Who Needs The Gym?!
You’re dying to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but you’re breastfeeding. You’re worried about your milk supply as is and you don’t want a diet to mess with it even more. Sound familiar? Well, mamas, I have fantastic news for you. You can definitely have it all – breastfeed and lose weight.
Every drop of milk that exits your body exits calories as well. Every millilitre of breastmilk produced is equal to around 0.7 calories. If you don’t like math (like me) then let me make it easy – the average exclusively breastfeeding mom loses around 500 calories per day, if not more. I know you’re thinking that if this really is the case then every breastfeeding mother would be skinny when in fact, most breastfeeding moms end up putting on weight. The reason behind this is simple.
Let’s say you have a pot of 30 flowers. Everyday you remove a flower, however your husband puts in 2 (yeah, right!). At the end of the month, would you end up with less flowers than the beginning of the month? Or more? You’d end up with more because you were putting in more flowers than removing. This is the same case with breastfeeding. If you’re eating more calories than losing (including the 500 calories) then you will end up gaining weight and not losing it.
Calorie intake needs to be controlled while making sure not to miss out on vitamins and minerals. Which is difficult because new mums are usually mostly home, allowing for more opportunities for snacking. It doesn’t help that the night waking allows even more hours for eating – and then of course everyone around you telling you that you need to eat because you are breastfeeding. When there’s a will there’s a way. Put that end goal in mind, and work towards it. I have 3 tips:
- Have 3 proper meals and 2 snacks that are fruits. Do not have anything else in between especially not candy, chocolate, bread, or ’empty’ calories.
- Try to have meals at the same times every day (as much as possible). For example, breakfast after the morning breastfeed, lunch during the afternoon nap, and dinner after bed time. This will control any hunger pangs, and control your sugar levels.
- Drink plenty of water. A lot of times we mistake hunger for thirst – and you need to be hydrated to produce milk.
Losing 2-2.5 kilos per month should not affect your milk supply. Make use of the 500 calorie weight loss. Soon enough you’ll have to go to the gym to lose them, and you can’t imagine how difficult it is to gym with a toddler in tow!