After giving birth, the doctors assured me that nursing would help shrink my uterus back down to its normal size, helping eliminate some of that extra baby pouch that was still there—one of the things they don’t tell you about when you’re pregnant. It definitely helped. And, one thing I found to be true for me was that losing weight while breastfeeding wasn’t the hardest part; the struggle came in maintaining.
I never took the time to figure out how to calculate how many calories I burned while breastfeeding (like really, who has time for that?). But according to multiple sources, depending on how much and how often your baby eats, you could burn up to 600 calories a day while breastfeeding. I’ve been nursing about eight times a day for about ten months now so let’s just say that’s a lot of burned calories.
Completing the Whole30 program also helped me with losing weight while breastfeeding because it gave my body the reset it needed to jumpstart a lifestyle of healthier eating. Now, I’m about two months shy of reaching my 12-month nursing goal. And, as my journey nears its end, I’m going to miss the days when I could rely on nursing my son to burn off all of those post-pregnancy cravings.
Ways to Maintain After Losing Weight While Breastfeeding
While breastfeeding helped me lose weight, it’s up to me to make an extra effort to maintain a healthy weight. I’ve already begun to make subtle changes to my lifestyle so that staying fit isn’t such a hassle.
Here’s what I’ve been working on:
- Maintaining a balanced diet. For me, a balanced diet means eating enough veggies so that I don’t feel bad about those chocolate chip cookies for dessert. No, but seriously. As cliche as it may sound, abs are truly made in the kitchen. Proper nutrition is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. I do slip up sometimes but since completing the Whole30 program, I’m a lot more careful about what foods I put into my body.
- Drinking more water. I’d be lying if I told you I drank the recommended daily amount of water. That’s something that I know I need to work on. Though, I find that I drink more water when I have a supply of bottled water on hand versus dispensing a glass from the fridge door.
- Exercising. Here’s another thing that I’m going to have to make an extra effort to get done. Having a busy baby is no excuse. There’s ample time to workout before he wakes in the morning and during naps. And when he’s awake, he’s a great workout buddy—except when he’s laughing at me while I’m dying from exhaustion during a jump rope warm-up.
- Taking probiotics. Gut health is extremely important. I found that taking a daily probiotic helps keep me “regular” and eliminates bloat caused by excessive water weight. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I can appreciate feeling a lot less bloated.
As I introduce my son to new foods and begin the weaning process, I can already feel my body changing. I’m thankful to be smaller now than before I was pregnant and I owe most of the credit to breastfeeding. But, soon I won’t be able to burn calories by just sitting on the couch feeding my son so I’ll enjoy it while I can.
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