New Mums: How to Lose Weight Not Your Milk Supply
Hey there Mama, welcome to the world of breastfeeding. Whether this is brand new territory, or you've done the milk rounds before, there's one thing we all have in common, childbirth. We've all completed the hardest, most energy-sucking marathon of our lives, and we're tired as hell.
Our bodies are feeling a little foreign, there are lumps and bumps, separating tums and all of a sudden, our once unsung breasts have a very important job to do. The milk bar is well and truly open for business, and there's a particularly demanding customer with a 24-hour appetite.
You've spent a long nine months gaining weight and may be ready to see the number on the scales hit the decline.
Well, the good news is, that there are plenty of ways you can safely and effectively lose weight while breastfeeding, without hindering your milk supply and your energy levels.
Now, we know you're busy, so let's get straight to it. Below are our top tips for safely losing weight while breastfeeding.
Prioritise your health
Just like on an airplane, where the air hostess demonstrates that you should fasten your oxygen supply before helping with anyone else's; you need to take care of your health first. A healthy, well-nourished Mumma, makes for a healthy well-nourished Bubba.
When you’re breastfeeding you need extra nutrients, as your baby is depending on you. The best thing you can do for your baby is to eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich, colourful, fresh foods.
Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet will stabilise your blood sugar levels, helping you to stay away from high-energy, sugar-dense quick-fix snacks. Those snacks are the enemy of weight loss.
When we're not eating enough or not fulfilling our nutrient needs, our blood sugar levels drop, and this often leads to cravings and bad food choices.
Make sure you listen to your cravings and try to curb them with healthy alternatives. For example,
- Craving sugar? Have a piece of fruit, Greek yoghurt with a little honey, a smoothie or a Breastfeeding Boost Chai Latte
- Thinking about chocolate? Try the Chocolate Brownie In Shape Mummy Health Shake or Chocolate Breastfeeding Boost Bars
Can’t get fast food off your mind – Make some home-made potato wedges with a little salt
Get snack ready
Grazing on healthy snacks between meals like fruit, pre-chopped veggie sticks and hummus, boiled eggs or nuts will help to prevent a drop in blood sugar levels while ensuring you and bub are getting a continuous supply of energy. You're likely busier than ever before, so having ready-to-grab, healthy snacks and meals on hand can be a lifesaver. Some general tips to follow when stocking your pantry and fridge:
- When shopping, stick to the perimeter of the supermarket isles. The outside isles tend to house healthier foods like fresh produce, dairy products and whole grains.
- Don't shop hungry. If you head to the shops with a full stomach, you'll be less likely to give in to temptation
- Ordering your groceries online and using click and collect is another excellent way to keep you on the right track; keep the temptations out of sight, out of mind.
- Make friends with your freezer. Protein balls and healthy muffins are nutritious snacks that can be bulk made and popped in the freezer until you need them. You can make lactation protein balls with your In Shape Mummy Health Shake mix. Click here for the recipe.
And, of course, make sure you never skip a meal as this can rob you of energy and make you too hungry and overeat the wrong foods. Your In Shape Mummy Health Shake is a great quick, easy and healthy meal or snack and can come to the rescue when you don't have time to cook. Also check out the delicious salted caramel peanut and chocolate brownie snack bars from In Shape Mummy.
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. Overeating more than your body needs leads to weight gain.
The best way to stay on top of your hydration game is to set little healthy habits, including:
- Drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning. Keep a glass next to your basin to remind yourself
- Have a glass of water before you eat a meal or a snack. Not only will this top up your fluids, but it will also signal if it was actually your thirst your body was looking to quench, rather than hunger
- Aim for two or more litres of water in total throughout the day. Using a 500ml or 1L water bottle and refilling it is an easy way to keep track
- Keep your water bottle next to you while you feed and top yourself up at the same time
- If you're finding drinking so much water a challenge the In Shape Mummy Breastfeeding Boost Tea is a great option
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. Great sources of protein include:
- Chicken, lean beef and fish
- Greek yoghurt, kefir and cheese
- In Shape Mummy Health Shake
And remember Mama, it took a whole nine months to gain the weight, so you need to allow a little time for it to drop off.
Jumping on the scales every day 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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"I'm loving it so far.. I'm already down from in weight and I feel great :) Not exaggerating when I say this is the best purchase I ever made .. can't wait to get to my first mini goal of 65kgs then set my new goal of 60kgs :) .. so far it's been life changing, thank you so much!! It has literally boosted my milk supply. I used to pump 160mls and now I average 240mls .. I've never been able to get that."
- Tania, Vic
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- Melanie, Vic
"I have lost over 30kg with In Shape Mummy Health Shakes, exercise and a complete diet change. I started at size 22 and am a loose size 12 at the moment… and nearly a 10! I feel so much better! With my injuries in my spine, pelvis and knee my weight loss has been the best thing for my pain.
7-8 months ago I couldn’t have even imagined I could drop this much weight! The change in my life has been insane! My advice to other mums is “stick with it and don’t give up!” Thanks so very much for your In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. They are the best thing for mums on the go and while breastfeeding as well. Words can not express how grateful I am with my weight loss. I couldn’t of started this without your shakes. My life is forever changed."
- Jess, NT