How to lose weight after giving birth?

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The secret to healthy weight loss is the combination of a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

To lose weight, you must consume less energy (calories) than what is spent. In other words, you have to spend more energy than you consume. The combination of a balanced diet and regular physical activity is the most favorable path to follow to lose weight and not regain it. A nutritionist will provide follow-up for healthy weight loss and for maintaining good eating habits. On the other hand, kinesiologists help to guide and monitor physical activity.


The golden rule for healthy eating is to eat three balanced meals and two to three snacks per day. Snacks help control the appetite and not be too hungry at mealtime, avoiding eating more than what the body needs. We must listen to our hunger signals and eat according to our appetite.

Skipping meals does not help in weight loss and should be avoided. In this regard, it is important to note that breakfast, often overlooked, is an essential meal. It provides the body, which has not been fed during the night, with enough energy to start the day.

During breastfeeding, hunger can be felt more often due to the energy used for milk production and the act of breastfeeding as such. It is suggested that the woman use her breastfeeding time for snacking on nutritious foods such as dates, nuts, crackers, yogurt, cheese, milk or peanut butter.

In general, low-fat dairy products (2% fat or less), whole grain products, fruits and vegetables as well as lean meat and alternatives (legumes, eggs) are preferred. The Canadian Food Guide and the Balanced Plate are good tools to make better food choices and learn about ideal portions to consume.

Finally, foods that are very high in fat and/or sugar such as pastries, sugary drinks, chips and fried foods contain a lot of calories. They should only be consumed occasionally and in small quantities.


Physical activity is good for weight loss because it promotes energy spending. Physical activity of moderate intensity (brisk walking, dancing, swimming) for 30 minutes per day is favored. The baby can also be easily integrated in physical activities. Therefore, brisk walking 5 times a week with the baby in a stroller or in a baby carrier is a good example of exercise that promotes weight loss. The baby can also be used in a multitude of weight training exercises (French only).


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Société canadienne de pédiatrie. (2015). L’Initiative Amis des bébés : protéger, promouvoir et soutenir l’allaitement.

Trahan, J., Beauregard, C., Benoît, R., Bienvenue, J., Côté, N., Doré, N., ... Moquin, D. (2000). Allaitement. Manuel de nutrition clinique en ligne. Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.


CHUM. (2012). Prendre soin de soi. Les semaines suivant l’accouchement.

Extenso. (2012). Quoi manger quand on allaite?

Fondation OLO. (2015). Assiette équilibrée.

Ligue la lèche. (2009). L’alimentation durant l’allaitement.

Naître et grandir. (2012). Retrouver son poids après bébé : patience...


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