Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
Losing weight while breastfeeding is not a myth, the stories are true! It is well known that your body will burn through an extra 500 calories a day during milk production. While this means that you may need to consume extra calories to continue producing milk, if you are careful, there will be a deficit that will leave room for weight loss.
A good way to begin your post-pregnancy weight loss is to start increasing your daily activity and be careful with your food selections (try to consume more fruits and vegetables to feel full for fewer calories). Check out your weight loss eating plan for more tips and diet advice.
I would prefer not to give you an exact calorie need for losing weight while breastfeeding, because every individual would have a different number depending on their size and activity level. However, I will tell you that for most nursing mom’s, it would be best to aim between 1400-1800 calories a day to meet your bodies minimal needs.
DO NOT DIET
Healthy, post-partum weight loss is between 4-5 pounds each month. Drastic dieting extremes may affect milk production and I’m guessing since you’re looking into breastfeeding articles, you at least want to give it a try! I believe that some mom’s do not reap the benefits of weight loss while breastfeeding because they exceed their calorie limit. An extra 500 calories can be used up quickly with poor choices… it could be an extra large cookie, big bowl of ice cream, or even afternoon grazing. Do not self-sabotage, it may be helpful to keep a food journal to make your eating decisions planned and conscious!
Exercise enhances maintenance of lean body mass and is therefore a recommended component of any weight loss program. There has been some debate over lactic acid build-up during exercise and whether it is harmful to the baby. Studies show that it’s difficult to even reach this lactic acid build-up and even when reached, the acid may only taint the taste of the breast milk. It is recommended that healthy, breastfeeding women continue to exercise and it will not interfere with either the quantity or quality of their milk. **Note: Remember to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise, dehydration may affect your milk supply.
Try not to get frustrated with slow and steady weight loss… slow and steady not only wins the race, but it is great for weight maintenance as well. Hang in there momma, I know this is a tough journey, but you have what it takes to get back into those “skinny jeans”.
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