That exercise is necessary to losing weight after pregnancy is no secret, but in general, postpartum diets are discouraged. This is because a large percentage of mothers breastfeed for at least a month, and dieting while breastfeeding can affect the quality of breast milk. However, this advice applies to bad diets, the kind of crash diets that create rapid weight loss and significantly reduced caloric intake. You can diet immediately after having a baby to begin losing weight– you just have to eat the right things.
On the upside, a breastfeeding diet that maintains a healthy nutritional and caloric balance to maintain healthy breast milk will also help on your path to losing weight after pregnancy in a healthy way. Those same bad diets that are frowned upon also result in a loss of muscle mass, not just fat. While many women may not be so concerned about losing muscle, they should be. Muscle plays a big part in determining metabolism. In addition, the less you eat, the more your metabolism slows in the first place. Meaning while other diets may result in faster weight loss, you’ll likely gain the weight you lost right back, but all in fat.
The trick to a healthy breastfeeding diet is to eat foods that boost your metabolism while avoiding excessive unnecessary fat intake. Couple this with a good postpartum exercise routine, and you will lose fat, gain muscle, increase your metabolism, and have your pre-baby body back in no time.
First things first, when losing weight after pregnancy, what sort of breastfeeding diet is healthy?
Nursing mothers need to consume a minimum of 1,800 calories a day, so don’t shoot for a caloric intake goal below this. Keep in mind that breastfeeding also burns extra calories. Many mothers have more energy maintaining close to 2,000 to 2,700 calories a day. You should not expect or try to lose weight any faster than 1.5 pounds a week.
How should I eat to lose weight after pregnancy?
Many people assume they should eat less to lose weight, and eat more to have healthy breast milk. Both are incorrect. The correct answer is the same for both questions. Eating small but frequent meals will help keep your body constantly metabolizing food and in a steady supply of energy to to make breast milk.
What kinds of foods should I include in my breastfeeding diet?
The most important thing is to maintain a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins, but there are some foods that may aid in weight loss while breastfeeding.
Your average healthy breastfeeding diet suggests 5 to 7 ounces of protein. Protein requires more energy to digest, which results in a higher metabolic rate. This is why throwing protein into your snacks can help keep your metabolism revved up. Peanut butter can be a great way to add protein to a healthy snack, for example. Fat is also important in a breastfeeding diet in small amounts (which peanut butter has), but be sure to avoid proteins and other foods with trans and saturated fats.
Spice up your diet to help lose weight after pregnancy– most notably cinnamon and chili powder. Adding just ¼ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to any dish you eat all day will help your body store less fat and regulate blood sugar levels. You can also opt for a pill form of cinnamon. Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which increases your metabolic rate temporarily. On a breastfeeding diet note, spicy foods are thought to add flavor to breast milk giving your baby a special treat of variety in the every day milk.
Dairy is essential to a breastfeeding diet as dairy contains both calcium and vitamin D, which are corner stones of your baby’s nutrition. Yogurt makes an excellent dairy choice, because it is low in fat overall and contains probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help aid in digestion, when you digest well your body stores less fat. You may also consider adding a fiber powder to your yogurt or in water for this same reason.
Breast feeding a baby requires an increase in fluid intake (closer to 16 cups total a day rather than 8), but this increase in water can also help you lose weight. Water helps your kidneys function properly taking stress off your liver. Your liver is a key player in your metabolic rate, so if it’s busy helping out your dehydrated kidneys, it slacks off when metabolizing fat.
Though caffeine in coffee and green tea has been said to increase metabolic rate, it can also dehydrate you causing the above effect. In addition, caffeine will pass through breast milk to your baby, because of this excess caffeine intake is not recommended.
Remember to maintain a healthy balance of all food groups and not to drop below a caloric intake of 1800. Simply add the above foods into your plan for losing weight after pregnancy, and you’ll help yourself lose pregnancy weight while keeping your baby’s milk as healthy as ever.
When can I expect to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight?
This will vary from woman to woman. Generally, it takes around the time it took to put on to take the weight off (around 10 months) Even if your body does not look exactly like it did before your pregnancy, don’t feel bad. Body changes from pregnancy are normal, and nothing to be ashamed about. If you are maintaining a healthy breastfeeding diet and an exercise regime, but can’t lose weight, there may also be a medical explanation.