Does breastfeeding actually help in losing weight? Is that just a strategy to get women to breastfeed? And if breastfeeding is actually a good way to drop some weight, are there certain ways to do it to get the best results? Let’s look at some of the truths below.
Breastfeeding does burn extra calories — approximately 850 calories a day, to be exact. But losing weight while breastfeeding is rarely a given because breastfeeding makes moms hungrier. And hungry, sleep-deprived new moms tend to satisfy their cravings with simple carbohydrates and it’s not exactly easy to lose weight when you’re eating those.
1. Make great substitutions
Think before you snack. Instead of reaching for the Doritos, pop some popcorn. Instead of having packaged cereal, make a batch of steel-cut oatmeal. Oatmeal is a great breakfast for a breastfeeding mom who’s trying to lose weight. It keeps you full for a long period of time and keeps insulin levels stable.
Starchy veggies, such as baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, can also satisfy your craving for carbs. Brown and wild rice are good side dish and snack options too.
2. Set yourself up for success
A little bit of prep work one day can help you keep your eating on track for the next few days. Cut up some veggies and fruit to keep in the fridge, cook and freeze healthy meals for later quick defrosting. The idea is to keep healthy snacks and meals in the cabinet and fridge.
3. Cut calories — but not too much
It’s perfectly safe to diet while breastfeeding, as long as your total calorie intake doesn’t dip below 1,800 calories per day and you keep eating a wide variety of nutritious foods.
4. Keep at it
People have different body types so we all lose weight on a different speed, so don’t be discouraged if your weight loss happens more slowly than it does for all those celeb mamas. With a healthy diet plan, breastfeeding moms typically lose about a pound a week according to experts.
You can tailor your plan to your lifestyle and whether you’d rather cut more calories or do more exercise. As long as you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’ll lose weight.