This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
I lost all the extra weight by 6 weeks postpartum after my third pregnancy, without a whole lot of effort or dieting because I’ve finally got the weight loss while breastfeeding thing down. I know breastfeeding a new baby is a really difficult time to lose weight, but it is also a really important time to truly eat the best diet you can.
Breastfeeding and postpartum healing require extra nutrients, both for mama and baby, so cleaning up your diet, and eating better is actually really important!
Changing my mindset was key to my postpartum weight loss by 6 weeks for the third time around. I wasn’t thinking of my clean eating as a diet, but as nourishment for my body and baby. Making this change, will make my list of tips seem completely achievable for you too!
How much weight can you actually lose by 6 weeks postprtum?
As soon as you begin breastfeeding, you will start burning extra calories. Breastfeeding burns 300-500 calories a day, depending on if you are exclusively breastfeeding or pumping too. If you keep your calorie count in a sweet spot, you will start losing 1-2 pounds a week. That can potentially give you about 12 pounds of weight gone in 6 weeks. If you have more weight to lose, and you were overeating during pregnancy, cutting your calories and burning extra while breastfeeding could portentially get you down even more by 6 weeks. If you gained over 25 pounds during your pregnancy, you most likely can lose more faster because you gained more to begin with. The number of pounds you can lose by 6 weeks postpartum is very unique to you. I am also assuming you are eating a very nutrient-dense diet, so your body isn’t deprived of any essential nutrients. If you are needing help there, you can grab this protein powder for milk supply, nourishment and weight loss.
Can I add in workouts to help me lose the weight by 6 weeks?
Technically you can not add in workouts before you are cleared by your doctor at your 6 week checkup. I actually agree with this time period because there is a lot of healing and strength building that needs to happen. I highly recommend going through my Ab Rehab and Core Restore program as soon as you can after birth, as well as adding in as much walking as you can. Walking is actually healing, it is low-impact, fat-burning and safe to do after birth (assuming you didn’t have any major complications).
Because 80% of your weight loss is going to be diet, most of my tips for losing the weight by 6 weeks are easy-to-follow, diet changes you can make right now.
5 safe and easy steps to lose weight by 6 weeks postpartum:
Take Out Processed Carbohydrates:
This is a super simple step that makes a huge difference. Eliminating processed carbohydrates is going to help you balance your blood sugar, leave room for nutrient-dense carbohydrates, and ultimately eat fewer calories per serving. Examples of processed carbohydrates include bread, crackers, chips, granola bars, cereals, some protein/meal replacement bars and even candy. These foods taste great, but they don’t offer many nutrients, and they do spike your blood sugar. In essence you are spiking your blood sugar with little vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. Your body doesn’t need these spikes without nutrients. It only increases your appetite because you blood sugar drops, and your body never got the nutrients it was looking for. By simply eliminating this processed food group, you can leave room for healthy carbohydrates that will nourish your body and baby if you are breastfeeding.
Focus on Healthy, Whole-Food Carbohydrates:
Replacing processed carbohydrates with whole-food, natural carbohydrates will help you make a lot of progress with your weight loss immediately. Some carbohydrates that are wonderful sources for healing postpartum, as well as milk supply include:
- sweet potatoes
- brown rice (in moderation)
- nuts + seeds
This is a simple list, but by focusing on what you like on this list, and filling up on these foods, you will be filling up on fiber and nutrients. This makes you feel full…which really helps with breastfeeding hunger. Breastfeeding hunger comes from a greater need for nutrients, not necessarily calories. Your body is burning slightly more calories, but it really needs nutrients. Simply replacing processed carbohydrates with carbohydrates from my list above will keep your blood sugar stable, help you feel full on less calories and provide you with more nutrients.
Start Your Day With Protein Shakes:
The reason I suggest protein shakes as a great tool for weight loss, before you even get to 6-weeks postpartum is because consuming enough protein while breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Breastfeeding tends to cause more sugar and carb cravings, leaving protein on the back burner. If you aren’t breastfeeding, starting your day with a simple protein shake is much easier than cooking. I love that I don’t have to clean up much, get a bunch of ingredients, do any chopping or prep, and clean any pans. I just throw a few scoops of my favorite protein powder (it is made for breastfeeding mamas, yay!) in and some handfuls of spinach and frozen berries. Rinse the Nutribullet single serving cup and go!
