Breastfeeding – Weight Loss
How can I lose my pregnancy weight without affecting my breastmilk?
Many women find that breastfeeding burns up so much energy that pregnancy weight falls off easily. However it is important to lose your excess weight in a slow and steady manner. Breastfeeding is extremely demanding on a woman’s body, and a good diet is absolutely essential. So the first point is to make good nutritional decisions and get most of your kilojoules from healthy foods such as lean protein sources and plenty of fruit and vegetables. There will be a huge difference in the well being and energy of two people who have the same energy intake, yet one person eats lots of sugar and fat (such as biscuits, sweets and fried fatty foods) while the other makes healthy choices and keeps sugar and fat intake to a minimum. You need all the energy you can get so it is worth eating healthily and having the occasional treat.
Below is a rough diet guideline listing daily requirements for a balanced diet during breastfeeding which will enable you to loose your excess weight slowly but still maintain your energy levels:
• Protein – 3 servings
Make sure that at least one portion of protein is iron-rich.
1 serving comprises – around 100g lean meat, fish/chicken, 2-3 eggs, 2-3 glasses skimmed milk and 125g low fat cottage cheese
• Vegetables – 3 servings minimum
Make sure that you get a good mixture of green, yellow and red vegetables to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins that you require. Vitamin C intake is important for the health of breastfeeding moms so try and buy very fresh and high quality fresh produce.
1 serving comprises – 2 small tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of cooked green vegetables, ¼ small sweet potato, 1 medium green pepper, 3 tablespoons of mushrooms, green beans, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, peas or Brussel sprouts.
• Fruit – 2 servings minimum
Once again a mixture of fruits of different colour will provide a variety of vitamins.
1 serving comprises – 1 apple, orange, banana, peach, pear – half a mango, grapefruit, pawpaw or guava – 3 tablespoons strawberries, cherries, grapes, blueberries
• Complex carbohydrates – 6 servings
Stay away from white bread, biscuits, white flour and try to have whole wheat or unrefined carbohydrates. This will minimize the possibility of blood sugar problems.
1 serving comprises – 1 slice whole wheat bread – 2 rice cakes – 40g cooked brown rice – 25g whole wheat pasta
• High fat foods – 4 servings per day max
Remember that much of this fat will come from the food you are already consuming, and that your fat intake needs to be carefully controlled to help with your weight loss efforts.
1 serving comprises – 50g hard cheeses such as cheddar – 3 tablespoons single cream – 3 tablespoons nuts – 2 large eggs
This is a vital aspect of a breast feeding diet, as if the mother’s diet is poor in calcium then it will be drawn from the bones of the mother, which can have repercussions in later life. As with fat, you need to check how much calcium you are getting from the existing diet before adding more food. This reinforces the point that choosing nutritious food is essential.
1 serving comprises – 40g cheddar cheese, 1 glass milk, 7 tablespoons broccoli and 170ml canned salmon.
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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.