Jessica Alba just a couple of weeks (if that) post baby, already looking fabulous….
Q: My baby is almost 4 months old…what do you recommend regarding exercise, losing weight and breastfeeding? I have read conflicting things and would like to know the best, safest way to lose the baby weight without it affecting my breastmilk.
A: This is a question that is near and dear to my heart since I am expecting my first baby at the end of August. I am someone who practiced what I preached. I kept a pretty strict diet and worked out pretty hard – I avoided wheat, dairy and most starches/sugar on a regular basis and weight lifted at least 2 times per week plus cardio 4-5 times per week. WOW did my world get turned upside down when I got pregnant. Needless to say that I have put on more then a couple pounds and had to slow down with the workouts. The result is that I feel fat! I know, I know…I’m pregnant but I thought I would be one of those people who only gained the appropriate 25 pounds. NOT SO!
When I got this question it sparked an urge to formulate a “Bring Sexy Back” plan for all of you moms who want their pre-baby body’s back.
From the research I have done, it is okay to work out pretty intensely assuming you exercised pre baby. It’s the calories you take in or lack thereof that mostly affects the amount of breast milk you will produce. As long as you are providing your body with the right amount of calories coming from good quality, ‘clean’ food there should be no reason you can’t lose the weight!
THE “BRINGING SEXY BACK” PLAN
*If you have never exercised before reduce the exercise portion by half the days and time and work up to 4-5 days per week.
Consult your physician before starting any exercise or diet plan.
Consistency is key!
Cardio: 4-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes (moderate to vigorous intensity)
• Walking/running on the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical or stair climbing.
• Classes at a gym.
• Going for a brisk walk with a stroller.
Breastfeeding moms need to make sure they are getting enough calories. For weight loss purposes it’s the type of calories that matter. Maximize your eating by consuming lots of low calorie foods like fruits and veggies!
• Make sure you are eating every 3-4 hours
• Don’t let yourself get hungry – then the cravings are too strong to avoid
• Ensure you have cut up fruits and veggies on hand to snack on
• Spend some time cooking and freezing – helps to avoid ordering take out
• ALL MEALS SHOULD CONTAIN A LEAN PROTEIN AND GOOD QUALITY FAT
• Avoid starch at dinner
• Avoid empty calories – sugar is the enemy!
• Load up on fiber
Breakfast: HAVE IT!
• Make sure it contains protein and a complex (full of fiber) carb
• Slow cooking oats with egg whites or cottage cheese is a good choice
Snacks: Fruit with nuts or whole grain crackers with a nut butter
• ½ cup complex carb (quinoa, brown rice etc.)
• 4oz protein
• 1 tbsp fat
Snack: Veggies with hummus, cheese, or yoghurt
• 4 oz protein
• 2 cup veggies
• 2 tbsp fat
I plan to have a protein shake later on in the evening or throughout the night if I get hungry. [Haley's note: for a good protein shake recipe, try Lori's Shake To Go!]
Remember that everyone is different [Haley's note: If you want a more personalized plan, email Lori herself!]. I have had clients who couldn’t lose the weight until they stopped breastfeeding. Consuming organic, good quality food and avoiding processed simple sugars is a great place to start!
CHECK OUT LORI’S BIO HERE!
Got a nutrition question of your own, Gorgeouses? Ask LORI (click here to ask your question). LOVE!