Losing the baby weight isn’t easy for most moms. Keto and breastfeeding is a quick, effective and safe way of losing weight when breastfeeding and done correctly.
As soon as you have a baby, the first thought clouding your mind is ‘how do I get rid of the baby weight, and fast’ With so many diets, exercises, and weight loss training programs to choose from, how do you settle on one that will work for your postpartum body?
Embarking on a weight loss journey is easier said than done, especially when you need to juggle time between breastfeeding your baby and catching up on lost sleep. So why not start with something that you can do right in the comfort of your house? You heard that right; keto and breastfeeding will give you the option of staying home, breastfeeding, and losing that unwanted weight. As the saying goes, “abs start in the kitchen.” And my clients are proof, when they follow my keto while breastfeeding formula, they lose weight while breastfeeding without spending hours in the gym.
If you feel you are a breastfeeding mom on a mission to shed your stubborn fat, why not give keto a try? Read to unravel how this weight loss diet will help you discover a new you:
What Is A Ketogenic Diet?
The Keto diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet that, along with boosting weight loss, has several health benefits for the body. It involves consuming meals rich in fats, having a moderate protein amount, and a low carb count. To give you a better idea, look at it this way, you get 75% of your calorie intake from fat, 20% protein, and even less than 5% from carbs.
By having such an intake, your body enters a metabolic state known as ketosis,’ where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. The fat present in the liver is turned into ketones, which help in providing the brain with energy.
So, is it the right diet for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight? Let’s look at the details.
Can You Do Keto When Breastfeeding?
Getting rid of unwanted weight after you have had your baby is a goal that many mothers wish to achieve. For that, several mommies may opt for different diets and exercise, all in the hopes of going back to their pre-pregnancy weight. Among them, the keto diet is becoming quite the hit owing to the fast results it promises. However, many have concerns about keto being a healthy option when breastfeeding,
There are two most commonly raised concerns when it comes to keto and breastfeeding. The first is hydration and adequate milk supply, whereas the other is whether the baby will get sufficient nutrition.
Let’s find out if they really are a big a concern as they are posed to be:
Adequate Nutrients For The Baby
A common concern regarding keto and breastfeeding is whether your baby will receive adequate nutrition and whether your milk supply will drop. Honestly, whatever you consume has a significant impact on ensuring that your little one’s nutritional needs are met. So naturally, there are concerns that your baby might not have adequate nutrition if you entirely skip carb-based meals.
The good news is that you can opt for different food options loaded with minerals and vitamins essential for your baby’s growth.
Also, did you know that your baby is naturally born in a state of ketosis? Yep, that’s right! Which makes this a perfectly safe option while breastfeeding when done correctly and monitoring the baby for adequate milk intake and growth along the way.
Also, you can increase your carb intake with excellent options like whole grains and fruits low in sugar. For example, you can increase your carbs to 50 or 60 grams daily when breastfeeding. However, if you are someone who is super active, you can increase this to 80 or 90 grams. You can go back to your strict keto carb level once you stop breastfeeding.
Milk Supply And Hydration
Another concern that many ‘anti-keto people have is that it reduces milk supply and causes excessive dehydration. However, studies show that your milk supply should not be massively affected whether you are on a high carb diet or a low carb one. Instead, many breastfeeding mothers who were doing keto had a denser milk supply in nutrients and energy.
Along with the above, hydration is also a common concern as it has a significant role to play in the adequate production of breast milk.
For many newbies who enter the world of keto, dehydration is usually a big issue. As the carbohydrate levels are drastically reduced, more electrolytes and water is excreted by the body. This results in dehydration along with the infamous ‘keto flu,’ which many experience at the beginning of the diet.
To avoid this when doing keto while breastfeeding, make sure you drink huge amounts of electrolyte-based drinks and water. You can buy powdered electrolyte mixes that you simply add to your water. You can also try making your own with Himalayan salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice in your water.
Now, how to go keto when breastfeeding to lose weight?
Top Tips For Successfully Breastfeeding On A Keto Diet
Now that you understand the basics, make sure to incorporate the following tips to enhance your keto experience:
Get A Quick Start
Just like with any new routine, a ketogenic diet also takes some getting used to. During this period, when your body is adjusting to this new lifestyle, you may experience symptoms of ‘keto flu.’ It causes brain fog, stomach ache, and trouble with concentrating. This is something you obviously don’t want to go through when postpartum and breastfeeding.
The best way to go about this is to start early, sometime before your pregnancy if possible. This way, your body will have already gotten used to burning fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. If that’s not possible, start the process slow by first switching the types of foods you’re eating to more whole, real foods and gradually reduce carbohydrates.
Minerals And Vitamins Are Crucial:
When you embark on your keto diet and breastfeeding journey, it is essential to remember that you will be losing a massive amount of water weight. Along with water, electrolytes will also be excreted from the body. This is why it is vital to replace calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Along with these, you must also take vitamins A, D, and omega 3s.
Adequate Calorie Intake
A new mom with a little baby already has so much on her plate, and it is crucial to consume adequate calories to feel energetic. When you start keto while breastfeeding, you must have a sufficient intake of healthy fats.
This is why almonds are an excellent snacking option loaded with nutrients and help make you feel fuller. You can also munch on strawberries and string cheese if you feel cravings.
Try Moderate Carb Intake
Cutting down on your carbs to such an extremely low level may seem difficult for many breastfeeding mommies. This strict reduction may even cause many to drop the keto diet once and for all. If you also find it hard to continue, try switching from a low carb intake to a moderate carb intake.
You can do this by slowly decreasing your carbohydrate intake and keeping a close look at your milk production. If at any point you feel that your milk supply is getting affected, simply increase your carb intake. However, it’s important to use healthy sources such as berries, nuts, seeds, and veggies for your carbs.
Make Water Your Best Friend
Breastfeeding mommies need to drink lots and lots of water to ensure a sufficient supply of milk. When you are on a keto diet, it is a whole new story. As you are already losing lots of water when in ketosis, your water intake needs to be increased way more than usual.
To ensure that you are always fully hydrated, you can drink water with added electrolytes. Not only will it help with hydration, but it will also replace your lost electrolytes. Ensuring you are hydrated will keep your milk supply adequate and help beat any symptoms of keto flu. Not getting enough electrolytes is one of the biggest mistakes I see moms make when trying to follow a keto way of eating while breastfeeding to lose weight.
Include Lots Of Veggies And Fiber
When breastfeeding, whatever you eat, will determine the nutrition that your baby will get. This is why it is essential to shift your focus to healthy meal options when on a keto diet. Make sure that you get plenty of fiber and veggies in your meals. By eating large portions of vegetables, your body will get the necessary antioxidants and phytonutrients.
You can replace potatoes and rice with mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, and cucumbers. If you have trouble getting a sufficient amount of vegetables, you can always give green supplements a try.
Losing Baby Weight Doing Keto while Breastfeeding
Nothing comes easy in life, especially when you are trying to lose the baby weight. Although keto and breastfeeding is a quick, effective and safe way of losing weight when breastfeeding, there are quite a few aspects that need to be considered before you begin.
Always be sure to watch your baby for signs of sufficient milk transfer- such as baby’s demeanor, diaper output, and weight gain. These can help tell you if you’re producing enough milk for your baby while dieting.
So, is the keto diet safe for breastfeeding mothers? The bottom line is, if done with proper knowledge, care, and modifications, it should work great for many breastfeeding women. Just as with anything else, make sure you consult with your doctor before you start.