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Keeping both you and your baby healthy while breastfeeding requires a proper meal plan and some guidance. If you would like a step-by-step program to help you lose weight safely, check out all our courses, programs, challenges, & recipe book.
Weight watchers is a highly popular weight loss program, that like many, may or may not be the best choice while breastfeeding. As a fitness professional and nutrition coach, I have some thoughts on weight watchers for breastfeeding mamas. If done correctly, weight watchers could be an awesome plan to really help you target that weight loss. If done incorrectly, your milk supply can drop with your weight.
Maybe you’ve been trying to lose weight while breastfeeding with all sorts of plans and programs, and you are thinking weight watchers might be a good next try. Well, I will quickly go over what weight watchers is, then how to do it correctly, so you can use it to lose weight without losing your milk supply.
How Do Weight Watchers Work?
Weight Watchers is a method of counting calories, but simpler because you count points, rather than calories. This means fewer numbers to add up, and some foods like fruits and veggies are ZERO points. I LOVE that idea because it encourages you to eat as many fruits and veggies as you please. Before weight watchers did this, fruits and vegetables had a value point that may be the same as a serving of potato chips. Hopefully, as you’ve read in this blog (or please read some of my posts!), you know that nutrients are really important in foods, and the nutritional value of food needs to weigh in importance, more than just calories. In my program, I walk you through guidelines, which foods to eat, and how to calculate your caloric intake needs while breastfeeding, so you can essentially do a weight watchers program, BUT I guide you with what foods you need to focus on for milk supply, healing and losing weight. If you remember to eat nutrient-dense foods to fill up your points each day, you will be on the right track to losing weight with Weight Watchers while breastfeeding.
How To Do Weight Watchers Correctly While Breastfeeding:
Here’s what you need to remember while doing Weight Watchers:
- You NEED nutrients, so fill up on nutrient-dense foods.
- Make fruits, veggies, lean proteins and healthy carbs a HIGH PRIORITY
- Take time to establish your PERSONAL point goals (this is unique to each person, and can throw the milk supply out of wack)
- Take advantage of all the RECIPES!! There are lots of point-calculated recipes all over the internet.
Doing Weight Watchers correctly while breastfeeding is really just about focusing on nutrition rather than points. Instead of saving all your points for a huge pizza for dinner, try to balance all your nutrients throughout the day. Your body needs nutrients to keep up a healthy milk supply, and the baby needs some of the nutrients like fat, Omega-3s and protein that pass through to the breast milk. Breastfeeding can also mean lots of sugar cravings, which will lead to all your points going to bread, crackers, cookies and other sweets.
If you struggle with sugar cravings, I highly recommend grabbing my Milk Dust protein powder when it is available this spring. It has specific nutrients breastfeeding mamas need, as well as minerals and herbs like chromium and cinnamon bark to curb sugar cravings. In addition to all this, it will BOOST your milk supply! It has fennel, fenugreek, brewers yeast and milk thistle to help you keep up your milk supply while losing weight. It is definitely a product you can add to your Weight Watchers program. Blend it with zero-point fruits and veggies, and you will have ONE BIG lactation-boosting smoothie that will fill you up!
The Downside of Weight Watchers While Breastfeeding:
The major downside is if your points per day just aren’t calculated correctly. This can leave you STARVING at the end of the day, miserable and wanting to give up. Breastfeeding can throw a major curve ball into the point calculation because every mama burns a unique amount of extra calories while breastfeeding. Depending on your metabolism, you could only burn an extra 200 calories a day, while another mama may be burning 500. Weight Watchers as a system doesn’t know this, and it goes off of general plans. In my program, I have you calculate YOUR specific caloric needs to maintain your weight, then we slowly reduce them. We don’t do general caloric guidelines at all. We focus on the individual. I highly recommend keeping this in mind if you go for Weight Watchers. If you calculate your points correctly and find the point system simple and easy to navigate, you will lose weight effortlessly and keep your milk supply.
If you start off with the wrong daily point goal, you could end up giving up or losing some of your milk supply. This is why I like to tell my mamas to focus on nutrition first. Eating the right foods and eliminating other foods that don’t do any good nutrition-wise. Then, we move into counting calories and narrowing down how much to eat each day. Either program involves getting your daily target and sticking to it. Your energy intake is what is going to make or break your weight loss. If that energy comes from very nutrient-dense sources, you will lose weight faster and have plenty of nutrients to go to both you and your baby. If the energy comes from processed sources, you will be left feeling hungry and unsatisfied even after your daily points or calories are met.
Weight Watchers is a great option to lose that baby weight while you are breastfeeding if you focus on filling your day with nutrient-dense foods that are beneficial to breastfeeding. That will help keep you, your boobs and your baby happy!
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