Losing weight while breastfeeding is not uncommon, but how much one can lose varies.
If you have seen your friends and relatives have similar weight loss experiences during pregnancy, it might not be the same for you.
Every woman wants to reduce weight after delivering their child.
We will happily inform you that breastfeeding helps burn at least 500 to 700 calories each day. However, women actively looking forward to weight loss after pregnancy need to follow the doctor’s recommendations.
We have often seen models or celeb moms to have lost significant weight within a short time after pregnancy. While it isn’t abnormal or undoable for most, it is important to let the doctor suggest. Moreover, what type of exercise and diet you have to follow will not only be about your body but also the nutrition your baby receives.
When do you lose the most weight while breastfeeding?
Certain factors will determine how fast or slow you can lose weight after pregnancy. These are:
- Exercise level and frequency
- The number of pounds you gained and want to lose
You can take six to nine months to lose all the weight. But it is best to give at least 12 months. Some women don’t lose weight, especially because they have to eat well for healthy breastmilk.
According to studies, women can lose 13 pounds in a little time after delivery. These include the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid, and the placenta. The amount might vary depending on the baby’s size or if you retain a lot of fluid in your body.
After this, you will have to consume fewer calories to lose weight while breastfeeding. However, you need to consume at least 1800 calories per day for the baby. You need to keep the milk supply high and have enough energy.
You can safely lose one or two pounds per week. However, many new mommies allow themselves to have the same weight for six months. Once they stop breastfeeding, they start losing weight.
If you follow this method, you might take one to two years to get back into shape. However, it will be risk-free.
Note that women who have been pregnant before might take a longer time to lose weight while breastfeeding.
Calories consumption for losing weight while breastfeeding
Depending on your calorie consumption every day, women between the age of 19 and 50 can consume:
- 2250 to 2500 calories every day living a sedentary lifestyle
- 2450 to 2700 calories per day when living a moderate lifestyle
- 2650 to 2900 calories per when having an active lifestyle
If you consume this many calories depending on your activity level, you will maintain the current weight. Women who wish to reduce weight after six months of breastfeeding should do this.
Make sure you add nutrient-rich food to your diet by including fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins. For losing weight while breastfeeding, avoid food with empty calories like pasta, white bread, baked goods, cookies, and junk food.
You might need a multivitamin or take a prenatal vitamin during this time. Ask your doctor for the best recommendations.
Losing weight while breastfeeding
Here are some of the ways to lose weight while breastfeeding:
Drink eight cups of water
Drinking enough water is one of the basic things you have to do. It nourishes the entire body and helps you when you’re trying to lose weight. Mothers who are breastfeeding need a lot of hydration. Moreover, water helps the body shed naturally.
Water contributes to our bodily functions, digestion, regulation, and circulation. From milk production to the transportation of nutrients, you need water while breastfeeding.
Water also helps your kidneys let out the toxins and keeps you feel full for a long time. It not only curbs overeating but also makes your muscles function.
Diet plan for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight
When you want to lose weight while breastfeeding, your diet becomes the most crucial part. You have to give more importance to feeding your baby than losing weight. But when you have both in mind, things need to be particular:
Fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables can make up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. The healthiest way to get a dose of such food is by starting the day with either a fruit or a veggie smoothie.
You can add strawberries, bananas, and blueberries along with almond milk to make a smoothie. Also, you can make a spinach smoothie to make a delicious breakfast.
You need to include vegetables while eat both lunch and dinner to complete your fiber intake. When feeling hungry between meals, you can always munch a carrot, apple, orange, or other raw vegetables.
You can obtain protein for different types of food. But when losing weight while breastfeeding, new moms should focus on lean protein.
Lean proteins are fishes, chicken, and beans. Protein powders are also a great source of lean protein. You can add them to your smoothies to make a good breakfast. But ask your doctor if it okay to consume during this time.
Your lunch and chicken must ideally be one piece of fish or chicken. You can also have one cup of beans to make it protein-packed.
It can be counterintuitive to add fat to your diet purposely when trying to shed some pounds. But you need to have healthy fats for your baby. Adding almonds, hemp seeds, walnuts, olive oil, chia seeds, avocados, and coconut oil to your diet is a must.
You need to add healthy fats effectively to your diet to have the right nutrition. For example, adding a tablespoon of either chia seeds or hemp seeds to your morning smoothie is good enough.
