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.
Losing weight while breastfeeding definitely requires a proper meal plan. Without a meal plan in place, it can be very difficult to stick to your healthy breastfeeding diet. I think it is really important to go over what a weight loss meal plan looks like for breastfeeding mamas, so you can create your own meal plan, or follow one of mine to safely lose the baby weight, not your milk supply.
What does a good breastfeeding diet for weight loss include?
You definitely want to create your meal plan around some very healthy, nutrient-dense foods that will support your body and milk supply. Fruits, vegetables and lean proteins are the best sources of nutrients, as well as nuts and avocados for healthy fats. Most of your protein sources are going to have enough healthy fats for your body, and your body has stored fat for baby and energy, so I like to steer mamas in the direction of a higher-carb, lower fat diet (check out my new cook book). This is because carbohydrates are the number one source of energy for tired, breastfeeding mamas. Our brains need the carbohydrates, and if you are getting your carbohydrates from complex sources like sweet potatoes, quinoa, beans, vegetables and fruit, you don’t need to worry about your blood sugar.
The top foods for your lose weight while breastfeeding meal plan:
- Sweet potatoes (these are amazing for milk supply too!)
- Lean protein
- Protein powder (packed with nutrients)
Should my breastfeeding meal plan be low-carb, low-fat or low-calorie?
Your breastfeeding meal plan for weight loss doesn’t need to be any one of the above! The key is to focus on nutrient-dense foods. Is the food you are eating full of nutrients? Most of these foods are lower in calories, so you end up getting full on less calories. That is why my program is full of nutrient-dense meals, rather than a low-carb or low-fat plan. If your food is colorful, grows from the ground, or is a real animal or plant-based protein, then it is okay. There can be a lot of stress when trying to decide whether low-carb, keto or even counting macros is right for your body.
I like to tell mamas that nutrients are right for your body. Don’t worry about carbs, fat or protein right off the bat. Focus on nourishing your body for optimal healthy and lactation.
What does a good breastfeeding meal plan for weight loss look like?
I created a full, 21-day meal plan for mamas in my program, which helps guide mamas and give them a lot of options on nutrient-dense meals. I think a good meal plan for one day would go as follows:
Protein lactation smoothie made with a postpartum + lactatio protein powder, frozen fruit and fresh spinach.
A handfull of nuts with fresh berries, sliced cucumbers and hummus, apple slices with 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
A big salad with lettuce, cliantro, tomatoes, chickpeas and roasted sweet potato. Top it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle a tiny bit of feta cheese or goat cheese on top. Add in sliced fruit if you have some too!
Turkey slices on top of cucumbers with mustard, roasted veggies, half baked sweet potato, 1 slice of avocado toast on sprouted bread
Sheet pan steak and veggies (recipe in my program!), baked salmon + basmati rice, turkey chilli (in my program!), lightened up nachos (in the program too!) or another large salad with rotisserie chicken chopped in!
My lactation brownies in the program make the most amazing dessert! Avocado pudding is super easy, just blended with avocado, cooca powder and some stevia. I also have some cookies in the program too!
You can also grab this breastfeeding cook book with skinny meals just for breastfeeding mamas to help with weight loss and milk supply!
To lose weight while breastfeeding your meal plan needs to be 80% nutrient-dense. That’s what will get you results, while still feeling realistic.
What foods should you avoid in your breastfeeding meal plan?
There are definitely some foods you don’t want to be a part of your breastfeeding diet, even if they seem apropriate for weight loss. These are foods that are processed and full of artificial sweeteners. Some examples are:
- Low-calorie crackers, chips and snacks
- Diet sodas
- Sugar-free juices and candies with aspartame, sucralose or other chemical sweeteners
- Deep fried foods
- MSG found in many take outs and restaurants
- Processed soy foods like faux chicken nuggets (many of these are full of chemicals)
Any foods that are not “real” food, are usually full of chemicals that can alter your hormonal balance. Some of them are lower calorie, so they may be helpful to keep your calories low, but they don’t necessarily nourish your body, which is our goal.
Does your breastfeeding diet affect your breast milk?
Yes, your diet can affect your breast milk, and studies have shown that the fat levels in your breast milk can increase with fat intake in the mother’s diet. Protein can also pass through to the breast milk, which is where many babies can experience allergies or gassiness. Most mothers assume that their baby is gassy from high-fiber foods, when in actuality fiber CAN NOT pass through to the breast milk. Fiber is what causes gassiness. Most likely, the baby is responding to proteins in the breast milk, as well as their digestive system is still digesting.
How fast can you lose weight with this breastfeeding meal plan?
How fast you lose weight while breastfeeding depends entirely on your metabolism and caloric intake. Every mother burns a unique amount of calories while breastfeeding, so factoring in the general 300-500 calories burned is very, very broad. If you want to lose weight fast, you will need to track how much you are eating, even if you are eating very healthy.
I recommend that breastfeeding mamas first focus on switching their diet to an 80% nutrient-dense diet, like my plan. That process deserves a week or two to adjust and really commit too. From there, if a mother hasn’t lost any weight at all, I recommend counting calories for a few days. That usually transforms weight loss for the mothers in my program. There is something so eye-opening when you realize how many calories you are actually consuming.
If you are feeling stuck, I highly recommend starting my 10-day reset. It is only 10-days, and it will jump start you into eating healthy and clean. Its free!
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.