Creating Your Own Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

Create Your Own Healthy Breastfeeding DietDietary guidelines are everywhere about what a healthy breastfeeding diet is. You’re told how much or how little you should eat, what to eat, what to avoid, and how we should be combining food for optimum health.

We have “gurus,” doctors, and health professionals telling us what and how to eat.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by information overload.

Luckily, we can tap into sound nutrition guidelines that can help us create our own healthy breastfeeding diet – one that is tailored to our personal tastes, preferences, and needs.

These guidelines have changed over the years and will continue to do so because they’re updated regularly, which is nice because we know we’re getting the most current information available.

If you want to eat healthy and have a long life, like many people, you’ve also probably paid careful attention to all of the scientific studies that come out about certain foods.

Because of those studies, you might change the way that you eat. However, despite what you may have heard, you shouldn’t rely only on the studies that come about to determine what you should be consuming.

But we can use all of this information to our advantage and create a personalized nutrition plan that enables us to eat in a way that keeps us healthy, strong, energized, and happy.

The Science is Wrong

Your breast milk is not dependent on a healthy breastfeeding dietYou would think that something that’s been scientifically “proven” means that it’s infallible and that the research is accurate. But unfortunately, that’s not the truth. The results are flawed.

The results of some healthy eating studies should be completely ignored. They should be ignored because these studies are based on patterns. A group of people are studied for the way that they eat in relation to the types of diseases and health problems that they have.

Studies that are performed this way are called epidemiological and what they cover in the study isn’t based on evidence that’s completely reliable. That means that the studies are faulty.

But rather than share the details of how these conclusions were reached, many of these studies go ahead and publish their findings. The findings often make headlines – we see them in the news and magazines.

Then later, the findings are found to be false, wrong, or incomplete in some way, but we hear about it in a roundabout way.

For example, many studies will claim that a food is bad for you now, then the next thing you know, suddenly that food isn’t bad for you (and never was in the first place.) Eggs are an example of this. For years studies warned everyone to avoid eating a lot of eggs.

The claim was that eggs were high in cholesterol and should be limited because dietary cholesterol was a big no-no in your daily menu planning. A new study, however, disproved that.

So then you have to ask yourself, “Who’s correct?” Can you eat eggs the way that you’ve always done or do you have to limit them?

If you look up some of the studies that are done on certain foods that the public was warned about – coffee for example – you’ll see that all of a sudden, new information has come out.

As it turns out, coffee isn’t bad for you like you were told. The biggest reason that some of these food studies were wrong is that the control group of people used in the study were already at high risk for developing certain health issues.

When people who are already at high risk for something because of their lifestyle or genetic factors are used in a study concerning the effects of certain food on the body’s health, it skewers the results.

That makes that information useless for you.

If you’re going to follow certain dietary guidelines, then you deserve to know the entire truth about the food rather than a view that’s not accurate.

The good news is that you already have exactly what you need to eat a healthy breastfeeding diet while avoiding many of the long term health problems that can develop from eating foods that aren’t that good for you.

Even better news, there are NO foods to avoid while breastfeeding because your breast milk will be perfect for your baby even if your diet is less than perfect.

Using Common Sense to Create a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

A healthy breastfeeding diet includes fruits, veggies, and proteinNo one has to tell anyone that sitting down to two or three plates full of potato chips isn’t the best move for good health. You don’t have to be told that because common sense tells you that eating that many potato chips is too much.

In health and science classes, you learned about the abilities your stomach has. Although the size of your stomach does depend on your gender and age, one thing that’s common with the stomach in everyone is that it has the ability to stretch.

Your stomach has a fill level and if you eat to the very max of your fill level, you end up with a stomachache. Your stomach can’t do its job the way that it was meant to if you overfeed it.

The reason for this is because your stomach works to contract and when it’s overloaded, there’s not a lot of room left for the stomach to work. When you pack it full of food or liquid, you’ll retain that full feeling until the stomach has worked with your other organs to digest what you’ve eaten.

There are some simple basic principles that go hand in hand with a common sense approach to a healthy breastfeeding diet. For example, it’s wiser to pick foods that pack more nutritional value into every single calorie.

If you can eat something that’s good for you for the same amount of calories that you’ll get in food that’s not as good for you, then obviously, the common sense approach would be to choose the food that’s good for you.

An example of this would be an apple versus cookies. You can eat one or two cookies and feel hungrier faster than you would if you ate an apple for the same amount of calories.

