Categories: weight loss

How to lose weight while breastfeeding


Discover how to lose weight while breastfeeding.

Your baby is born, and you still have a few pounds left after delivery that you would like to get rid of…

Nothing is more normal for a young woman who has just given birth than to want to lose weight after her pregnancy! But, if she is breastfeeding… Is it time to go on a diet? Health professionals agree to answer no! Explanations…How to lose weight while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding: your ally to losing weight!

And yes! The very fact of breastfeeding your baby helps your body regain its shape more quickly… Indeed, the pounds gained when you were pregnant did not come there just to annoy you: they are useful!

The role of fat stored in the body during pregnancy is precisely to provide mothers with the extra energy they need to produce breast milk l to breastfeed their children.

Thus, by eating varied and balanced meals, you will gradually draw on your reserves and gradually regain your healthy weight after breastfeeding your baby.


Without following a special diet, you, therefore, have an advantage over women who do not breastfeed after giving birth: you should find your equilibrium weight and your pre-pregnancy belly more easily!

Good to know

For this to be verified, be sure to follow the same adage as during pregnancy: “you don’t eat for 2, you eat 2 times better!” “. If you eat for two, even while breastfeeding, your weight may stay the same, or you may even gain pounds during the weeks following the birth of your baby!

Why avoid slimming diets while breastfeeding?

If it is not recommended for mothers who breastfeed their child to start a post-partum diet to lose weight, it is mainly to prevent food restriction from leading to a drop in lactation which could have an impact on weight gain. baby’s weight and health.

As a precaution, it is therefore recommended that the mother avoid any draconian diet aimed at the very rapid loss of calories and kilos related to her pregnancy, but rather adopt a varied and balanced diet, making sure to eat healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, proteins…) at each meal, without forgetting to drink water!

Exercising to lose weight after pregnancy

Another tip to accelerate the return to your ideal weight without starting a diet and calorie hunt from the first weeks of your child’s life: do some physical activity.


If the practice of a sport can only be done by having taken care to do your perineal rehabilitation beforehand from the 6 to 8 weeks following childbirth, nothing prevents you from adopting other habits to take care of your female body: walk during the day, for example, or go to the swimming pool once a week.

Daily exercises will allow you to quickly find the fishing and reinvigorate your body as a young mother!

At first, favour “gentle” sports: activities based on breathing and flexible movements such as walking, swimming, or yoga…

In any case, avoid disciplines that solicit your abdominals too intensely before these are also re-educated. And if you are addicted to your favourite sport, the best thing is to talk about it to the health professional who accompanies you.

Similarly, if you have given birth by cesarean section, it is recommended that you seek advice from your healthcare professional to define with him whether you are fit to resume a sporting activity.

And if you don’t want to join a gym outside, or can, in this case, do sports in cocooning mode, at home!


The influence on your morale and therefore on your patience is probably worth it!

With the resumption of suitable physical activity and favouring a varied, balanced diet that meets your specific needs and your baby during this breastfeeding period, you will already feel lighter and more positive.

This will allow you to stop putting on your pregnancy jeans and put on your good favourite jeans.

But if you still can’t wear your favourite jeans, our advice: buy jeans in your size. Even if it’s only for a few months, putting on some good real jeans will give you a boost in morale and you’ll feel more positive!


Are you a Muslim and do you usually fast during Ramadan? If Islam recommends fasting between sunrise and sunset during the period of Ramadan, just like pregnancy, the breastfeeding period is one of the reasons for exemption from fasting for mothers.


It, therefore, takes a little patience before finding your line. This period is completely normal, do not worry. On the other hand, know that during childbirth, you have already lost about 5 to 6 kg!

To facilitate the loss of other kilos, you will need to adopt a healthy lifestyle: do some exercise during the day and have a balanced diet, spread over 3 meals (avoid snacking).

If your “excess pounds” are really heavy for you to bear after giving birth, do not hesitate, before starting any slimming diet, to consult a dietician-nutritionist to obtain advice for weight loss.

The idea is to wait at least 2 months after the birth of the baby, so that your body has recovered well and that your breastfeeding, and therefore good lactation, is well established.

Tips to lose weight while breastfeeding

We see a lot of misconceptions about weight loss and breastfeeding, some people believe that the weight goes down if you breastfeed while others think that it is difficult to get back to your former body during the period of feeding with milk.

In reality, neither is false, but neither is true either.


Breastfeeding burns extra calories, that’s a fact, about 500 calories a day, to be “exact”! “It’s huge,” you say, but know that losing weight during breastfeeding is rarely given because breastfeeding has this incredible ability to starve the mother!

