How Many Calories Do I Burn Breastfeeding?
So you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby after giving birth. The virtues of breastfeeding baby are well known and have been touted from here to the ends of the earth. Aside from the psychological benefits to both mum and baby that breastfeeding provide, did you know that there are added benefits for mum as well?
Breastfeeding mums experience a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You may not be able to get back into the gym as quickly or as often as you’d like after having baby, but if you’re breastfeeding then you’re still burning calories which is a step in getting back to pre-baby weight.
You’re asking yourself at this moment excitedly, how many calories do I burn breastfeeding? This isn’t going to be a magical cure to drop the pounds after baby, but in combination with a few methods you can employ safely you may drop some of the weight and keep it off. So let’s look at;
- Why do do women burn calories while breastfeeding.
- How many calories can be burned in a day of breastfeeding
- What combination of factors makes this happen
- Are there additional way to maximise weight loss?
To understand why women burn calories while breastfeeding, we need to first understand what exactly a calorie is.
- It can get complicated but in the most basic sense a calorie is a unit of energy that our body uses to do things.
- We get calories for our body’s use from our daily food intake.
- No matter what it is that your body is doing requires calories, whether it’s a physical task or one that’s happening inside that can’t be seen.
- The more tasks your body performs, the more calories are being used or burned.
A woman’s body will use the food that she eats to produce milk for the baby. Doing so requires calories. It order for the body to produce only an ounce of breastmilk, it takes just about twenty calories. This is why a doctor will encourage a breastfeeding mum to increase her daily caloric intake from the standard two thousand per day.
A breastfed baby will consume around nineteen to thirty ounces of milk per day. Your body will be producing milk barring any interfering circumstances. So how many calories does breastfeeding burn a day? If your baby eats as much as five to six times, you’ll be using between four hundred and almost eight hundred calories per day just producing breast milk.
Mums tend to be busy people, whether they’re stay at home or working mothers. Imagine then, that almost half of your normal caloric intake is spent simply producing breast milk. That’s before you factor in running around doing errands. Going to work, household chores, making dinner and taking care of baby.
That however, isn’t the only reason that breastfeeding helps women lose weight. The average daily recommended caloric intake is between two thousand and two thousand five hundred, however;
- Doctors will recommend that you increase your intake by no more than three hundred thirty calories. The additional will keep you from not having enough energy to complete tasks. But because it doesn’t equal the amount needed to produce breast milk, you’ll still lose some weight.
- Your body will then use stored body fat to cover the amount of calories needed to either produce breast milk or to supply energy needed for other tasks that the body performs. Using this stored body fat will help to shed some weight.
- Breastfeeding mothers are also encouraged to get their calories from more complex carbohydrates. These are food items that will provide enough calories to satisfy the body’s energy requirements and are also generally more low in sugar.
You can keep the weight loss momentum going by adding a few simple new routines to your regimen. One of them you’re already a pro at since you want to make sure that your baby gets all the nutrition that you can give them.
When you started breast feeding, you added more complex carbohydrates to your diet to satisfy energy requirements. You can keep going in by adding more protein rich items to your diet as well. If you’re not into meat like a lot of us aren’t you can use things such as hummus, sun dried tomatoes, soy products and spinach among a host of things to get more protein in your diet.
You can also ad calcium rich foods to your diet as well. Yogurt, milk and cheese are the most common and obvious. But you can also get calcium from leafy greens and fortified orange juice. How are these things important to aiding your weight loss and just how does it work exactly is the question you’re probably asking right now. Well;
- Protein helps to build muscle
- Muscle burns fat. Burned fat equals weight loss
- Sufficient calcium can aid in keeping the lost weight off.
You won’t be dead lifting anytime soon after having baby, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get back into the relative swing of things with some light exercise. You can do light stretching and weight lifting, though no more than ten pounds. There’s also yoga, both by yourself and with baby as well as other mum-baby centric workout environments.
So just how many calories are burned breastfeeding? Ultimately that depends on how often you nurse your little one. If your baby nurses often then you’ll obviously burn more. Don’t despair though, even if your little one nurses a little less than others, you can still incorporate some of the tips we talked about above to get the most that you can out of breastfeeding.
Hopefully this was helpful in answering any questions that you may have had regarding losing weight while breastfeeding. Another thing to remember is even if no longer actively nursing, adopting those same healthy eating habits and keeping them even after you’re no longer breastfeeding is conducive to weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle.