Can I Lose Weight While Breastfeeding without affecting my Milk Supply?
Many mums are so terrified of losing their milk supply that they don’t even consider starting their weight loss journey until they’ve stopped breastfeeding. But the truth is you CAN safely and effectively lose weight while breastfeeding, without affecting your supply.
However, to make sure you give yourself enough time to building up a healthy milk supply, we recommend waiting six weeks before embarking on any type of weight loss journey.
Below are the Dos and Don’ts for losing weight while breastfeeding.
Focus on nutrients
Focus on eating healthy food to lose weight rather than drastically restricting calories. Your body needs more nutrients when breastfeeding as your baby is 100% depending on you for their nutrition. Reducing calories too low can impact your milk supply and energy levels. Focus on swapping out unhealthy food & drinks for healthy options.
Eat a wide variety of foods
Eating a wide variety of healthy foods will give you the broad spectrum of nutrients that your body needs. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats is vital. When you’re not getting the nutrients you need, your body sends a message that you need to eat more food, when all you really need is more nutrients. This can lead to overeating food your body doesn’t need and weight gain. When you eat a healthy and balanced diet, you will naturally feel satisfied and be less inclined to over-eat. You will also experience less cravings as often cravings are caused by nutrient deficiencies.
Pay Attention To Protein
Meeting your protein requirements is essential. Protein helps you to stay fuller for longer, but it also plays a critical role in your recovery and your baby's development. Hitting your protein target will provide you with a sustained source of energy throughout the day and will assist in producing a healthy milk supply and reducing sugar cravings. Good sources of protein include chicken, lean beef, fish, tofu, nuts, eggs, yoghurt, kefir, In Shape Mummy Health Shake.
Remain hydrated and drink around two litres of waters a day. It's not surprising that we lose a lot of fluid while breastfeeding, as breastmilk is around 90% water. It's important to be proactive, rather than reactive, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. If you do become dehydrated, it can cause a lag in your milk production. Dehydration can also lead to feelings of hunger as your body can mistake thirst for hunger. Water aids weight loss by acting as a natural appetite suppressant, it helps to remove waste from your body and it reduces your liquid calorie intake (when you replace high calorie drinks with water). Tip: fill up a couple of water bottles in the morning and sip throughout the day.
Many mums find their milk supply is affected by their energy levels. We know it can be hard to get the sleep you need, but it’s essential to take time to rest when you can. Even a 5-10 minute cat nap can give you a pick-me-up. A short rest is a healthier option than reaching for a sugary snack or coffee to give you energy.
Don't restrict calories
Your body uses the calories you consume to make milk, so dropping calories too quickly could be highly detrimental to your milk supply. If you restrict your calories too dramatically, not only will your milk suffer, but you’ll find yourself feeling completely exhausted.
Don't cut out major food groups
Carbohydrates, protein and fat are all essential food groups when breastfeeding. Many mums are tempted to follow a keto diet (a very low carb/high-fat diet) due to the quick weight loss results. However, this is super dangerous for breastfeeding mums as carbs are a vital energy source. What you can do is opt for healthy carb options like sweet potato and banana, while limiting foods like bread and pasta.
Don't eat junk food
Not only does junk food work against weight loss, but it also drains your energy. Your body is like a high-performance car that needs the right fuel to run. It cannot operate properly when filled with junk.
Don't skip meals
Skipping meals can lead to feeling more hungry (or "hangry"!) and reaching for the wrong foods later in the day. Aim for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus morning and afternoon snacks. Eating smaller meals more often is a good strategy.
A Solution to Help...
There’s no doubt that being a new mum can feel overwhelming. The effects of sleep deprivation, fluctuating hormones and pregnancy-related anxiety can feel intense. Preparing healthy food all the time can be a challenge. The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is the helping hand you need to lose weight without affecting milk supply.
The In Shape Mummy Health Shake provides breastfeeding mums with a good serve of protein, 25 vitamins and minerals and contains milk supporting ingredients including fenugreek and milk thistle.
Most Mums want to get back to their pre-bub weight as soon as they can, and with the tips above and In Shape Mummy Health Shake, they can do that and still enjoy a healthy milk supply.
And remember Mumma, it took a whole nine months to gain the weight, so you need to allow a little time for it drop off. Jumping on the scales everyday isn’t going to be good for your mental health and won’t help you to lose weight any quicker. Instead, aim to weigh yourself once every two weeks, on the same day, first thing in the morning. Most importantly, enjoy this special time. It won’t be long until you’re sleeping a full 8 hours dreaming of those nights it was just you and bub under the milky way.
Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.
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