And hungry, sleep-deprived new moms tend to satisfy their cravings with simple carbs (not exactly ideal for weight loss).

When normal, healthy adults are sleep deprived, they typically increase their carbohydrate intake to compensate for the lack.

1. Don’t pressure yourself

Sorry, but you won’t be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans right away, and trying to put them on in the first few weeks would be daunting.


To give birth, everything in the body expands: the hips expand, the rib cage too. It took nine months to gain that weight, so give yourself at least nine months to lose it and get your body back.

Logical, right?


It is “enough” to ignore excess weight for at least the first two weeks after birth. Honestly, the first two weeks after giving birth can be a nightmare, it’s like boot camp, at least that’s how I felt after my first birth.

During this time, focus on your baby and don’t worry about the diet.

You should even wait six weeks or even longer before actively trying to lose weight.

These first six weeks are a period of transition, it is the time needed for a baby to adapt to the rhythms of the outside world and for both him and mom to get used to breastfeeding.

You certainly don’t need an outside distraction, such as a diet or exercise program.

This gives your body enough time to successfully establish a healthy milk supply that is less likely to be negatively affected if your calorie intake is restricted.


2. Make a wise decision

Think before you snack. Instead of reaching for the chips, eat an apple, instead of eating cereal, prepare a bowl of oatmeal with some goji berries.

Oatmeal is a great breakfast for a nursing mom trying to lose weight. It keeps you full for a long time and keeps insulin levels stable.

Starchy vegetables, like baked potatoes and sweet potatoes (even better with their low glycemic index), can also satisfy your carb craving. Brown rice and wild rice are good side dishes and snack options too.

You can also lower your fat intake to 20-25%  (or less) of your total calories; keep your protein intake high enough to prevent muscle loss. (The recommended protein intake for nursing mothers is 65 grams per day for the first 6 months and 62 grams per day between 6 and 12 months)

3. Set yourself up for success

A little preparation today can help you maintain your eating habits for the following days.

So, cut vegetables and fruits to keep them in the fridge, and cook and freeze healthy meals to thaw them later quickly.


The idea is to keep snacks and healthy meals in the cupboard and the fridge, to always be away from cookies and other sweets!

Easier said than done I know, I had planned it before my second pregnancy by acquiring a thermomix, it’s crazy how this device changes your life and saves you a lot of time (especially for children’s compotes now homemade, like everything else).

4. Eat smaller, frequent meals

If a mother waits too long between meals there is a hormonal effect that affects milk supply, her body begins to draw energy from its stores which decreases insulin production and affects insulin levels. thyroid hormones.

It reduces prolactin, which is the hormone that controls the amount of milk we make. When you’re feeling hungry, you’re more likely to eat something you shouldn’t be eating.

Tip: Spread your calories out over six mini-meals throughout the day instead.

5) Limit your calories intake

It is perfectly safe to diet while breastfeeding, as long as your total calorie intake does not drop below 1,800 calories per day and you continue to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods (not all calories are not worth it).


Also: avoid quick fixes

Liquid diets, low-carb diets, fad diets, weight loss drugs, etc. are not recommended during breastfeeding.

6) Back to business

Wait at least six to eight weeks before starting or restarting a serious exercise program. If you’re planning a particularly strenuous workout, eat healthy carbs about half an hour before exercise.

Eating a starchy vegetable, like half a baked potato, before a run can help prevent a decrease in your milk supply.

Exercise moderately to burn more fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. Resistance/weight training is a good way to increase muscle mass. A person with more muscle mass burns more calories, even at rest.

7) Keep it up

Everyone loses weight at a different rate, so don’t be discouraged if your weight loss is slower than most celebrity moms. With a healthy diet, nursing mothers lose around 500g per week.


Most mothers can safely lose up to 800g per week or 2kg per month after the second month without affecting the baby’s milk supply or well-being.

One study suggested that short-term weight loss of 1kg per week is not a problem (in this study the mothers dieted for 11 days).

The cool thing is, that you can tailor your plan to your lifestyle and decide whether you’d rather cut calories or exercise more.

As long as you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. So if a mom decides she wants to be able to eat the foods she loves, she can just add in baby walks.

What happens to mothers who lose weight quickly while breastfeeding?

In most cases of too rapid weight loss, it is not the breast milk (composition or supply) that would suffer, but the mother’s nutrition and/or health.

Over-dieting can lead to reduced milk supply.


According to Breastfeeding and Lactation, fad or rapid weight loss programs should be avoided because fat-soluble environmental contaminants and toxins stored in body fat are released into milk when caloric intake is severely limited. Avoid going below 1500 calories per day.



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