Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
If you’re breastfeeding, you will be very hungry! It might not be the right time to focus on losing weight when you are a meal source for another human. Instead, focus on eating super healthy to fill cravings and squash hunger. Instead of following a diet, follow your body’s hunger by learning what your cravings might mean:
- If you are craving something sweet, you usually need a nutrient that will provide you with quick and lasting energy, like protein. A lack of sleep is associated with calorie dense or sweet cravings. You may also need more magnesium if you have a sweet-tooth and leg cramps! Food sources rich in magnesium are spinach, legumes, almonds, sesame seeds.
- If you are craving salt, try eating a calcium-rich snack. Salty foods temporarily increase calcium but don't resolve your body's need for increased calcium.
- If you are craving a burger, you most likely need more iron. Red meat is the easiest way to get iron, but you can also try fish, chicken, or pea protein if you want to go the vegan route.
There is little evidence that food cravings are caused by a specific nutrient. Possible causes for food cravings:
- Lack of sleep, which is common during the postpartum period, has been associated with cravings, especially for unhealthy foods (Lv, et al. 2018). Mama Balls are conveniently packed and no additional preparation is required. Maybe it helps to get 5 more minutes of sleep!
- Poor nutrient intake in general. A high protein intake may help with appetite control, which may help with food cravings throughout the day (Leidy, et al. 2010). One serving of Nunona Mama Balls provides 10% of your daily nutrient requirements including protein. It also contains micronutrients such as B-vitamins.
- Dehydration and/or an electrolyte imbalance may cause low sodium levels which may make you crave salty foods (Lee, et al. 2019). Try drinking more fluids.
- Highly processed foods. If you often consume highly processed foods rich in added fat and sugar, it may cause addiction-like symptoms which may in turn increase your cravings for these foods (Gordon, et al. 2018). Nunona Mama Balls are made with whole foods (not processed foods), but you may get addicted to its taste!
- Your gut microbes. Research showed that gut microbes are under selective pressure to manipulate our eating behavior to increase their fitness and sometimes even at the expense of ourselves. Microbes may do this by causing cravings for food that they feed on or foods that suppress other microbes (their competitors). They may also induce feelings of unhappiness until we eat foods that enhance their fitness (Alcock, et al. 2014). Nunona Mama Balls are high in fiber. Fiber is the food for healthy gut microbes and may thus help to keep the bugs satisfied which may help control those cravings.