All Woman

Breastfeeding mom worried about dieting

Monday, July 30, 2012    

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Dear Donovan

I need some advice in losing weight. I am five feet four inches tall and weigh 158 pounds. I am wary about going on a diet as I am currently breastfeeding my 18-month-old son.

I am a picky eater and as persons would joke, easier to make a list of what I eat than what I don't eat. I am taking the depo provera contraceptive injection, and this has always kept my weight steady. Should I stop taking it to lose weight? I don't like anything too sweet and since my pregnancy was very complicated, I don't eat fast food. My fast food is going to my favourite restaurant for stew pork and rice and peas. I hardly eat, and although I try to eat breakfast, it is always small. I mostly drink water. I also drink cran-water every day and make fruit juices on weekends. Most times I don't eat on Saturdays, as I am very busy and so I drink water and may nibble a piece of fruit. I do not eat biscuits, never liked their taste and probably eat ice cream like once a month. I love to cook but not to eat. I love to walk. Please help.

It would be interesting to note what your pre-pregnancy weight was and also how many pounds you have lost since pregnancy. It sounds like you have hit a weight plateau which means that you are neither gaining nor losing weight.

At this point, your intake calories is roughly equal to your out-take calories. In order for further weight loss to occur, more calories will have to be cut on the input side or a greater burning of the calories will have to take place on the output side.

In my opinion, contraceptives can cause weight gain as a side effect, or in your case, keep the weight stable, making it a little harder to lose. However, it is your personal choice whether you want to stop or to continue using a contraceptive method. You could discuss this with your spouse.

It is possible to continue to lose weight even while taking contraceptives. Also, at your child's age, undoubtedly extreme dieting would affect him, so if you are ready to lose weight, you will have to do something differently. You can start by making some small changes, for example, substituting cran-water or fruit juice with coconut water or water. It is also better to eat your fruits rather than drink fruit juices as you have been doing. In addition, try and eat less stew pork and rice and peas. Also, you would need to increase your exercise by trying to do a little more than you were doing before, so that you can burn more calories. Based on what you are saying, it seems like your calorie intake is relatively low, but in order to jumpstart your weight loss, you would still need to cut further. I suggest that you do two raw days for the first week. Raw days are days when you are not eating anything cooked or processed. This will help you to reduce calories in a healthy way.

So for breakfast, you can have two to three fruits, then green juice, or coconut water, or water. For lunch you can have two to three fruits, a raw vegetable salad or three quarter cups of raw nuts and then carrot juice, coconut water or water in the mid-afternoon. For dinner you can have two to three fruits, raw vegetable salads and three quarter cups of coconut water. Good luck.

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