Pregnancy Weight- You Can (and Will) Lose It, But Your Baby Loves You Regardless
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Let me begin by saying I'm not a doctor and these are just my late-night ramblings. Always consult a physician if you have questions. Don't consult Google.
Did you know that breastfeeding burns a ton of calories? It’s true. One ounce of breastmilk burns 20-22 calories.
You can easily burn 500+ calories a day just by breastfeeding your baby. I mean, if this is the case, guess I’ll be pumping until my kid is 18 and living at college because it really beats exercising.
So how do you lose weight while breastfeeding, the safe, effective way? Keep reading to find out.
Losing the Baby Weight
For starters, don’t worry about your weight unless it's a medical issue your doctor wants you to address. You grew a human. Yup, an amazing little human.
So it's okay that you gained weight. We all do. You have to in order to grow and support a healthy baby.
Just make sure you gain the amount your doctor recommends for a healthy pregnancy.
After all, pregnancy isn't the time to worry about your hour glass figure. All that matters is a happy, healthy baby and preparing for the miracle you're growing inside.
And what that tiny little miracle needs more than anything in the world is a happy, healthy mommy. So cut yourself some slack.
You literally grew and birthed a human being! You’re allowed to have a muffin top!
Your baby loves you no matter what. It’s actually recommended that you eat more than you normally would to account for the calories being lost while breastfeeding. However, those calories should consist of well-rounded options.
If you're wondering how to lose weight while breastfeeding, then keep reading to learn about my personal experiences.
You Are What You Eat
Don’t do like I did and plow into three different types of ice cream in a single sitting two weeks after giving birth to my son.
Yup. You read that correctly. Three different kinds of ice cream, because why not.
Breastfeeding was still allowing me to lose weight but once I decided to clean up my diet the weight literally started to melt off. It took me about 4.5 months to lose all the baby weight, and the first two months consisted of me eating everything that wasn’t nailed down.
But I was still losing weight because of breastfeeding. Once I cleaned up my diet I lost all the baby weight, and then some. Here’s what you need to know about weight loss.
A Pound by Any Other Name Is Still a Pound
A pound is equal to about 3500 calories. If you were to cut 500 calories a day, you’d, in theory, lose a pound a week.
Do I recommend cutting 500 calories a day? Hell no.
First off, as a former spin instructor, that’s the same as doing one hell of a nasty cardio session EVERY SINGLE DAY. And too much cardio is actually counterproductive and bad for you.
Yup. Too much cardio is BAD FOR YOU. So is cutting 500 calories a day, especially while breastfeeding.
I personally don’t recommend cutting calories at all when breastfeeding, and any kind of high-intensity exercise can cause your milk to taste sour due to lactic acid being released. Now's not the time to worry about you fit into skinny jeans- baby's health is most important.
This is what I suggest: stick to healthy foods. Eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. Watch the fats you eat (although, let’s be realistic- we need some junk food to stop from going bat shit insane while home with a baby) and be careful not to eat tooooooo many carbs (I can’t even say this with a straight face. I literally ate an entire knee-high bag of animal crackers in less than a week.)
In all honesty, just keep your food in check and try not to eat a whole pizza for dinner and you should be set. I do, however, avoid white bread, pasta that isn’t whole wheat, and white rice, for the most part.
I’ve learned that with enough red sauce, whole-wheat pasta isn’t too terribly vile.
Be careful when you go out to dinner because you KNOW that food is riddled with butter and oil. Although, if you have kids, chances are you’re not going out to dinner because more likely than not, your hair hasn’t been brushed since…..and your teeth haven’t been brushed…...and your underwear has been flipped inside out to get two days out of one pair…...and if you saw another adult you wouldn’t even know what to do with yourself, so yeah.
Just stick to clean foods made at home. You know. The food you can prepare when someone isn’t kicking you in the boobs, pulling your hair, pooping in your lap, puking on your neck, or farting on your finger.
Yeah. That all happens when you have kids.
But you need to remember you didn’t gain the weight overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight. And that's perfectly fine and well and good.
All that's important is that you’re healthy because, at the end of the day, your kids need a healthy momma, and nothing less.
Exercise With Baby
So try some fun exercises that you can do with your baby. CariFit on YouTube has some amazing workouts where you actually WEAR your baby.
You use the weight of your baby to do cardio and resistance training. It’s an awesome way to spend time with your bub, and a great way to lose weight and tone up!
Another moderate-intensity activity I recommend is a walk-in place video, also on YouTube. They’re awesome. You literally walk in place.
My son thinks it’s the funniest thing, watching me walk in the bedroom like a hamster on a wheel. I make a little game of it.
I’ll play his favorite songs in the background and sing along to them while walking in place. I’ll pick him up and carry him with me, watching him smile and giggle the whole time.
As long as you’re up and moving, you’ll lose weight. Remember to have fun and everything in moderation. And if you don't lose all the pregnancy weight, so what? You kid is gonna love you no matter what. For the record, I lost the baby weight in 4.5 months and promptly gained it all back, plus some. And my kid still loves me.
Remember to eat smart, exercise, and stay positive. Oh, and consult a physician because I'm just a stranger on Google, not a doctor. Just sayin'.