Losing weight while breastfeeding your baby can be a daunting task. A lot of first-time moms often believe that breastfeeding helps with weight loss after giving birth, unfortunately, this is not so.
However, while breastfeeding may help burn a large number of calories, it also requires a daily intake of approximately 500 to 700 calories than a pre-pregnancy diet.
During this period, a lot of moms may begin to ask, “What steps can I take to lose pregnancy weight while also ensuring that my baby gets the necessary nutrients in the first few months after birth.
In this article, we share with you this tips on how to lose 10kg while breastfeeding along with other breastfeeding-related questions.
When Do I Start Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
Having a baby while trying to manage your priorities during the first few weeks after giving birth can be challenging, as your new bundle of joy will need extra care. At this period, thinking about losing weight should not be your major concern.
Since it took your body nine to ten months to gain that excess weight, therefore you should give your body much time to shed those extra kilos away.
You can begin around week six after delivery to kick start your weight reduction program. This period can be considered as a transition period where you and your baby are trying to adapt to the changes in your life.
However, it is important to focus your attention on your baby at this time and avoid getting distracted by any other activity.
How Long Will It Take To Lose Pregnancy Weight?
Several factors may affect how quickly you lose pregnancy weight and these factors include:
- Your body metabolism
- The food you consume
- How regular you exercise
- The total amount of weight gained during pregnancy
Depending on the amount of weight you gained during pregnancy, it may take approximately six to nine months, or even a year or two to lose the weight you gained. Some may not even lose all of it.
Of course, it’s a common thing to lose around 15 pounds shortly following delivery. This sudden weight loss is from the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid which vary depending on the size of your baby or whether your body retained a lot of fluid during pregnancy.
Following this initial weight loss after delivery, you’ll need to consume lesser calories than you burn off to lose more weight. But it is best advised to lose weight gradually and consume at least 1,800 calories each day while breastfeeding.
This helps boost your energy and increase your milk supply. You can safely try and lose around 1 or two pounds each week. You may help you lose 10kg or even more after breastfeeding for six months.
Read Also: Breastfeeding in Public (11 Helpful Tips)
How To Lose 10kg While Breastfeeding – 10 Effective Tips
While breastfeeding your baby, it’s very important to maintain a healthy diet to produce nutritious milk for your baby. That means lowering your calorie intake may not always be a safe bet.
However, there are practical and yet effective things you can do to safely lose weight while breastfeeding.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking at least 8 cups of water every day is one of the best things you can do for your general well-being, whether you’re trying to lose pregnancy weight or not.
If this is too much for you begin by drinking two cups first thing in the morning, then drink another two cups during lunch and dinner time (making it six cups) then to the last two cups, fill a water bottle (16 ounces) and sip it during the day.
Here are few reasons why you should drink enough water to lose weight while breastfeeding.
- Water plays a huge role in your regular body functions such as circulation, digestion of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, transportation of nutrients, and milk production
- It helps the body kidney thereby making it easier to keep your body free from toxin
- It helps you feel fuller longer and prevents you from eating too much
- It keeps your muscles working at maximum
- It combines with your body oil to form a protective shield against harmful UV rays and other environmental toxins
If drinking too much water is not your thing, you should try an infusion bottle this allows you to add a bit of fruit. Seltzer works effectively and is equally good for those who like drinking soda.
While you do this, just make sure that whichever drink you choose to drink doesn’t have any added sugar. This is because the sugar can find its way to your baby through your breast milk.
Read Also: Healthy Tips To Help You Stay Hydrated
2. Limit Your Carbohydrate Intake
Limiting your carbohydrate intake may help you lose some weight faster. But make sure you supplement it with fruits, vegetables, and plenty of protein.
While doing this, try and still eat a minimum of 1,800 calories per day, and always talk to your health care provider before starting any new diet postpartum.
3. Avoid Skipping Meals
Avoid skipping meals while breastfeeding, even if you’re trying to lose some weight. This will help slow down your body metabolism and cause your energy to drop, making it more difficult for you to be active and care for your baby.
