One of the most magical times in a new mother’s life is during breastfeeding. But, for more reasons than one – the wonderful nutrition that only mom can impart on her baby and the fact that it’s one of the easiest times to lose weight. Breastfeeding automatically burns from 750 extra calories per day, so losing weight during this time is pretty easy. It’s also perfectly okay to do so. If you’re like most new moms, you likely have 20 or so pounds to lose – and lose it you will if you follow these tips.
1. Eat Nutritionally Dense Food – These are foods that are essentially low in calories when you compare their nutritional impact. Foods like salmon, kale, legumes, seaweed, potatoes, blueberries, eggs, and even dark chocolate are all good choices to make.
2. Avoid Common Allergens – Dairy, nuts, shellfish and soy are all common allergens that should be avoided while you are nursing. By getting rid of these items you’ll also get rid of a lot of sources for empty calories. Don’t worry; you can get your calcium needs met in other ways such as through eating white beans, dried figs, salmon, blackstrap molasses, kale, black eyed peas, oranges, turnip greens and others.
3. Eat Enough Calories – As long as you are eating enough calories to maintain your goal weight, remember to add in about 500 calories to account for breastfeeding. You can use a chart from a place like CalorieKing to determine how many calories you need. Input your desired weight and eat at least that amount of calories each day.
4. Drink a Lot of Clear Liquids – When nursing you need more water than when you are not, due to the fact that it is easy to become dehydrated at this time. When you are dehydrated your body will automatically seek to conserve water, causing bloating and even severe fatigue. Outside of the normal recommended eight glasses of water per day, always ensure that you have a nice tall glass of water every time you sit down to nurse to get that extra hydration you need.
5. Eat Fruit – Fruit has got a bad rap due to people being nervous about sugar. But the truth is fruit has a lot of fiber in it too, which slows the absorption of sugar. In addition, it’s nutritionally dense food that is low in calories. It also has a lot of liquid in it that will help keep you hydrated. If you find that you’re hungry between meals, snack on some juicy fruit instead of crackers and chips.
6. Eat Raw Veggies – If you can consume a small salad before every meal, being careful not to add fatty dressings to it, you can get a lot more nutrition into your day and easily cut calories. Try mixing up the greens to add variety. Don’t be afraid to add fruit and other delicious ingredients to your salad. You can even make a dressing by blending fruit with balsamic vinegar.
7. Eat Good Fat – Coconut, banana, avocado and salmon are examples of good fats which are not processed. Avoid processed fat including olive oil. If you want to use olive oil on your salad, the key is to measure carefully. Eyeballing liquid fat is dangerous.
8. Avoid Junk Food – Empty calories that sometimes are disguised as things that are good for you should be avoided. This includes flavored yogurt, granola, peanut butter, energy bars and so forth. If you need a snack, make your own fresh instead of using anything packaged.
Eating for high nutrition will not only help you lose your baby weight, but it will also ensure that you have high quality milk for your nursing baby. That will pay off for years to come.