I think that breastfeeding is the best diet on the planet.
What other diet is there where you can eat an extra 1,000 calories a day and still lose weight?
I’ve always easily and efficiently lost weight while breastfeeding, even though it makes me hungrier and I find myself consuming as much as 1,000 extra calories a day, especially when the baby is older and yet still exclusively breastfeeding (meaning they haven’t been eating solid food yet, which, for most of my babies, usually doesn’t take place until they are between 8 and 10 months old).
My metabolism kicks into high gear in order to produce all that milk and, for a short time, I get to know what it’s like to be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight!
Until the baby begins to wean that is.
And it always sneaks up on me, all of my babies have always naturally began to self-wean sometime between 16 and 24 months old, and it’s so gradual that I often don’t notice it until I get on the scale one day and I am 10 POUNDS heavier ….mouth agape, staring at the number on the scale…”what the fuuu…” you get the idea..
Except this time around, being my 5th baby and all, I’ve gotten a bit wiser and caught on early …only gained 8 pounds LOL ( I got down to 177 and then popped back up to 185)
As the baby drinks less breastmilk and eats more real food my body doesn’t require as many calories to make milk, but I don’t pay attention to my bodies cues, like a marked decrease in appetite for example, and still continue eating the same amount of calories and, very rapidly, I gain weight.
Hence “The Overabundance Effect” 😉
It’s funny to me how we humans are such creatures of habit, so much so that I can easily go on eating that extra 1,000 calories a day even though I don’t need it…because I like food, first of all, and second of all because habits are hard to break. And having been pregnant and/or breastfeeding (or both!) for at least the last 5 years, it’s an odd feeling to not be so ravenously hungry all the time but because I am a “creature of habit” I still end up eating the same amount and then I feel stuffed! And you would think that would teach me, that at that instant I would be like “whoa, I need to eat less food!” but NO, I continue to do the same thing over and over again and then act surprised when I get on the scale and I am 8 pounds heavier 🙄
So, now I get to do something that I haven’t gotten to do in 5 YEARS…restrict calories. But not in the trying, striving, “I can’t have this, I can’t have that..oh woe is me!” kind of way, but in a way that celebrates the FREEDOM of not having to eat food. It’s quite simple really, I reverse my thinking and treat it as an annoyance and inconvenience to have to make a meal for myself (oh I’ll still cook for the family of course) which is partly true, for this time of the year at least. I LOVE to cook, but mostly only the food that I myself have grown, and since the only good things coming from the garden right now are spinach, mache, cilantro, and parsley it leaves much to be desired…like the taste of a juicy delicious sun-ripened tomato eaten whole out of hand, just like an apple 😀
Besides, February has always been the time of the year when people and animals most naturally went hungry. Winter food stores start to get low and game starts to become sparse, especially if it’s a hard winter. And there are few, if any, wild plants to forage for and so people had to restrict calories to stretch their food store and they went hungry, naturally. The full moon of February was often referred to as “The Hunger Moon” for this very reason. And as Spring came closer, the body experiencing an increase in light and a decrease in calories, it was a “cue” of sorts for the body to begin “housecleaning”, a naturally induced state of detoxification to rid itself of the toxins accumulated over the past year. Then in March when the first tender young greens made their appearance, the body was primed and ready to take up those nutrients and heal itself further. This is the natural way of things, of living in harmony with the cycles of nature, which God created.
My caloric restriction involves eating only when I am hungry and eating mostly only the food that I raise, which greatly limits my food choices but ensures that the food that I do eat is extra nutritious. This will involve eating a lot of eggs, and raw goat’s milk and homemade goat’s milk cheese or yogurt, and chicken meat as I still have 4 hens that are older and need to go…and then there are the few greens that are in the garden. We ran out of potatoes and onions already, I plan to quadruple the amount that I am growing for this gardening season, but I still have plenty of garlic though.
Last year at this same time, I did the “One Week Without Sugar” series that you’ll find in the sidebar there on the right, and for the most part I still don’t eat white sugar. I don’t add sugar to my coffee (instead I add a pinch of salt to the grounds right before brewing which really brings out the flavor of the coffee, and add lots of warmed goat’s milk to create a latte of sorts…). . . when I bake I use rapadura (whole cane sugar), so about the only white sugar I ever do imbibe is the bit of dark chocolate that I tend to eat about twice a week or so, I like to eat that with salt as well, but it has to be high quality unrefined grey sea salt. Don’t knock it till you try it!
I have a tendency to eat out of boredom, as do A LOT of housewives, and if I find that happening (although I usually have no time to be bored) I plan to work either on my writing more, maybe get back into writing poems and fun little short stories like I used to do as a teen…or my photography combined with a hike in the woods, which is extra exercise! OR my sewing or knitting, of which I have done NONE (other than the occasional mending of a rip or the sewing on of a button) in at least 2 years. I also have lots of seedlings for the garden that I will be starting soon, much to keep me busy!
And if you’d like to checkout all my other previous posts on weightloss, just click here