Breastfeeding

5 Ways to Burn Calories With a Baby

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had a hard time finding time to work on cutting those extra pounds postpartum. Between sleep deprivation and having to tend to a newborn literally 24/7, you probably don’t even have a chance to think about exercise let alone actually doing it. It took me a long while to get the hang of things before I was finally able to add exercise into the mix. But here are 5 ways that I was able to cut and burn calories after having Elijah.

1. Go on regular walks with baby

I love going on walks with Elijah, especially if he is particularly fussy one day. Going on a walk usually calms him down and sometimes even puts him to sleep. Walking while pushing a stroller for 60 minutes can burn between 150-250 calories depending on your weight. You can burn even more if you decide to pick up the pace, and when going uphill. Going on walks can be a good bonding experience for you and your baby which is another added benefit in addition to burning calories. 

I personally like to add as much resistance as I can, so I usually end up wearing my diaper bag on my back as well.

2. Exercise With Baby

Exercising while using baby as resistance is such an easy way to burn calories while also entertaining them. You can make exercise interactive for them by doing various exercises in different places around the house. As your baby gets older, they’ll be able to see objects further and further away from them. Babies are always studying their environment and can become easily fascinated in new things. For example, during the Christmas holiday, after discovering how much my baby loved seeing the lights, I would regularly do squats near the Christmas tree so that he could see the lights and different decorations. 

Good examples of exercises you can do with a baby are squats, sit-ups, lunges, overhead presses, and curls just to name a few. Not only will you be burning calories, but you can also keep baby occupied while you do so. I know first hand how hard it can be to fit exercise into your daily routine in the first couple of months postpartum. They especially enjoy it if you find a way to incorporate a conversation with them. An easy way to do that is to simply tell them what you’re doing as you’re doing them.

3. Breastfeeding (and pumping)

Fun picture of me pumping in my car!

When I first realized how many extra calories a day I could burn just by breastfeeding, it stunned me. Research shows that the average amount of calories burned per oz of milk produced is 20 calories! Since most women will produce between 20-34 oz per day, that’s between 400 and 680 extra calories burned per day! 

Since Elijah was born a month early, he unfortunately couldn’t grasp the concept of breastfeeding until he was about 5 weeks old. Between being too tired after a short period of time, being introduced to a bottle so early on, and have a small mouth, we just struggled so badly with nursing. So, I pumped my milk and fed through a bottle. I immediately developed and oversupply. If you have an oversupply like I do, you could be burning upwards of 1000 calories per day. When he did finally start breastfeeding from the source, my milk supply decreased a little bit as it regulated. But I’ve had a huge amount of weight loss by breastfeeding and pumping. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was 165lbs. At the end of my pregnancy, I was 181lbs. Today, I’m 129lbs, the lowest I’ve been since I got married. 

The obvious benefit to breastfeeding is being able to feed my baby, but it’s definitely a huge plus to be able to lose some weight too! 

4. Baby wearing

I don’t do this as often as I should, but I definitely hope to start doing it more as I gain more muscle and strength through exercising. I won’t lie, baby wearing is not easy. It’s actually very tiring and can be hard on your back if you don’t have the right wrap or baby carrier. 

Carrying around that extra weight (ahem, your baby) is a sure way to burn calories throughout the day. You can baby wear while doing pretty much any activity. You can do light housework, you can wear them in the grocery store, you can walk around the activity, and the possibilities are just endless. You might be sore the first few days, but as your body adjusts, it’ll get easier and easier. Plus, most babies love being close to mommy! It helps put them to sleep too. 

5. The cliché: Drink LOTS of water.

After Elijah was born, I realized I was burning so many calories that I didn’t even care about what I was eating or drinking. In other words, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was also heavy into drinking juices like Capri Suns (thanks, pregnancy cravings!), orange juice, etc. Don’t get me started on ginger ale. And even though I was eating and drinking any and everything, the weight was falling off fast because of my oversupply with breastfeeding and pumping.

At some point postpartum, I noticed that the weight wasn’t falling off as easily anymore. I plateaued. I started examining my diet and realized that not only was I eating horribly, but I wasn’t drinking enough water either. I heard a long time ago that a lot of people’s secrets to losing weight was by simply drinking water. It helps to flush out toxins, helps you burn more calories, and if you drink at least a cup before eating, it can help you stay satiated as well as help prevent you from overeating.

One of the very first things I changed after realizing my weight wasn’t falling off anymore was cutting out all juices and sodas and replacing those fluids with water. So not only did I save on calories, but replacing all fluids with water actually helped my body to start burning more calories too. I noticed especially when drinking water with ice in it (and when eating ice, again thanks pregnancy cravings), I was a lot more satisfied at meals and ate a lot less in general throughout the day.

The easiest way to track how much water you’re drinking is to put it in a water bottle. My favorite water bottle is one I got as a gift from my husband. It’s 40oz and insulated. It keeps my water cold for long periods of time. I fill it up 2-2.5 times a day which equals out to be about 80-100oz of water that I’m drinking per day.

Thermoflask 40oz Water Bottle

If your goal is to lose weight, you can definitely shred some pounds with these 5 simple tips as long as you’re not compensating the calories lost with food, snacks, and drinks. 

I hope to do a more in depth guide a little later on how I lost so much weight in just 3 months postpartum. No crazy diet, no magical weight loss pill, nada. Just healthier choices, conscious eating, and light exercise. 

Until next time! 

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