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How To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding—6 Easy Ways To Shed The Pounds

how to lose weight while breastfeeding

Losing weight after the birth of your baby is something that many women are focused on. 

For most women, the pregnancy weight hangs around for quite a while after the baby is born, and weight loss can seem like a faraway dream rather than a reality. 

However, postpartum weight loss is attainable. You just have to do it safely.

This article will discuss ways on how to lose weight while breastfeeding safely and effectively. 

We will discuss how losing weight can be a goal that should be approached like a marathon rather than a sprint, as well as how your breast milk and milk supply can be affected by rapid weight loss while breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding moms and losing weight

Pregnancy weight sits there like a friend who has overstayed their welcome. 

The desire to lose weight can affix itself to the forefront of our minds and affect us negatively. It can damage our self-esteem, self-image, and even our milk production.

Stress plays a significant factor in milk supply for breastfeeding mothers, and obsessing about weight loss and the need to shed that pregnancy weight can take a toll and start to dry up the milk supply of a nursing mother.

Calorie intake for breastfeeding

It seems counterproductive to lose weight while breastfeeding when you know that you need to consume more calories to keep up your milk supply. 

Women who breastfeed should consume 300-500 extra calories per day. Keep in mind, however, that breastfeeding burns those calories quickly so that you can maintain the energy levels needed to produce milk.

Do women lose weight faster breastfeeding?

You may have heard of women returning to their pre-pregnancy weight without losing milk production. 

Most of these women maintained a healthy milk supply throughout their breastfeeding journey. Yet these women still tend to credit the loss of the baby weight to breastfeeding.

You may wonder how that could be if they need a higher caloric intake to produce milk. There are a few reasons for this.

First, nursing and pumping can help speed up your metabolism because your body burns calories to make breast milk. 

Women lose weight while breastfeeding because they need to be mindful of what they eat while they breastfeed. All that they ingest is being passed on to the baby through their breast milk. 

So while there are women who don’t lose weight or gain more weight while nursing their little ones, many still experience postpartum weight loss without excessive dieting.

How to lose weight while breastfeeding

The key to weight loss at any stage of your life is a healthy diet and lots of exercises. 

Rapid weight loss may seem like a great idea; however, it’s not healthy for a breastfeeding woman, and it’s more likely that following fad diets that promise quick weight loss will only work in the short term. 

You start gaining weight right back when you stop that strict diet or weight loss program.

There are better methods to lose the weight gained during your pregnancy safely. The following tips will help you with your weight loss journey if you nurse or pump to feed your little one.

how to lose weight while breastfeeding

1. Watch what you eat

A balanced diet of healthy fats and protein rather than empty calories will help you lose weight and keep it off. 

Eating filling foods that are healthy for you, such as brown rice, whole grains, whole wheat bread, and foods cooked in olive oil rather than butter, will not only help you to lose weight but will also improve your overall health.

Calcium-rich foods that are good for you, such as string cheese and almond milk rather than whole milk that is high in fat, are other great ways to keep from skimping on too many calories. Remember that your daily calorie intake needs to be in the range required for a healthy milk supply.

The key to extra calories

A nutrient-dense diet will help you achieve the necessary total calories daily. Avoiding junk food and empty calories, or far more calories than what you need, is what will make you gain weight rather than lose those last few pounds. 

To give a better idea of how much more you should be eating each day to breastfeed successfully, 500 calories is a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. That’s all.

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2. Get moving

Healthy living is just as important as eating healthy when shedding those extra pounds after giving birth. 

Light or moderate exercise after your baby is about two months old or you have been given approval by your doctor can help you gain muscle mass and shed the extra weight you’d like to lose.

Start with low-impact exercises, or join a gym and speak to a certified personal trainer who can teach you how to perform the postpartum exercise safely. 

High-intensity exercise may seem like a great way to turn that extra weight into muscle mass, but it can easily result in injury, illness, and pain.

3. Stay away from fad diets

If you are breastfeeding, engaging in popular diets like Keto or Paleo or low carb diets is not a good idea. These sorts of diet regimens deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to produce more energy so that you can feed your baby.

Eat healthy foods and eat several small meals a day. Stay active, stay within the number of calories that you need to maintain to keep the baby well fed, and your weight loss goals will be better realized.

Besides, harsh and restrictive diets are challenging to maintain and can throw your body and hormones into crisis mode, leaving you in worse shape than before you started.

A simple brisk walk each day or a postpartum workout app on your mobile device may be all it takes for your body to get back into better shape. 

Low-calorie diets are not healthy for you.

4. Rest

While staying active is essential, getting as much sleep as you need each night is also part of the plot regarding getting rid of the unwanted pregnancy pounds. 

You can eat right, consume the correct amount of calories, and do low-impact aerobics or cardio every day, but if you don’t get enough sleep and rest, you won’t see that diet produce any results.

When you sleep, your body resets your metabolism. Your immune system kicks into overdrive to keep you healthy or to beat any illnesses you may be experiencing. 

Think of your body like a cell phone.

You use your phone throughout the day, and the battery slowly drains. 

You may plug it in for a little while here and there (your meals and exercise), and a boost of energy will be created, but when you plug your phone into the charger at night and let it sit while you sleep, you wake up the next day to a fully charged phone. 

You need to recharge overnight. Getting your sleep is very important.

how to safely lose the weight

5. Stay hydrated

Getting enough hydration is very important when it comes to weight loss in general.

Avoid caffeine while breastfeeding, and stay away from sugary drinks like soda. 

Your body will recover from your pregnancy faster when you are well hydrated.

6. Eat smaller meals more often

Rather than eat three meals daily (breakfast, lunch, dinner), eat five or six smaller meals. 

Doing so keeps your body from slowing down its metabolism and keeps you from feeling hungry by the time meal time rolls around, causing you to overeat.

Fastest way to lose weight while breastfeeding

It takes most women six to nine months to lose weight while breastfeeding. Trying to do it any faster than this can result in sickness, being dehydrated, malnourished, or drying up your milk so that you cannot produce enough for your baby.

Nutritious food and exercise

Staying healthy and active is all there is to maintaining a healthy weight. 

Choose the foods you put into your body wisely, and get up and move at least once a day.

Good sleep every night (I know it can be difficult with a baby) will also help your body to start burning excess fat.

Moderation is key

If you continue to breastfeed while losing weight, keep in mind that you are not recommended to lose more than a pound per week. 

While you may think that that’s too slow to see any real progress, that’s more than fifty pounds in one year.

 Not only is losing the weight at this pace better for you and your baby, but it will also be easier to keep the weight off when done at a healthy and slow pace.

Patience is a virtue

Patience is key when it comes to weight loss. 

The most important thing is that you lose weight safely rather than quickly. 

Remember that your pregnancy weight wasn’t put on all at once, and it’s not meant to come off all at once. 

Weight loss should be practiced and approached like a marathon that takes time rather than a sprint that you rush towards at breakneck speed.

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