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.
Safe tips to lose weight while breastfeeding without affecting milk supply – that worked for me!
Losing weight while breastfeeding doesn’t have to come with the price of affecting your milk supply, at all!! I know because I’ve lost the baby weight three times now, and never had my milk supply suffer. In fact, I’ve had an over-abundance of breast milk all while losing the baby weight quickly. Let’s be completely honest here, I am not just naturally skinny and drop weight eating cheeseburgers. I work out and eat very healthy. I changed my eating habits long ago when I developed IBS in college, from a super unhealthy eating lifestyle. I finally found relief by eating clean, taking probiotics and digestive enzymes to get back on track.
Fast forward 10 years after college, to becoming a mom and my healthy diet played a MAJOR role in helping me lose the baby weight without affecting my milk supply at all!
Seriously, I created a complete nutrition program for healing and breastfeeding postpartum because I am so passionate about nutrition and feed being a MAJOR player in your postpartum recovery and weight loss. Eating the right foods can really help you lose weight quickly, while still giving your bodies all the important nutrients it needs to lose the baby weight while still producing lots of milk. Let’s get into how to do this.
How To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding Without Affecting Your Milk Supply in 3 Simple Steps:
First, you want to eat nutrient-dense foods that promote milk production and weight loss:
Some of these foods are sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, eggs, apples, oatmeal, chickpeas and nuts. All of these foods, and the 20 most healing foods I have in the program, help your body by giving it a lot of nutrient power to do what it is made to do! I explain this process in the program, but basically, you want to eat a lot of nutrients because otherwise your body thinks nutrients are scarce. Even if there is an abundance of calories, if those calories are empty, your body can’t use them, except to store them. When nutrients are scarce, it wants to hold on to fat and put any nutrients it gets into reserves. By giving your body all the nutrients it needs to function, it will happily let go of fat.
Which nutrient-dense foods important for lactation + help with weight loss?
I have a long list of foods and recipes in my program, but there are some important foods I think all breastfeeding mamas should eat to keep up their milk supply. These foods include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Protein Powder (plant-based)
These foods have so many important nutrients in them for breastfeeding and postpartum. Lactation requires more nutrients than if you are pregnant or when you are neither, so eating nutrient-dense foods is really important. Your nutrition after pregnancy is also really important to helping your body heal properly. Nutrition can be very effective for treating mood swings, hormonal imbalances and more, so take some time to eat a lot of these foods!
Eat the right amount of calories for weight loss while breastfeeding:
This can be a huge eye-opener for some people. Breastfeeding can make counting calories more complicated, but don’t be scared to play around with your calorie count. You are not going to lose your milk supply if you reduce your calories and have fat to burn. It has been scientifically proven that your body will use fat to produce breast milk, and that is why it is there. “When you breast-feed, you use fat cells stored in your body during pregnancy — along with calories from your diet — to fuel your milk production and feed your baby. Weight loss during breast-feeding can occur even when you follow the recommendations to eat an additional 300 to 500 calories a day to keep up your energy and milk production.” (source). Still, many mamas are scared to reduce calories for fear of losing their milk supply. If you reduce your calories, but eat a very nutrient-dense diet, your body will be more than willing to use fat as fuel.
Eating the right amount of food and QUALITY food was the key to my weight loss while breastfeeding, without losing my milk.
I can’t stress this point enough, because many jump head first into a clean eating plan, with no idea how much they are eating. If your body has too many calories, it will store the extra as fat. By properly counting calories while breastfeeding, you can transform your diet to drop weight fast and safely.
Here’s can example of how calories decrease when you clean up your food:
Take a standard cheese burger with mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato, buns, ketchup and mustard. You could be looking at around 1,000 calories depending on the size of the burger. The buns are usually 140 – 180 calories. Cheese is around 100 calories per slice, and it could be more on the cheeseburger. Bacon is usually around 100 calories a slice as well, depending on the thickness. Mayo is almost 100 calories for 1 TBSP.
If you switch to a clean, turkey burger wrapped in lettuce sans the cheese and slices of avocado instead, you are MUCH better off! If the turkey burger is smaller, and very lean meat, you could be saving 100 calories per serving. Taking away the buns saves 140-180 calories. A few slices of avocado is maybe around 50 calories, and will take the place of the bacon, mayo and cheese. Doing this can save you at least 500 calories, so you could probably eat TWO of these turkey burgers for the same amount of calories.
Your body becomes so happy and efficient on less calories and more nutrients, and it is the best way to protect your milk supply!
Use milk supply boosters to increase milk supply while losing weight:
There are some amazing supplements that help keep your milk supply up as you transition and change your diet. I specifically created Milk Dust for breastfeeding mamas because it boosts milk supply while helping you lose weight. I have a unique lactation blend, as well as craving-crushing mineral and nutrient blends! Supplements can be super helpful as you adjust your diet and calories, so make sure to find some you know work for your body. Sometimes, no matter what, your body needs a little extra boost. Fenugreek works really well for me. I know blessed thistle capsules and lactation cookies do wonders for others. I think it is important to have a variety on hand because really what you are doing is giving your body extra nutrients that foods don’t have. It is the same concept, and with these herbs and supplements, you can rest assured that your supply will stay strong while adjusting your diet to find your perfect sweet spot. There’s sample packs from Upspring I highly recommend to try various options and see what works best for you!
If you are struggling with breastfeeding in general, this resource was eye-opening for me, and it literally walks you through everything you need to know on breastfeeding. Many things I had no idea on! This resource may be a game-changer in general, which will also dramatically help you keep your supply up, and create a happy breastfeeding experience overall, while you lose the weight too!
Overall, you can safely lose weight while breastfeeding, without losing your milk supply by following the rules I followed:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods
- Use milk supply boosters to increase milk supply
- Take out high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like breads and cheese
- Reduce sugar intake (use Milk Dust to reduce sugar cravings!)
- Focus on eating the right amount of calories for your body
By following these simple and safe tips, you can lose your baby weight while breastfeeding, without losing any of your precious milk supply – just like I did three times now!
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.