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NEW MOM’s HEALTH AND FITNESS- PART 4

Sahil Pathania
Sahil Pathania
Lately I have come across many queries regarding weight loss and breastfeeding, there are many misconceptions related to breast feeding and weight loss. In this write up I will try to provide you an overview of do’s and don’ts during this phase. Breastfeeding has been widely proclaimed and praised as natural weight loss practice without much scientific description. There are number of reasons to propound that, only sitting back and letting baby suck all the calories doesn’t work.

Let’s start with some calculations 😊, on an average, a woman may deposit 4kg of fat during pregnancy and to lose each kilogram you need to create a 7,700-calorie deficit. So, if you are exclusively breastfeeding than your baby may be using somewhere between 500 (in initial 2 months) to 700 calories per day as baby grows up. According to this theory for every breastfeeding week, mother should be losing around half a kilogram of fat and within two months, shall be back to her pre pregnancy weight. But many of us will surely testify that it is rarely this simple and it’s often tough to lose those extra kilos.
Breastfeeding has been regarded as licence to eat more and go overboard with calories. The new mom is always under stress of decreasing milk supply and hence always underestimate the calories going in. So, if you are eating a muffin with Grande latte than you surely busting the bubble of calorie deficit created by breast feeding.

Moreover, there is also biological pressure on mothers’ body to eat more as prolactin (milk producing hormone) increases appetite, additionally lack of sleep dis-balances “hunger hormones” leptin and ghrelin, increasing cravings for sweet, salty, fried, starchy food. Plus, breastfeeding is a kind of sedentary task and new moms are often busy and exhausted to find time to exercise.

You must be wondering than how to lose those extra kilos. Here are some suggestions which can help you to shed extra fat without affecting your milk supply. But do take green signal from your doctor before making any change in your regimen

----- DO’S----

> Postpartum weight loss of 0.5 kg to 1 kg per month is good.
> If over weight than not greater than 2 kg per month are advisable.
> Include high satiety food in your diet.
> Include enough fruits and vegetables.
> Stay hydrated.
> Try to increase physical activities.
> Rest and sleep as and when possible.

----- DON’TS-----

> Do not opt for liquid, fruit or high calorie deficit diets.
> Avoid low satiating and calorie dense foods.
> Smoking and alcohol are complete NO NO.
> Avoid too much caffeine intake.
> Avoid stressing over weight and your physique.
> Do not skip meals as they decrease the milk supply.
> Stop comparing yourself with others.

It took long nine months to gain that weight, how you can imagine getting rid of it within weeks, so don’t stress over it. Be kind to your body as you ease into dieting and exercise. For some it takes six to nine months to get back to pre-pregnancy weight but for some it can be slow. The post-partum struggle of super-sporty Serena Williams to shift her weight is an example that breastfeeding alone is of no help to shed extra kilos despite her sugar free vegan diet. One must work on principle of energy balance to get rid of extra kilos and being physically fit can aid in that process. Always remember it’s YOU vs YOU, Stay fit Stay Healthy.

Part1, Part2 and Part3:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2544803408912289/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/squatsjc/permalink/2543237032402260/
https://www.facebook.com/sahil.pathania.184/posts/10157248649992527