If you are trying to lose the baby weight, you might be wondering what kind of diet will keep you and your baby (if you’re breastfeeding) safe and healthy while controlling your weight.
There are many diets out there, and the Keto diet is one that is becoming more and more popular.
What about the Ketogenic diet and postpartum, though?
In an effort to lose weight faster, three years ago, I tried the keto diet...and I felt absolutely awful. Yes, I lost the weight fast (which I later gained back!). But I experienced extreme fatigue, a chronic sore throat and menstrual irregularities. My hormones were off.
While there are some opinions floating around on this issue, there is not a lot of research about the risks associated with this diet.
What Do You Need to Know About the Keto Diet?
To understand if the low-carb diet is right for you – especially when breastfeeding – you must first understand what it entails.
The Ketogenic diet involves eating very low-carb (we’re talking low-carbs to the extreme!), moderate protein and high fat foods. Instead of the body burning carbs, it will burn fat.
The benefits of following a Keto diet are to lose weight (quickly), build muscle, and it can also treat different conditions. Many research have shown that some of the conditions it can help improve are epilepsy, PCOS, diabetes and obesity. So, while this diet seems to have so many benefits, it may not be the best choice for you!
Understand that very low carbohydrate diets tend to have higher rates of side effects, including constipation, headaches, bad breath and more. A high fat diet will be hard on your organs, especially kidneys and liver. Also, meeting the diet's requirements means cutting out many healthy foods, making it difficult to meet your micronutrient needs.
Carbs Are Your Friends!!
Since the Keto diet is low in carbs, it is helpful to understand how carbs are beneficial.
Generally, it is well known that men do better than women on a long-term keto diet. For the typical woman, carbs are the main source of energy, yet it’s important to know that not all carbs are created equal.
Knowing that you need to eat carbohydrates, it doesn't mean you're free to load up on cakes and cookies to get your recommended daily servings!
Instead of cutting out all carbs, learn about the carbs that belong on your plate and the carbs you want to skip. There is big difference between embracing a low-carb lifestyle and choosing a keto diet!
You Have a Specific Genotype
While some women lose pregnancy weight quickly while breastfeeding, others (like me) don’t lose it until they stop breastfeeding. Science hasn’t yet nailed down the exact reason for this gap.
Sara Gottfried, author of the book The Hormone Cure, explains that there are about two hundred genes involved in your metabolic set point, and the hormones (including thyroid, leptin, insulin and cortisol) that determine whether you have more “thrifty” genes are complex. These genes allow you to survive a famine, and our bodies deal with this stress in their own way. Dr. Gottfried assumes that women who lose weight rapidly have more of the “skinny” genes than “thrifty” genes.
So, Mama, if you are still breastfeeding, simply be patient and be good to yourself. Follow a healthy diet and trust that your body is doing its very best to keep you at the perfect weight.
Despite your genotype, a diet including healthy carbs will keep your metabolism running at a healthy speed. No need to jump on the latest trendy fad diet.