I’ve had a lot of mamas talk to me about wanting to lose weight and tone up but don’t think they can because they are breastfeeding: “I can’t diet or I’ll lose my milk supply” “If I exercise too much I’ll never make enough milk” “There’s no TIME to workout when I have a baby on my boob around the clock!”
I get it. There are a ton of excuses to make- but if your goal is to lose some, all, or an excess of those pregnancy pounds, you are going to have to change your habits! There is a healthy, balanced way to do this that will BENEFIT your little nursling with awesome nutrition- not kill your milk supply.
Remember, everyone is SO different- your hormone balance, the needs of your baby, and your metabolism all effect how your body will change after childbirth and through breastfeeding. Of course, this advice is from my personal experience. Check with your doctor or midwife before making any dietary or exercise changes 😉
Here is what worked for me to keep the milk, lose the pounds and build the muscle!
1. EXERCISE! Exercise has never, EVER affected my milk supply! Exercise it the perfect way to burn calories, build muscle, and turn on your metabolism. It will give you more energy, boost your mood, extend your patience and get your body STRONG! Find a routine that works for you- something that fits into your schedule, is fun, and that you don’t dread! I started with yoga and walking a few weeks after Wes was born, and worked my way up to more challenging cardio and muscle building workouts as my body felt stronger. 30 minutes 4-6 days a week should do it!
2. HYDRATE! So. Much. Water. I’ve gone through phases where I set an alarm every 2 hours to fill up my water bottle. My magic number is 120oz per day while nursing. I know that is a lot! When you’re exercising hard and feeding a growing baby, you need it!
3. Eat! Eat CLEAN, Eat OFTEN and EAT A LOT! When you are breastfeeding you need to be eating A LOT of super nutritious, dense, high (healthy) fat foods to produce good quality milk for your baby. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, clean, organic protein, and slow-digesting whole grains. Switch your thinking to “what foods SHOULD I eat” instead of “what foods am I deprived of?” Find a plan that balances fat, carbohydrates, protein, fruits and veggies into a well-rounded, super nutritious diet.
4. Track what you’re eating. This is so important! You need to learn how to eat in balance (carbs all day doesn’t build muscle!) – and while you are learning, you’re going to have to keep track somehow. There are tons of apps out there- or a good old notebook will do the trick until you get the hang of things
5. Skip the cleanses and quick fixes. Now is not that time 🙂
6. Avoid Sugar. Really. Just quit it. It’s addictive, wrecks havoc on your health and hormones and is devoid of ANY nutrients. Start making your own clean treats at home- replace processed sugar with applesauce, dates, coconut sugar, or stevia.
7. Quit the excuses! Make it non-negotiable that you WILL exercise every SINGLE day. Staying active is #1 for losing baby weight! +Babies LOVE to exercise! Wear them, hold them, sit them in their seat so they can watch you and include them! If you start now, they will become toddlers who know that this is just part of the daily routine.
Don’t use nursing as an excuse to have a junk food free-for-all. Yes, you need additional calories, but these are NUTRITIOUS calories! I keep my eating around 80% clean- this leaves room for eating out, get together, parties, and the occasionally NECESSARY chocolate 🙂 The rest of the time I focus on getting protein and veggies with every meal and fill in with carbs and fats for snacks and sides.
8. Listen to your body! Pay attention to your hunger cues. When Wes is going though growth spurt, or up more at night comfort nursing while working on a new tooth, I am MUCH hungrier during the day. Listen to that! Add a healthy snack- apples and peanut butter are my go to for extra health calories. Your body feels hungry for a reason, give it something good to work with 😃
If you need a plan to lose weight and tone up- I can help. I know what works and what doesn’t and I can help you fit healthy habits into your busy life, breastfeeding or not!