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.
Eating smart is so important for breastfeeding and postpartum weight loss. It can literally make or break your milk supply. Our bodies are designed to thrive off of nutrients from the foods we eat. When we deprive our bodies of essential nutrients, and lots of them, we are taking away the building blocks for breast milk, repairing cells after birth and ultimately having the nutrients we need to signal to our body it is okay to let go of fat.
Yep, you heard that right. If your body doesn’t have enough nutrients, it won’t want to let go of the fat it stored to make breast milk.
So, what do we eat while breastfeeding in order to keep up our milk supply and lose weight at the same time??
The concept of what to feed your boobs while breastfeeding for weight loss is very simple, yet can sometimes seem overwhelming. Let’s start with a checklist because as new mamas, we need this simple and straight forward.
Boob food checklist for milk supply and weight loss:
- Healthy Carbohydrates for Energy + Nutrients: my preferred carbs for breastfeeding and weight loss are sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice. Those are all the carbs I suggest in my postpartum weight loss and healing program. These are the most nutrient dense and beneficial for weight loss and milk supply
- Protein Powder for fast and easy smoothies. Smoothies are a big part of my program, and I even created Milk Dust, a lactation-boosting protein powder that actually curbs your sugar cravings while providing essential postpartum nutrients. You can learn more about it, or grab another clean and healthy protein powder. Smoothies are so fast and easy, and you can get a lot of nutrients in a quick meal or snack. Here’s an awesome free smoothie challenge for breastfeeding mamas.
- Fruits: I am a BIG fan of fruits because I believe they help with sugar cravings by giving you something healthy and sweet to eat. They are also full of nutrients like vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, water and glucose. They fill you up and give your brain some much needed energy.
- Coffee: Okay, you may not be drinking coffee while breastfeeding, though some is fine. It actually depends on how much your body is accustomed to drinking, and how you metabolize caffeine. I personally think a couple cups a day is super helpful for functioning as a tired, breastfeeding mama.
- Nuts for fast and nutrient-dense snacks: lightened up trail mix with blueberries, cashews, almonds, dark chocolate chips and popcorn is a great way to get a lot of nutrients in a fast snack that you can pack with you on the go. Combining the fat and protein of the nuts with the fiber and water of the real berries will really help fill you up too.
- Protein Bars can also be an amazing snack source full of healthy protein, vitamins and minerals! I am OBSESSED with my new Milk Dust Bars that are so delicious! They also boost milk supply, cut sugar cravings and give you lots of protein 🙂
This is a simple check list on what you can feed your boobs to lose weight while breastfeeding, but I think the simpler the better. By focusing on what you should eat, try to ignore packaged, processed foods that aren’t high in nutrients. These are just wasted calories that don’t benefit a healthy milk supply. I have an awesome, FREE, 10-day reset that will help guide you on your journey to eating correctly for milk supply and weight loss. It has been very effective for many mamas to jump start their healthy eating.
Remember, using stored fat to produce breast milk is normal:
Our body stores water and nutrients in our fat cells to help produce colostrum and breast milk once baby arrives. It is a natural process to shed water and fat after birth while breastfeeding.
Your body is also ready to hold onto that fat in case there is an emergency and nutrients and energy is scarce. Obviously calories count as well, but your body doesn’t want junk calories. It wants calories full of nutrients it can use to optimally function. I have a whole section on how to safely and effectively count calories for breastfeeding in my recovery and weight loss program for breastfeeding mamas.
The two most important factors in losing weight while breastfeeding:
That’s where eating smart while breastfeeding plays a major role in your postpartum weight loss journey. There are two super important factors I teach in my program for breastfeeding mamas to heal, lose the baby weight and keep up their milk supply. These two factors are eating nutrient-dense foods and eating the right amount of calories.
Why are nutrients so important during breastfeeding?
By pumping your body full of nutrients, your body has what it needs to make an abundant amount of breast milk. Nutrients will also allow your hormones to adjust after pregnancy properly, which plays a major role in healing and breast milk production as well. If your body as enough nutrients, and you continue to put those nutrients in your body daily, it will feel safe to let go of fat.
