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It takes a combination of healthy eating, exercise and behavioral change to lose weight effectively. Here are six strategies to shed those extra pounds:
1 • Harness Your Hunger
Healthy meals and snacks contribute to productivity and energy. Plan to nibble on something every three to four hours, or you’ll become way too hungry to make smart food decisions.
2 • Breastfeed
Nursing burns 600 to 800 calories a day, so even if all you do is sit comfortably and feed your baby, you could still be losing weight. But be aware that as soon as you stop or taper off breastfeeding, your calorie needs will plummet, so cut your calorie intake or increase your activity level.
3 • Eat Plenty of 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 to eat less.
4 • Take Naps
Research shows sleep loss negatively impacts the hormones that regulate how hungry you feel and how efficiently you burn calories. Nap when the baby does and you’ll be able to grab a few extra hours of rest.
5 • Use 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. Eating on smaller plates is a simple tool for controlling how much you put in your mouth.
6 • Exercise with a Friend
Make a fitness appointment with a pal and you’re a lot less likely to make excuses. Together you can stroll your babies or hike at a local park.