Becoming a mother is perhaps the biggest challenge that a woman can face. And, let’s not even talk about the added responsibility of breastfeeding. It is no secret that breastfeeding can help shed pregnancy weight gradually. However, for many moms, losing the belly fat post-pregnancy can be a herculean task, even with breastfeeding.
You are not alone. In this blog, we will discuss effective methods that can help you lose belly fat while continuing to breastfeed.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
One of the most important things to do while breastfeeding is to ensure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. The American Pregnancy Association recommends consuming at least five to six small meals every day, rich in wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.
It is also important to cut down on junk food, sugary foods, and drinks, as these can increase your calorie intake, slowing down your weight loss.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Physical exercise is key to losing belly fat. Once you have been cleared by your doctor, try to get moving. Simple exercises like brisk walking, yoga or Pilates can significantly boost your metabolism and help you burn calories.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, or as much as your body permits. Exercise, coupled with a healthy diet, can help reduce belly fat and improve overall health.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated can help increase metabolism and improve digestion. Sometimes, when we are dehydrated, our body thinks we are hungry and we end up eating more than we need to, leading to weight gain. It is recommended that while nursing, you should drink at least eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Practice Stress-Reducing Techniques
Stress is one of the biggest culprits behind weight gain and accumulating belly fat. Unfortunately, post-pregnancy stress can be unavoidable. To relieve stress, try practices like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. Allocate time for relaxation and self-care activities like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, or reading a book.
Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep
Lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels in our body, affecting metabolism and leading to weight gain. For nursing mothers, this can be challenging with the need to wake up to breastfeed every few hours. However, it is important to take naps throughout the day whenever possible, and getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
Losing belly fat while breastfeeding may seem like a daunting task initially. However, with a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes, coupled with regular exercise, stress-reducing techniques, and adequate rest, it is possible to shed the extra pounds gained during pregnancy.
It is also important to not pressure yourself or feel guilty if the process takes longer than expected. Breastfeeding is already a huge responsibility, and taking care of yourself is equally important. Remember, every mother’s journey is different, and with patience, determination, and self-love, you can get to your ideal weight eventually.