Lose the Weight, Not Your Milk: How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
One of the most common questions that I am constantly asked is if working out and dieting will affect your milk supply while breastfeeding. The short answer? No, not at all. However, it is what you don’t do that can hurt your milk supply.
The most common reasons for milk drying up are:
- Not eating enough calories.
- Not staying hydrated throughout the day.
- Not pumping or feeding enough.
- Stressing out too much.
As you can see, working out and dieting are not in the reasonings, but the effects from working out and dieting could alter your supply somewhat-if you do not take care of yourself.
1. Follow a balanced eating plan. If you are trying to make the scale budge while breastfeeding, you will need to focus on eating clean-not less. My 4 week clean eating plan is perfect for breastfeeding mommies and many have had lots of success with it!
Here’s a sample of what I might eat on a typical day, I try to have something every 2 hrs.
Breakfast (7am): 2 Eggs, 1 serving of Oatmeal, grapefruit
Snack (9am): Apple with cheddar cheese slices and pita chips
Lunch (11pm): Large salad full of greens with grilled chicken breast and 1 small serving of whole wheat crackers
Snack (1pm): 12 Almonds
Snack (3pm): Protein shake with almond milk, 1/2 banana and 1 tsp of almond butter
Dinner (5pm): Roasted Chicken with herbs, sweet potatoes and large serving of green beans
*If I am hungry before bedtime or during my midnight feeding, I will even allow myself a small protein filled snack.
I also get asked regarding supplements and which are safe for breastfeeding mommies. Here’s what I take and it’s absolutely safe!
First and foremost, a good multivitamin is a MUST have. It will also help cover any bases for you as far as nutrients goes, but should never be substitued for a healthy diet packed with vitamins and minerals.
Secondly, a food whey protein powder is key. I use MRM’s Natural Whey which is completely natural and isn’t filled with all of those yucky chemicals that you find in most whey powders. This protein is also safe for breastfeeding mommies.
Take 40% off all MRM supplements with code SIA at checkout! Using a whey protein will deliver a good bit of protein super quickly to your muscles after or during your workout for the ultimate recovery.
Thirdly, a fish oil supplement is perfect for you because it supports a healthy metabolism and fat loss during your workouts, as well as being a natural appetite supressant! I personally use MRM’s Smart Blend. It is safe for breastfeeding and I love knowing that it helps my baby. Again, in case you missed the coupon code, take 40% off all MRM product with code SIA!
Fourth, a calcium supplement is a great idea for breastfeeding mommies! Even pre-natal vitamins do not contain 100% of your daily calcium so you will need something extra. Most dairy products contain a lot of calcium and you can also get it from broccoli, baked beans and some nuts. I use MRM’s Bone Maximizer!
Lastly, an optional, but goodie for workout recovery and muscle building during pregnancy are BCAA’s. I use MRM’s BCAA Reload as its 100% natural and safe for pregnancy and breastfeedding. BCAAs are the building blocks of muscle and helps to reduce muscle soreness after a workout while also increasing your strength.
2. Stay hydrated. You need water to make milk so it only makes sense to stay hydrated. When it comes to weightloss, a lot of the times thirst is often mistaken for hunger so drink a glass prior to each meal. One of my favorite ways to remind myself to drink more water is by these cute little water tracker bottles with motivational sayings on them. You can check them out here.
3. Find an effective workout plan. Most of my clients who are breastfeeding love my 12 week home workout program because it was created specifically for the postpartum mommy! It pushes and challenges you to shaoe your postpartum body, but it does not DRAIN you or stress your body. Therefore, your milk is never affected. Also, the workouts are about 20 minutes long and can all be done straight from the comfort of your own home. Score!
4. Listen to your body. Nobody knows your body like YOU do so listen to it. If you feel like your milk is drying up or something isn’t right, then stop and take it easy.
5. Eat enough calories. You can eat at a calorie deficit while breastfeeding, but you must account for the calories spent making milk. Your body uses between 300-500 (roughly) calories a day making breastmilk, and if you are also eating too few calories, it can cause your body to hold onto fat as a result. For example, if you calculate your caloric need to be 1400 for weightloss (MyFitnessPal is a great way to do this for free), you should then add 500 calories to this calculation, putting you at a goal of 1900 calories.
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