FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $69.99

Does Breastfeeding Help You Lose Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Does breastfeeding help you lose weight? Breastfeeding is considered one of the best ways for a new mother to lose their baby weight. Research studies show that mothers that breastfeed exclusively burn an average of 500 additional calories daily. And that is the equivalent of cutting out a small meal or large snack or doing a 45-minute cardiovascular medium intensity workout.

Moms that are nursing are typically more conscious of what they eat.  And this additionally contributes to weight loss through healthy foods such as high protein foods, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  There was a study where women who breastfed exclusively for at least 3 months lost 3.2lbs their first year. And this was more in the first year than those who formula fed their babies.

Does breastfeeding help you lose weight? Photo credit: iStock-Prostock-studio

Other studies reveal that women who breastfeed get to their pre-pregnancy weight on an average sooner than those who formula fed their babies.  Another study showed that women who breastfed for 6 to 12 months had a lower bodyfat percentage 5 years after giving birth than those who didn’t.

There are some women that don’t lose weight through breastfeeding and the reasons are not being able to maintain a deficit of 500 calories per day. The only way a woman can stay in the deficit is to burn more calories than they consume.  If you eat too much food to compensate for all the breastfeeding, then you will have difficulties losing weight even while breastfeeding.

Sleep deprivation is one of the things that can increase your hunger and appetite making it harder to lose weight for nursing mothers.

Some tips to help nursing mothers lose their baby weight:

  • Focus on eating high fiber foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories such as fruits and vegetables. Those fruits and vegetables are apples, bananas, oranges. Vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green beans,
  • Exercise- Starting off with walking, gardening, riding a bike, walking on a treadmill, jogging, swimming, dancing. These are all good cardiovascular exercises to do.
  • Stay hydrated and drink up to 8 cups of water per day. Drinking water is a great appetite suppressant as it signals your brain that your stomach is full.
  • Try to get up to 8 hours of sleep because if you get enough sleep, it will tame your cravings. At times the less sleep you have the more you will want to eat.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding are:

  • It protects your babies against diseases
  • It promotes brain development in preterm babies
  • It reduces the risk of depression
  • It provides great nutrition for breast-fed babies

For women that are breastfeeding eating enough food is very important for the health of the baby. So be mindful of being on any low caloric diet while breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding mothers should avoid eating less than 1500 calories per day. Because doing this will make the nursing mother produce less milk for her baby and minimize the important nutrients that should be in breast milk.

“Breastfeeding mothers should avoid eating less than 1500 calories per day. Because doing this will make the nursing mother produce less milk for her baby and minimize the important nutrients that should be in breast milk.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is breastfeeding can contribute to weight loss if you are creating a 500 calorie a day deficit. And if you are exercising and eating the right healthy foods like fiber and high protein foods.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement  products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can go to https://offer.ethicalinc.com/suppressant-offer/

References

  1. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062. Epub 2004 Dec 7. PMID: 15602591; PMCID: PMC535701.
  2. Hanlon EC, Tasali E, Leproult R, Stuhr KL, Doncheck E, de Wit H, Hillard CJ, Van Cauter E. Sleep Restriction Enhances the Daily Rhythm of Circulating Levels of Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol. Sleep. 2016 Mar 1;39(3):653-64. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5546. PMID: 26612385; PMCID: PMC4763355.
  3. Beccuti G, Pannain S. Sleep and obesity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Jul;14(4):402-12. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3283479109. PMID: 21659802; PMCID: PMC3632337.
  4. Butte NF, Hopkinson JM, Mehta N, Moon JK, Smith EO. Adjustments in energy expenditure and substrate utilization during late pregnancy and lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Feb;69(2):299-307. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/69.2.299. PMID: 9989696.
  5. Kominiarek MA, Rajan P. Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation. Med Clin North Am. 2016 Nov;100(6):1199-1215. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.06.004. PMID: 27745590; PMCID: PMC5104202.
  6. Gigante DP, Victora CG, Barros FC. Breast-feeding has a limited long-term effect on anthropometry and body composition of Brazilian mothers. J Nutr. 2001 Jan;131(1):78-84. doi: 10.1093/jn/131.1.78. PMID: 11208942.
  7. Jarlenski MP, Bennett WL, Bleich SN, Barry CL, Stuart EA. Effects of breastfeeding on postpartum weight loss among U.S. women. Prev Med. 2014 Dec;69:146-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.09.018. Epub 2014 Oct 5. PMID: 25284261; PMCID: PMC4312189.
  8. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S105-12. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512002589. PMID: 23107521.
  9. Cooper DN, Martin RJ, Keim NL. Does Whole Grain Consumption Alter Gut Microbiota and Satiety? Healthcare (Basel). 2015 May 29;3(2):364-92. doi: 10.3390/healthcare3020364. PMID: 27417768; PMCID: PMC4939539.
  10. Kominiarek MA, Rajan P. Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation. Med Clin North Am. 2016 Nov;100(6):1199-1215. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.06.004. PMID: 27745590; PMCID: PMC5104202.
  11. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Nutritional Status During Pregnancy and Lactation. Nutrition During Lactation. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1991. 5, Milk Volume. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235589/

More great content you may like

More great content you may like

Before you finish your last lap...

Don’t miss any of our great newsletters.