Women who breastfeed generally will burn up to 500 additional calories per day to produce milk for their babies. Most healthcare providers recommend however, that breastfeeding women consume an additional 500 calories to compensate for this burn.

A diet high in nutritious foods including foods from each of the four food groups is vital to the health and well being of the mother and baby. It is important that you don’t actually ‘diet’ during the early months you are breastfeeding, while you are still establishing your milk supply. You can however eat meals that are dense in nutrients and well balanced. Simply changing the types of food you eat rather than the amounts of food you eat can actually facilitate weight loss.

Too much weight loss too quickly can dramatically affect a breastfeeding mother’s milk supply. It may also result in the release of toxins in the breast milk.

That said breastfeeding has many advantages both for babies and mothers. Studies published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 have actually suggested that both breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding women lose fat at a similar rate over several months in the post pregnancy period.

The key to healthy weight loss again rests on the ability of the mom to exercise and eat a healthy, well balanced and nutritious diet in the post pregnancy time frame.