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Healthy weight loss after pregnancy

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Here are some tips for healthy and gradual weight loss following the birth of your baby.

Make healthy food choices

  • Eat three meals every day, especially breakfast. Research shows that eating breakfast is linked to a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthy snacks, such as fruits or raw vegetables in between meals to keep your energy levels up.
  • Eat smaller servings. 
  • Enjoy 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. Research shows that people who eat more vegetables and fruit are more successful at losing weight.
  • Focus on high fibre foods, as they can help you to feel full so you eat less. These foods include fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grain cereals and bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, nuts and seeds.
  • Cook with less fat. While some fat is important for our health, go easy on cooking oils and other fats.
  • Limit sugary foods and beverages. Choose small amounts of foods high in added sugar, and avoid sweetened beverages like fruit juice, cordials, flavoured coffees, soft drinks and energy drinks.
  • Eat smart when you are eating out.
  • Aim to be physically active and do a little exercise every day. Dance to your favourite music, walk up and down your stairs or go outside for a brisk walk with your baby as often as you can. 
  • Aim to lose about 0.5 kg per week – this is a safe and healthy rate of weight loss.
  • Remember weight loss is easier if you are breastfeeding.

For more guidelines on health and nutrition during pregnancy, please contact the Pick n Pay Health Hotline registered dietitian on 0800 11 22 88 or healthhotline@pnp.co.za. To find a registered dietitian in your area, visit the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) website at www.adsa.org.za.

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