Breastfeeding Diet – 4 Tips for a Safe Breastfeeding Diet

Often times women who have just given birth are anxious to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. While this goal is well understood, losing weight while breastfeeding is a delicate process – wait at least 6 weeks after birth to start any doctor-approved weight-loss program. After this time, here are a few simple but powerful tips for a safe breastfeeding diet.

    1.) Limit alcohol intake. Not only does alcohol get into breast milk, alcohol consumption can hinder any efforts made to lose weight. Alcoholic drinks not only contain a lot of calories, but excessive consumption can disturb sleep – which is essential to any weight loss plan.
    2.) Get some sleep! You’ll need all the energy you can get while raising a child, and there’s no better source of energy than sufficient deep sleep. Sleep is vital to good health, peak energy levels and maximum productivity, and thus will aid your breastfeeding diet. Moreover, generally speaking, studies show that women who get 7 or more hours of sleep a night tend to weight less than those who only sleep 5 hours or so per night. While it was originally thought that sleep directly affects hormones that control appetite, thus causing women to eat more, it actually turns out that women who sleep less, eat less, and still gain weight. The cause of this is unclear, but theories abound that sleep changes may affect the number of calories burned while resting, or those who sleep less tend to also move less, thus burning fewer calories.
    3.) Do some light exercising. Fortunately for nursing women, breastfeeding alone burns approximately 600 calories a day. Combine with walking or a workout video a few times a week until you get into a routine. Of course, you should only begin an exercise program once your doctor tells you it’s okay to do so.
    4.) Eat a well-balanced diet. For optimum health for both you and your baby, it is absolutely imperative that you eat a well-balanced diet incorporating a variety of foods. This means eating approximately five servings of both fruits and vegetables a day, as well as whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy and lean meats. If you can’t or don’t consume animal products, it is important to take a calcium supplement and to make sure you get a proper amount of protein.

Keep in mind that it will likely take 10 months to a year to get back to pre-pregnancy weight. It is inadvisable to attempt to lose weight in a quicker time frame, as rapid weight loss releases the toxins stored in body fat cells into the bloodstream. These toxins will, in turn, get into the milk supply and can damage your baby’s health. Fortunately, many women find that they tend to lose weight naturally, so you will not need to worry about putting in excessive amounts of effort.

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