As a new mother, you may be dissatisfied with how your body looks after delivery. The good news is that you can begin dieting while breastfeeding.
However, you should consider a few factors that may restrict your efforts.
First, you should not compromise your milk supply or quality. In this study, it was shown that the food consumed affected the content of breast milk.
Also, you should not do it a pace or in a way that will be detrimental to your health. Breastfeeding mothers need adequate nutrition to compensate for what they just underwent in delivery.
Here are some tips you can use to lose weight safely as a breastfeeding mother.
Secrets to Dieting While Breastfeeding
1. The best time to begin dieting
As a rule of thumb, it is best to start dieting while breastfeeding approximately 6-8 weeks after delivery.
This is because your body has experienced trauma after labor. And during pregnancy itself, your body underwent numerous changes. The tissues involved must be repaired and healed.
All of the weight you gained during the pregnancy is intended on giving you reserves that help you care for your baby.
That’s why taking it slow in the first few weeks is essential. Consider dieting approximately 8 weeks after childbirth.
2. Calorie restrictions
You probably know that you must maintain a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. But restricting calories should be done safely so that you do not compromise your health or that of your little one.
According to this study, it was shown that no breastfeeding mother should go below 1800 calories daily.
If the calories you were consuming during pregnancy were not much higher than this, then you have slim chances of losing weight through calorie reduction.
However, if the calories you ate during pregnancy were much higher, then you could expect to lose about 1 pound a week.
3. Remember to take it slow
Some mothers are so eager to lose weight that they engage in severe calorie restrictions. Be wary of fast weight loss methods as that could lead to several unwanted outcomes.
Severe calorie restriction could diminish milk supply. Your body thinks of milk supply as a non-essential activity. If there is a sudden decrease in calories, it will reduce milk production.
4. No, don’t even try fad diets
In close association with the tip above is the need to avoid fad diets. Fad diets do not adhere to healthy nutritional recommendations. Most promise rapid weight loss through unreasonable diet plans.
A good and sustainable (non-fad) diet should have three key ingredients. First, it should it should have variety. There ought to be representations from different nutritional groups like proteins, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and starch.
If a diet requires you to eat only one type of food or restricts many of the other food types then it is a fad diet.
Second, a diet should allow for exercise. If you can’t exercise in your diet plan because of a lack of energy then you are not doing it healthily.
Third, it should be a long-term plan. This means that you should be able to eat like that forever. When choosing a plan when dieting while breastfeeding, ensure it possesses all these qualities.
5. Breastfeeding is your ally
Did you know that breasting helps to lose weight? According to this study, women who breastfed their children exclusively for 3 months lost 3.2 pounds more than their counterparts who did not.
Breastfeeding is nature’s way of restoring your body back to its normal size. Usually, your body undergoes metabolic changes as you breastfeed and these help in weight loss.
Your body also burns calories as you nurse your baby. Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months should be part of your plan as you diet.
6. Breastfeed your child on demand
Apart from maintaining a long duration of breastfeeding (6 months exclusively) ensure that you continue to feed your baby on demand.
As a mother who is dieting while breastfeeding, your body may stop producing milk when its fat deposits start reducing.
But if you always breastfeed your baby on demand, this will signal to your brain that it still needs to produce milk, so you will maintain this critical function.
7. Proteins are crucial
In this weight loss journey, proteins are essential in milk production as well as in enhancing metabolism. Your body uses up more calories when burning proteins than when burning carbohydrates.
Consume lean proteins in your diet. These consist of fish, chicken, and grass-fed. Additionally, most plant proteins like beans and peas should be a staple in your meals.
8. Eat Healthy Fats
Most dieters presume that fats are bad. This arises from the false notion that fats in the food automatically translate to fats inside the body. In fact, the opposite is true.
Essential fats help in increasing your metabolism as they contain Omega 3 and omega 6. They are also helpful in the absorption of other vitamins and in balancing your blood sugar level.
Finally, healthy fats are helpful in keeping you full so that you do not crave food and thus overeat.
Typical sources of healthy fats include avocado, various nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios), seeds (pumpkin, chia, and sesame) as well as coconut and olive oil.
9. What about carbs?
Just like fats, carbs often have a bad reputation. You only need to look at the number of low carb diets out there to see why.
Eating high-calorie carbs will work against you when dieting while breastfeeding. Foods like bread and fries are not a wise choice.
However, you don’t have to cut out all the starch in your diet as this nutrient is a quick source of energy. Instead, opt for high fiber and nutrition-rich grains. These include amaranth, barley, brown pasta or rice and bran.
10. Avoid these at all costs
Certain food types would be detrimental if you are dieting while breastfeeding. These include sugary foods, which not only cause cravings and sugar crushes soon after eating, but they also cause inflammation and slow down your metabolism.
Alcohol is definitely a no-go zone for mothers as it gets into breast milk and harms the baby adversely.
Snacks made by deep-frying or adding too much cream and sugar would not support your weight loss goals, so eliminate them at all costs.
11. Watch your rate of eating
It is critical to avoid the small bites that may increase your daily caloric intake.
Snacking is one of the main reasons most people struggle to lose weight. The excess calories from the small bites quickly add up and trigger weight gain.
Don’t believe the myth that eating many small meals will boost your metabolism. You’re better off eating 3 meals a day and avoiding snacking.
12. Don’t forget your micro-nutrients
As a breastfeeding mother, your body needs several nutrients to remain healthy. These include iron from spinach, liver, and lentils. Calcium and Omega 3 are also essential. Milk and salmon are great sources of these respective ingredients.
As a breastfeeding dieter, focus on forming healthy weight loss habits. Consume nutrient-rich diets that cater to all your biological needs. Watch your quantities so that you don’t eat more than you need.
Staying active will also go a long way in helping you lose weight while breastfeeding. Walk as often as you can and do these fat-burning home workouts.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]