Tips for Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
Losing weight while breastfeeding can certainly seem like a big challenge, but it is desired by most moms. However, you must remember that your body underwent significant changes during those nine months. It needs time to recover and get back in shape. Patience and loving your body should be your companions while going through this process. Use these tips provided to jumpstart your progress.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural, but after giving birth, many women become all too eager to shed that extra weight as soon as possible. In the run to lose weight, some mothers not only neglect their health but also forget the fact that they are breastfeeding.
For all the new moms willing to shape their body in a fit condition and make sure that their baby gets the right quantity of nutrients through breast milk, you must consider a few aspects before jumping to any diet or exercise plan.
In this article, I’ll be answering all the questions related to losing weight while breastfeeding with tips to get you started quickly!
Is It Safe To Burn Extra Calories While Breastfeeding?
This is the most important question because a breastfeeding mother is responsible for the health of two people. Losing weight while breastfeeding is recommended by nutritionists and physicians only if it is carried out with a proper diet and exercise plan.
So, if you are working to fit in your old jeans within weeks after your delivery, you need to slow down. Don’t go for instant weight loss. Take it slowly and gradually so that your baby also gets the required nourishment through breastfeeding. A balanced diet combined with an effective nutrition and exercise strategy will be helpful to both you and your newborn.
Calories A Mother Needs While Breastfeeding
A breastfeeding mother requires extra calories to remain active and provide the little one with an adequate milk supply. On average, breastfeeding mothers need approximately 450-500 more calories per day. So that means a breastfeeding mother must consume on average 2300-2500 kcal per day.
You may have to increase your supply of calories based on your body weight, energy level, age, and, most importantly, the number of times you are feeding your child throughout the day.
When Is The Right Time To Start Losing Weight After Pregnancy?
You just gave birth to a beautiful little angel of yours. Your newborn needs your time and attention, whereas your mind and body need time to heal properly.
Thus, give yourself about 2 months before diving into any diet or workout plans. This will allow your body to recover from postpartum and establish a healthy milk supply for your little munchkin.
The next question is, “how do I lose weight while breastfeeding?”
Tips For Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
The most crucial thing to keep in mind for losing weight while breastfeeding is patience. Don’t just rush into dieting and exercising; allow your body to settle down as it has gone through major changes during the nine months of pregnancy and then delivery.
Weight loss and breastfeeding can go hand in hand by simply following some useful tips we have compiled for you. So, let’s begin;
Drink Lots Of Water
Water is the best natural resource given by God. Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, water is always the most basic body requirement. It is 100% free of calories and helps your body get rid of the extra calories through active digestion, and removes toxins from the body.
With the newborn hanging on to its mother for an active milk supply, a mother must stay hydrated. Maintain a habit of drinking 12 cups (96 fluid ounces) per day. Many moms feel dehydrated and may not even realize it, so adding in an electrolyte drink is a great idea too. Or, you can simply add Himalayan salt and a squeeze of lemon to your water.
You are likely to feel hungrier since you have another little tummy to feed. Going for a clean, healthy, and well-balanced diet is an easy way to losing weight while breastfeeding. Try to improve your eating habits by involving the following elements in your diet:
- Eat fiber-rich fruits and healthy vegetables. Opt for organic when possible.
- Increase the number of lean proteins in your diet. Lean proteins have less than 10g of fat and are a good form of nutrients. Some common sources of lean proteins include eggs, fish, chicken, meat, dairy products, beans, seeds, and nuts.
- Include healthy fats in your meals, such as olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, almonds, and coconut oil. This will fuel your body while also providing nutrients for your baby’s development and growth. Ensuring you are eating enough omega 3s will also help prevent postpartum depression and help your baby’s brain development.
Try the Keto Diet Plan
These days, many breastfeeding moms are adopting a Keto diet plan to shed off all that extra weight without compromising their milk supply. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do keto while breastfeeding. You want to start by switching the quality of foods you’re eating to whole, real foods. Then, you can gradually decrease the number of carbohydrates you are eating on a daily basis. Never dip below 75 carbs before you wait and assess your milk supply.
