Three Nutrition Tips to Getting Back Your Body After Baby

July 13, 2016

Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin personal trainer and nutritionist Gina Parenzan.

Drink Lots of Water

Listen to your thirst; it’s there for a reason! Often signs of hunger are mistaken for dehydration. Before grabbing a food snack, try downing a glass of water. Water will fill your stomach and ease those hunger signals. It is essential for keeping the body hydrated and will reduce water retention. The general recommended daily amount is 64 ounces, so don't be afraid to drink up!

Mild to moderate dehydration can include these signs:

  • Tired or sleepy
  • Decreased urine output and urine is more yellow
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Food cravings, especially for sweets
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin
  • Bad breath
  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle cramps

If you’re not sure if you’re dehydrated, here are two ways to easily monitor your body: First, try the skin test. Using the skin of the back of your hand (where your watch would sit), pull the skin up about a centimeter away and then let go. If you are properly hydrated, the skin should quickly spring back to its normal position.

Second, check your urine. Warning colors to watch for are yellow, chardonnay or orange. If your body is 3% dehydrated, your urine will be yellow. If your body is 5% dehydrated, your urine will be a chardonnay color. If your body is more than 5% dehydrated (severe dehydration), your urine will be orange.

Tips for staying hydrated:

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and energy drinks
  • Keep a water bottle on-hand
  • Drink Tea
  • Consume watery snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt
  • Add flavor to your plain water by adding chunks of fresh fruit
  • Drink room temperature water, not ice water

Cut the Flour

Your body treats flour the same way that it digests sugar. Flour is converted to sugar very quickly in your stomach digestion, which places a lot of stress on the pancreas. In order for flour to be digested, it releases a huge amount of insulin, and insulin is a hormone that signals the storage of FAT!

The white flour versions are missing the two most nutritious parst of the plant, the germ and the outside bran layer. Substitute white pasta, bread and rice for their whole-grain versions. A diet high in refine foods contributes to chronic illness and malnourishment because we are not eating food in its natural form.

Tips:

  1.  Check the ingredients – avoid products that list enriched flour, galactose, cane sugar, bread flour, bleached all-purpose flour
  2. Use whole-grain pasta, bread and rice instead of the white-refined versions
  3. Spring clean- throw away all cookies, crackers, pasta, breads, etc in your kitchen
  4. Make your own meals- control your portions and use whole foods. Know what you put into your food!
  5. Drink water instead

Eat Before a Party or Event

Having a light meal or snack before you head out to an event will help stave off the temptation to overeat. Don't arrive at a big meal, event, or party starving. One study found that you'll be 2.5 times more likely to start off overeating starchy carbs, fried or cheesy foods than those who didn’t eat a small healthy meal beforehand. When you get too hungry, you’ll most likely eat too fast and make poor food choices. So before you head out the door, have something in your tummy!

The best option for a light snack is a small meal that includes a lean protein, vegetables and a healthy fat.

For example:

  • Slice of Ezekiel bread and half an avocado, slice of tomato
  • Two scrambled eggs and spinach
  • Half a chicken breast with mixed greens
  • Bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter/almond butter
  • Small salad with a cup of quinoa
  • Cup of plain yogurt with berries
  • Tuna Salad over arugula
  • Scrambled egg with salsa and half an avocado

Gina Parenzan, personal trainer, nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach for 19 years, degreed in kinesiology exercise nutrition, BS and health sciences, BS. Former collegiate NCAA athlete, fitness competitor and outdoors athlete. For almost two decades, I have conducted personal training for top executives, celebrities, and professional and collegiate athletes with an integrative approach on how to effectively incorporate fitness and nutrition into their everyday lives. Gina can be reached at Fitness4evr@gmail.com and www.fitness4evr.com