This is me off on my first walk after having my baby. It was only three days after giving birth so I just went for a 10 minute walk around the block. I remember mentally it felt unbelievably good to stretch the legs and get some sunshine and fresh air.
This post is not going to state the obvious such as exercise daily, eat a healthy diet and get as much sleep as possible. You already know all that. The problem is it’s hard to actually do those things with a newborn. In this article I hope to share simple life hacks to show you how to implement the aforementioned habits. I found when I had my newborn I had far less free time than I ever imagined so here are some practical tips that helped me.
- Prepare your ingredients for dinner when bubs is sleeping. By simply laying out all the ingredients for dinner and maybe doing some chopping you will be less likely in your exhausted state to skip cooking in favour of ordering a pizza when 5pm rolls around.
- When working out, use a video monitor and ban your phone from the room to stop interruptions. I started doing some gentle workouts focusing on restoring my core within a few days of giving birth. I used a guide from a post-natal specialist personal trainer ‘Fit Mammas‘. Until I bought a monitor I found it hard to relax and enjoy my ‘me time’ because I was constantly ducking out the room to check my baby was ok and couldn’t have any music going in case I didn’t hear my baby wake.
- Get your bub used to a baby carrier and a pram from a young age so you can walk most days of the week.
- If your hospital offers a post-natal exercise class seize this opportunity. Despite mine being a 35 minute drive away it was so worth it! There were volunteers who would pick up and cuddle your baby if they started to get upset.
- When serving out dinner also serve out lunch the next day. It’s so handy to be able to just grab a container of food out the fridge and pop it in the microwave for lunch.
- Save your caffeine for pre-workout. If you’re like me and you try to limit your caffeine intake to only a few coffees and teas a day, plan to have one of those just before your workout to give you a boost. You’ll feel so good afterwards so it’s worth having that caffeine to help you make it through!
- Keep massive bottles of water at your feeding stations. A glass of water is not enough, you will go through that in one feed! I bought a pack of 1.5L water bottles from Coles and had them in my nursery. A bottle would last a few days which was handy because you don’t have the time to be constantly filling up a glass or even a smaller size bottle.
- Supplement where necessary. I knew my diet was not optimal, plus I had just been through the major experience of pregnancy and childbirth so I took women’s multivitamins every day. I also finished the iron and vitamin D tablets I had been taking during my pregnancy as these were nutrients that my blood tests had identified I was deficient in.
If you’re eating healthy, exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle but still can’t lose weight, chances are that your portions are too large. If tracking everything you eat in an app isn’t something you’ve got time for, here are some tips to help you be less hungry and eat less:
- Drink a minimum of 3L water a day. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
- Exercise at a moderate to high intensity three times a week. This intensity of exercise regulates your appetite control hormones (gherlin and leptin). It only needs to be for 20-30 minutes to get these benefits. If I’m not exercising for a while, I definitely notice because I can eat and eat and never feel full!
- Aim to have half a teaspoon of cinnamon or more a day. It regulates your blood sugar levels so you won’t feel hungry a short time after eating.
- Aim to eat protein and fats at every meal (including morning tea and afternoon tea – they are meals, too!) These macronutrients are very satisfying and will regulate your blood sugar levels. Ever felt just as hungry when you’ve eaten one of those diet, no-fat, artificial, everything-packed yoghurts? Opt for a nice full-fat Greek yoghurt or coconut yogurt instead. It will actually satiate you.
- Get eight hours sleep. Inadequate sleep significantly affects the hormones which control your appetite.
- Caffeine can decrease your appetite. In the afternoon I often feel like eating the entire contents of the fridge, so I have a coffee first. Then I am quite satisfied with a ‘normal’ sized healthy snack.
- Limit the amount of sugar you eat. It is an appetite stimulant! If you are craving something sweet after a meal, eat fruit! The sugars in fruit are combined with ‘good stuff’ like fibre which fills you up rather than makes you hungrier.
- Measure out foods that are high calorie even if they are healthy. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can eat endless amounts and lose weight. Whenever I eat my homemade granola, I always measure out a half cup rather than just pouring it into my bowl. If I’m going to have some nuts with a protein shake and an apple for afternoon tea, I will measure out 10-12 rather than just eating straight from the container.
I hope these tips help you to feel less hungry and over-eat less so you can reach your goals. You can’t expect change to happen unless you make changes, so give a few of my suggestions above a go!
Well, my little girl is now two months old so I thought it would be a nice time to reflect on my birth experience and write it down so I can look back on it in the future. I personally love reading people’s birth stories, so I hope some of you do, too! If not, feel free to skip this post as it’s a small deviation from my usual focus on wellbeing and fitness.
This is a great meal to make for your weekly meal prep. I love to cook this up for dinner one night and then divide the leftovers into containers for my me and my husband to eat for lunch for the next three days. Eight meals is definitely worth spending 45 minutes in the kitchen for! Traditional Chinese fried rice can be a bit of a fat and carb bomb, so I designed this fried rice recipe to have plenty of vegetables and protein, and only a moderate amount of rice.
36 weeks pregnant here
It’s less than three weeks until my due date! Eek very exciting times! I can’t wait to hold my baby. I can’t wait to dress my baby in all the cute tiny clothes I have for it! I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. I can’t wait to go for walks with the pram. And I can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore. But first, I have to get through labour. After reading extensively about all the side effects and risks associated with medical intervention and drugs, I am aiming for a drug-free, natural water birth in a birth centre, under the care of an experienced midwife. I understand that anything can happen during birth and things rarely go to plan or the way you imagine them, but as long as I end up with a healthy baby it’s all good! 🙂
A vision board is a visual representation of what you’re aiming for in life. Your goals, your dreams, who you want to be, what you want to have, what you’re working towards and what sort of life you want to live. I really enjoy how taking the time to make a vision board gives you an opportunity to think deeply about these things. You can reflect on if how you’re living your life is heading you in the direction you want to be going.
For a very simple vision board, you could simply stick pictures of anything that inspires you and what you’re aiming for in life. If you google ‘vision board’ on pinterest you’ll see lots of beautiful boards. I am a more structured person and have a slightly more ‘ordered’ way of doing my board, so thought I would share with you my approach. I like to re-do my vision board about once a year, or whenever I’ve been through a period of considerable inspiration and growing.
Here’s how I do it: