Breastfeeding mamas are often fighting off hunger and cravings more than pregnant mamas. Pregnancy cravings get more attention, but breastfeeding mamas can find themselves craving certain foods in the middle of the night during late feedings. I know I constantly craved chocolate while breastfeeding. I had little handfuls of chocolate chips after every meal because I felt like I couldn't survive without something sweet! When losing weight, I ate a lot of fruit because fruit is sweet, and that helped, but not completely. I always just felt like I had to fight the sugar cravings all day, until I learned that there were some nutrient deficiencies that drive sugar cravings in breastfeeding mamas! I'm goingn to go over those nutrients now, then I'll get into the foods I found to help me stop those cravings!
Key nutrient deficiencies that cause sugar cravings while breastfeeding:
There are several nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to sugar cravings. Here are a few key nutrients and how their deficiencies may influence cravings for sugary foods:
Chromium: Chromium plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels and insulin function. A deficiency in chromium may lead to imbalances in blood sugar and insulin, which can trigger sugar cravings. Chromium is an important mineral that I made sure is in Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder to help stop those cravings fast.
Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in numerous biochemical processes in the body, including glucose metabolism. Inadequate magnesium levels can disrupt glucose regulation and contribute to sugar cravings. Magnesium is another mineral you can find in MIlk Dust Lactation Protein Powder and Milk Dust Super Greens to help fill this need fast.
Zinc: Zinc deficiency has been associated with altered taste perception and cravings for sweet foods. Low zinc levels can affect the sense of taste, making sweet flavors more appealing. Zinc is also important for healing postpartum, and your body needs more Zinc while breastfeeding.
B vitamins: B vitamins, particularly vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), and B6 (pyridoxine), are involved in energy metabolism and maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Deficiencies in these vitamins can disrupt energy balance and increase sugar cravings. Vitamin B12 is also really important for breastfeeding and energy levels, which is also a key ingredient in the Milk Dust blood sugar blend!
Protein: A lack of protein often causes carbohydrate cravings, and protein helps regulate blood sugar. If a breastfeeding mama is not getting enough protein, then they often don't feel full. If you don't feel full, you tend to look for sugar after meals, rather than filling up on more protein! A good protein powder like Milk Dust is so helpful to getting adequate protein fast to stop those cravings.
It's important to note that nutrient deficiencies are just one potential factor contributing to sugar cravings. Other factors, such as emotional factors, stress, dietary habits, and personal preferences, can also influence cravings. Hello sleep exhaustion, the stress of a new baby, and just being a mom in general. But, if you properly nourish your body, you can dramatically reduce those sugar cravings. I found that on the days I had Milk Dust (or was able to fill those nutrient gaps), I felt so much better! I wasn't looking for chocolate chips after every meal, or craving ice cream at the end of the day!
Before I get into the foods you can eat to stop sugar cravings, I want to go into the importance of protein in general to balance blood sugar and reduce cravings all together! Sometimes, the cravings are coming more from a lack of protein in your diet, which isn't hard to fix.
Check out all the delicious Milk Dust Recipes!!
Increasing daily protein intake might be your solution to stop sugar cravings:
Inadequate protein intake can contribute to imbalances in blood sugar levels and overall energy balance, which indirectly may lead to cravings for sugary foods. Here's how it works:
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including satiety, muscle repair, and hormone production while breastfeeding. When you don't consume enough protein, your body may not feel as satiated after meals, which can lead to a higher desire for additional food, including foods high in sugar.
Additionally, protein helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. When protein is lacking in the diet, the body may experience more rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar, which can trigger cravings for quick sources of energy, such as sugary foods.
Furthermore, inadequate protein intake can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle mass. This can negatively impact metabolism and overall energy expenditure, potentially disrupting the delicate balance of energy in the body. As a result, the body may crave quick energy sources like sugar to compensate for the perceived energy deficit.