Embracing the Keto diet can be a good idea for losing weight while breastfeeding for many reasons. The traditional keto diet limits your carb and sugar intake to around 5% but allows you to have a high intake of fats (75%) and adequate proteins (20%). You’ll want to add in more carbs if you’re breastfeeding at least, to begin with.
This forces your body to go into a ketogenic state, and the body uses its supply of fat for producing energy. This allows your body to break down the stored fat in your body, helping you lose extra pounds in a healthy way.
The primary benefit of the Keto diet is that the food allowed during the diet is quite filling, and so you feel pretty stuffed even by taking a few calories. Besides, the diet restricts you from eating packaged and processed food along with decreasing sugar consumption. This makes your weight loss journey even faster and smoother.
The positive side of the Keto diet is that it will not affect milk production when done gradually and methodically. When you’re eating healthy foods, your baby will get his share of nutrients even if you are on this diet.
If you want to jump right into a Keto Workshop and Quickstart guide, check out my mini-course here Keto and Breastfeeding Video Workshop + Quickstart Guide
Don’t Forget To Exercise
To get their body back in shape, mothers often start exercising vigorously. This thinking needs to be changed. Yes, working out is an excellent way to restore your former figure, but now you have a baby who entirely depends on you for nourishment.
Wait for at least 6-8 weeks after delivery before starting your workout routine. Even after starting, avoid extensive exercises such as cardio workouts. Opt for postpartum-safe workouts like yoga, pelvic floor therapy, and deep breathing. Start your day with a 20-30 minutes workout, or go for a light walk to the nearest park with your little fella! There are also safe exercises to lose the baby weight that you can do.
Get A Good Nap
A healthier body needs a healthier mind. You may be surprised at the fact that sleeping also contributes to your weight loss journey. Being a new mom with a toddler to nurse throughout the night, you may not get enough sleep. If you wish to stay healthy and lose weight, it is time you start taking short naps when your baby sleeps.
Weight gain is often associated with a lack of sleep because your body needs time to recover and heal. Getting proper sleep will help you in the following ways:
- Your muscles will relax.
- The body releases more growth hormone.
- Blood pressure returns to normal.
- Body organs and muscles receive more blood supply.
- Reduce cravings and the need for “quick energy” fixes.
Don’t Starve Yourself
Extreme dieting and calorie restriction while breastfeeding is not safe. Starving yourself out and skipping meals just to lose weight quickly will only have an adverse impact on your health.
Remember, you are nursing, and you need extra energy to take care of your little one. Instead of going hungry for quick postpartum weight loss, go for smaller portions and enjoy smaller healthy snacks such as a piece of fruit or your favorite smoothie.
Avoid Quick Fixes
Take it slow. For a nursing mother, losing weight shortly after giving birth is not considered safe. You may get tempted by the many fad diet ideas and weight loss medication claiming to give you your perfect body in no time, but this will all impact your health along with the quality and quantity of milk production.
How Does Breastfeeding Help With Losing Weight?
The widespread opinion that breastfeeding will help a mother lose weight much faster is quite true. Do you know how many calories does breastfeeding burn? Breastfeeding burns as much as 500-700 calories per day depending on how often you’re breastfeeding.
However, every human body works differently. Therefore, many factors affect your weight loss efforts after pregnancy, including your pre-pregnancy diet, level of activity, and even your weight after the baby is delivered. A breastfeeding mother has a propensity to lose 1-2 pounds every month for the next six months.
Quick Weight Loss While Breastfeeding Can Mean Complications
Excessive postpartum weight loss is not healthy. If you start losing weight too quickly, you will be left exhausted, stressed, and tired, along with a milk supply that may lack vital nutrients. There can be many reasons behind this condition, such as:
- You are not providing your body with the required nutrients. With breastfeeding, you need extra calories. Depriving your body of healthy nutrients will trigger quick weight loss and your milk supply or quality could suffer.
- Moms are always busy taking care of others. This causes them to give their health a tough time. If your weight is dropping rapidly after delivery, it’s time to pay more attention to yourself.
- Postpartum Hyperthyroidism is a health condition often experienced by new moms. Having an overactive thyroid causes excessive weight loss, shakiness, difficulty sleeping, exhaustion, restlessness, and an overabundant supply of breast milk. Consult a doctor if you notice any of these issues.