Many women agree that when they are breastfeeding, they are able to lose weight. This isn’t an old wives’ tale; it is actually true and can be a reality for you if you make a few changes to your lifestyle.
When a mom is producing breast milk, approximately 500 calories are used in making milk each day, which means that a mom is essentially burning that many calories. Many of these calories come from the foods the mother eats, so make sure you are eating a balanced diet. However, some of these calories are coming from the weight gained while pregnant, which is a major reason why losing weight while breastfeeding is possible. However, the weight loss you can expect differs depending on how much you gained during pregnancy, how many calories you eat a day, how much milk you make, and how much exercise you do.
If you are interested in losing weight, here are some rules for you to institute in your life.
Don’t try to lose weight before your baby is 2 months old. It usually takes this long for you and your body to get into the swing of things, so you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself trying to lose weight too early after having a child. After 2 months, your body has had the time it needs to get used to the changes in your life, and is susceptible to shedding the baby weight you gained while you were pregnant, as long as you didn’t gain more than 30 pounds. If you did, you may have to try a little harder or longer to lose weight, and you might need the help of a nutritionist or dietician.
Try to eat no less than 1500 calories each day, but aim for a few thousand more than that. If you eat fewer than 1500 calories, your body may halt milk production, and cause a setback. Fortify your diet with healthy and vitamin-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and meats with low amounts of fat.
Remember that you need to stay hydrated. You will need all the water you can get to keep your body working properly, so you should limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
Always have realistic weight loss goals. Don’t think that you are going to lose a bunch of weight overnight. It is healthiest to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week using this process.
Get an adequate amount of exercise. Try walking around your neighborhood until you feel strong enough to work out for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, as is often recommended by experts. Don’t push yourself too hard because your body has been through a lot.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, you were pregnant for a long time, so your body can’t look exactly like it did before you had a baby. It is perfectly okay to look a little different because you have a new person in your family now.