Upon the arrival of your new bundle of joy, you will likely be eager to shed the pounds that you added to your frame while pregnant. Along with working to lose weight, many moms also want to breastfeed. Completing these two tasks simultaneously can present a challenge. While breastfeeding can be a weight loss tool, as milk production naturally leads to calorie burning, the increased appetite that commonly accompanies that baby-feeding process can also lead some to retaining their baby weight or even packing on a few extra pounds. Avoid this unwanted impact by considering the steps you must take to breastfeed and lose baby weight simultaneously.
Allow your body some bounce-back time. The La Leche League, a breastfeeding advocacy group, urges new mothers to allow their bodies to heal before jumping on the weight loss wagon. This group suggests that new moms wait approximately two months before really ramping up their weight loss efforts. This does not mean that you can’t lose any weight for two months. In all likelihood, you will drop some pounds as your eating habits change; however, you shouldn’t actively try to diet or complete rigorous exercise before the conclusion of this rest period.
Consume at least 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. Diets that highly restrict calories are not wise when you are breastfeeding, as your body needs calories to produce milk. The La Leche League recommends that breastfeeding moms maintain a diet of between 1,500 and 1,800 calories as this quantity of calories allows for milk production but still promotes weight loss.
Eat a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Not only are these foods healthy for your shrinking body, they also provide your baby with much needed nutrients. These foods, unlike junk food options, keep your body functioning properly while still allowing for weight loss.
Consume carbs to keep yourself full and promote milk production. WebMD reports that carb consumption is vital to proper milk development. Keep this in mind when selecting a potential diet plan, and steer clear of any low-carb diets during this time.
Aim to lose approximately 1 lb. a week. While you may be tempted to try to drop the pounds as quickly as possible, shedding too much weight too quickly is almost never healthy. The La Leche League suggests that moms aim for a moderate weight loss of about 1 lb. a week to maintain maximum health.
Exercise with your new baby. A bit of exercise is always a valuable weight loss tool. Instead of focusing on diet alone, hit the pavement and push your tot in a stroller. Not only will this help you to lose weight, but you will also tone up in the process.