Pregnancy is the one time in your life that you're supposed to let go and enjoy your food. Advice varies, but the UK Department of Health recommends that you only need an extra 200-300 calories a day for the final six months of pregnancy, which dispels the whole 'eating for two' theory. You need more calories during breastfeeding, around 300-500 more a day.
Regardless, the likelihood is that after the birth you will discover that you're a little heavier than 9 months previously. Breastfeeding will help as it's a massive calorie burner, but what options do you have for that extra half a stone that won't come off?
Here's a look at some of your options that not only help you lose weight, but also offer the right nutrition for you and your baby.
Firstly, let's start with the obvious. Weight Watchers has been around for more than 35 years and offers participants the opportunity to lose weight in the supportive environment of a weekly weigh in class, or the privacy of your home using the Internet or the reading pack.
The basic idea is, you get a daily allowance of points and you can eat whatever you like as long as it stay within that allowance. The great thing about Weight Watchers is that they have a tailored option for new mums, to ensure you're hitting all your nutritional targets. The classes are also a great way to meet other mums, and get an hour's break!
Another popular class based option, Slimmers World is similar to Weight Watchers in that you have a flexible plan to follow known as 'Food Optimising'. The plan offers you 'free food' which you can eat unlimited amounts of, and then pointed food, which you can only eat to a limit. Great if you're starving and eyeing up that Yorkie bar.
The only downside with Slimmers World is they don't seem to have a tailored plan for pregnancy and breastfeeding yet. However, they have worked with the Royal College of Midwives to lay down some guidelines to dieting during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the diet itself encourages a varied and healthy diet anyway.
The Classic: Healthy Diet and Exercise
Weight Watchers and Slimmers World are the two healthiest diets, and help to educate on what foods are healthy and filling, and which are best avoided. They can be costly though, and there's no reason why you can't educate yourself on what you should and shouldn't be eating, along with taking up some light exercise. The NHS has this guide for what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy, and this guide explains what exercise you can do and when you can do them.
Over to you: do you have any great tips for healthy weight loss after the birth?