Staying hydrated, regulating your diet, incorporating light to moderate exercise into your daily schedule, getting some much needed sleep, breastfeeding regularly, not rush and trying to lose a lot of weight at once and being patient are some of the best ways to get back in shape.
Many new moms mistakenly believe that breastfeeding helps with weight loss after giving birth. Although, while breastfeeding does burn a large number of calories, it also needs increasing your daily intake of approximately 500 more calories than your pre-pregnancy diet. One of the largest hurdles to losing weight after having a baby is if you are breastfeeding.
There are a number of additional considerations you’ll need to keep in mind while trying to lose weight and breastfeeding. Here’s a guide to losing weight in a healthy manner without affecting your body’s ability to produce healthy, nutrient-rich milk:
Top 7 Ways of Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
While this way sound like a basic diet rule, drinking plenty of water every day is one of the best things you can do for the overall health of your body—whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. And it’s especially important for breastfeeding moms. Drinking enough water improves metabolism, transportation of nutrients, and milk production. It also helps you feel fuller longer and prevents overeating. Most importantly, staying hydrated is essential for healthy breastfeeding.
Regulate your diet
You’ll have to make sure you get a balanced intake of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (like chicken, fish and beans) and healthy fats (as in nuts, olive oil and seeds). You want to make sure you are eating good calories and fat as well. Try to avoid anything super sugary or greasy. Lots of people opt to eat too many simple calories for quick craving fixes (and most of them are sugar) and tend to really struggle to lose weight while breastfeeding. It’s normal to get extra hungry while breastfeeding – just make sure you are eating healthy. If you are finding it difficult to lose weight on diet alone, though, exercise can really help. It’s good for you to be active.
Start incorporating light to moderate exercise into your daily schedule
With a breastfeeding infant, though, activities like running long distances and lifting weights in the gym can be all but impossible. In fact, it’s important that you wait at least six to eight weeks, after giving birth, before starting or restarting a serious exercise regimen. Extreme dieting and exercise can impact your body’s ability to produce healthy milk—so be careful and seek a trainer’s guidance (if possible). Once you begin a workout regimen, you will need to increase your calorie consumption to ensure that your body has the nutrients it needs to support milk production (such as eating a simple carb before the workout and having more protein). It is best to start small, with cardio like brisk walking.
Get some much needed sleep
Sleep is just as vital to post-pregnancy weight loss as exercise and diet are, but getting adequate sleep can be difficult when you’re breastfeeding a newborn. Sleep is very important to you since it helps you relax and allows your body to recover, repair and restore. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night just yet, make it a point to nap when they nap. This will give your body the time it needs to recover and stay as healthy as is possible.
Breastfeeding does burn a lot of calories. By nursing your baby on demand, you will burn the maximum amount of calories. It’s important to do this especially since you start to exercise more so your body still knows that even though some of your fat stores might be disappearing, your body still needs to produce milk for your baby.
Don’t rush and try to lose a lot of weight at once
It is important to realize that extreme dieting and exercise can cause a decrease in your supply – so be careful. Do not try and lose a ton of weight at once to reach your pre-pregnancy body. It’s not healthy, and if you do a crash diet, you’ll be at much higher risk of losing your breastmilk supply and potentially hurting your baby. Try to lose no more than 1.5 pounds (or half a kilo) per week.
Be easy on yourself and let your body recover from childbirth naturally.
And finally, be patient
The most important step to losing weight while breastfeeding is to be patient. Don’t pressure yourself. Your body has just gone through some major changes over a long period of time and it’s gonna take a while to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape. It’s best to give your body the time it needs to recover.
If you want to breastfeed, make it your priority. If you start doing something that is going to hurt your breast milk supply, you have to decide what’s more important to you – losing the weight super fast or having a little more patience to make sure your supply isn’t affected. There’s no wrong choice – you just have to decide what’s more important to you.