Many postnatal women in Dubai want a diet that helps them to lose the excess weight they gained during their pregnancy.
Although dieting in general is safe after you have had a baby there are some precautions you need to take, for your own health and that of your baby if you are breast feeding.
We asked a professional prenatal personal trainer in Dubai for her tips and advice about postnatal dieting. As always, it’s always a good idea to have a word with your medical professional too.
Q1: For many women in Dubai starting a new diet after having a baby is the last thing on their mind. However, as time goes on many will want to lose the baby weight but are unsure of the best ways to do so. As a postnatal training specialist how soon after giving birth can women start to look at dieting and good nutrition choices.
This is a question I get asked a lot by my clients in Dubai. Depending on the birth, women can usually look to start training again anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks following child birth.
When it comes to dieting, some doctors advise it is best to wait until your 6 week post birth check up before looking into changing your diet in any specific way, as it is very important especially if breast feeding that you are still getting all of the essentials you need to pass on to your newborn.
Q2: Crash diets in Dubai don’t work in the long term and can be dangerous. Is this especially true for postnatal women and if so why?
Crash diets tend to lead to failure in most cases as many people use extreme measures to lose weight quickly and in turn end up piling the weight back on once they start eating somewhat normal again.
For postnatal women in Dubai it is essential to make sure your diet is still made up of all the essential nutrients your baby needs when breastfeeding.
If you go on a crash diet and cut out particular foods, you could be at risk of reducing your baby’s intake of certain nutrients.
It is important to ensure you eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, wholegrain foods and lean protein sources.
Q3: For postnatal women who want to diet and get back to their pre pregnancy shape what are the best exercise methods for burning fat and body slimming?
Whilst it is always best to check with your doctor, especially if breastfeeding as most women will need the extra calories whilst breastfeeding, the best way for anyone to burn fat is to be in a calorie deficit, therefore burning more calories than you are consuming.
This may mean as a postnatal women that you spend more time being active to burn more as you may not be in a position for a month or so to look at reducing your calorie intake.
Therefore, I would recommend postnatal women to look at exercising more including gentle walking with the stroller, which they are able to do before their check up.
Once women have the all clear to exercise, I would suggest if possible, especially if this is their first time having to return to exercise following a child, to get suitable advice from a qualified personal trainer on how to perform certain exercises to get your body back to where it was pre -birth.
Q4: On to foods and nutrition. Can you give some examples of food groups that can help postnatal women safely lose weight?
Contrary to some opinions. There is no specific food group that will help anybody lose weight, just like there is no specific diet that suits every individual.
Being in a continuous calorie deficit as before mentioned (burning more calories than what you are consuming) is how anybody, in any position, will safely lose weight.
Q5: Is postnatal dieting safe for women in Dubai who are breastfeeding?
As mentioned in a previous question, dieting for postnatal women who are breastfeeding can be a little more difficult due to the baby needing nutrients from the mothers milk to help keep them healthy and strong whilst they are developing for the first couple of months.
Some doctors do advise mums to not look at changing their dietary habits for at least 2 months post birth.
For breastfeeding women I would suggest for this time to keep as active as possible whilst eating a balanced diet and they will probably find they will lose weight within this time just from breastfeeding and running around looking after a new baby alone.
Q6: And finally, what are your top 5 tips for postnatal women in Dubai who are considering dieting to help them lose the ‘baby weight’?
1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it took 9 months for your body to change, expect that it will take some time to get back to that, stay patient.
2. Ensure you are continuously eating a balanced and varied diet built up of wholegrain foods, fruits, vegetables and lean protein.
3. Don’t crash diet – your body needs nutrients following birth of a baby for your body to recover and heal – plus if you are breastfeeding you require slightly more calories than usual.
4. Start exercising, even just gentle walking when you feel able to, and once you have the all clear from your doctor to proceed with exercise around the 6 week mark, try and make it a priority to move more, whether that’s in a gym, classes, walking, running, swimming etc.
5. Ensure you try to get enough sleep and drink plenty of water. This may be difficult when you are running around looking after your newborn, but try to schedule your sleep routine alongside your newborns.