There are a lot of women that lose weight while breastfeeding simply because producing milk burns calories, about 500 a day! But for those that need to lose more weight or aren’t losing weight, weight loss while breastfeeding can be safe if done properly.
Wait until your baby is at least 6 weeks old before starting to try to lose weight. Enjoy your first month with your baby! You really don’t need a lot of stress since a new baby can be stressful enough. Also, your body needs to recover from childbirth. Do not exercise until you get the “ok” from your doctor.
Start off building muscle. Pregnancy can cause you to lose muscle mass and gain fat tissue. As I’ve stated (quite a few times) before, muscle tissue burns many more calories than fat tissue. Just by building a little muscle, you will burn more calories doing your everyday activities. Start off slow, doing 3 sets of 10 reps working a certain muscle group a day, rotating days. For example: Do 3 sets of squats Monday, 3 sets of sit-ups Tuesday, 3 sets of bicep curls Wednesday and so on. You can find some strength training exercises at http://musclemaking101.blogspot.com
Eat small meals throughout the day and snacks in between meals. Try to eat healthy meals, like a lean meat with some vegetables. Snack on some fruit or nuts. Make your meals high protein and low carb to help build muscle and raise your metabolism.
Remember that you need more calories a day than an average woman since you are nourishing a little kiddo. I suggest that you do not count calories during this time and just practice portion control with healthy foods instead of processed foods. If you insist on counting calories, make sure you are getting at least 1800 a day. Most researchers, from what I’ve read, do not suggest breastfeeding mothers drop below that number. If you decide to decrease your daily caloric intake, start off slow. Only decrease your calories by 100 per week. A sudden decrease in calories can decrease your milk production and you don’t want that!
Start off slow doing cardio workouts and work up to the higher intensity workouts. Walk for the first 2 weeks, then power walk for the next, then jog, then run! That’s just an example of how to work up to high intensity so take it at your own pace.
Keep a weight loss journal. Read here on how to keep a weight loss journal. This will help you keep track of your daily caloric intake, your workout routine for the day and even keep track of how often you are feeding your baby. Remember, don’t drop your calories all at once!
Stay hydrated! Drink water only and kick the sugary drinks to the curb! You can flavor your water with some fresh fruit or sweeteners from the stevia plant. Do not drink anything with aspartame in it! Aspartame is harmful to you and can be passed through breast milk which will harm your tiny tot. Just don’t do it.
Now you have some basic guidelines for how to lose weight while breastfeeding. Check back often for more tips on how to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and shape up!
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