Starting a post pregnancy diet while breastfeeding can be a little tricky, as you must ensure that you do not cut your calories so drastically that it interferes with your milk production. Also, your growing appetite and need for energy may make it challenging to scale down the amount of food you are eating. However, there are many ways that you can lose weight while breastfeeding. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Though the quality of breast milk is rarely compromised due to dieting, the quantity is very dependent on the diet of the mother. While you can nurse a baby successfully without a healthy diet, you will strip your own body of the nutrients and vitamins that it needs to be healthy. Your body will be using over 1,000 calories in milk production alone, so it is vital that as you begin to diet to lose weight, that you maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
One thing that you can do from the beginning of your postnatal period is to stay hydrated. Because of the additional loss of fluids, this is more important than ever and will help to flush out toxins in your body (and lose any water weight that you are holding on to). It is recommended that you increase your fluid intake by one quart so that your total water consumption in a day totals 2.5 to 3 quarts.
Consume 2,500 Calories Daily
As a nursing mother, you should be consuming about 2,500 calories daily spread over the course of about 5 meals daily. To successfully produce milk, your diet should never go below 1800 calories daily and your caloric intake should remain in the 2500 range for at least the first two months to establish healthy milk production. Care should be taken to drink water at every meal, as well as include a low fat dairy product and fruit. By spreading your meals out throughout the day, instead of just eating 3 larger meals, you will not be as hungry which should eliminate binge eating (that is brought on by being overly hungry).
You may be tempted by sweets so that your body will get a quick fix of energy. However, this is a bad option for a nursing mom trying to lose weight. Instead, the amount of protein consumed should be increased. You should be eating 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. By doing this, you will give your body the fuel it needs to operate throughout the day, and prevent urges for sugary items because your needs will have been met. Additionally, you should increase your fiber intake.
Breastfeeding and Exercise
The best way to begin losing weight while breastfeeding is to exercise regularly to increase muscle mass and burn fat. Try to fit 3 to 5 cardiovascular workouts weekly along with your routine, and you will begin to see the pounds shed off. You may also experience an increased appetite because of this added activity, so be sure to keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand.
Losing weight in the post pregnancy period while breastfeeding can be easy if you are eating a healthy and well balanced diet. Work on improving your diet and spreading your calories out throughout the day for the most impact.