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Mum

Any tips on losing weight when breastfeeding? I just crave rubbish food all the time. 🤦🏼‍♀️

Cravings can't really be helped, and they're generally your body's way of telling you that you're missing some nutrients. If you were used to eating junk food before or during pregnancy, you'll crave them after too... for junk food its a bit like giving up coffee or sugar, you're giving up an addiction of sorts.

I constantly craved Chinese takeaways, so my approach to it was making healthy fakeaways at home, and I would use things like homemade curry sauce without meat or chips. That way I could eat a good amount while staying healthy. It was also cheaper and because I was cooking for a while I ended up cutting snacks between hours. If you enjoy cooking I suggest replacing your guilt foods by homemade healthy alternatives.

Drinking water loads also helps, as sometimes our brain can confuse thirst with hunger. When you are breastfeeding, keep some water by your side and perhaps a plain biscuit if you feel hungry and dizzy, and try to stick to main mealtimes to eat food. To keep your stomach full try eating carbs that release glucose slowly, like breakfast oats with some fruit, which are full of fibre and digest slower keeping you fuller for longer. Avoid zero fat products etc... they are full of other additions and our bodies need the good fats found in milk, cheese and other animal products, (I personally found greek yoghurt very helpful as it's packed with probiotics). If you are keen on sugar, cut out processed sugars and stick to natural sugary foods like yoghurt, fruit, sweet vegetables (sweet potato, beetroot, peas) and avoid processed foods as much as you can.

Remember that while you are breastfeeding you are passing nutrients to your baby, so when temptation strikes think that you want to pass your baby all the good stuff that you can, but don't feel guilty if you give in a treat here and there (I had a cheat day on the weekend and saved all eating sweeties and fast food for then, but eventually I got used to not eating them even that often).

In essence, my approach was to replace junk food for healthier made-at-home versions, keeping hydrated during breastfeeding sessions, cutting out processed foods, and sticking to a day a week for unhealthy eating while also doing loads of walking. I did lose almost all the baby weight (and I'm not skinny, an average size 12-14 UK when not training), and it was easier than exercising since you already burn 300 to 500 calories when breastfeeding, daily.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself, try to avoid giving into cravings by reminding yourself how much of a good job you are doing keeping you and your baby healthy and treat yourself from time to time if you must, sensibly.

I hope this helps, if you need help with recipes I'd be happy to assist.

Mum
Pregnant mum of 3

Hi, I hear you. You do need to keep your calories up though! This is exhausting work feeding and looking after baby. I am eating so much rubbish. 🤣

I am just getting to the stage where I want to start exercising again. I am hoping to start a class that I can take baby along to but then I just get so exhausted.

There are also some great classes you can do online now, from home, so can fit in around you.