ASK THE EXPERT

WHAT WILL HELP ME FEEL BET­TER AF­TER GVING BIRTH?

Bath Chronicle - - FAMILY MATTERS -

Q i’m strug­gling with my body con­fi­dence af­ter giv­ing birth. Are there any quick and easy changes i can make to my diet and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els to make me feel bet­ter in­side and out?

A Laura Coster (right) is a di­eti­tian for XLS Nutri­tion (xlsmed­i­cal.co.uk). She says: “The first thing to note is that feel­ing un­sure about your post-preg­nancy body is com­pletely nor­mal! “You’ve gone through in­cred­i­ble changes to pro­duce some­thing truly amaz­ing, and this is cer­tainly not the time to be con­sid­er­ing fad di­ets. “Th­ese tips should help you to feel stronger and more con­fi­dent dur­ing this equally ex­cit­ing and ex­haust­ing time. “Eat­ing pro­tein has a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the hor­mones re­spon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing ap­petite. “The brain re­lies on hor­monal sig­nals to de­ter­mine when and how much to eat and a higher pro­tein in­take ac­tu­ally in­creases lev­els of the sati­ety (ap­petite-re­duc­ing) hor­mones.

“En­sur­ing you eat enough foods rich in iron, zinc, io­dine and se­le­nium each day can also help to keep your me­tab­o­lism healthy. “Th­ese min­er­als are re­quired to sup­port the proper func­tion of the thy­roid gland, which has a key role in reg­u­lat­ing me­tab­o­lism. “Good sources in­clude meat, seafood, legumes, nuts (es­pe­cially Brazil nuts) and seeds. “Fi­nally, ex­er­cis­ing be­fore break­fast may mean you’re us­ing your glyco­gen stores (glu­cose/ car­bo­hy­drate stor­age) and then can start burn­ing some of your body fat. “Fur­ther­more, the en­ergy boost and im­pact on your me­tab­o­lism has been shown to last up to 24 hours in some peo­ple – some­thing that won’t go amiss at this time.” This is not the time for fad di­ets and pun­ish­ing regimes – a di­eti­tian shares some small steps that you can take to help re­store con­fi­dence and en­ergy.

Ex­er­cise be­fore break­fast

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