Snacking is another issue for us breastfeeding moms; many moms report needing to snack all the time because they’re hungry. And with good reason – breastfeeding does require us to take in a few more calories.

But if constant snacking is a problem, causing weight gain and poor health, then your best bet for maintaining a healthy weight and long term body health is to choose foods that will allow you to snack freely but won’t pack on the calories.

Another common sense approach is to make sure that you’re not drinking your calories.

Beverages that are high in calories will give you a momentary fullness, but it won’t last. So you’ll end up increasing your caloric intake because you’ll feel hungry not long after you drink a high calorie drink.

A couple of examples of this would be soda or flavored water. While it might be surprising to think of flavored water as containing a lot of calories, many of them do – and they’re also loaded with sugar.

If you keep your focus on good nutrition, smart choices, and balance, it should be fairly simple to create a unique, healthy breastfeeding diet that meets your needs perfectly.

Create a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet by Listening to Your Biological Instincts

No one was born eating more than they should. If you watch your baby, he’ll turn away from eating when he’s no longer hungry.

As we grow up, we drown out those biological instincts.

These instincts get drowned out by emotional eating, eating when we’re not hungry because we’re bored, and eating because the food tastes good.

Eating when you’re not hungry happens because many people will eat because it’s “time” to eat.

Or because we’re stressed, bored, or tired.

This is even more true when we have a new baby at home – the evening meal is on the table and we’ll pick up a fork and start digging in just because the food is there and we’re supposed to have a meal. Or we’re feeling stressed, bored, and tired and eating makes us feel a little better.

Let’s try this: mentally throw out the “eating because it’s time” clock and eat only when you’re hungry.

If you’re not hungry when you first wake up, don’t eat. Wait until you’re hungry.

If you’re peeking at what’s in the fridge because the baby is finally asleep and you want something to snack on, ask yourself, “Am I hungry?”

Your body is a wonderful tool that, if you’ll tune into it, will help you learn healthy eating habits. When your body needs something that it’s lacking, it will drive up a craving within you to have that food so that it gets the vitamins and minerals that it needs.

Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. One of the best things that you can do for your body is to practice mindful eating. When you practice mindful eating, you’ll eat slower ane become more aware of how food affects your body and energy.

If you’ve ever eaten and then suddenly realized that the food was gone, it means that you were eating mindlessly, not paying attention. The reason that eating mindlessly is bad is because you don’t get the enjoyment from food that you should and you overindulge.

Mindless eating can often lead to consuming large quantities of food that you never meant to eat because you weren’t even hungry to start with. This is something that can often be a problem when you’re sitting down to watch television.

It’s easy to pay attention to what you’re watching and not the food. When you practice mindful eating, it means that you will have learned to eat only when your body tells you that it needs food, which is an essential element of a healthy breastfeeding diet.

This will prevent you from overeating, which is a by-product of mindless eating. It will also prevent you from consuming calories to the point that you begin to gain weight.

You may have pushed aside your biological instinct for so long that it might be difficult at first to get back into the habit of listening to it.

One way that you can do this is to stop before you eat and ask yourself, “Am I eating because I’m hungry?” and if the answer is no, then you can walk away from the food and come back when you are truly hungry.

I’ll say this, before I got pregnant, I started a mindful eating practice because I was tired of dieting to lose weight. And you know what? I lost 10 pounds just like that.

This practice has helped me gain very little weight during my pregnancy and I’ve been very aware about what foods make me feel good and which ones I need to avoid.

Click on any of the pictures or buttons below for my top books about mindful eating for a healthy breastfeeding diet!

How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans TooHow to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans TooMore InfoIntuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that WorksIntuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that WorksMore InfoEating Mindfully: How to End Mindless EatingEating Mindfully: How to End Mindless EatingMore InfoMindful Eating: Listen to What Your Body Is Telling YouMindful Eating: Listen to What Your Body Is Telling YouMore InfoMindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We ThinkMindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We ThinkMore InfoSavor: Mindful Eating, Mindful LifeSavor: Mindful Eating, Mindful LifeMore Info

Choosing Your Own Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

Portion Control Plates for Healthy PortionsPortion Control Plates for Healthy PortionsMore Info

When you decide to create your own healthy breastfeeding diet, it can feel strange – especially if you’re someone who always paid attention to what others said you should and shouldn’t eat. However, the choices that you’ll make when you’re following your own guidelines will fall in line with common sense steps that are easy to take.

