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Breastfeeding Diet: How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

      As a retired lactation consultant, mother of 3 and grandmother of one, I get asked this question quite often:  "How do I loose the baby weight?"  More recently I was asked about diet pills, which are unsafe for the nursing mother.  That caused me to take action so I am giving you a guideline below based on two decades of experience and the additional 500 calories per day needed by nursing mothers or 1000 extra calories if you are nursing twins.  As with any diet, consult your doctor before beginning this and do no begin until the baby is at least 3 months old. 
     Losing weight is not necessarily how much you eat, but what combination of foods you eat in order to jump start your metabolism.  Start by measuring yourself and not just weighing yourself because you begin to lose inches faster than pounds so it is encouraging to see the smaller waistline, etc.  An inexpensive food scale and measuring cups is helpful for this process.  Do not “cheat” by exchanging servings and eat everything recommended in the course of the day.  Serving size for veggies is 1 cup and fruit 1 apple, orange, etc. 

7 oz meat (nothing fried; cheese is included in this category)

3 fruit

2-3 non-starchy vegetable (not peas or corn)

4 bread (1 cup pasta, regular sliced bread  = 1, but a muffin or biscuit = 2)

3 cup dairy (1% milk or yogurt, not Yoplait or any brand with corn syrup, no ice cream)

1 fat = (1 TBS salad dressing or peanut butter or low-fat mayonnaise)

Weight loss varies depending on how much weight you gained during the last pregnancy ad this weight comes of faster than extra pounds that have been there for years.  Typical weight loss after you reach pre-pregnancy weight should be 1-2 lbs per week, do don't skimp on food to make it go faster. You are better off keeping weight off than loosing too quickly!  Please don't make your goal getting back into your favorite jeans from high school, that is unrealistic.  You goal is a healthy weight, womanly curves are not your enemy.  After all, you need hips to carry your toddler around!

For additional breastfeeding tips, visit our website!

Happy, healthy eating!
Tanya Roberts
Lactation Connection


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