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.
Most new mommies are very eager to lose weight fast once baby arrives, but are worried that if they drop calories or weight too quickly, they will also lose their milk supply. I’ve lost the baby weight fairly quickly with each pregnancy, without losing my milk supply at all because of one major point: my nutrition. I can tell you with out a doubt your nutrition and food sources is the fastest way to lose weight while breastfeeding.
If you don’t want to read through the in-depth information on losing weight quickly while breastfeeding, and just need to get started, I highly recommend my FREE 10-Day Reset Ebook, or grabbing my program. I specifically designed my program around all of these key points!
What does a good breastfeeding diet look like? Here are some points I am going to go over, because I want you to really understand exactly how to eat, how much to eat, and the basics of good breastfeeding nutrition. Breastfeeding nutrition is important to understand because your nutritional needs are DIFFERENT while breastfeeding. This is key. You need MORE nutrients while you are breastfeeding, and focusing on nutrients is the FASTEST way to lose weight while breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding requires different nutritional needs, and understanding those can help you lose weight fast
- Breastfeeding requires more energy, so providing the right energy is very important
- Postnatal depletion needs to be addressed immediately after birth
- Over consumption of calories and habitual cravings during pregnancy need to be reset
Ready to dive into this information? I highly recommend taking your time to fully understand the points here because with knowledge, you can make better decisions for your body and baby! Eating a nutrient-dense diet is going to benefit your baby as well because the water-soluble vitamins get passed into your breast milk.
Your body wants nutrients, and by giving it what it needs, you are in the fast lane to losing the baby weight and feeling great. Buckle up, let’s get into it!
Eating Necessary Nutrients for Breastfeeding Is The Foundation to Fast Weight Loss, But What Are These?
As you enter into breastfeeding your new baby, your body has a completely different nutritional requirement. Our bodies are designed to store nutrients during pregnancy, so we can tap into those necessary nutrients right away. I haven’t researched this idea, but knowing what I know on nutrition, and how incredibly smart our bodies are, I will go as far as to say that during pregnancy, our bodies specifically pick to store nutrients we will need while breastfeeding. Gaining weight and storing nutrients during pregnancy is healthy and NEEDED! But, if we don’t tweak our eating once baby arrives, our bodies never get a chance to tap into those specific energy stores. Keep this in mind as we go through the nutrients. Your body wants to used the energy it stored to create breast milk, so eating a lighter, nutrient -dense diet while breastfeeding is important. There are 5 critical nutrients you need while breastfeeding.
These include healthy carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, Folate and Zinc. I am a BIG advocate of protein shakes for both prenatal and breastfeeding mamas because, if you use a safe and nutrient-dense protein, you can easily help your body get all the nutrients it needs. By giving your body the essential nutrients it needs, it will be able to function properly and let go of stored fat. If you only give your body empty calories, it will want to save and store nutrients. Very simple, yet very important. You can immediately start eating cleaner, healthier, and keep up your milk supply with my FREE 10-day reset.
Some great foods to focus on for these nutrients are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, flax seeds, chia seeds, plant-based protein, berries and eggs.
Once you start transitioning your focus on your nutrient needs, you also need to balance out your energy needs. Your energy needs change as you transition from pregnancy into breastfeeding.
Balancing Your Energy Needs Is Very Important To Losing The Weight Fast:
Food is about energy and nutrients, both of which our body needs to function and thrive. Where many new, breastfeeding mothers go wrong is they immediately assume that with breastfeeding their energy needs sky rocket. This isn’t necessarily the case. During pregnancy, as the infant is growing and using more energy to grow, you are sending more calories to your growing baby. Once the baby is born, you aren’t sending those calories directly to the fetus, but rather into producing milk. No one REALLY knows what that energy transfer really is for each person, and the energy needs didn’t necessarily dramatically increase for breastfeeding. You might not want to hear that, and be thinking, “why the heck am I so hungry??!!” TRUE hunger is actually rarely experienced for most Americans. We often confuse hunger with cravings, which are centered around emotional needs like exhaustion, anxiety, boredom, depression and LACK OF NUTRIENTS. The last one is really important. As your nutritional needs change with breastfeeding, your body is going to signal that you need more nutrients. That is often confused with hunger or needing calories/energy in general.
Here’s what you need to do: eat cleaner, leaner and nutrient-dense. This usually means you are eating less calories and getting more nutrients. I say “usually” because depending on how much you gained and ate during pregnancy, your eating habits may be way too much, so it will take some time to scale things back. BUT by eating nutrient-dense foods you are getting fiber and protein, which makes you feel more full. This helps you eat less calories, but more nutrients, which enables your body to use the nutrients your are eating, as well as tap into the nutrients it stored and prepared for breastfeeding. By focusing on the first step, you are also balancing your energy needs to help with a faster weight loss.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean gorging yourself high calorie, nutrient dense foods like quinoa, oatmeal, beans, chicken, eggs and nuts. Eat endless amounts of fruits and vegetables (blend them in a protein shake!!), and smaller amounts of protein and complex carbs.
Understanding Postnatal Depletion And How That Affects Weight Loss:
Postnatal depletion is a hidden road block to weight loss that deserves more attention to help new mothers heal and thrive postpartum. Again, your nutrient intake during pregnancy plays a major role in this. For example, if you gained extra weight during your pregnancy and found yourself running through the drive thru a few too many times, your body received a surplus of calories, but not nutrients. These are normal and typical habits during pregnancy because it helps us feel better.
Our bodies do not understand what is going on, and are thus put in a tricky situation of needing nutrients for the growing fetus and baby, but having a surplus of calories, sugar and fat.
This means we have to tap into nutrient stores to provide the necessary nutrients for mama and baby, while also storing extra energy. Because we may not be getting enough nutrients, the body needs to signal for more nutrients, which comes out in pregnancy cravings. Before we know it, all our nutrient stores are used for baby, and once baby is delivered, there are plenty of fat stores, but not much nutrients left. Some nutrients can’t be stored and need to be consumed as well.
This cycle leads to postnatal depletion and exhaustion, which needs to be offset through a postnatal nutrient-dense diet. Supplements like a lactation protein powder are very, very helpful in doing this. Blending your nutrients in a protein shake makes them easier to digest and absorb. I highly recommend my Milk Dust to ensure you are getting herbs for lactation support, essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals to help combat cravings.
These are the three major aspects of losing weight fast while breastfeeding.
By understanding nutritional needs, energy balance and postnatal depletion, you can set yourself up for success! Choosing the right foods isn’t as easy at it sounds because life gets in the way. Many mamas are headed off to work soon after baby, which makes meal prepping even more difficult. This is why I highly suggest protein shakes as a helpful tool to lose the weight fast. There is little clean up, lots of nutrients, and the yummy recipes taste amazing! Here’s a free protein shake challenge for breastfeeding mams you might LOVE to try!
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.