It’s important to note here that there’s no need to eliminate any particular food unless YOU have a problem with it or it can dry up your supply. Read more about what foods to avoid while breastfeeding.

One of the best steps you can take is to know what’s healthy to eat and what’s not good for you.

Common sense will tell you that processed foods aren’t healthy. Processed food is typically labeled as junk food.

Chips and cookies, cakes and fatty deserts are labeled as low-quality, processed foods – and it’s true!

But processed foods aren’t simply limited to junk food. It’s any food that’s gone through a mechanical process to add chemicals in order to extend the shelf life of the food or to make it taste better or look more appealing.

For example, notice what happens when you cut an apple or a banana in half and leave it on the kitchen counter for several hours.

The fruit turns brown. Certainly doesn’t look appealing when that happens, right? If you continue to leave the fruit there, it will start to shrivel and then it will spoil.

There’s nothing added to or injected into natural foods to prevent this spoilage process.

But in processed foods, things are added to prevent the appearance and taste from spoiling and what gets added in is what can take a toll on your health.

Many processed foods contain phosphates. These are what can make you look old, feel old, harm your organs and steal the strength from your bones. You’ll find that there are a lot of processed foods that are ripe with phosphates. The last thing we need as moms is to have our energy sapped.

Phosphates are in frozen foods. From the single serving to the family serving frozen meals, these are loaded with health robbing preservatives.

Processed meats are loaded with phosphates. Whether you get processed lunch meats from the deli counter or from a package in the meat section, they’re about the same.

If it’s a baked sweet, you can bet it contains phosphates.

Foods that are touted as quick and easy convenience foods are loaded with phosphates. These are foods like those quick-make pasta foods such as macaroni and cheese.

Pay attention to boxes that say “fortified” because sometimes those foods are fortified with one form of phosphate or another.

Remember that processed food isn’t real, whole food; it’s food that’s made with chemicals to give it a long shelf life, with things added to make the food taste better through processing, coloring and even adding texture.

In other words, manufacturers work hard to make this chemical laden food look natural. When you use processed foods, you’re exchanging convenience for your health.

Ideally, you choose foods that are as close to natural as you can get. This ensures that you are eating the best breastfeeding diet possible for you.

Denial Shouldn’t Be Part of Your Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

Regardless of knowing that something is good or bad for you, regardless of whether or not you have a food that’s your weakness, you shouldn’t deny yourself from having what you want.

Deprivation has NO place in a healthy breastfeeding diet.

But if something is bad for you, then it needs to be avoided at all costs, right? Not necessarily.

The best case scenario would be to eat 100% healthy foods 100% of the time. But we’re all human and sometimes the way that we should eat doesn’t always work out.

Deciding that a food is off limits is a bad idea. The reason for this is that the minute that you decide that a food is banned from your body, it’s going to create a desire for that food.

The more you deny it, the more that your body (and mind) will crave it. You’ll begin to think about the food, how much you miss it, how much you want it. Sometimes this happens because we associate certain foods with pleasant memories, things that raise our endorphin levels.

What we’re seeking is that same rise in endorphins to feel good. And if the food gives you that, you’re going to want it.

It’s always best to include all foods and practice mindfulness, balance, and moderation.

Stick with the mindset that if you want something, whatever it is, then you’re allowed to have itjust have it when you’re truly hungry.

When you limit or erase a food from your dietary intake, it’s possible you’ll end up bingeing on the food.

Denying yourself any food can create a preoccupation with the food. So don’t fall into the “can never have” mindset. Often, by giving yourself permission to have something, you’ll end up not wanting it as much.

Wrapping Up

Creating your own healthy breastfeeding diet means you begin living a life of common sense and better nutritional choices – feeling your best, as you give the best possible nutrition to your baby.

You aren’t too strict on yourself, or too lenient. If you want to, you can make your own food chart and work on making better choices and cutting back on some of the foods you’re prone to abuse in your dietary habits.

Whenever you come across news about a certain food, take it with a grain of salt. It might be what researchers honestly believe at that moment, but it might be something that’s reversed a few years later.

And most of all, be kind to yourself, have patience, and know that you don’t have to have a perfect diet to ensure your breast milk is the best you can give your baby. Your body has that covered.

Eat in a way that makes YOU look and feel your best so you can give your best to your family.



 

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