Today, I have some healthy eating tips for those new mothers who may be looking at eating enough calories to nurse a baby, but still want to lose those baby pounds.

First of all, I think it goes without saying that it’s best to eat well at all times. During pregnancy you really don’t want to be “eating for two”.

During your pregnancy, and when you are nursing, you really only need to eat 1.1 times the amount you do when you’re not pregnant. For a healthy, reasonably active mom this is only an extra few hundred calories a day … certainly not double.

Shoot for between 2,000 to 2,500 calories (or 200 to 500 calories more than pre-baby) per day of healthy, clean whole foods.

Now, after the baby is born, if all is well with you, your body will make sure that you have enough milk to feed your new bundle of joy.

If you have a deficit of calories and nutrients, you will be the one to start losing bone and muscle mass. It is very important that you are not starving yourself of all vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, water and carbohydrates. What you eat will go into your breast milk and therefore into your baby.

  • Stay away from empty calories. No simple sugars. No trans fats.
  • Include a variety of coloured vegetables in your diet. The nutrients, vitamins and fibre are all important. If you are not a veggie eater, try some new ones prepared in a new way and stick with those.
  • Eat two to three fruit servings a day. You’ll notice I said fruit “servings”. These days a banana can be up to three servings of fruit since they are so large, so, watch your portions.
  • Include broccoli, yogurt and cottage cheese to your day to increase your calcium take.
  • Keep taking a multivitamin and multimineral daily.
  • Include healthy fats from nuts, seeds and fish.
  • Try to eat a protein source regularly throughout the day.
  • Evenly distribute your meals as opposed to having a small breakfast and two larger meals. Break it down so you are having five moderately portioned meals throughout the day. They don’t all have to be cooked meals or else you’ll feel overwhelmed. Having a meal of yogurt, berries and almonds is simple and delicious.
  • Try not to reach the point of starvation. You should be feeding your body regularly enough that you feel satisfied, but never full or stuffed.
  • Keep your water intake high. Your body needs it, not only for your own functions, but also to produce the milk for your baby. Keep a full water bottle with you at all times and just keep sipping. You’ll be amazed how much you drink. You should never reach that thirsty feeling.
  • Try to keep artificial sweeteners to a minimum. Not only do we not know the side-effects of them, but they can also cause bloat which, in turn, makes us women feel worse.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with your baby for the first year, take this time to learn some new clean recipes that you enjoy. You will be busy, you will be tired, but the better you are feeding your body, the more energy you will have to be the Mom you want to be.

If all went well with the pregnancy and delivery and your doctor has OK’d you to re-introduce physical activity, then start walking at least 30 minutes a day.

You can also start with a few simple, seated dumbbell exercises to start building up your fitness level.

Don’t forget your core work. We have to get those core muscles back in tip-top shape. Start with simple Kegel, spinal balance and pulling in and tightening of the belly button, then move on to harder exercises such as a plank as you feel stronger.

Follow these simple rules and you will be sure to be back to pre-baby shape in no time.

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.peakfitnessyukon.com. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.