Saturday, 20 May 2017

Breastfeeding and (chocolate) Binge Eating

I am approaching 5 months postpartum and alongside the hair loss and unpredictable skin I have been trying to address my binge eating. And before you think, well that sounds quite severe, isn't there a softer more flowery description - no, it is what it it is.

Breastfeeding allows the consumption of an extra 500 calories, which is not a huge amount really. Breastfeeding mums need enough calories to maintain their normal body functions which include producing nutritious breast milk. Okay, so how does that lend itself to how I've been eating?

What happens is, my baby cluster feeds. For England. I sit and I feed and I sit and I feed. Then before I begin to join the very fabric of the sofa, I suddenly need the toilet so I put the baby down. Who cries. I have enough time to put the kettle on, visit the bathroom and make the shoddiest cup of tea ever, returning to the sofa with a mug of boiled water just starting to turn brown with milk in and the tea bag still in. If I see anything sweet in those few minutes, I scarf it. My body has an overwhelming need for sugar and fat. The sensible side of me would be all for a banana and a handful of mixed nuts but usually in that moment I have an uncontrollable appetite for whatever to be at hand, if it is chocolate then chocolate it is.

Or delicious Nutella-filled chocolate chip cookies!

chocolate cookie recipe
Recipe here

Having spoken to a few friends who breastfeed/fed, it doesn't seem such an unusual situation.

Despite making a concerted effort to eat healthier snacks in between meals to stabilise my blood sugar levels to prevent me feeling ravenous during mammoth feeding sessions, I am still very much drawn to anything sweet to give me the energy to propel me forward in that moment. A quick fix I suppose.

However, after eating a ridiculous amount of something I probably ought not to, I feel like I should try to restrict the next day to get myself on track which is of course part of the binge eating cycle.

I could also be misreading intense hunger for thirst. So I plan on filling up bottles of water and leaving them in easy to reach locations to make sure that I am well hydrated.

I know this feeling is temporary, but it certainly makes me feel as if I lack self-control. 

Although breastfeeding and its demands on my body, plus being a pretty active mum of three running on variable hours of restful sleep is probably the reason for all of this, it certainly isn't exclusive. 

Hands up anyone who has eaten well during the day then indulged in the evening? That is when the chocolate is safe to come out after all, when the children have gone to bed!

***Since drafting this post, bars of chocolate have been consumed. Cadbury chocolate with Oreo Peanut Butter, I have decided, is not my cup of tea***
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