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A post-birth crisis of confidence


I'm struggling with my body confidence after giving birth. Are there any quick and easy changes I can make to my diet and physical activity levels to make me feel better inside and out?

LAURA Coster, a dietitian for XLS Nutrition (, says: "Feeling unsure about your post-pregnancy body is completely normal. You've gone through incredible changes to produce something amazing, and this is certainly not the time to be considering fad diets. These key tips should help you to feel more confident during this equally exciting and exhausting time."

Eat protein: Protein has a positive effect on the hormones responsible for regulating appetite. The brain relies on hormonal signals to determine when and how much to eat and a higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormones.

Eat foods rich in iron, zinc, iodine and selenium: Dong this each day can help to keep your metabolism healthy. These minerals are required to support the proper function of the thyroid gland, which has a key role in regulating metabolism. Good sources include meat, seafood, legumes, nuts (especially Brazil nuts) and seeds.

Exercise before breakfast: This helps to use your glycogen stores (glucose/carbohydrate storage) and you then can start burning some of your body fat. The energy boost and impact on metabolism has been shown to last up to 24 hours in some people - something that definitely won't go amiss at this time.

Wellbeing star

THE Spa at Ramside has been named among the finalists in the Good Spa Guide Awards Best for Wellness category. It was the first in the UK to become part of the Wellness for Cancer organisation, and offers an extensive programme of treatments for people dealing with cancer.

“We have always held wellness to be very important, and are constantly at looking at new angles and areas in which we can offer new treatments and therapies," says spa director Joanne Green. "“Our ongoing work with Wellness for Cancer is something we are very passionate about."

The public will be invited to cast their votes online to name the overall winner when votes open on October 1.