Milk losing weight while breastfeeding for all it's worth!
Losing weight while breastfeeding is not only possible, but the breastfeeding itself actually helps. The body produces milk for the baby first, from your stores, even if your fuel intake is low. Your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body processes and burns fuel) is increased, because it takes a lot of energy to make milk.
You do have to be smart about it though. Even though you want to lose weight, don't restrict your calories too much, you'll start to feel tired and lethargic, which will make it harder to exercise and you may also restrict the speed with which your body produces milk.
I always found that between afternoon and evening feeds I had to make sure I fitted in two small extra snacks and a couple of extra glasses of water, otherwise my poor babies would want feeding every two hours, because I just wasn't keeping up with the demand.
They didn't have to be high fat snacks though. A low fat yoghurt and two pieces of fruit (preferably juicy ones...I was always thirsty when I was feeding), was enough.
Losing weight while breastfeeding...keep moving, and rest too
Also don't overdo the exercise. Do the stomach exercises the doctor gives you to do after birth, and keep up with the moving, but don't exhaust yourself. You actually need rest to produce milk. That's why even though you don't eat during the night, by the morning there's gallons of the stuff.
Now, I know some of you will say that this is because the baby isn't drinking...they're sleeping. I can only say lucky you. All three of mine fed three-hourly during the day and night till they were older than six months.
When baby's awake, feel free to do as much moving and exercising you can fit in, but when baby rests, try and sit down and relax for at least a little while. Yes, this does get harder when you have more than one, but it's doable. (It's called the advantages of the DVD player)
This does change over time. As the baby gets older and your body gets into the process of producing milk, you can do more, and you won't feel as tired. Your routine will be more established and everyone will have settled in, the tiredness does ease.
Once your bundle of joy starts solids and dropping back on the number of breastfeeds in a day, you may find that the weight loss slows. This is when you concentrate on building up the incidental, and purposeful, exercise, and when to take out those extra snacks you put into your diet.
Losing weight while breastfeeding...a great time to get good habits
I found breastfeeding a great time to improve my eating habits. My motivation was a healthy and happy baby, I figured that since they ate from me, I'd better put the best possible foods into my system.
I also know some mothers who have found that certain foods affected their milk, so the choice was change their diet, or have an uncomfortable crying little baby in the house...just change the diet. For some mothers it's certain vegetables, like cauliflower or broccoli, that affect their milk. If this happens, use this is an opportunity to try some vegetables that you mightn't have tried before, or ones you think you don't like. This increases the healthy food choices available to you, and increases the variety of nutrients, making it more likely that you're diet will be healthy by giving you everything your body needs.
I had cravings for chocolate with all of mine...in fact it cost more to keep me supplied with chocolate than it would have if I'd bought formula. Luckily it didn't seem to affect the kids. But I was well aware that consuming that amount of calories in sugar and fat, that I needed to compensate somewhere else. So I constantly grazed on fruit and low fat snacks during the day, increased my vegetable intake at evening meals.
While I wasn't practicing perfect healthy eating habits, I was compensating, adjusting, being flexible based on what was happening in my life, I was eating better most of the time, and enjoying the lovely brown stuff as well...and I was still losing weight.
I was careful to try and not let it become habitual though. The last thing I wanted was to find that when I stopped feeding, I'd made chocolate such a habitual part of my life, that my body craved it purely because it had got used to having it. Then I might as well not have worried about losing weight while breastfeeding...because I would just put it one again with the chocolate!
To try and prevent this, I tried to vary the times I ate it, and whenever my baby dropped a feed I cut the amount of chocolate I was eating each time in half.
I still eat chocolate, but I don't feel like it that much anymore, and when I do, I just buy a small bar of the stuff I really love, and revel in it (away from the family, because I'm not willing to share it!)
Losing weight while breastfeeding shouldn't stress you out
Yes, I could have tried to fight my chocolate craving at the time I had it (which was straight out of hospital), but I figured why put that much pressure on myself. I'd adjust in other ways. And sleep deprivation was already making me a little cranky...goodness knows what would have happened if I'd cut the chocolate out too.
The point is when you're losing weight while breastfeeding, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Firstly, because that's just called 'stress' and stress affects the supply of your milk, and the goodness, and when you're stressed, baby tends to get a bit stressed too, and a stressed baby is not a happy baby, which makes for a not happy mother, or other members of the family. So, bottom line, it's not really worth it.
Secondly, there are going to be times when you have cravings. Can you go the rest of your life not giving into them? I can't. That just means you don't go overboard. Craving chocolate doesn't mean you eat a kilo a day, but it doesn't mean you deprive yourself either. Deprivation is very difficult to maintain, and on top of that it's not fun!
When losing weight while breastfeeding, or at any stage in life, it's a serious business for all of us, it's hard enough at times just to keep going. If we start envisioning a life without the good bits...what kind of life is that? That's no motivation to keep at it. In fact, it's nearly guaranteed that at some point you'll decide it's just too hard and drop it, regardless of the benefits you're feeling.
You can be losing weight while breastfeeding, and you can maintain it later, keep the pressure on yourself to a minimum, and have a variety of possibilities stored up, like a list on the fridge of ready to go, healthy snacks, so that if you realise you've run out of one, you don't have to think about what else to have, and you won't reach for the first available, maybe not so healthy, choice.
See breastfeeding as the advantage it is and milk (ha ha) it for all it's worth!
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