Sadly, for most moms caring for a new baby, they realize they are not going to magically lose the baby weight and regain their old figure right away. So it can be tempting, especially when there’s little time to prepare healthy meals, to skip meals entirely in the hope of losing some weight quickly.

But after all the demands pregnancy has placed on your body, it’s vital to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to stay healthy and have enough energy to care for yourself and your baby.

Now is NOT the time to start a crash diet!

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s best to wait until your baby is at least two months old before even thinking about cutting calories. You need to make sure that the baby gets the vitamins and nutrients she needs from her breast milk, and drastically reducing her calorie intake can also decrease her milk supply.

The following diets are NOT recommended while breastfeeding or immediately after delivery:

o Low carb diets
o Weight loss pills
or liquid diets

And crash diets like fruit and vegetable diets are out of the question because your body needs protein and lean meat to provide you with plenty of energy for the grueling months ahead. So how is a new mom supposed to lose the baby weight and get her body back to normal when she needs to eat right and she can’t hit the gym for at least 6-10 weeks?

First, and most importantly, you need to set realistic goals. New moms often complain that diets don’t work when in reality they are expecting too much too soon.

Okay, we all know how hard it is when you’re trying to lose weight and nothing seems to work. Yes, this can be very daunting, especially if you’re feeling uncomfortable and can’t wait to lose your baby bag. But you need to eat sensibly so that you can care for your baby properly.

Most dietitians agree that in order to return to the pre-pregnancy state, you need to wait about a year. But many new mothers are so eager to get their figure back that they embark on strict calorie-control diets. These are very difficult to stick to and often result in binging later in the day to satisfy your appetite. There are many reasons why celebrity or fad diets fail, but often the diet itself is not to blame. So you have to be prepared for this kind of problem, and you have to accept that there will always be the occasional “bad day” when you’re so exhausted that you NEED to curl up on the couch with a bar of your favorite chocolate.

But you’ll find it much easier to avoid gaining even more weight by keeping dangerous foods out of the house and asking your friends to support you by bringing you healthy snacks—or different treats like your favorite magazine or some soothing bath oil!