Breastfeeding is a meaningful part of motherhood. It connects you to your baby physically and it also binds the mother-child emotional connection. Your breast milk is complete with the nutrients that your baby needs to keep him or her healthy. The act of breastfeeding also envelopes you and your baby in a bond that only mothers and children can have and no one can ever break.
It is understandable that after pregnancy and even while breastfeeding, many new mothers want to lose the weight they may have gained during the nine month journey to motherhood. There is nothing wrong with that. But you need to give utmost importance the fact that you are breastfeeding, so what you eat – or don’t eat for that matter – will affect your baby greatly.
If you are going on a weight loss program while breastfeeding, you should also think about your baby’s health, and if he or she still gets the complete nutrients from your milk.
Your weight loss plan should be intricately patterned for you to still provide your baby’s needs. Don’t worry, it is not that hard. Here are 12 uplifting ways to drop those extra pounds, even while you are breastfeeding.
1. Don’t Focus Too Much On The Weight Loss
Frankly, there are other things that you should focus your attention to than losing your weight. You have your baby. This means you have to take care of the baby, feed the baby, provide all the baby’s needs and basically do everything for the baby.
This means you have little time to think about other things, like makeup and weight loss, for example.
Wanting to lose weight after pregnancy is fine. But think about your health, because your health is also your baby’s health. Whatever you eat or don’t eat will have an impact on your breast milk.
2. Do Not Diet
There is always the common misconception that going on a diet – even if you have the full fruits and vegetables diet – you can lose the weight. No. You see, diet alone will not make you lose weight.
Well, okay it can but it will be gradual and you will go through a lot of “hungry” moments which can lead to stomach and intestinal problems. Basically, you are doing your body a lot more harm than good.
Now take that information and apply it to the fact that you are also watching what you eat because you are breastfeeding. If you want to make your baby strong and healthy, you need healthy breast milk and you can only get that if you eat properly.
3. Breastfeeding Can Help You Drop Those Pounds, Too
Here is a common knowledge for breastfeeding moms: breastfeeding can make you lose weight too. Yes, studies have shown that breastfeeding can help burn down the extra pounds as you give nutrition to your baby. This is one of the many reasons why mothers breastfeed.
Imagine that – all the time you are feeding your baby and making sure he or she is healthy, you are also dropping your weight. It’s a win-win situation.
4. Consider Calories
The truth is your body still needs calories. You can’t cut food off from your life forever. It’s still a vital part of your bodily needs. But you only need a certain amount of calories for you to be healthy. If you are someone who likes to eat a lot of food, you might want to think of cutting down on the calorie intake.
You should watch what you eat and be very strict about the contents of your food – especially the processed ones. For one, processed foods are not good for the baby. Processed foods are also full of preservatives which is unhealthy for you both. Go for fresh, natural foods and watch your portions.
5. Use Small Plates
It may sound funny, but studies show that how much a person eats depend on certain actions, choices and gestures that most of us are not aware of and is mostly led by the subconscious mind.
We’re talking about the plates that you use when you eat. If you want to cut down on the amount of food that you eat, one great technique is to use smaller plates.
Studies have confirmed that a person’s subconscious works with their actions, too. If you choose a smaller table in a restaurant, you will order less food. If you take a smaller plate during a buffet, you will take less food.
6. Eat Slowly
Aside from using small plates, it will also be helpful to lose weight if you eat slowly. You know, the normal pace when you chew. You chew the food carefully so that you can extract the full nutrition from the food.
For one, you need all the nutrition that you can get from the food because you and your baby need it. Second, eating slowly and surely will prevent indigestion and other stomach problems.
Do not eat and run. Take it one bite at a time and enjoy the food. Of course, this is considering you are eating only the healthy kind of food. This is hard for new moms who have limited time, but do try to enjoy your meals.
7. Eat More Protein
Protein is an important part of your diet. It is protein that gives your body, bones and muscles the strength to move and have energy. The amount of energy that you have every day depends on how much protein you have in your body. Put it this way – if you are rich in protein and you are strong, that makes you able to take care of your baby. Protein will also be distributed to your breast milk which will provide additional nutrients for the baby.
8. Eat Fruits And Vegetables
Nothing can ever go wrong with eating fruits and vegetables. They are the most natural types of food and they are healthy, rich in nutrients, vitamins and other important components that will make you and your baby healthy through breastfeeding. Here’s how it will happen – you eat fruits and vegetables in replacement of processed carbs and junk food. You get natural vitamins and minerals in your body and you also lose the extra pounds because you eat less sugar, fat and salt.
9. Exercise Each Day
Of course, all these diet tips and watching what you eat will be much more effective if you exercise. Exercise is your main key to lose your weight.
Now, you may think that you do not have the time to exercise, with the newborn baby and all. Here is where you get creative.
Exercise does not happen only in the gym. You can exercise at home. You can do any sort of activity, and as long as you are moving. Take your baby for a walk. If the weather is bad, do some brisk house work or put on some music and dance. Try an exercise video, like yoga or Pilates, too.
10. Drink Plenty Of Water
Hydration is an important matter. But did you know that drinking plenty of water can also help you lose weight? Yes, it’s true. This is because when you drink water, you get to feel full also – the same kind of fullness you get from eating. Many people mistake thirst for hunger, so before you reach for food, have a refreshing drink of water first.
Water is easy to secrete from the body. If you drink water often, you are also well hydrated enough to produce plenty of breast milk for your baby. Everyone needs to drink plenty of water, so make this a healthy habit.
11. Lose The Weight Slowly
Here’s an important matter to consider and it cannot be emphasized enough: if you are breastfeeding, you need all the nutrients you can get for your baby. That means you need to always choose the healthy path. Avoid too much calories, eat right and do not rush into it.
Losing weight, even for those who are not breastfeeding, can be challenging. So you have to consider that for you, it may take longer. But just think that you are slowly working into it and hey, you are breastfeeding and that makes you one step ahead.
12. Take One Step At A Time
Don’t do all these things at once. Losing weight, especially for breastfeeding mothers, should be taken slowly and surely. You cannot afford to become sick or unhealthy because of the choices you make just to lose your weight.
Take it one step at a time. Study what is best and is working for you and work with that. There are instances when one technique would not work on the other. It’s natural. As long as you take it slowly, you will be getting to your desired body surely.
The whole idea is to still give the nutrients that your baby needs even if you are cutting down on what you eat. The priority should always be your baby. Weight loss may be gradual, but as long as you take one step at a time, slowly and surely, you will get the body that you desire. You will become fit again and your baby remains healthy and strong.
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