Weight Loss While Breastfeeding
It can be hard to lose weight while breastfeeding. You have to make sure that you’re eating the right amounts of food, foods that are higher in fat, and drinking enough water just to produce your milk. When you make changes to your diet and eating, your milk production can sacrifice.
When determining a workout and eating plan to follow, moms who are breastfeeding have to be really careful to make sure that they pick something that works for their body.
When breastfeeding your body can burn around 500 calories a day to produce milk for your baby. When you first start nursing, you may find yourself super hungry and reaching for anything quick and easy to scarf down. I can’t tell you how many protein bars I ate or how many meals that got spilled on my little ones while I tried to nurse and eat one-handed (oh come on, you know if happened to you too!)
And while it’s true to have to eat more for your supply, there are many factors that can help you lose weight healthily while keeping your supply up. You need to consider how often you’re nursing, how much your child drinks (I was burning much more when my baby was a newborn compared to now that he’s 16 months old) , your age and metabolism, and your water intake.
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Now that I am postpartum with #2, I am trying to decide which program will meet my needs the best. I had lost 70 pounds before I had my daughter, gained 50 pounds while pregnant, lost 40 pounds before getting pregnant again with my son, and gained that 40 back during pregnancy. He is now 16 months old and I’m excited to have lost 30 pounds and know that it’s been much harder this time around to see results.
This past year, I’ve used Beachbody on Demand to stream my workouts and follow the meal plans laid out for me. It’s helped me lose a big chunk of the weight and is a busy mom lifesaver! It’s so hard to make it to a gym with little kids so being able to stream any workout while my kids play or watch Paw Patrol has been amazing! If you’re in a similar boat, head over and get a year to stream ALL workouts from Beachbody for just $99!
After the holidays, I am ready to stop feeling like a Christmas cookie and prioritize my health again. And that’s how I settled on starting the year with the 21-day fix extreme. I like to do this program 2 times a year because it’s more advanced and a challenge for my body but, the meal plan is not something that I’d recommend you do too often.
The 21 day fix extreme meal plan incorporates what’s called Carb Cycling. Carb cycling is where you have a few days of lower (but not no-carbs) carb days and a few days with a normal amount of carbohydrates. This type of plan should only be followed for 3 weeks at a time to help your body detox from sugars and carbs and lean out.
This is NOT a long term eating plan. Your body NEEDS carbohydrates for energy and health. It is important that you eat them. The problem comes when we eat the wrong kinds or too many of them. And, as busy breastfeeding moms, we sometimes just eat what’s leftover on our kid’s plates or convenient.
You NEED to make sure you are eating enough food while nursing so that your body has the calories and fat to make milk. The biggest mistake I see women making when trying to lose weight post-baby is slashing their calories WAY too low. I know I thought that was what I had to do.
21 day fix extreme for Breastfeeding
When breastfeeding and starting a new weight loss program, you want to make sure that you find one that fits you and your supply. I picked 21 day fix extreme because my son doesn’t nurse that much anymore and I know my supply wouldn’t be too changed with it. I would not suggest it for a mom with a newborn while you supply is still regulating. We are starting to wean (okay, who am I kidding, I’m so not ready!) and he gets most of his nutrition from solids so I wanted to see how this program could change my body.
Since I’ve done it before, I know that on the lower carb days, I need to drink a lot more water to help my supply flow. I also suggest that you start to pay attention to how fussy your baby is or if you pump if you’re supply dips.
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out the correct bracket for weight loss and breastfeeding.
Currently, I am eating in a bracket which is around 1500-1799 calories (bracket B). I am unsure of how my body will respond to eating this amount and if my milk supply will drop so I am playing it by ear. If my supply starts to dip, I will add in more food and if I am hungry I will simply eat more until I figure out what my body needs. The key for me is going to be adding in vegetables and not sugary treats that will make me binge eat!
When figuring out your calories, this is the general rule that I follow
- Determine what your bracket would be for the program using the formula in the book
- Go up ONE bracket
- Add in one extra blue a day for those healthy, supply boosting fats (yay cheese!)
This is the same formula I’ve pretty much followed for the past 4 years since I’ve either been pregnant or nursing that entire time and knew I needed something to help guide me to eat healthy foods while fueling my body.
21 Day Fit Extreme and 2B Mindset for Breastfeeding
The past 6 months, I’ve also been following the principles of the 2B Mindset Program (also from Beachbody). I love this program now that my healthy eating has seriously just become my lifestyle. This is actually the first year I didn’t make a weight loss goal because I know it will just happen if I continue this lifestyle and am finally not just fixated on a number! (can I get an AMEN!)
As I dive into the 21 day fix Extreme, I’ve decided that I want to keep some of the 2B mindset principles that have helped me. This has me changing a few things in the 21 day fix extreme plan but, I’m okay with making changes that I know my body and life will respond to!
The 2B Mindset Principles I am keeping during these 3 weeks include:
– Water First (helping my supply and keeping me full)
– Veggies Most (making sure I get the good stuff)
– Have snacks be optional (I’ve finally kicked my morning snack habit and want to stick with that. I was just having it out of routine and not hunger and I want to keep that up)
– Dinner and done (I’ve seen a direct correlation to the nights I don’t eat after dinner and my weight loss)
All of these principles still keep me within the 21 day fix extreme meal plan but also allow me to have the flexibility to do it my way! I’ll be tracking my color-coded containers, eating more veggies if I am hungry (because seriously… why limit veggies?), and making sure my water intake is high (which I 150% suggest to any mom worried about her milk supply)
Don’t have the 21 day fix extreme yet??? Head over and you can order it here! When you order from my link you get the DVDS and a set of containers to get started and I become your personal coach to help you through your journey so after you do, email me at email@example.com so we can talk about your goals and get you started!
If you want to see a sample meal plan of what I’m eating this first week, head over and download it now! I also left a blank chart so you can customize it!