Having a baby changes your body significantly, usually resulting in extra pounds. For women who want to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy, they may have heard that women who lose too much weight aren't able to breastfeed. If you are breastfeeding your baby, it is definitely possible for you to lose weight, provided that you do so in a safe way.
Breastfeed as often as the baby shows hunger cues and avoid giving the infant formula. Breastfeeding is not only healthy for the baby, but it burns extra calories and helps you to lose weight. The website BreastfeedingBasics.com states that breastfeeding burns several hundred extra calories a day. Since using formula does not trigger the body to burn calories, breastfeeding exclusively is the best way to lose 20 pounds. If you are going to be away from the baby for work or school, use a manual or electric breast pump to collect your breast milk.
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Decrease your caloric intake to around 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. Kelly Bonyata, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), states that consuming any less than 1,500 calories per day can compromise your breast milk supply. La Leche League International states that breastfeeding women lose an average of 1.3 to 1.6 pounds per week for the first 4 to 6 months of the baby’s life, without additional dieting. Adding a diet into the mixture can help you reach your goal of losing 20 pounds faster.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Instead of eating 3 square meals a day, eating more often can actually encourage weight loss. Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC, explains on her website that eating three small meals and several snacks during the day can prevent the body from going into starvation mode, where you hold onto your fat reserves. Snacking keeps your metabolism working efficiently throughout the day.
Exercise for 30 minutes or more, on most days of the week. Cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling or using the elliptical trainer all burn calories quickly so that you can lose 20 pounds faster. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that all adults under the age of 65 do moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week or intense cardiovascular exercise for 20 minutes, three days a week. Lifting free weights a few days a week can add muscle mass to your frame, which Kelly Bonyata explains, burns more calories at rest.