Best ways to lose weight while breastfeeding – Lose those weight with these healthy tips without affecting your breastmilk supply
Losing weight while breastfeeding is perfectly fine, but it has to be slow and steady. It is best to lose the extra weight gradually using healthy eating principles and with the help of some extra exercise. Losing up to half a kilogram per week is generally safe for breastfeeding moms. Do not use crash or fad diets where you tend to lose weight quickly. These diets don’t have a good balance of important nutrients needed for you and your baby. Producing breastmilk is a surprisingly energy-efficient process, but new moms will need a little extra energy to produce a good supply of milk for their baby even if they are focused on losing weight. “It will depend on how much you are breastfeeding, but as a guideline, you will need approximately 500 extra calories for those breastfeeding full-time per day,” says 12WBT Dietitian Georgina Moore. Although it is safe to watch your diet and let the natural weight loss properties of breastfeeding take hold, radically lowering your calorie intake while breastfeeding isn’t recommended. “There is a very fine line as lowering calories too much can lead to your milk drying up,” says Moore. As you are losing weight, it’s often a bit of trial and error to get it right. Listen to your body and its needs as well as your baby’s.
Many breastfeeding moms will experience intense cravings and hunger pangs, particularly as they struggle through the exhausting night needs, but having healthy snacks in the fridge or nappy bag can help prevent bakery raids and coffee shop stops. Breastfeeding moms often feel very thirsty. This is as a result of the body using extra fluids and releasing the hormone oxytocin, which increases the thirst mechanism. All you have to do as a breastfeeding mum is to drink according to your thirst. Always have water at arm’s reach while you breastfeed. If you are worried, check the colour of your urine. If it’s dark yellow with a strong smell, it indicates dehydration
Following a nutritious meal plan, combined with moderate exercise, actually helps improve the quality of mother’s milk, boosts their energy levels, and stimulates them to gradually drop pounds. Diets that limit complete food groups or that reduce calories below 1,800 per day should be strictly avoided. Restricting calorie intake during the first six weeks postpartum could interfere with the establishment of breastmilk supply and ability to heal from childbirth.
There are a lot of misconceptions about breastfeeding and weight loss. Some people believe that their weight will drop off once they start breastfeeding. While others think that it’s harder to get your body back while you are breastfeeding. Neither is exactly right. Breastfeeding does burn extra calories – approximately 850 calories per day, to be exact, but losing weight while breastfeeding is rarely a given because breastfeeding makes moms hungrier. And hungry new moms tend to satisfy their cravings with simple carbohydrates.
Types of food
You can go for lean proteins, fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy fats to make up the bulk of a healthy meal plan for weight loss while breastfeeding. Protein sources include skinless poultry, lean beef, and egg whites. Whole grains include wheat bread, brown rice, oat, millet, and wheat. Heart-healthy fats include olive oil, nuts, almond oil, and sunflower oil. These foods are filling and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to pass on to babies through breastmilk. An occasional serving of fish is a smart lean protein choice but breastfeeding moms should avoid the intake of high mercury fish such as mackerel, shark, and swordfish because mercury may be passed through breastmilk.
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Best ways to lose weight while breastfeeding
- Do not pressure yourself: In order to deliver a baby, everything expands. It took you good nine months to put on that weight, so you have to give yourself at least nine months to get it off. Ignore the excess weight for at least the first two weeks after birth and focus on your baby and worry not about dieting. And you have to wait six weeks or even more before actively trying to lose weight. Those entirely first six weeks are a transitional period.
- Think before you snack: Oatmeal is a great breakfast for a breastfeeding mom who is trying to lose weight. It keeps you full for a long time and keeps insulin levels stable. Starchy vegetables such as baked potatoes and sweet potatoes are also good choices to satisfy your craving for carbs. Brown and wild rice are also a good side dish and snack choice.
- Cut down on calories, but not too much: It is perfectly okay to diet while breastfeeding as long as your total calorie intake does not go down below 1,800 calories per day and you keep eating a wide variety of nutritious foods.
- Eat in smaller quantity, more frequent meals: When you wait too long between meals, there’s a hormonal effect that affects milk supply. Your body will start pulling energy from your reserves, which reduces insulin production and affects your thyroid hormone levels. This lowers prolactin, which is the hormone that controls how much milk you make.
- Work in exercise: You have to wait for at least six to eight weeks before starting a serious exercise regimen. If you are planning a particularly strenuous workout, eat a healthy carb about a half-hour before you exercise. Eating like half of a baked potato before running can really help prevent a decrease in your milk supply.
Everybody is not the same. Everyone loses weight at a different rate, so don’t be discouraged if your weight loss happens more slowly than it does for other mamas. With a healthy meal plan, breastfeeding mums typically lose weight about a pound a week. The cool thing is that you can tailor your plan to your lifestyle and whether you’d rather cut more calories or do more exercise. As long as you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you will definitely lose weight.