If you’re a breastfeeding mama like I am then you know all about the benefits of nursing your baby. Weight loss is one of them. And though of course weight loss isn’t guaranteed while breastfeeding, it’s pretty common. So no reason this awesome “side effect” couldn’t effect me right?… Wrong! I usually fall into that possible 10% category. You know like if you have to take medicine for any reason and you start reading about possible side effects 90% of people experience this, and only about 10% experience that. That’s me, that uncommon 10%.
Anyway, while I was pregnant with my son my weight gain was pretty average. I don’t remember the exact number but I gained roughly about 25 pounds by the end of my pregnancy. That’s about the same amount I gained during my first pregnancy with my daughter so it’s what I consider average. The real weight gain for me came after my son was born and I started nursing. I noticed that along with being EXTREMELY THIRSTY (seriously I was drinking enough water to get a small village through the summer) came long periods of time that I was always hungry and I didn’t even notice it until one day I went to burger king and ordered a large whopper meal (with cheese of course) I ate the entire meal. Every fry. The whole burger. And I still wasn’t full, I actually felt like I could have another.
Now I know a whopper meal might not seem like a lot but those burgers are pretty damn big! Normally I would eat about half the burger before I would wrap it up and save it for later. Anyway, that was my big “WTF” moment. The moment it dawned on me that I’ve been eating way too much. It took double my normal amount to make me feel full. I started to research breastfeeding and weight gain and I was a little surprised to see there were so many other nursing mamas gaining weight as well.
I think the shock stems from almost every article you come across about the benefits of breastfeeding weight loss it right there at the top of the list. It sounds aahhmazing, right? Everywhere I looked there were women saying things like
“The weight fell right off”
“I ate whatever I wanted while breastfeeding and still lost weight”
“I noticed my body shrinking immediately”
Nourishing your baby while burning calories, yes, please!
Well, I’m here to tell you don’t fall for the hype! While yes some women do just naturally just drop the weight as soon as the baby latches on it seems. There are a lot of things that factor into that like pre-pregnancy weight, activity level, metabolism, and the big one GENETICS amongst other things.
But if you’re feeling a little frustrated like I was don’t worry girl, I got you! I’ve compiled a list of simple changes you can make to drop lbs safely and continue to nurse that precious little baby or toddler of yours!
Only drink water… AND coffee
This was probably one of the hardest little changes I had to make but cutting out soda and juice cuts tons of calories. Water makes you feel fuller longer. And coffee in the morning because who can function without any kind of caffeine?… Not I sir! Black coffee is best but I just can NOT! I add a little bit of hazelnut creamer in mine, no sugar.
Of course, you can join a gym, I usually just go to the gym in the office clubhouse and walk on the treadmill for about an hour. Regular walks outside are just as good so strap that baby in the stroller grab that bottle or sippy cup and get moving. (Added Bonus) walks are usually calming for babies and most likely will lead to naptime. Another simple but just as effective method is through youtube videos. Find a workout that you like and do cardio for 20 minutes or so right in your living room.
Be mindful of what you eat
It’s all too easy to overeat while breastfeeding. I found that it’s easier to add healthier foods and get used to it before I cut anything unhealthy out. Just recently I added cauliflower and pistachios as snack substitutes instead of chips. The small steps add up. if you make drastic changes all at once you’re most likely to fail.
Plan your meals
This one is a biggie. If your meals and snacks are planned in advance the chances of you grabbing a quick bite to eat from a fast food restaurant are reduced drastically.
Simple enough right? It’s easy to put your needs on the back burner after you start having kids so something as simple as getting enough sleep can be looked over when there are so many other things you could be doing. You’re constantly waking up through the night to nurse and that time can really add up. Taking a mid-day nap with the baby can leave you feeling more refreshed and when you’re more rested you make better choices.
I’ve managed to lose 8 pounds over the last 2 weeks by just making a few changes. I’ll be documenting this on my Instagram as well. Follow me @tiffanydickiewrites