One of the biggest things on most new mum’s minds after settling down with baby is how they can get the baby weight off and get back into their regular wardrobe. For a breastfeeding mum, the struggle comes in knowing if and how you can diet.
The main concern is getting enough nutrients and calories to take care of both yourself and your baby.
The good news is that mums can definitely go on a diet while breastfeeding, but you need to take some things into consideration. When you are eating for two, you get to stop counting the calories. If you’re worried about eating too much, you’re not focusing on nutrition. Instead of worrying about how many calories you just ate for lunch, focus on eating when you feel hungry. Your body knows much better than your brain or any calorie counting chart how much food and nutrients are needed. When you snack or eat meals, fill them wholesome foods.
Empty calories will only leave you feeling hungry and won’t help you lose weight.
Eat wholesome foods – A healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers is simple wholesome foods in healthy portions. Eat raw and whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Also be sure to include whole grains and dairy, if able. You may find that some foods to avoid when breastfeeding include gluten, dairy, raw and spicy foods.
Your baby’s stomach is sensitive so some items, so introduce common allergic foods one at a time. Another item you’ll want a lot of is protein. Baby is growing rapidly and will be putting on fat and growing muscles, so your body will need to stay extra strong. Plus, the extra protein, especially in lean meats like turkey or chicken, will go towards strengthening the muscles that haven’t been used as much for the past few months.
Don’t rush it – It took you 9 months to put on the baby weight, it may take you 9 months to lose it. Harmful dieting and exercising, while it make get you back to your pre-baby body quickly, puts undue stress on your bones and muscles. Let your body shed the weight naturally. Once you feel ready to incorporate exercise, introduce simple tasks like walking, light jogging, or body weight movements at first.
Breastfeed whenever necessary – Don’t stress over a rigid schedule, denying a hungry baby food because it’s too early or not the right time. Some research shows that mothers who breastfeed as much as possible are better able to drop the baby weight. Your body works very hard to produce the healthy milk your baby needs and this means extra calories burned just by sitting down and enjoying your little one. Having a healthy snack mix beside your nursing station may help curb cravings as well.
Enjoy the process – Fretting over getting the weight off as soon as possible is bound to cause stress, which not only makes you more liable to eat unhealthily, but may impact your milk production. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the time you get to spend breastfeeding your new baby.
The weight will not come off overnight, as much as you may wish it would, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus each day on healthy eating and habits. Over time, you’ll be back in your regular clothes and looking great.
Do you have anything else to add to the above? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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