This is a common misconception that breastfeeding acts as a magic wand in weight loss and breastfeeding mothers automatically loose weight during this process.
It is true that breastfeeding burns more calories than any other usual activity but it comes with its own limitations. One can not deny the fact that breastfeeding makes mothers more hungrier. It’s a general tendency that a sleep deprived new mother who also feels uncontrollable hunger pangs will tend to satisfy them as quickly as possible and sometimes it is easier to do so by consuming more of carbohydrates. In this process, sometimes losing weight becomes more difficult than usual as everybody is different and not everyone can easily loose weight while breastfeeding.
So here are some ways to help the breastfeeding mothers help control their hunger pangs and loose weight :-
1. Relax and no need to hurry
It has to be understood that one cannot fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes within a snap of a finger. It takes 9 months to gain that weight so atleast give 6 weeks to the organs to come back to their original size and shape. The child requires a mother more at this time so it’s ideal to concentrate more on that.
2. Requirement of nutrients not calories
Research has proved that a pregnant or a new mother doesn’t need to eat for two. There is only a requirement of adding 300-350 extra calories than the BMR to accommodate for the baby. So, don’t fall into the trap of old-age advises that’s a breastfeeding Mom needs to eat for two. Eat a diet rich in Iron, calcium, protein, Omega 3s and more of complex carbohydrates and take your supplements (as suggested by the gynae) on time.
3. Make smart food choices
When hunger pang strikes, instead of curbing it with biscuits/chips or other processed items choose to have a fruit, vegetables or anything home-made. Rather than having 4 chapatis and just a bowl of vegetable, replace it with 2 chapatis, more bowl of veggies, curd and salad.
4. Limit your Sugar intake
Sugar has empty calories and no nutrients at all. So, why have something which isn’t going to benefit you at all. This is a myth that consuming more sugar will increase the milk supply. Don’t fall for it. Instead satisfy your sugar cravings by having fruits.
5. Increase the intake of water/fluids
Not only will this wash off the toxins but will also help in the increase of milk supply.
6. Time management
This is the most important part. It’s difficult to stick to a definite eating pattern or schedule while managing a little infant with no fixed time of sleep. So, it’s always better to write down things and manage time accordingly. Writing down a plan always help. If not 100 %, even if 50% of it is followed, can actually do wonders.
- Sleep/eat/bath when your child sleeps.
- Make a list of healthy snacking options
- Keep the food items already prepared and kept in the refrigerator for easy access.
- Ask for help from family members/hire a help for the care of the baby while giving time to own self. (Motherhood is not a punishment. Enjoy it while giving time for your own self)
- Try fitting in a simple workout regime like walking out with the baby in a stroller or with a baby carrier (two tasks done at a time).
7. Eat consistently through out the day
In case of breastfeeding moms, eating frequent and small meals really helps a lot. Research suggests that mothers who keep a huge gap between their meals while breastfeeding & tends to diet, loses their milk supply. It may also to lead decrease in insulin production and raise in thyroid levels as at the time of breastfeeding body is already burning extra calories on its own for producing milk and if there will be a huge gap between meals, the body will start pulling energy from the stored reserves. So, don’t starve – eat.
8. No Comparisons with Celebrities and other mothers
Lastly, don’t compare yourself to the celebrity mothers. Everybody has a different lifestyle and a body which functions at its own pace. Don’t overburden yourself and enjoy this beautiful phase of motherhood. If you and your baby are healthy and happy, weight loss will automatically happen. Focus more on health then on weight. Stress and pressure never gives the desired results.