5 Smart Ways to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
After giving birth, it can be tempting to dive into a routine to lose weight through dieting and exercise. During this period, when emotions are high and energy levels are low, you must go about reaching your goals wisely.
When it comes to losing weight while breastfeeding, take a step back, and make strategic decisions. Here are five smart ways to lose weight while breastfeeding without hurting your milk supply.
Focus on Habit Building
The last thing you want to do during this fragile time is to restrict yourself too much. Rather than cutting foods from your diet and limiting your caloric intake, focus on building sustainable habits and routines while adding nutritious food.
For example, build a habit of eating a serving of vegetables with breakfast each morning. Then add a serving at lunch and so on. Eventually, those healthy foods naturally replace unhealthy alternatives without feeling like you’re dieting.
Consider using a habit-based meal prep app to help guide you along your journey. Using a Noom meal plan and coach is a great way to stay accountable when resources are limited.
Make Healthy Snacks Accessible
When it comes to avoiding unhealthy foods, it’s best to practice an “out of sight, out of mind” habit. Remove the temptation for low-nutrition foods by keeping them out of your house. Fortunately, having a baby makes it more difficult to run out to the store to grab treats.
On the other side of the equation, have healthy snacks readily available. Slice up carrot sticks and apples, and buy some bulk nuts and seeds for quick, healthy snacks. These come in handy when you’re trying to juggle the schedule of managing a household while caring for a newborn.
Drink Lots of Water
Adequate hydration is essential for both breastfeeding and losing weight. Drinking water aids in digestion, increases your milk supply, and takes up physical space to create a sensation of fullness. When you start getting back on track, hydration should be your number one priority.
Drinking enough water can also help you develop mindful eating habits that further promote weight loss. Have a tall glass of water before every meal. Be sure to take sips of water during your meal to help you pause and get back in touch with your hunger cues.
Some women find that intense exercise while breastfeeding decreases their milk supply. While this is primarily related to dehydrating the body, intense physical exertion can cause more harm than good when your nutrition and sleep are challenged.
Exercise wisely by building back up to your previous activity levels slowly. Start with low-impact exercises that you can do with your baby, such as hiking and yoga. To boost your metabolism and avoid dehydration, start lifting weights. More muscle mass means more calories burned while you’re doing nothing, and you won’t sweat as intensely as you would on the treadmill.
Prioritise Your Sleep
Like hydration, sleep should be at the top of your self-care list. If the decision comes down to sleep or exercise, rest should take precedent. When your body is in a state of sleep deprivation, it causes hormonal disruptions that can cause weight gain or make weight loss difficult.
Try to sleep while the baby is sleeping, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you’re tired. After all, you have all the time in the world to lose weight. These early days with your child will fly by.
Give Yourself Time
Your body has undergone significant changes, and breastfeeding is an extension of those differences. Whether you choose to try one of these weight loss tricks or all of them, it will take time for your body to adapt. Cut yourself some slack, appreciate the strength your body has shown, and enjoy the time you have with your baby.
Consider using a breast pump so a family member or friend can help out with feeding your little one, earning you some extra time to look after your body and mind.