How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding Without Reducing Your Milk Supply
Extra nourishment and lack of physical activity lead to the build-up of weight during pregnancy. After the delivery, shedding those extra kilos becomes a priority for most women. However, the next task at hand is to ensure that your baby gets all the necessary nutrition in the first few months after birth. In the initial months, the only source of nutrition for the baby is the mother’s breast milk. It is, thereby, very important for the mother to continue eating nutritious food and going on a diet is not an option.
Is It Safe if You Are Trying to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?
A planned weight reduction program is safe even when you are breastfeeding. Having a sudden drop in weight is not recommended and a gradual, phased out decrease is ideal. The best way to reduce weight is by adopting a healthy lifestyle, consuming low-fat food, and following a moderate exercise routine on a daily basis. Breastfeeding also aids in stimulating weight loss, as the body will use your stored energy in fat to make milk for the baby.
Proper nursing combined with a balanced diet and exercise will help in the reduction of weight without having any impact on the quality or quantity of the milk to be fed to the baby. Breastfeeding and weight loss can go hand in hand.
When to Start Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
Having a baby and managing your priorities during the first few weeks after delivery can be challenging, as your munchkin will need extra care. At this point in time, losing weight should not be worrying you. The excess weight has been put on over a period of nine to ten months and you should give it at least that much time to shed those extra kilos away.
You can wait for around six weeks after delivery to kick start your weight reduction regime. The initial six weeks can be considered as a transition period where the baby and the mother are trying to adapt to the changes in their life. It is important to focus on the baby at this time and not get distracted by any other activity.
Different Ways to Lose Weight When Breastfeeding
Weight reduction after pregnancy needs to be systematic and well planned. Given below are some tips on how to lose post-pregnancy weight fast while breastfeeding:
Adopt a moderate exercise routine: Start off with exercises which are not too taxing and heavy on the body. Develop an exercise routine that includes light walking for 20 to 30 minutes along with your baby. Increase the intensity of your exercises gradually. However, be cautious and do not burn too many calories while you are breastfeeding.
Do not cut down on food intake: Starving yourself might reduce your weight instantly, but it will also make you weak from the inside and reduce the production of milk. Consult your dietician and draw up the right diet that caters to your daily needs. Dieting can also affect your milk production, so make sure you do not follow a strict diet. Eat healthy foods and avoid unhealthy food – this way you won’t put on weight.
Drink water: Drinking plenty of water is a good way to keep a tab on your weight. Water will aid in the digestion process and also remove toxins from the body. It is important to stay hydrated while you are breastfeeding. Water will help you do just that. It will also fill your tummy, thus, making you feel less hungry.
Breastfeed frequently: In order to produce milk, the body will use the stored energy in fats. Breastfeeding will burn a lot of calories and that is why it is important to maintain a good balance between exercise and food consumption.
Healthy Diet For Weight Loss
Following a good post-pregnancy weight loss plan while breastfeeding will ensure that the baby is not deprived of any essential nutrition and, at the same time, you are on track for weight reduction.
1. Eat Frequent, Smaller Meals
Having smaller meals at regular intervals will keep your tummy full and help you avoid unnecessary cravings during the intervals between meals. Ensure that your meals are high on nutrition. Avoid junk and fried food completely.
2. Eat Nutritious Foods
Have a healthy mix of food items in your diet plan. Given below are the ideal group of items that you should have in your daily diet.
Carbs and proteins
Include a good mix of food rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of a cell and very important for the growth and development of a child. Carbohydrates give energy to the body to carry out daily activities.
Consumption of healthy fats is important to nourish the body. Avoid trans-fats and saturated fats consumption and include mono-saturated and polyunsaturated fat foods in your diet.
Food high on iron and vitamin C
Food items like leafy vegetables, whole grain, dried fruits and beans are a good source of iron. Citrus fruits, tomato, strawberry and bell peppers are high on vitamin C. Consumption of these food items will provide stability to the body, improve immunity, help lose weight and provide nutrition to the child.
Omega 3 fatty acid help in the development of eyes and brain and fish is a great source of this mineral.
Fibre-rich food items such as fruits and vegetables should form an important part of your overall diet.
3. Consume Vitamin Supplements Daily
Vitamins help the body to absorb calcium and lower the risk of developing ailments such as blood pressure and diabetes. Vitamins also boost immunity and protect against seasonal diseases such as cold and cough.
4. Avoid the Following Foods
The following foods items must be avoided while you are breastfeeding:
Spicy foods as they might upset the child’s stomach
Junk food and food with trans or saturated fat
Vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower
Note: Consult your doctor or dietician before adding any food item to your diet plan.
It can be challenging to lose weight after delivery. It is important to have patience and exercise self-control while trying to shed weight. It is not healthy to go on a crash diet and try to lose weight instantly. This will not only affect your health adversely but will also have an impact on the baby’s health. Instead, make a plan on how to gradually decrease your weight and stick to the plan.