The reason protein is essential postpartum is to help you heal after birth, and if you are breastfeeding, protein passes through your breast milk to baby. I created Milk Dust protein powder, which is a lactation-boosting protein powder that can help with weight loss by curbing sugar cravings. It also offers extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are proven to be essential to postpartum mamas. The goal is to help mamas get in enough protein to support healing and baby, as as as nutrients that when low, often cause sugar cravings. It is a plant-based protein powder, and I go over more protein powder options on the blog, which will help educate you on what ingredients are in powders and how they help. You can make some wonderful lactation smoothies that are healing, nutritious and really yummy one-handed, with baby in your arms. That is a major plus for new mommies.
There is no other clean, super nutrient-dense protein powders that are specifically made for postpartum healing, nourishment, lactation and weight loss. There are thousands of mamas waiting for this to launch, and I am so excited to finally have a product that helps mamas nourish themselves while also losing weight.
Eliminate Dairy For A Short Time:
You may not like the idea of eliminating dairy, but it can be a SUPER helpful and easy step that will result in some fast weight loss after baby. Dairy products like milk, cream, half and half, yogurt and cottage cheese are often reported as great sources of lean protein. If you look at these products purely for protein, then yes, they do have a good amount of protein per serving. BUT, dairy causes more of an insulin spike than many realize, and it promotes GROWTH in muscle mass and fat. Dairy has hormones in it naturally to help baby cows grow big. Bigger in all ways. As a new mommy, you don’t want to grow big, you want to encourage your body to maintain some muscle mass and use fat. If you are breastfeeding, than dairy can be detrimental to your sugar cravings by causing more sugar cravings. The reason is can do this is because of the insulin spikes is causes. I suggest simply eliminating dairy when wanting to lose weight, then slowly introducing it back in once you are at your goal weight. It doesn’t have to be a life long decision to never drink milk, but a short term decision to reach your goals, then moderate accordingly. If this sounds like something that will be easy to do, yay! If not, you can replace your cheese with goat cheese, Parmesan cheese or harder cheese to help keep the taste. And give nut milks and coconut milks a try for drinking or coffee creamers. If eliminating all together sounds difficult, just reduce the amount of dairy you consume in one day. Baby steps are actually super helpful, and I have a free, 5-day jump start program that really helps to set you up for success with weight loss.
Walk 45 Minutes A Day:
Walking 45 minutes a day is going to help tremendously with weight loss right after baby. I highly encourage you to pack baby up in a carrier or stroller, and get your walking in. The great thing about walking is that you can do 15 minutes at a time, and add it up to 45 minutes. That makes it really easy to accomplish. If you have to walk around your house because of weather, it still works! Most of the time, new babies will sleep in the stroller, giving mama plenty of time to walk peacefully. If your baby doesn’t like the stroller, 15 minutes at a time can be a great option to slowly adjust them to the stroller. Or, just wear them with a super comfortable carrier, this one is my favorite, and you can walk and walk. Walking has many benefits to blood sugar, fat burning and healing, and it won’t cause any major issues (in most women) post birth. Of course, if you experience any pain, then skip this step. In general, walking is a great way to alleviate fatigue and headaches, reduce appetite and help you burn fat.
These are the exact steps I took to lose the weight postpartum by 6 weeks.
If this sounds overwhelming, I highly recommend my program, which provides nutrition guidelines, recipes, a full meal plan and grocery lists, an ab rehab and pelvic floor restore program, and some workouts to get you back into fitness again. It all comes into an online program and app. This will guide you through losing the weight and actually healing your body as well. I found that losing the weight can happen easily with the correct diet, but I also lost muscle and never paid attention to my core and pelvic floor. This left me with a small umbilical hernia, incontinence at times and visits to a pelvic floor specialist. I learned a lot with three babies, and have dramatically fixed my Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor control and posture. I’ve completed my certification as a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and Precision Nutrition Coach, and I am so passionate about helping mamas heal, and avoid the issues I experienced!
If you need help losing the baby weight and keeping up your milk supply, I have a very popular program, The Postpartum Cure, which comes in an app you can download.