The Facts About Breastfeeding And Weight Loss
Gaining weight when pregnant is natural and weight loss during pregnancy is not recommended because you’re eating for two. But getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight is definitely desirable.
There are many weight loss diets to choose from and these are fine if your formula feeding, but if your breast feeding these may not be the a safest option.
That’s why women who aren’t using formula want to know if there’s a link between breastfeeding and weight loss.
Can You Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
You certainly can. Shortly before your baby is born your breasts begin to fill up with milk. Breast milk is converted from the fat reserves you built up during your pregnancy.
Not only is breast milk the best way to feed and support the health of your new born baby, its also the most efficient way to use up your fat reserves.
Furthermore, the process of producing breast milk uses up a considerable amount of energy. In fact, converting your fat stores into milk can burn up to 750 to 800 calories per day.
However, its not recommended to use up these fat reserves too fast, you want to do this gradually. In order to do this you actually need to increase your calorie intake to around 500 calories more that you needed before you became pregnant.
You’re probably thinking how am I suppose to lose weight if I have to increase my calorie intake.
This is okay because what this does is stimulate your body’s metabolism to burn off 250 to 300 calories a day – which is the equivalent of 30 mins of mild cardio exercise – all from breastfeeding.
Although eating an extra 500 calories may feel counterintuitive, you just need to remember you’re eating for 2 people. The fact is, you’ll need those extra calories to produce the milk and when you think about its a far more natural and safer way to lose weight.
Breastfeeding And Dieting
The common advice for losing weight is to lower your caloric intake by going on a diet. However, many breastfeeding mothers find it difficult to lose weight, especially when trying to reduce their intake of calories.
Actually, reducing calories while breastfeeding can have the opposite effect
Because eating less triggers your body into starvation mode. This actually slows down your metabolic rate, so you burn fewer calories. That’s why you should eat more not less when your breast feeding your baby.
Fast Weight Loss And Breastfeeding
The growth of post pregnancy weight loss diets have become very popular, especially with the high profile of celebrity moms who lose weight quickly after the birth of their babies.
Many of these diets promise rapid weight loss by reducing your intake of carbohydrates. Although low carb dieting and breastfeeding has not shown any adverse effects they should be approached with caution.
For one thing, lowering your intake of carbs can reduce your weight, but this is mostly due to water loss not fat. For breastfeeding moms this can be a problem, because they need this water to produce breast milk.
Secondly, reducing calories will impact your body’s ability top produce sufficient amounts of breast milk for your baby.
Breastfeeding And Weight Loss Pills
Using weight loss pills can be an effective way to help overweight mothers lose weight. For mothers who are feeding their baby with formula milk, using diet pills is not a problem, however if you decide to breast feed there are a few things you need to consider.
For example, you need to be aware the ingredients within the diet pills will be absorbed into your body and transferred to your breast milk and then your baby.
There are over the counter diet pills you can buy such as Alli, however they have been known to cause side effects and they should not be used while breastfeeding.
The best advice is not to take any form of diet pill while breast feeding. You don’t really need them as your body is naturally doing it while your breast feeding your baby.
Once you’ve fully weaned your baby you can consider many of the safe and natural weight loss supplements for women we recommend here.