Weight Loss While Breastfeeding
One of the things on the mind of many new moms is losing their baby weight. It is thought that breastfeeding can help with this, and it can, if combined with the right nutrition and exercise. However, be aware that breastfeeding and weight loss don’t always go hand in hand. Some women can retain their weight while breastfeeding. To encourage weight loss while breastfeeding, try to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Here are some guidelines:
While a woman is pregnant, the body stores extra fat known as maternal stores. After you give birth and begin to think about losing weight, it’s important to remember not to overdo it. If you cut down drastically on carbohydrates or any other food group in an attempt to lose weight, your body will see this as starvation and it may go into ‘famine mode‘. This means that your body will continue to store extra fat in case of starvation. So, if you’re not going to diet by cutting down on perceived “fatty” foods, then how are you going to do it?
Well, when talking about breastfeeding and weight loss, it’s important to remember that how you treat your body is going to affect your baby too, so it’s vital that you eat enough whole wheat and whole grain carbohydrates, lean proteins and vitamins and minerals. Cut down on foods that contain saturated fat and trans fats such as fast food, butter and rendered animal fats. These are the ‘bad fats‘ in food and the ones linked to weight gain, heart disease and a plethora of other health problems. Make sure and eat your essential fatty acids though, which are the ‘good fats‘ that your body needs and which can be found in oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds.
The other thing to consider when talking about breastfeeding and weight loss is your calorie intake. Depending on your height and weight, you may need a different daily calorie amount than other women but aim for between 1500 and 2000 calories daily. If your weight loss stalls, try increasing your calorie intake, as your body needs enough calories to sustain breastfeeding as well as weight loss.
The final thing is to try and get some regular gentle exercise. Also, remember that every woman is different and don’t think there is something wrong if it takes you longer than you want to lose weight. Read this article to learn more about what foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Good luck!