Lets discuss some weight loss solutions that will work quickly without any health risks. Does that exist? In this article I'll talk about some common concerns for you to be aware of, weight loss tips to get you started and things you should definitely avoid while breastfeeding. I'll also suggest a safe option for those of you who are interested in a plan that works.
How soon is too soon to start dieting?
Some experts feel that you should wait at least 2 months before starting any diet plan. This should give your body enough time to recover and establish a good milk supply. This is a very safe recommendation that applies to most women. However, everyone is different, and the best answer is to listen to your body. You are the best person to judge when deciding the time to start your weight loss plan. That said, I've seen women safely lose their pregnancy weight within 6-8 weeks! A more realistic expectation would be more like a few short months.
What's the average weight gain during pregnancy?
Well that's a tough one to answer without damaging some egos. Usually 30-40 lbs. is average. The good news is that women can lose up to 20lbs of that weight during childbirth and in the first weeks that follow! Don't feel bad if you've gained more than 40 lbs. If anything, your baby is better off for it! Much of the weight you gained was vital to the health of your baby as it developed.
What if I lose weight too quickly?
This is a valid if not uncommon concern. In most cases of rapid weight loss it is not the quality or quantity of the breast milk that you should worry about but the overall nutrition and health of the mother. (Although excessive dieting can diminish milk supply). Usually 1-2 lbs. a week is the most you should be losing.
WHAT TO AVOID
Steer Clear of "Quick-Fix" Diets.
Most experts if not all will agree that "fad" or "rapid" weight loss programs should be avoided like the plague when you are breastfeeding! Here is a list of reasons why:
Fat-soluble environmental contaminants and toxins are stored in body fat. When caloric intake is severely restricted, these toxins are released into the milk. OK so what is "severely restricted? I don't know the exact definition of "severely restricted", as I'm sure it is different for everyone but I would expect it to be significantly under 1500 calories per day. Mothers with poor diets deplete their own energy levels and run a risk of becoming anemic. The mother's bodies will pull nutrients from the their own energy stores in order to continue producing the milk their baby needs. This depletion will cut into your lean tissues (your muscles), and your bones causing you to lose muscle tone and bone density. This can have a lasting effect on overall health Accelerated attempts to lose weight while breastfeeding can put your baby's nutrition at risk, as your body will begin to produce substances called Ketones that could potentially make your breast milk unhealthy. You should not be taking any weight-loss drugs, following a liquid diet or cutting your calories below the recommended amount for your height and build.
Don't take advice from the so-called "experts" at the gym. It's probably safe to assume that they are neither doctors nor breastfeeding experts. They get paid to sell you the supplements that their gym offers and are very good at telling you what you want to hear in order to get you to buy their products. Some of the manufacturers of these products clearly state that pregnant or nursing mothers should not take them. Most of these products are made up of a combination of various ingredients, some of which can affect your milk and consequently your baby. It's not worth taking any chances.
Here are a few TIPS to get you started.
No More "3 squares a day"
Avoid eating 2-3 large meals a day and instead eat 3 smaller meals with snacks between. You want to "graze" all day-no gorging. This will keep your body out of "starvation mode" and it will be less likely to store fat. Small snacks like nuts, fruit, string cheese and whole grain crackers make great snacks that are easy to take on the go. Most women in this country don't suffer from a lack of food, but from eating too much of the wrong foods.
Watch What Goes In:
Try to keep your fat intake to 20-25% or less of the total amount of calories you consume. Avoid lowering your protein intake as this can lead to a depletion in muscle mass. Lean muscle mass burns fat and calories so the more you have the easier it will be to lose weight. It's recommended that nursing mother's intake about 65 grams of protein daily for the first 6 months.
Light resistance training will help you build lean muscle and speed up your metabolism. This will help you burn more fat and calories-even when resting.
SUGGESTED SAFE OPTIONS
Aside from those who choose to lose weight with sheer strength of will and unrelenting determination, most people prefer to have a plan. A guide or structure of some kind has proven to be the most effective route to losing weight. Unfortunately like people, all diet plans are different and consequently what works for one may not work for another. Most experts agree that the only truly effective way to lose and maintain a healthy amount of weight is to have a custom plan made to work just for you.
As I've stated already, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. I have researched many of them and can say that there are as many good as there are bad. Unfortunately it seems that you have to look a lot harder for the good ones. Of all the research I've done, there is one product that I think far surpasses all the rest.
It is a plan called Strip That Fat. In many ways it is like other diet plans out there but there are a few key differences that make it special. Strip That Fat allows you to create a personal diet plan made just for you based on foods that you like to eat. It will generate a unique plan designed specifically to work for you and you alone. This feature by itself is the most valuable part of the whole program but there are many other advantages that I will discuss as well. This is a downloadable program that provides instant access to all the resources you need. It will also create a printable shopping list and diet outline for you. As well, you can generate as many unique diets as you want. And there are no recurring fees, it is not a subscription based plan and you will receive any and all future updates to the software for free once you start
There are way too many advantages in the plan to list here. To learn more about Strip That Fat, visit another article I wrote about safe weight loss after pregnancy by clicking the blue "HERE" link below.
Here is some good news: women who breastfeed will actually lose weight faster than those who do not.
Research shows that increased weight loss after pregnancy can be directly attributed to both more frequent breastfeeding and breastfeeding for longer than six months. So keep up the good work and don't give up until you find a solution that works for you. It's out there, I promise!
Fad diets, liquid diets, crash diets, weight loss medications, and any other plan that promises quick weight loss are dangerous to you and your baby. They can cause your body to release contaminants into your bloodstream like PCB's and pesticides that are stored in fat. This increases the odds that these toxins will be present in your milk.
It's no help that you may be hungrier while you are breastfeeding. This is an internal mechanism to make sure that your diet is rich in nutrients. But hunger is not your enemy, bad nutrition and a poor dieting plan is. With the right plan you should be able to eat the foods you love in combination with a moderate exercise routine and safely lose all the baby weight you want.