the end where I typically lay my face.  Nice job Tucker, Nice.  This dog is really an asshole.

Grab my marker, write down on my planner board – buy more Lysol spray, or new yoga mat.

Go back into the living room to resume chaos and the spouse and child are screaming at the TV as they watch basketball playoffs.  The cat is tangled up in the blinds as she tries to take on a fly.  Spoiler alert…the fly won.  I look at the boys and smile, I soak in what beautiful chaos that is my life and thank God for blessing me with such wonderful mini versions of myself and my husband.  I will try again tomorrow and see how it goes.  They say to meditate alone, quietly, in a time when you can focus…WHO THE HELL has that when you are a parent and entrepreneur?  My next mediation will have wine….that’s a great idea.

Me – Siri, make a note to buy a new lock for the bedroom door and a bottle of wine tomorrow