Additionally, consuming too few calories each day may cause your weight loss to stop. If you’re too busy to eat, try eating small snacks (a piece of fruit) during the day to help replenish lost calories after feeding your baby.
4. Eat Nutritious Foods
Having a mix of healthy food items in your diet plan can help you lose weight while breastfeeding. Below is a list of healthy food items that you should have in your daily diet.
Protein can be gotten from different kinds of foods, but you should aim for “lean” protein. These foods can be found in chicken, fish, beans, and protein powders.
You can add a scoop of the latter to your early morning smoothie to make a healthy breakfast. For your lunch and dinner, you can add a piece of chicken or fish, or a cup of beans, to get all the healthy benefits of foods.
It may seem absurd to intentionally add fat to your diet while trying to lose weight, but interestingly, these foods are very important for both the mother and child when breastfeeding and they include
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
There are easy ways to include healthy fats into your diet, and one easy way is by measuring a tablespoon of hemp seeds chia seeds into your morning smoothie.
Having these healthy fats along with fruits, vegetables, and protein in one easy-to-eat meal is a great breakfast combination to try out.
For your lunch, add some olives to your salad or top it up with an olive oil-based dressing. For your dinner, prepare your chicken or fish with a dollop of coconut oil.
This combination tastes great and I’m sure you’ll like it. However, if you feel hungry between meals, you can try snacking on a handful of nuts to boost your energy level.
Food high on iron and vitamin C
Healthy food items like leafy vegetables, whole grain, dried fruits, and beans are a great source of iron. Citrus fruits, tomato, strawberry, and bell peppers contain high vitamin C content, and consuming this food will help keep your body stable, improve your immunity, provide your baby with healthy nutrition, and most importantly help you lose weight.
5. Exercise Safely
Watching what you eat is only half the battle, if you want to lose weight while breastfeeding, you’ll also need to exercise. A typical postpartum exercise can be divided into two categories and includes cardiovascular and weight-bearing.
Each of these activities has its distinct benefit to your body. Cardio (any activity that boosts your pulse rate up to 15 to 20 minutes) is great for your heart, lungs, and circulation. On the other hand, weight-bearing activity helps strengthen your muscles and bones too.
Be aware that once you engage yourself in this regimen, you need to boost your calorie intake to ensure that your body has the required nutrients to support milk production.
If you decide on practicing a particularly strenuous workout, make sure you eat healthy carbs about a half-hour beforehand. Fortunately, exercising doesn’t have to be strenuous or difficult to yield desired results.
Cardio activity can be something easy as going for a brisk walk while pushing your baby in a stroller. This can help your heart rate without negatively impacting your knees or bone joints.
6. Get Enough Rest
Getting enough sleep is just as important to post-pregnancy weight loss as exercise and diet, but sometimes getting enough sleep can prove difficult especially when breastfeeding a newborn.
Well, the importance of getting enough sleep cannot be overstated. This is because when you’re asleep, your body repairs itself and returns to a healthier state.
Here’s how your body gets healthier while you get enough sleep:
- Your blood pressure returns to its normal state
- Your body muscles relax
- Increase the blood supply to various organs and muscles in your body
- Growth hormone is released
- Your heart rate stabilizes and becomes more consistent.
These are just a few ways whereby your body gets healthier when asleep. Several reports have linked lack of sleep to weight gain. A lot of new moms that are sleep-deprived while hungry tend to satisfy their cravings by consuming simple carbohydrates, which often lead to weight gain.
So while practicing everything else on this list, try as much as possible to get enough sleep (at least 7 hours each night) so you can be able to lose those few pounds.
If you’re having difficulties with sending your baby back to sleep during the night time, then you should try and nap when your baby naps. This helps your body recover and stay as healthy as much as possible.
7. Apply a Firming & Toning Product For Your Skin
Another effective way you can lose 10kg while breastfeeding is by firming and toning your skin. Exercise can also play a huge role of course, but you can help your body from the outside by applying a firming and toning product on your skin throughout the day.
