Planning on losing weight right after your delivery is like punishing your body. Through the 9 months of transformations, your body has undergone many changes to accommodate and nourish the life growing inside you. Your body may take an equal amount of time in getting back to its previous self.
While you are still adjusting to the new lifestyle with your baby, losing weight should be the last thing on your mind. The good news is that breastfeeding does help you burn calories—around 500 calories per day. It is one way to naturally lose about 1 to 2 pounds of weight every month while you breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months.
Yet, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most moms spend their postpartum period gaining weight instead of losing it. Sleepless nights and tiredness add to the hunger caused due to breastfeeding. To satiate their cravings, they end up looking for unhealthy food options.
Here is how you can gradually start losing weight while your baby still feeds on breast milk.
1. Snack Right
Eating healthy has always been an unavoidable part of losing weight. Choose foods that will help keep up the breast milk supply and won’t contribute to your weight. Focus on eating green leafy vegetables like spinach and beet leaves, fruits, whole grain cereals, eggs and brown rice.
Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast food that will provide you energy and keep you fuller for a longer time. Salmon is also said to boost your milk supply and is nutritious for lactating mothers. Limit your intake of deep-fried foods, desserts, and drinks containing high sugar content.
Eat in small amounts and frequently—don’t give too much gap between your meals, you will end up eating high-calorie food once you feel hungry.
2. Don’t Start Exercising Right Away
Give your body at least 6 weeks to recover before you start exercising. Ask your doctor when is the right time to start a mild workout. Discuss with your trainer on how you will progress from mild exercising to heavy workouts. Don’t be under the impression that you can shun those extra kilograms like how celebrity mums do.
To prevent your milk supply from depleting drink plenty of water—eat a carb snack like baked potatoes, oats, almonds half an hour before your workout.
3. Avoid Stressing Yourself
Start slow and remember that your body is still recovering from the pregnancy and birth. If you are planning to start a crash diet, you are already robbing your body of the nutrients required to produce enough breast milk. Follow a healthy diet plan for a good milk supply.
Stay relaxed and don’t stress yourself on losing weight quickly. Stress could slow down your digestion, impacting your metabolic rate and hindering your effort to lose weight.
4. Sleep Well
By now, you might be used to waking up many times in the night to feed your baby. If you aren’t making up for those hours or not sleeping enough, losing weight is going to be a tough affair.
Too little sleep can cause weight gain.1
Get enough rest and sleep—take short naps during daytime to make up for your loss of sleep. This is one way to ensure you aren’t gaining weight while trying to lose some.
5. Go Slow And Easy On Yourself
Don’t feel disappointed if the needle on the weighing scale doesn’t budge. Remember, if you are breastfeeding you will definitely lose weight provided you are burning more calories than you are intaking. However, know that too few calories can make you fatigued and affect your health. Lose your weight gradually over time.
If you lose weight too quickly, the toxins released by the body when you burn calories will be released into the milk, affecting your baby’s health. Different people lose weight at different rates—have patience with yourself.