Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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It takes a combination of healthy eating, exercise and behavioral change to lose weight effectively. Here are five foolproof strategies to shed the baby fat.
1. Siesta as often as you can. Research shows sleep loss negatively impacts the hormones that regulate how hungry you feel and how efficiently you burn calories. We know it's hard to sneak in sleep when you're a new mom, but if you nap when the baby does, you'll be able to grab a few extra hours of rest.
2. Snack well, snack often. Don't go long periods without eating, especially if you're breastfeeding. Healthy meals and snacks contribute to clear thinking, productivity and energy. Plus, if you don't nibble on something every three to four hours, you'll become way too hungry to make smart food decisions.
3. Eat on smaller plates. A 2006 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people serve themselves more food when using larger spoons and plates, while downsizing the dish size had the opposite effect. For weight loss, portion control is a must. Using smaller plates is a simple tool for controlling how much you eat without having to measure anything.
4. Fill up on veggies. Vegetables have fewer calories per serving than practically any other food. Plus, their high fiber content promotes a feeling of fullness, making it easier for you to limit your calorie intake.
5. Make an exercise date. The best way to be sure to exercise is to make a date with another new mom. Stroll your babies; meet at a yoga class; hike at a local park. Make a fitness appointment with a pal and you're a lot less likely to make excuses.