You can add some olive oil dressing to your salad for lunch or cook fish/chicken with the oil for dinner. Olive oil has several health benefits and also tastes good.
When hungry in-between meals, you must have a handful of nuts.
Prep your meal
You must plan your meals to save time and maintain food discipline. When we plan our meals before time, you will not have the temptation to eat something else.
Meal prep helps you stop munching unnecessarily. You also don’t feel tired to cook right when you are hungry or eat junk instead.
Exercise moderately with doctor’s permission
While mothers who have had normal delivery are usually fit enough to start exercise, it might not be the same for mothers who had C-sections. You need to ask your doctor if you can exercise and what are the best types to follow.
You should wait for at least two months before you start a rigorous regime. But you can always do light stretching according to what your body permits.
You can do a mixture of cardio and weight-bearing. While cardio will help your heart and lungs healthy, weight-bearing will help you strengthen your bones and muscles.
Make sure you have healthy carbs when you exercise rigorously. Your body will need the right kind of nutrients to support milk production.
Exercise does not need to be intense to give you massive results. You can always start with brisk walking, pushing the baby stroller, and do normal household chores to start with. These are low-impact exercises that keep up your heart rate. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt your knees and joints.
Sleep as much as your body needs
After giving birth to a child, one thing that usually gets compromised is sleep. But when trying to lose weight by exercising and dieting, sleep is as crucial as any other. It would help if you gave yourself time to sleep. Try to take quick naps when your child is also sleeping.
When we sleep, our body repairs and comes back to a healthy state. Here is how your body gets better when you sleep:
- Your blood pressure becomes normal
- Your muscles relax
- You supply adequate blood to your muscles and other organs
- It releases growth hormone
- Stabilizes heart rate
Weight gain is linked to a lack of sleep. It might be difficult for young moms to find sleep, but you need to give your body as much rest it needs.
It is important to understand that not sleeping enough can negatively impact weight loss. You might do everything right, but having less than seven hours of sleep will hinder the weight loss process.
Using a toning and firming product
New mommies must buy firming and toning products to tighten skin. It will help you go back to your pre-baby appearance.
The best you can do is use a body firming gel or serum. You can also use serums for stretch marks to prevent aggravation or reduce existing stretch marks. Using these products, you will reinforce the elasticity of the skin, promote collagen production, firm skin, and relieve dryness.
Don’t stop breastfeeding your baby
Until your doctor recommends, don’t stop giving your baby the nutrition he/she needs. It might all seem a little too much initially, but you will notice that you are losing weight while breastfeeding.
When you add your regular breastfeeding routine with a healthy diet and exercise, results will be good. You will soon see some of your fat deposits disappear.
Don’t rely on quick fixes
Even with the current dieting trends, you should try and avoid anything that promises results quickly. This is not only for breastfeeding moms but also for people in general who want to lose weight.
Losing weight is a gradual process and need to give time. Moreover, mothers who are breastfeeding need to prioritize the health of their children. Your baby needs nutrition as much as you do.
Diet trends can negatively impact your milk supply. You cannot allow that to happen to your body at any cost. Losing weight too fast can reduce the supply of milk.
You will eventually lose weight, but you have to give it time. Thus, we will recommend you start your weight loss journey rigorously once your baby starts eating other foods.
You might have to leave out the first six months and then start losing the weight. Moreover, there is a certain amount of calorie loss that will anyway happen due to breastfeeding.
Talk to a nutritionist
It is essential to look for a nutritionist when you want to lose weight. More so, when you are a new mom, and you need to breastfeed.
A dietician will give you the right kind of diet that helps you reach your body goals and stay healthy for the baby. A good nutritionist will give you a diet chart that will be healthy for you and your baby.
Sit down with a specialist and create a plan that is ideal for you. Tell him/her that kind of staples you are used to consuming and then take the best suggestions forward.
It is important to take guidance from multiple doctors during this time. You can also ask your nutritionist how much exercise you should do. Also, ask your gynecologist the same question and weigh your options.
The most important part of losing weight while breastfeeding is being patient. It would help if you did not pressurize yourself as your body will go through many changes.
You will get back into your skinny jeans very soon. But you first have to give your body time to recover. As it takes nine months to put on the weight, it will take a year more to get it back off.
It is important to do it healthily and maintain a proper diet and exercise routine. Once you maintain the entire process, you will see results for yourself.