How to Create Healthy Habits to Lose Weight | For Mums
Knowing how to eat healthily is a critical life skill. It's a skill that takes time to master.
In order to eat healthy, you need to learn to comprehend food labels and how to store and cook food correctly. And you need to investigate how certain foods benefit while others harm your body.
Although establishing healthy eating habits is essential at all times of life, it's particularly vital when breastfeeding. What you eat during this time plays a significant role in your health and in the health of your little one too.
It's also a time when weight loss is important to many women. So, it is no easy task to find a balance between nourishing yourself and eating enough to support your increased energy needs, and to lose the kg's gained during pregnancy.
Here are our tips on how new mums can create healthy habits that stick.
1. Eat a Variety of Foods
Diversity is super important when it comes to food. Health professionals suggest we aim for around 30 different fruits and vegetables every week. And new research shows that eating a highly diverse diet is linked to better overall health and improved weight loss success. This can be attributed to the benefits we see in our gut health when we consume a wide variety of good quality produce like fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
So, you might be thinking, how do I eat 30 different fruits and vegetables every week? Once you establish a healthy habit, it actually becomes quite manageable. Here’s an example of how you can incorporate 16 varieties of fruit and vegetables in one day.
A smoothie with banana, frozen mixed berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries and blackberries) and the In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix.
An apple with peanut butter
Vegetable rice paper rolls with cucumber, lettuce, capsicum, carrot and mint.
Rice cakes with tomato and tuna.
Spaghetti Bolognese with carrot, celery, zucchini and mushrooms.
A great time-saver is online shopping, as Coles and Woolworths can save your previous shops. Your pantry and fridge items will likely change each week, but your fruits and vegetables can easily be reordered and used in new meals. Also, don’t be afraid of frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen varieties hold their nutritional value, and planning meals with frozen veg is a great way to reduce wastage.
Aim to "Eat a Rainbow" each day. Eating a rainbow of coloured fruits and vegetables can ensure you receive a variety of nutrients.
2. Start With Breakfast
The best advice we can give is to start your day on the right foot. That way, if all else fails throughout the day, you know you’ve still given yourself some goodness. For example, a smoothie is a fantastic breakfast option because you can jam-pack them with nutrient-dense ingredients, drink them with one hand and take them on the go.
You can supercharge your morning smoothie by adding the In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix. The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is designed to help mums get the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and easy to digest protein they need for a healthy weight, to sustain energy levels and support their milk supply when breastfeeding.
In addition, the shake mix helps to provide bulk to smoothies and makes them more filling and satiating. So, women find they’re less likely to overeat after their smoothie when they include In Shake Mummy Health Shake mix.
Here’s an example of a nutrient-packed smoothie that will assist with weight loss while supporting your milk supply.
- ½ frozen banana
- ½ frozen zucchini
- 1 cup spinach
- ¼ lime
- 2 tbsp Vanilla In Shape Mummy Health Shake
- 1 cup almond milk
3. Know what to limit
What you don't eat is just as important as what you do eat. Knowing which foods to avoid or limit is invaluable. There are certain foods and drinks you should limit when breastfeeding. These include coffee and alcohol and foods that your baby has an intolerance to. And in terms of weight loss there a many foods and drinks that should be limited and, in some cases, completely avoided.
Fizzy drinks and beverages that contain a lot of added sugar like iced tea and cordial are the biggest no-nos for anyone hoping to lose weight. Not only is there zero goodness in soft drinks, there’s also on average, around 30-40g of sugar in each serve. And, they don’t fill you up, so you will still need to eat a meal on top of these calories. Therefore, sugary drinks should be totally avoided when working to lose weight. Replace soft drink with sparkling water and a squeeze of fresh lemon or orange.
Most fast foods are high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt and are usually fried. These types of food wreak havoc on our digestive system and cause big spikes and drops in our blood sugar levels. This is bad news for weight loss. The lack of nutrients and high-calorie content of foods like burgers, chips and thick shakes mean these are the types of foods you want to limit when on a weight loss journey.
Lollies and Chocolate
High sugary foods like lollies and chocolates are bad for weight loss. Like soft drinks, they don’t make you feel full, so the calories you’re getting from these foods are in addition to whatever food you have to eat to fill yourself up.
As a tired mum, you can’t deny yourself treats completely. So, yes, chocolate and lollies should be limited when trying to lose weight, but it’s okay to treat yourself now and then. Try to stick to the 90/10 rule; healthy foods 90% of the time and allow 10% to treat yourself.
In Shape Mummy's Chocolate Brownie Breastfeeding Boost Bar is a great guilt-free treat to satisfy chocolate cravings.
Getting into the habit of exercising every day will do wonders for your fitness and weight management and for your mood and mental health. When we exercise, hormones known as endorphins are released, which have the power to boost your mood and energy. When exercising becomes a habit, you get the benefits of these wonderful hormones on the daily.
If you’re looking to start an exercise regime in the postpartum period, we advise taking it slow but be consistent. Walking around the block every day is a great way to initiate a healthy exercise habit. You can take your bub in the pram or carrier or go on your own when a partner is there to look after your bub. It’s a great way to clear your mind and do something just for you.
As your fitness and recovery accelerate, you can increase the intensity of your walk or start to incorporate other exercises into your daily routine. Mum’s and bubs classes are great for women who find it difficult to exercise because you can take your little one with you.
A great tip is to dress for success - put on your workout clothes first thing in the morning as it will make you feel more inclined to exercise.
How to Make a Healthy Habit Stick
Creating a habit is all about consistency and achievability. There’s no point in developing a healthy habit that will cause you stress and make you feel guilty if you don’t achieve it. Instead, we recommend starting small, celebrating your success, and not sweating the failures too much. Try to commit to 30 days initially and reward yourself when you get there. After the first 30 days, you can build on your healthy habits, and they’ll become second nature before you know it.
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.