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. It can literally make or break your milk supply and postpartum weight loss goals. 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.
During pregnancy, 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.
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.
Let’s go over eating nutrient-dense foods for 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.
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 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.
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?!