How Breastfeeding Helps with Weight Loss

How Breastfeeding Helps with Weight Loss

Congratulations, you recently had a baby and now you have the addition of a beautiful baby boy or girl to your family.  Now that your joy has subsided and you have clearance from your physician to begin light exercise, where do you start?  Do you begin with cardio?  Change your diet?  You probably will start with these both, but if weight loss is something you want to be accelerated in the post-natal state, your prime opportunity is when you begin breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural human processes known.  It serves a vital purpose for infants and it can save money when compared to formula.  In addition, breastfeeding may be your ideal way to lose that little extra following your delivery.  Listed below are some ways to help you lose weight while breastfeeding.  These tips should further help encourage you to breastfeed your new born to help keep both you and the baby healthy and happy.

How Breastfeeding Helps with Weight Loss

  • Burn the calories breastfeeding. There are mixed results as to whether or not breastfeeding can actually help you shed the pounds after delivery, but promising observations have been made.  While many will state that you should add 300 calories to your daily intake when you are breastfeeding, this could be your prime opportunity to help shed the pounds [1].  While skipping the additional 300 calories may not dramatically affect your energy levels and your milk production, just make sure not to skimp on the overall total calories you eat during the day.  Eating too few calories every day when you are breastfeeding could cause the milk to stop being produced, which means your baby will need formula, which adds more expenses to your budget.  Aim to eat at least the daily intake you would when maintaining your weight and stick with this.  This will leave a 300 calories reduction every day and can benefit your weight loss.
  • Eat Healthy. Following your delivery and after you have received the ok to begin light activity, you are at more of a chance to lose weight post-partum.  As long as you eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet with sufficient calories, you are setting yourself up to lose weight in a healthy way.  Be cautious on trying to lose weight too quickly following delivery because if you excessively diet, perform high-intensity exercise, or skip some meals your breastmilk could be affected with byproducts and toxins from this lifestyle [2].  The process of weight loss after delivery should be slow-and-steady.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are typically in better shape. While some may argue that breastfeeding may or may not lose weight following delivery, one intriguing aspect is that nursing mothers are typically in better shape and more fit than those who do not breastfeed [3].  Even though it may not be an exact science, when a mother is breastfeeding, it takes calories to produce the milk and a well-balanced diet can help nourish the calories needed during the nursing process.  In addition, a well-balanced diet and an excess of calories will help the nursing mother feel fit and ready to tackle the joys ahead of motherhood.  A better diet with nutrient dense foods typically helps maintain high energy levels which could mean the difference of that evening 20-minute walk and sitting on the couch in front of the TV.
  • Burn your calories from breastfeeding. Wait, wasn’t this already described above?  Yes, but now this is a pitch to really work hard at making the effort to breastfeed.  Did you know that you could burn about 850 calories daily when you breastfeed [4]?  While you may be using 850 calories just during the feeding process, remember that you must have sufficient energy to produce this milk.  Add in light exercise every day such as walking and housework and you are likely to be closer to 1,000 calories daily.  However, make sure to snack and try to avoid being too hungry during this time.

During this joyous time in your life, take the time to experience the joy of bringing a new life into the world.  During your opportunity of breastfeeding, consider using this method as a healthy and natural means to nourish your new born.  In addition, the calories used during the breastfeeding process will help you to lose those extra pounds in your subcutaneous tissue.  Avoid dieting, excessive exercise, and trying to lose weight in a hurry during this time.  Losing weight in a slow and steady manner will be more satisfying and it tends to be more effective when the weight loss is slow.







About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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