If you aren't breastfeeding or have stopped doing so, you can start to diet fairly soon after giving birth
, if you wish to. Those extra pounds won't have time to settle if you get to work on them pronto! But take note of the following advice:
> Start off slow:
During the weeks after the birth, you won't necessarily be on top form, so don't go below 1500-1800 calories per day. Aim to lose 500g-1kg per week.
> Eat a variety of foods: To avoid deficiencies, which are common after pregnancy, don't eliminate any food group from your diet: alter your quantities instead! Limit your fat and sugar intake but carry on eating fruit and veg, starchy foods, meat, fish, dairy products, nuts and seeds.
> Prioritise Omega 3s: These give you energy and beautiful skin! Eat walnut and rapeseed oils (1 tablespoon per day), walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds (1 handful per day) and oily fish (3 times a week).
> Allow yourself one or two healthy snacks a day. You're at home, exhausted by the arrival of baby, and the contents of your cupboards will seem tempting! Get rid of savoury and sweet snacks (crisps, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc) and stock up on healthy alternatives (yogourts, fruit, slices of wholemeal bread, etc).