How To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
Most people have a goal to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight when they have a baby. However, this is not always possible as there are numerous things that can prevent you from losing weight. Some of the things include postpartum depression, sleepless nights, and lack of time to hit the gym. While you probably know that you can lose weight while breastfeeding, the main concern is how to lose weight while breastfeeding.
People talk about how breastfeeding is the easiest way to lose weight, in some ways, it can be. Nonetheless, for every mum who loses 20 pounds breastfeeding, there is another one struggling to get rid of only five pounds until her baby is weaned. Also, there is another who gains weight during breastfeeding and is still struggling to lose it. Fortunately, there's always a way out. Here are some helpful pointers and tips.
How Much Food Should You Consume?
Producing milk is energy consuming and new moms have to spend a lot of energy to provide enough milk for the baby. For those who are breastfeeding, a minimum of 500 extra calories is required.
While sticking to a diet would be ideal, it's critical not to cut down your calorie intake while breastfeeding. Go for foods that will provide you with enough energy to produce breast milk.
Do Away With The Cravings
Moms tend to develop hunger pangs and intense cravings after exhaustive night feeds. At a time, it's easy to grab that doughnut, pizza, or French fries. Avoid reaching out for these foods and instead focus on healthy foods like vegetables and fruits.
You can also consume oatmeal. Not only does it keep you full throughout the day, it also keeps your insulin levels stable. Wild and brown rice also make an amazing snack option. If your craving is for carbs, opt for sweet potatoes.
Stick To A Healthy Diet
As a breastfeeding mom, you need tons of folate, iodine, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grain cereals, eggs, red meat, and lentils should be a part of your diet.
Eat Smaller, But Regular Meals:
Waiting for too long between meals spikes your hormonal levels and this affects milk supply. Skipping a meal also means the body starts pulling energy from different reserves which affect thyroid hormone levels as well as decrease production of insulin. In turn, prolactin is lowered and reduces the milk you produce. Taking a long time leaves you feeling starving and this exposes you to items you shouldn't be eating. To avoid this, ensure that you take 5-6 mini meals throughout the day.
Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories. Nursing on demand means that you get to burn the maximum number of calories. This is critical if you've just started working out This allows the body to know that some of the fat stores are disappearing.
What You Need To Take Care Of While Losing Weight During Breast Feeding
Although there are some people who lose weight without exercise, it all boils down to the calories you take in and those you burn. If breastfeeding and diet are still not working, exercise can be of help. Avoid intense workouts as they could hurt your breast milk supply, Walking as you push the stroller is also an excellent moderate exercise.
Walk With Healthy Snacks In The Diaper Bag
Your diaper bag carries wipes, diapers, a change of clothes and toys. However, it should also have healthy snacks like sandwiches to ensure that you're full and that you meet the minimum calorific requirements.
Drink Lots Of Water:
Water plays a critical role in digestion and its recommended to take at least two to three liters after breastfeeding. Stay away from caffeine, energy drinks, or even soft drinks.
Don't Be In A Hurry:
Remember that you took nine months to gain baby weight and you're not going to lose it in a few weeks. Don't jeopardize your efforts of providing enough milk supply to your baby just by going on a crash diet.
Most of these diets do not provide enough nutrients for your body as they restrict calories. Aim to lose at least a pound per week. Some days you may stay the same, others you may gain one. The goal is to target a slow, but steady weight loss. Avoid comparing your body to others because you're unique.
Foods To Avoid:
When breastfeeding, avoid spicy foods as they may bring stomach problems to your child's stomach. Moreover, tea and coffee could disturb the child's sleeping patterns and result in nervousness and irritability.
Some babies experience colic as a result of colic. Vegetables like cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower may make the baby gassy. Alcohol, peanuts, fish with mercury and saturated fats should be taken in small quantities.
Breastfeeding is an excellent way to lose weight Nevertheless, do not be in a rush. Take in the right calories, go for moderate exercises, and take lots of rest to ensure the baby is getting enough milk supply.