Are You Still Eating for Two? by Jenny Dugard of Body Beyond Baby
We eat food everyday, it is vital to our health and survival, eating the right types of food at the right time can be the icing on the cake of any great exercise regime and have you in tip top condition in record time. But what happens when you are eating all the wrong types of food and way too much of it? I talk to my clients regularly about what they eat, how much and when and I often find it’s mums with young children who know all the theory, the amounts of fat, sugar and calories in their food but often find it hard to put their knowledge into action. Amongst the day to day looking after everyone else’s breakfasts, packed lunches and dinners then their own needs go out of the window.
If you find yourself in this category then read on, take control today and see fantastic results.
Beat the baby bulge
Let’s face it, even with the best of intentions our eating habits change during pregnancy. I do hear stories of women who report that they ate better and cleaner than they ever have; congratulations if you are one of these women – I wish I had your self control. More often than not we tend to hear about the McDonalds that was consumed twice per week by the women that would NEVER normally dream of it, or the copious amounts of ice-cream devoured nightly. For myself, during my first pregnancy, it was the packets of Tim Tams that never seemed big enough – I am only human after all.
The problem with this is that many women tend to continue these habits once their baby is born. Or just as bad, forget to eat as they are tired, rushed or they just plain forget.
Five ways to get your eating habits in check
1. Keep a food diary for a month
– This might seem like hard work but how else are you going to become accountable for what is going into your mouth? It’s all too easy to forget about the extra snack you had at 9am…..and the one at 11…..then 2pm…….and 5pm to carry you over till dinner……..oh and that after dinner chocolate bar that you just couldn’t resist. All these ‘extra’ bits add up. Or maybe you are forgetting to eat and going for long periods with no food – this must be addressed too.
2. Eat every time your baby eats or feeds
– Unless you have a baby that is feeding every hour (then do so every other time) chances are your baby is feeding every 2-3, maximum four, hours. Use this as your guideline and make sure you consume a meal or snack at the same time. In order to keep your metabolism firing you need to re-fuel at regular intervals.
3. Always eat breakfast
– How many times have you heard this one? But it’s amazing how many people still forget or don’t find time for breakfast. You wouldn’t dream of starving your child until lunch time after a night of no (or less) food so don’t do it to yourself. You need to kick start your metabolism every morning and give yourself a chance to get through your day with as much energy as possible.
4. Combine complex carbs and protein at every meal
– You need carbohydrates for energy and protein for sustainability. Choose good quality carbohydrates and lean proteins to get the best out of your diet. Combining these types of food at each meal will avoid the highs and lows of a diet high in simple carbohydrates and sugar. This is a trap many people running on low energy fall into – the sugar fix.
5. Eat your last meal or snack at least 2-3 hours before going to bed
– Your body doesn’t need large amounts of food to go to sleep on and any extra energy will be turned to fat and sent straight to your hips. Make dinner a little smaller than lunch (and lunch smaller than breakfast).
As mums it can be hard enough to find the time to exercise everyday so the last thing you need to do is to sabotage your efforts by making poor food choices. Not only will eating good, healthy, fresh food make you look and feel fantastic your energy levels will become increased and getting through the 101 things on your list for the day may feel much easier. Eat well and enjoy!