SO, baby is now about 3 months old and you still have baby fat to lose. You are ready to go on a diet BUT you are nursing.
I struggled with this. My body actually did not want to lose weight until I was done nursing. I hung onto every last 10lbs till my babies were at least 9 months old or I got my first menstrual cycle. It totally stunk, but worth it for me to continue to nurse. Other moms actually lose a ton of weight from nursing. (I SO wish I was one of them.) But, these moms sometimes gain weight back when they are finished nursing. Every body is different. Your body may not react the same as your best friend’s so try your best not compare or pass judgement.
According to Kelly’s Mom there are six basic guidelines to follow when dieting and nursing.
6 Basic Guidelines to Follow When Dieting and Nursing
1. Wait until baby is at least 2 months old before you start to diet. Your body needs to establish a healthy milk supply before you restrict your caloric intake. By nursing, you are burning 200-500 extra calories per day, so even without dieting, you are burning extra calories.
2. Breastfeed without restriction. Breastfeed frequently and for longer than six months reduces maternal weight loss.
3. While nursing, you should not consume less than 1500-1800 calories per day. Most woman need to stay at the high end of this range and some woman even need to be above it. By eating less calories per day you may be putting your milk supplement at risk.
4. Keep weight loss at less than 1.5 pounds per week. You should be able to safely loose 1.5 pounds per week or 6 pounds per month after the second month without affecting the baby’s milk supply or well-being.
5. Decrease calories gradually. A sudden drop in calories could decrease your milk supply. When mothers are ill and dehydrated or are taking a medication they have a higher risk of their milk supply decreasing.
6. Avoid quick-fix solutions. Avoid low-carb diets, fad diets, and weight loss medications.
Weight Loss Tips
1. Make dietary changes. Decrease your fat intake to 20-25% or less of total calories. Eat lots of protein to reduce the loss of muscle mass. The recommended intake of protein for nursing mothers is 65grams per day for the first six months and 62grams per day for months six-twelve.
2. Spread your caloric intake out. Instead of eating 2-3 larger meals, eat 3 small meals and snack in-between. Your body will be less likely to go into starvation mode by making this lifestyle change.
3. Exercise moderately. Your body will burn more fat while keeping lean muscle mass by exercising. Resistance and weight training is a great way to build muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn even while resting.
Specific Weight Loss Methods
1. Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers even has a specific program for nursing mothers.
2. My Fitness Pal. This program is free and allows you to count your calories and calculates your nutrient details.
Losing the baby weight is a frustrating task. From a mommy who gained 47lbs with BOTH pregnancies, I am telling you it is NOT easy to take the weight off. It took me a full year to loose the weight with both of my kiddos. I am pretty sure I have every size of jeans in closet from 0-12….and I am not getting rid of any of them!!