How to lose weight while breastfeeding is one of the many questions that keeps new moms up at night. Whether we admit it or not, we all wish we could “snap back” like Kim Kardashian or Chrissy Teigen post-pregnancy. Well, these celebrities have all the help and resources they need to lose weight after giving birth, fast. But, all you need could be right in your pantry. Find out how to lose weight while breastfeeding, safely and without breaking the bank!
How To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding: 7 Healthy Tips To Get Fit
1. Extend Breastfeeding
The surprising answer to your postpartum weight loss goals might be breastfeeding. Studies show mothers who nurse their baby from 3 to 12 months shed a few pounds more than non-breastfeeding moms. It is because breastfeeding burns calories big time. But there is a downside, energy used to burn those calories leaves nursing mamas even hungrier (and more likely to binge-eat).
Your postpartum weight is at its heaviest 2 to 4 weeks after pregnancy. You will start to lose a few pounds depending on your diet and frequency of breastfeeding. Then it’s important for you to take note of your diet. Which leads us to the next tips…
2. Eat A Healthy Diet
The most effective way to lose weight while breastfeeding is to adopt a healthy diet. It is foolproof, low-cost, and best of all safe for you and your breastfeeding baby. Many of the unhealthy foods promoting weight gain are also foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Caffeinated drinks, sugar-rich foods, and trans fat-rich junk foods are just a few that top the list.
On the flip side, healthy foods recommended for dieting are also highly encouraged in lactating mothers. It includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, whole grains, and foods with monounsaturated fats. Keep in mind lactating moms can have different nutritional and caloric requirements, so always ask your doctor to help you figure out the healthiest diet for your needs.
3. Look For Healthy Weight Loss Recipes
Detox diet recipes are popular, but as a lactating mother, it is best to stay away from diets that will deny you the essential vitamins and minerals you and your baby need. However, there are healthy weight loss recipes perfect for lactating moms. These are recipes packed full of ingredients with high nutritional content to match your calorie needs.
The goal of lactating moms who want to lose weight should be to do so at a slow and steady pace. Any radical change in your weight and metabolism can affect your breast milk. Talk with a dietitian or doctor for a diet to match your BMI for a healthy calorie intake. In general, 2000 to 2500 calories is required for a lactating mom. Eat foods with the highest nutritional value for your calorie needs.
4. Make A Pantry Inventory
When you have quick pick comfort foods in the pantry or fridge, it’s easy to quench your cravings and forget about a healthy diet. Purge your pantry and ditch the foods that won’t help. Those bags of chips, bars of chocolates, and cartons of ice cream must go (you can save a little for a special occasion). Instead of the oily chips, stock up on sweet potatoes and beets. You can make healthier homemade baked chips with them. For your ice cream, go for frozen yogurt or fruit smoothies. Chocolates will have to wait but you can indulge once in a while with healthier subs like quinoa brownies.
5. Get The Family Involved
When you feel alone in a quest, you are more likely to abandon it altogether. But if you find sympathetic people in your husband and family, it becomes easier. When it comes to a healthy diet, this is the perfect time to get everyone in on it. This also helps cut costs since you won’t have to prepare separate meals for every member of the family. Here are some healthy family meals you can enjoy along with the rest of the family.
Losing weight after baby doesn’t mean depriving yourself and being miserable. Have a slice of pizza or a serving of ice cream once in a while with the family. Pamper yourself a bit without losing touch with your weight loss goals. A little serving every other week won’t tip the scales.
Even in pregnancy, exercise is a must. But note, any form of exercise should be avoided until after the body has healed (this is at least 6 weeks for vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for C-section). When breastfeeding, these safe and fun pregnancy exercises can be applied. These are not extreme routines which are no-nos when breastfeeding and are also easy to execute. A simple exercise like a walk in the park couldn’t be easier. Walk that few blocks to the grocery store instead of taking a ride. You can also turn chores at home into exercises.
If you’re back to your office job, avoid sitting long hours. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your imagination to get creative with your exercises wherever you are. You might also want to do gentle yoga routines for the calming benefits.
7. Be Happy
One in ten women in the US suffers from postpartum depression. This leads to many negative physical and emotional effects. While this is a sensitive topic that deserves its own post, it must be pointed out that it can also affect weight loss and breastfeeding. Don’t wait for the baby blues to set in. Find ways to distract and busy yourself with productive activities.
Also, try to have as much fun as possible. Read, write a journal, watch feel-good movies, develop a hobby or practice an instrument. These are all strategies in relieving stress and helping you work through any negative feelings. It’s okay to be blue sometimes, but remember to talk to your partner and feed your mind and body well. When you’re relatively stress-free, you are able to focus both on yourself and your baby.
Find out how to lose weight while breastfeeding without affecting your milk supply in this video from Intermountain Moms:
Did you still have difficulty losing weight while breastfeeding? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!