Women go through so much, from nourishing a new life in their womb to giving birth and nurturing the baby. She gains weight, gets stretch marks over the body, and loses skin during this course. You sacrifice yourself just to nourish a new life. But can you get back the body you used to have before giving birth? Yes, you can. If you are a new mother, you can get back into shape along with breastfeeding your baby. The formula for weight loss while breastfeeding is not the same. A keto diet can be a different approach in getting the desired weight loss results, but is it safe?
What Is A Keto Diet?
A diet rich in fats and low in carbs is known as the keto diet. The diet focuses on cutting off the primary energy source (carbohydrate), usually used to fuel body functions. The body is left with no glucose and now depends on fat as a source of energy. The person running on a keto diet enters ketosis – a state in which ketones are produced. Your body is mainly using proteins and fats for energy at this stage. A keto diet is, however, not recommended in the long run. The diet includes vegetables, butter, coconut oil, and high-fat dairy products.
What Moms Need to Know About The Keto Diet
While you are on a keto diet, your body is producing ketones, which are now the primary energy source for your body. You need to maintain this state to remain in shape, but as stated this method is not favorable in the long run. The calories you have stopped receiving from the keto diet can affect your milk supply. As everyone has different body makeup, it is not necessary that it only affects the milk supply. It can also deprive your milk of essential nutrients responsible for your child’s growth and immunity buildup. A Keto diet prevents you from getting enough calories. The food that the diet includes are already enough to make you feel full for the rest of the day. Consuming less than 1800 calories can drop your milk supply significantly. Hydration is another factor strongly related to this diet; if you don’t get enough water, it can affect the milk supply.
Is The Keto Diet Safe While Breastfeeding?
The diet has strict rules and is not suitable for a breastfeeding mother. It doesn’t allow starchy foods, grains, and vegetables. If this diet increases the level of the ketones bodies by more than 5 mmol/L, it can harm your body. The ketosis can turn into ketoacidosis, which can acidify the normal blood pH levels. This can be fatal. The body runs out of important nutrition like vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B1, and potassium. When you do not take essential nutrients like fibers, you also affect the microbiota in your gut. Not getting enough essential nutrients can make your baby deficient in crucial nutrients. You can even suffer brain fog, and it can last up to a few weeks during the initial dieting stage. One can also observe the symptoms of keto flu that include fatigue, smelly urine, and bad breath.
What Can You Do?
A strict keto diet can be another stressor on your body, affecting you and your baby. Here’s what you need to add to your dieting regimen to get all the nutrients and a strong base for healthy weight loss:
- Add fibers and green-yellow leafy vegetables. Further information on such vegetables can be found in this recent Healthcanal’s article.
- Make whole grains, including bread, oatmeal, and cereals part of your diet.
- Add proteins like poultry eggs, beans, fish, and meat. Consider taking them one to two times a day.
- Eat a lot of fruits to fulfill your water and fiber requirements.
- Drink more water than you drink to quench your thirst.
- Take supplements that are rich in fibers and vitamins. Add zinc and iron to your diet via nuts and dry fruits.
The 3 Day Keto Meal Plan
A keto diet in moderation with enough calories can be your savior. A customized keto meal plan is all you need that will not only be beneficial for you but also for your baby. As mentioned, hydration is most important when you are on keto while breastfeeding. Water is crucial for a keto diet, making the diet more effective. You can also add electrolyte powder to your water to fill the gap of essential electrolytes in the body. You don’t have to be strict while you are on keto. Add what you feel is good for your health. Here is how to start keto diet while breastfeeding:
- Breakfast: Prepare a smoothie of coconut milk, nuts, and seeds. Add berries, a source of fiber, while nuts and seeds will be the source of fat.
- Lunch: Add green veggies, 4-6 oz of chicken, and low-carb zucchini noodles topped with tomatoes or fatty salmon for your lunch.
- Dinner: Grill some broccoli in olive oil with some beef. Take a cup of fat milk with wheat bread.
- Breakfast: Take half of the avocado and two-three eggs. Mushrooms with some leafy veggies cooked in olive oil.
- Lunch: Take half a cup of brown rice with the fat-filled spinach salad. A spinach salad with some chicken, cheese, and berries.
- Dinner: Coconut shrimp curry with full-fat cream. Add less than half of the potatoes that will serve as a source of carbs.
- Breakfast: Add whole fat yogurt with some nuts and 1 tsp of honey. Also, add your favorite dry fruits.
- Lunch: Flank steak meat cooked with fresh tomatoes. Add chickpeas with parmesan cheese.
- Dinner: Take pre rice cauliflower and eat it with basil or parsley leaves. Add more salad with dried fruits and nuts.
You can have low-carb vegetables, including mushrooms, zucchini, and avocados. Take boiled eggs, cheese, peanut butter, and olive oil for snack time.
The Bottom Line
The keto diet’s popularity is not enough to claim its safety for breastfeeding women, as it’s the time when you are nurturing a life along with you. The claims over social media are insufficient to give you a kickstart journey on a keto diet. Everyone has a different body, and it is not necessary that it will work for you. However, the diet doesn’t negatively impact your health. But you cannot take a chance on your baby’s health. You can always take a balanced diet with supplements that will help you shed some pounds without a strict keto diet.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.