My favorites are Mustela’s Body Firming Gel, Bust Firming Serum, and Stretch Marks Serum. These products are specifically formulated to rebuild your body’s contours after delivery by reinforcing skin elasticity, increasing collagen production, firming your skin from within, and relieving dry, tight, sensitive skin.
Mustela’s body firming and toning products play a huge role with the above with the help of natural, hypoallergenic ingredients.
This product is also free of parabens, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, bisphenols A and S, caffeine, and alcohol, thereby making it safe for both you and your breastfeeding baby. So feel free to use it without any worries.
8. Breastfeed Frequently
It’s completely ok to feed a baby on demand to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients they need for growth and development. During nursing, your body tends to burns some calories. This helps you lose pregnancy weight throughout the day.
If you begin to exercise more, you’ll lose that pregnancy weight. However, your body system needs to understand that while those fat deposits are disappearing, it still needs to produce milk.
This is why you should breastfeeding on demand or more frequently while exercising to produce more milk during nursing.
Read Also: Foods That Make Breast Milk Taste Good
9. Avoid Short Cuts
With a lot of new dieting options trending now, it’s quite difficult not to get sucked in. But one thing you must keep in mind is your breast milk production. Many of these dieting options can affect your milk supply. If you’re a nursing mom, milk production has to be your top priority.
When you lose pregnancy weight too fast, your milk production decreases, so you should be very careful when presented with the opportunity for quick-fix options.
Just be patient, you’ll eventually lose those weight. Just focus on the prize which is your milk production. As they say, slow and steady yields success!
10. Get Help
Consulting a nutritionist on how you can lose weight while breastfeeding is not a bad choice since they’re specialized in the area of dieting and nutrition. When you’re in touch with the nutritionist, make sure you specify your goals with him/her.
If your goal is to lose 10kg or more while breastfeeding, your nutritionist will keep in mind that you’re a lot. Both of you can have an appointment and build a plan specifically for you to help you help achieve your goals.
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- Sleeping With Different Guys While Breastfeeding (What You Should Know)
Other Breastfeeding Related Questions
Is it Safe Trying to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?
A planned weight reduction program with a nutritionist is safe even if you’re still breastfeeding. Having a sudden drop in body weight is not recommended since it affects your milk supply, rather a gradual, phased-out decrease is normal.
As mentioned earlier, the best way to lose pregnancy weight is by practicing a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy foods, following a moderate exercise routine daily, and breastfeeding your baby frequently.
How Many Calories Do I Need While Breastfeeding?
You may need to consume the following number of calories per day for breastfeeding women aged 19 to 50. If you want to maintain your current body weight while breastfeeding, and still increase your milk production and energy levels, you’ll need to consume an additional 450 to 500 calories per day.
- For a sedentary lifestyle: You’ll need 2,250 to 2,500 calories per day
- For moderate active lifestyle: You’ll need 2,450 to 2,700 calories per day
- For active lifestyle: You’ll need 2,650 to 2,900 calories per day
Once you’ve known the overall amount of calories to consume daily, try and make sure that most of your calories are coming from nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Also, if you’re trying to lose pregnancy weight, you should avoid empty-calorie foods such as white bread, pasta, cookies, baked goods, and other quick-fix diets (fast food).
You can take your normal multivitamin supplements or you may continue taking your prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding. Consult your doctor to know which supplements they will recommend for you.
More so, if you’re concerned about losing weight postpartum it’s to speak with your doctor! They can look at your diet or lifestyle, and offer healthy tips for weight loss.
We hope this article has given in-depth knowledge to answer the question of how to lose 10kg while breastfeeding. Remember, when trying to lose weight you must be patient and avoid putting pressure on yourself.
It took your body nine months to go through these major changes, so you should be kind to your body as you start your weight loss journey.
Even though the thought of fitting into your favorite skinny jeans can be exciting, it’s best to give your body the time it needs to recover.
This process may take six to nine months for some moms to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight, while for some, it can take up to one or two years.
However, try not to compare yourself to others out there. Just try and limit exercising gradually and channel your energy on eating a healthy diet without restricting too many calories while breastfeeding.