What happens when we don’t get enough nutrients?
Our bodies store fat when there aren’t enough energy sources to function. It also doesn’t know what to do with calories that don’t have nutrients in them, so it stores them as well. These calories don’t get broken into many jobs because chemicals and processed ingredients don’t function well in our bodies. Where as foods like broccoli or apples have a lot of nutrients that get broken down and put to work, rather than stored. These foods have water in them, which gets used to flush our system, fiber which stays in the digestive tract to help push food through, small amounts of protein that get used for cell repair, muscle repair, hair and skin etc, and phyto-nutrients that our bodies use to fight bad cells and reduce inflammation. This is a super basic way to explain the process, but hopefully you get the idea.
The nutrient dead-zone and breastfeeding:
The food you eat serves a purpose for your body. If you eat food your body can’t use, it will store it, tell you you need more food, and want to hold on to any nutrients it can because it thinks you are in a nutrient-dead zone. Talk about stressful. In this mode, it is harder for your body to function. My program goes over the foods and nutrients you need to heal and produce a healthy milk supply, as well as a full meal plan with recipes to help you stay on track if you need it. It is specifically created for breastfeeding mamas, who also need to heal from birth. In addition to nutrition, there are healing moves and information for your core and pelvic floor, as well as awesome workouts that will help you burn the fat off fast, while still protecting your core and maintaining muscle. I go over more of that in this post.
In my years of helping mamas lose weight while breastfeeding, there was a protein powder missing that was specifically designed for breastfeeding mamas to combat these sugar cravings and fully nourish mamas. I am a firm believer in nutrition for milk supply, so I created Milk Dust. Milk Dust is literally your best friend for lactation and weight loss. It has a milk-boosting herb blend, plenty of protein, sugar-craving-busting herbs like Tumeric, Cinnamon Bark Root and minerals like Chromium which have all been used to balance blood sugar. In addition to all these fabulous items. I hand-picked specific vitamins like Folate (L-Methylfolate) because folate is still important during lactation! Almost just as important as in pregnancy. I also hand-picked vitamin B12 for energy, and super foods like Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Blueberries and more. The protein powder is free of soy, gluten, dairy and corn. It is NON-GMO, Vegan and plant-based!! I highly recommend you check it out if you are craving sugar. It is only sweetened with Stevia, Monk Fruit and Organic Cane Juice, which means there is very little sugar, but it is very sweet, so you still get to drink something like a milkshake! THE PRESALE IS LIVE AND IT SELLS OUT FAST!
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.
Eating the right amount of calories while breastfeeding:
The second portion of smart nutrition for breastfeeding is how much you are eating. I teach you how to effectively count calories while breastfeeding, which can be very tricky because you don’t want to affect your supply. Most of the time, when mamas clean up their diet and focus on nutrient-dense foods, weight comes off easily without having to count calories.
Other times, the amount of calories is still more than YOUR BODY needs. Notice that emphasis. No one should tell you how much to eat. I show you how to determine YOUR INDIVIDUAL AMOUNT in the program by explaining it in the video. It is super simple, and it will help you make sure you are eating the right amount to keep up your milk supply and still lose the baby weight. This is a very important aspect to eating smart, and usually all it takes is a few days to adjust to how much to eat, and it all comes naturally after that. Here’s what one mama said, after learning to count calories properly for breastfeeding,
I have lost 6lbs-yay!- and have 12 more to go! I am encouraged for sure because it is usually not until I’m done nursing that I’m able to lose weight. So I’m all in for hopefully the rest of my life-on clean eating like this and exercise! Thanks so much for your help!!
I can’t tell you how happy this makes me, that I was able to help a mama regain her health, get rid of unwanted weight, and feel motivated to eat healthier going forward!
If you are struggling with breastfeeding in general, I found a little gem of a resource that goes over everything breastfeeding you could possibly want to know. And, focusing on the right foods, and filling yourself up on those foods is going to bring you a lot of health for both you and baby! What mama doesn’t want a healthy supply and to lose weight?!
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.