Tips for Weight Loss While Breastfeeding
~7 Tips to Help you Successfully Lose the Baby Weight~
1.) Drink your water! When you are exercising and breastfeeding you are going to need extra water! and when you are nursing in the summer it’s even worse. Buy yourself the biggest water bottle you can find and drink it non stop. For every coffee or other caffeinated beverage add 2 cups of water!
2.) Do not ever eat less than 1800 calories a day and preferably stick with 2000 as your minimum. If you are crazy active like myself or fairly tall you will need to eat even more than this. Eat when your body is hungry and focus on whole foods. I didn’t start to count macros for the first 3 months of breastfeeding. Just enjoy your baby and grow your bond. After all, babies do grow up so fast don’t they? Some of my fellow CrossFit Mamas like to try to stick to a whole 30 style meal plan for the first few months postpartum . This way they aren’t obsessing about macros and are getting the vitmains and minerals they need to support their postpartum body and provide the best possible nutrients in their breast milk. The Whole 30 approach to eating means exactly what is sounds like. The goal being to eat only whole foods and saying no to all things processed and packaged.
3.) Focus on strength training. I know that desire you have to do a ton of cardio now that your baby is earth side. I lost some weight this way after a couple of my pregnancies but I will not stress enough, if you want to see big changes, focus on strength. You are already burning at least 20 calories per every ounce of breast milk that your body is making. You will lose weight by doing a lot of cardio but you won’t get that stomach definition back nearly as quick! Gaining muscle isn’t easy in a calorie deficit but I’ve managed to do quite well with High Intensity Interval training, Olympic lifting and home workouts like Beach Body (Fire me a message if you want to join a challenge).
4.) Eat foods that will increase milk supply. I ate oatmeal & flax seeds everyday. I found after eating these foods my milk would increase almost immediately (a beer now and again can also help). I enjoyed making healthy snacks to increase my milk as well. Try mixing nut butter, oatmeal, flax, honey and brewers yeast. You can make little energy balls from just these few ingredients.
5.) Take rest days and go to bed early. This was the hardest part for me. My personality doesn’t really agree with rest days but believe me, you are setting yourself up for a “no milk” disaster if you don’t. I always go to bed super early when my babies are newborns (like 8pm). The reason this helps is because babies are so unpredictable. I found that if I went to bed early enough, I would get at least one good stretch of sleep. Your muscles are recovering while you sleep so it’s important to rest as much as you can. That being said, if you baby was awake from 2 am until the sunrise make it a light exercise day but still try to be active. It is so good for your mental health to get up and get moving.
6.) Get off the scale. Girls, this is really the best decision you will ever make. I am currently the same weight as I was at 6 weeks postpartum (check out my page on Transformations). My body is completely different and that is the beauty of strength training. I have made muscles while breastfeeding and so can you! The scale is discouraging and your boobs likely weigh and extra ten pounds. Take a picture, pick your favorite jeans or use a tape measure but my goodness, please get off that scale.
7.) Honestly, the best way to lose your baby weight is slow and steady. I know it is super frustrating, especially when your baby is born right before summer and you just want to wear you summer clothes. I have two babies born on July 1st and one on June 28th, so this was a real issue for me. With my fifth and final baby I made the mental decision to be grateful for my body. This was the last time I would experience my postpartum journey. I have my whole life to get back into my jeans and nobody was going to care if I looked like I just had a baby (and duh I did so that is a good thing). I was excited to start my fitness journey but realized it would not be a quick fix! Allow yourself to feel beautiful in the postpartum journey because stressing over your baby weight will just ruin all the fun you could be having with your new little one.
Love yourself throughout the whole process! No matter what your body looks like, you are loved by that sweet little baby you are caring so well for. For more tips check out my previous post.10 Reasons You’re Not Achieving Your Fitness Goals.