Can you lose weight while breastfeeding? ABSOLUTELY. Just like losing weight during any other time, to lose weight while breastfeeding, you must do it sensibly.
A lot of new moms become overzealous about the weight loss process, and try to copy celebrity mums weight loss by going on restrictive diets. Or they overeat. (With my first postpartum experience, I consumed over 1000 more calories than recommended daily amount, thinking that breastfeeding requires that much.) Either way isn’t healthy.
With my second child, I am losing weight at one pound every two weeks. Momentum isn’t fast, but at least weight is coming off steadily and healthily. (I have lost about 30 pounds over the past three months, and have only seven more to go.) Plus, I am breastfeeding exclusively.
So how do you lose weight while breastfeeding then? Below is a dos and don’ts list as guideline:
Don’t: eat crap
By crap I meant unhealthy foods like saturated and trans fat, sugar, soda, and processed foods. Avoid those if you can, and eat clean, natural and nutritious foods like protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole wheat.
Do: consume enough calories
Don’t: consume empty calories
Look up your recommended caloric intake online, and ensure that you eat that much. Then, make each calorie count by consuming only nutritious foods. Avoid empty calories like sugary beverages and snacks. They don’t do much for your body, and will only take space in your stomach.
Don’t: start too rigorously
Not only is exercising good for your body, it also give you a much-needed break from the baby. However, start slow. Your body just went through nine months of “torture.” Your joints are loosened; your muscles are stretched; and you lost a lot of flexibility. Gradually introduce your body to exercise again, as opposed to straining it even more by going too much too soon.
Walking for weight loss is great for new moms, and so is yoga, pilates, and light weight training.
I know how you feel. Been through it twice. It is so hard losing postpartum flab. But don’t worry, as long as you eat well and work hard, the weight will come off.