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Does Breastfeeding Help You Lose Weight Faster?

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When you are gaining those extra pounds during pregnancy, you console yourself by saying that you will lose the baby weight when your breastfeed. However, there is a debate on whether breastfeeding helps to lose weight post pregnancy. We can say without any scope of doubt that breastfeeding helps lose calories. Your body requires lots of extra calories to produce the breast milk and that is why lactating mothers lose weight.

However, whether breastfeeding helps to lose weight depends on many other factors. Any kind of weight loss happens when your calorie intake is less than your calories spent. So, if you are on a proper breastfeeding and diet, you will see those extra pounds melt away. However, if you are binging on pizzas and fries every day, then you will probably gain weight instead of losing it.

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How you breastfeed and how much work you do while breastfeeding also makes a difference. You need to breastfeed exclusively at least for 6 months to make any difference to your weight. If you breastfeed sporadically, you will not lose weight substantially.

Here are some facts about how breastfeeding helps in losing weight.

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Breastfeeding Exclusively

You can hope to lose weight only if you are breastfeeding your baby exclusively. If you are giving your baby formula milk sporadically, then you are not losing as many calories as you should.

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Takes Time To Show Results

While it is true that you lose calories while breastfeeding, the results take time to show. You need to give yourself at least 6 months to lose weight even if you are breastfeeding exclusively.

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Breastfeeding Diet

Your diet during breastfeeding must be rich in proteins, calcium and iron. Don't make your diet rich in fats just because you are still feeding ‘two'.

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Exercise Always Helps

No matter how much you breastfeed, exercise always gives you that extra nudge to lose weight. You need to loosen up and get back your muscular strength as your body recovers from childbirth.

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Depends On Heredity

In the end, a lot depends on your genes. If you mom lost baby weight by breastfeeding, the chances are that you will too. If breastfeeding didn't help her shed many pounds, the odds are against you.

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Handling The Baby Yourself

Carrying your baby around is also one the best exercises for the baby. So do not stagnate. Handle your baby yourself so that you get some much needed exercise for weight loss.

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Hunger Pangs

Breastfeeding also makes you very hungry from time to time. If you do not satiate these hunger pangs, you will be depriving you own body and your breast milk of nutrition. So, eat when you are hungry, but make sure you eat right.

Story first published: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 18:19 [IST]
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