Discover safe ways to lose weight while breastfeeding that won’t compromise your milk supply and baby’s health!
Now that baby is here, you’re asking the big question. How soon can you lose your pregnancy weight?! And is it possible (or even healthy) to try to lose weight while breastfeeding?
It’s commonly said that breastfeeding in itself causes you to lose weight faster post-pregnancy.
Well, this is only true if you go about losing weight the right way.
I too was excited to lose the weight I’d gained with my twins! I was excited to have my body back.
I used simple ways to lose my baby weight and after a few months, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
If you’re ready to lose weight, get in shape, and look your best, that’s great!
Just be mindful that losing weight during this time should never endanger your or baby’s health. Your little one is completely dependent on you for life, nutrients, and amazing health!
If done right, you can have it both ways. You can lose weight easily while breastfeeding and keeping your baby healthy and milk supply rich. You have to be committed, but you’ll be looking fab soon enough, mama!
Let’s explore how!
Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals
First, I want to remind you to take the pressure off before you even start.
At 6 weeks postpartum, you can typically expect to lose about 2-3 pounds per month. Don’t pressure yourself to lose anything before that time. Remember that you’re not a robot. Your baby slowly grew and developed inside of you for nine months.
It didn’t happen in a day. It also took time for your belly to grow and put the weight on. You grew a human inside of your body. That’s a HUGE deal!
I actually don’t know how much I lost after 6 weeks postpartum. I suspect a tad more than normal since I had twins!
Please go easy on yourself. I can’t speak for the celebrities that have their babies and are doing fashion shoots and ab exercises the very next week.
If you had a c-section (like I did), then you definitely can’t do exercises or strenuous walking for at least the first 8 weeks.
But the majority of us have to take time to heal. It’s not ugly and it’s not a bad thing. You sacrificed your body to have a child and that is a beautiful thing! You are truly an amazing woman.
Ways to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
1. Eat Healthy Meals
A common mistake mothers make is thinking that the best way to lose weight is either not to eat anything or to cut back on how much they eat. Don’t do that!
You need to eat enough of the right foods to produce quality milk as well as to fuel your body to have the energy needed to take care of you and baby.
Eating the Right Foods
By maintaining a proper breastfeeding diet, your baby will get the right nourishment needed for proper development. Eating well means your baby is receiving those nutrients through your breastmilk.
Your baby takes a lot out of you…literally! So you’ll be hungry more frequently. When it comes to eating, remember that your goal is quality over quantity. Your focus needs to be on eating nutrient-rich foods and not eating just to get full.
Eating meals that consist mainly of junk food will still increase your milk supply, but it’s not the quality milk you want to give to your baby.
On average, moms who breastfeed need an extra 300-500 calories per day than what they needed before they were pregnant.
A food and fitness journal will help you stay conscious and intentional about what you are eating. It’s also a great way to track your daily progress so you can see how well you’re doing and how you can improve.
My husband and MIL were gracious enough to cook dinners for me and make me nutrient rich smoothies so that I could continue to breastfeed, but help me lose weight.
When choosing which foods to eat, think of the colors of the rainbow. Spend more time picking food from the produce section at the grocery store.
If you’re convinced you just aren’t a fruit and vegetable type of person (or never explore new types), you need to spice things up a bit!
We are not supposed to dread healthy eating. Try eating new fruits and vegetables in different forms, colors, and textures.
Think about the rich quality of the foods you eat, and resolve to stop reaching for the dead foods that satisfy your taste buds but won’t help you lose weight.
Keep your healthy foods close and visible. If it’s within reach, you’re more likely to eat it.
Moderate exercise after you’ve given birth can be a great way to lose weight.
Note: It’s best to talk with your doctor first before taking on an exercise routine.
Most doctors would recommend beginning an exercise routine 6 weeks after a vaginal birth, or 8 weeks after a cesarean.
Squeezing in time to exercise feels like a gigantic goal on most days.
One thing I did was try to go for a stroller walk every day after lunch. My twins loved being outside and oftentimes they took their afternoon nap, which was fine by me!
But even with the most chaotic schedule, it’s still possible to incorporate exercises that will help you lose weight.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
You already know that drinking water is a good thing to do. But if you’re like me, the reasons why interest and motivate you more to do the right thing.
So here it goes!
Here’s why you should increase your water intake. Drinking water:
- Helps you burn calories
- Aids in removing waste from your body
- Keeps you hydrated
- Helps keep you feeling full and satisfied longer (as to avoid indulging in the wrong foods)
You see? Water is not the tastiest choice compared to juice or soda, but the benefits are gorgeous! And it’s a significant part of your weight-loss journey.
Some of my favorite ways to keep my water intake up during the day is to keep a water jug nearby or add natural flavors (like fruit!). I always keep water nearby when I’m working throughout the day and when I work from home!
And hey, life gets busy. There’s no shame in needing reminders. Let an app do the work! You just drink when it’s time. 🙂
4. Get Enough Rest
Adequate rest is essential for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, mama!
Resting will help you lose your pregnancy weight while also helping to keep it off.
These are the amazing results resting can produce:
- Aids in physical and mental recoveries
- Helps you think more clearly. Poor rest or sleep deprivation alters your brain’s ability to function at its best. This means reaching for the quick, convenient foods that have little to no nutrients. You won’t want to cook or prepare anything if you’re exhausted. You’ll settle for the mac and cheese dinner. You must understand the link between hunger and a lack of sleep.
- Lowers stress levels
- Helps you sleep better
- Boosts your immune system
Getting solid, quality sleep is hard when you have a newborn.The fragmented sleep cycles are enough to bring any mother to tears. But it won’t be that way forever, mama. Keep your head up and be encouraged!
It’s rare that the perfect time to rest presents itself. You have to train yourself to ignore the dirty dishes, the next meal that has to be cooked, and the laundry pile that call out to you (even when you’re trying to rest!). Leave them for later, mama.
5. Breastfeed Regularly
When we hear the word hormone, our minds think negatively. But not this time! Breastfeeding helps to contract your uterus back down to pre-pregnancy size by releasing a hormone called oxytocin. And lots of it!
So just keep breastfeeding!
You won’t be slim and trim in a month, but little by little…you’ll shed the pounds and reach your goal weight.
I was fortunate enough to breastfeed until my twins were around 14 months old.
6. Don’t Give In to Dieting Trends
Nowadays there’s a deep sea of weight loss programs, diets, and courses that promise you an easier way to lose weight once and for all.
But how do you know which one is right for you? You don’t want to invest into something that doesn’t work.
The tips listed above are simple, yet not all-inclusive to your weight loss journey. If you don’t live by the most basic, natural, weight-loss principles, no nutrition bar, pill, or special diet meal delivered at your doorstep will produce weight loss, mama.
At least not for long. A lot of programs are designed to keep you dependent on their products.
But shortly after you stop their program, you’re packing on the pounds again!
Read up on the most common dieting myths so you don’t waste your time and money or fall for empty promises.
Ask questions and do your research before devoting your time and money to any weight loss program.
I don’t say this to discourage you, mama. But there are a lot of scams and people whose only focus is to make money whether their clients actually succeed or not.
Lose Weight While You Breastfeed
As you implement these habits into your life, remember losing weight takes time!
Not only will each day push you closer to your goal, but each choice will as well. It can be tough at times, but the results are waiting for you!
Your actions have the potential to produce success! You can definitely lose weight while breastfeeding if you stick to a daily regimen and surround yourself with people that support you on your journey.
The best part is, you’ll look back and see that all the hardship and sacrifices were worth it without lowering your milk supply!
Remember to pin me!