Happy New Year, Dear Readers!!!
As 2016 comes into full swing, I think we all look down at the scale and make some resolutions that include our diet and exercise habits. The holidays have definitely been good to me and I, myself, would like to change the numbers on my measuring tape. I'm often asked by many a lactating mom, how to lose weight safely without affecting her milk supply. If your supply is already established and you are past your 6 week postpartum checkup, you can most certainly make some dietary changes in your (and your waist's) favor. Honestly, it's not as complicated as we make it seem, but first, I always recommend you talk to your Dr. first before making significant changes to your diet and activity level. Plus, you'll want to rule out other potential issues, like thyroid or glucose problems, etc.
So, first thing is first! Decide (preferably with your Dr.) how much weight is healthy for your body and keep that as your goal. None of us naturally look like super models, and to be honest, who would want to? The best thing you can do is embrace the womanly changes that come with having babies! I actually have hips and breasts now, so for me, losing too much weight would be upsetting and counterproductive to having the curvy, full body I always wanted as a scrawny teenager. So no matter what your pet peeve is, try to love your new body in every possible way, because you are doing amazing things with it!
-But if your diet is made up of 50% veggies, fruits, and legumes, and evenly split the rest of your diet between whole grains and lean protein, you will do well and feel more energetic.
-Also, look at what you're drinking. Soda, even the diet kind, only creates a pattern of addiction and you fill up on unnecessary empty calories. Lots of water isn't just what your body needs, but it will quench your thirst which could be mistaken as hunger as well. Making fresh juices or smoothies is a great snack and helps get more of the nutrients and filling fiber to kill cravings and fill up on "good for you" foods.
-Make a habit of cooking at least once a day and it becomes easier than going through a drive through, believe it or not! Trust me, before my husband, cooking was such a chore, I avoided it at all costs! Now, after years of practice and habit, I really enjoy the process of experimenting with different ingredients and seasonings to see how the finished product will turn out. And I feel good everyday knowing that my whole family is eating better because of my effort to do so.
As all these wholesome, good foods work through your system and you start to feel better and have a little more energy, you can start incorporating some activity.
-In this case, ANYTHING is better than nothing. So find what works for you: A nice walk in the morning to clear your head or after dinner to wind down. Yoga is great for the mind and body and just 10 minutes everyday can make a big difference in the daily aches and pains. I love dancing! There are all kinds of exercise dance classes or videos to do at home, or you and your partner can take a class together. That's good for your body and your intimacy! Whatever it is that you do, do it because it makes you feel good and you have fun doing it!
Good luck to all you Milk Making Mamas who are making big, healthy changes with the new year. And remember, a cheeseburger once in a while is OK!