This is why I made Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder. As a breastfeeding mama myself, I wanted a protein powder that supported my body, gave me more breast milk, and helped me lose the baby weight! I needed a lot of help with sugar cravings. Milk Dust has a propietary, research-backed blood sugar blend with herbs and nutrients to treat blood sugar regulation and cravings. I can't tell you how much better I felt with my 4th baby, using Milk Dust through my whole breastfeeding journey, compared to my first 3 when I didn't have Milk Dust yet!
I also have a lot of recipe packs that wiill help you eat a higher protein diet while breastfeeding, and still lose weight. I've been helping breastfeeding mamas lose weight without losing milk supply for years (I've helped thousands!), and the right, clean-eating plan can actually boost your milk supply and lose weight at the same time! You can check out the Milk Dust Macro plan if you are more advanced and like to track, or the 28-day clean eating plan with recipes and calorie counts to make protecting milk supply and losing weight so easy.
I have a lot more resources for you, including recipe books, and products that can help you achieve your goals without sacraficing your milk supply at all!
If you want more help to lose weight, I have a great Breastfeeding Weight Loss + Fitness Pack that has EVERYTHING you need to lose the baby weight safely.
I give you $100 back if you lose 10lbs, so you have nothing to lose!
10 foods that stop sugar cravings while breastfeeding:
When it comes to curbing sugar cravings, choosing foods that help stabilize blood sugar levels, provide satiety, and satisfy sweet cravings in a healthier way can be beneficial. Here are ten foods that can help stop sugar cravings while you're breastfeeding and the reasons behind their effectiveness:
Berries: Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants. They provide natural sweetness while offering essential nutrients and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. I LOVE frozen strawberries blended with Milk Dust Sweet Vanilla, so delicious!! Get the free, skinny lactation smoothie recipe pack here!
Greek Yogurt: High in protein, Greek yogurt can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Opt for plain Greek yogurt and add a sprinkle of cinnamon or fresh berries for a touch of sweetness without added sugars.You can also mix greek yogurt with a scoop of Milk Dust Fudge Brownie, and it is like the BEST chocolate dessert!
Nuts: Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, are rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They provide a satisfying crunch and can help control cravings by promoting satiety. Nuts give you a great salty crunch, or adding a spoonful of peanut butter to a Milk Dust Fudge Brownie shake is sooo good!
Dark Chocolate: A small piece of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) can satisfy a sweet tooth without the excessive sugar. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and may even have mood-boosting properties. You have to try these Milk Dust Lactation Chocolate Donuts, AMAZING!
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and naturally sweet option. They are a good source of fiber and contain beneficial vitamins and minerals. They can be prepared in various ways, such as baked or mashed.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Sprinkle it on foods like oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or sliced apples to enhance flavor without adding sugar. There is also cinnamon bark added to Milk Dust, so you don't even have to add that in your diet if you use Milk Dust!
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are rich in fiber, healthy fats, and protein. When mixed with liquids, they absorb liquid and create a gel-like consistency, which can help promote a feeling of fullness and reduce cravings. The Milk Dust protein blend uses chia seed protein to help add some healthy omegas and fiber.
Avocado: Avocado is a creamy and satisfying fruit that provides healthy fats, fiber, and a range of essential nutrients. It can be used as a natural sweetener in smoothies or enjoyed on whole grain toast. Avocado blends so well frozen, or you can put it on your sweet potato for a great, avocado sweet potato toast!
Green Leafy Vegetables: Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are low in calories and high in fiber. They provide volume to meals, helping you feel full, and can reduce cravings for sugary foods. Milk Dust has a superfoods blend of spinach, chlorella and spirulina. Milk Dust Super Greenas also offers a bunch of greens to help you get more in with one simple scoop!
Protein-Rich Foods: Including lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, tofu, or legumes in your meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels, promote satiety, and reduce cravings for sugar. This one is obvious, but one of the main reasons I made Milk Dust to help with weight loss, cravings and milk supply!
These foods help provide a balanced approach to managing sugar cravings by offering natural sweetness, fiber, protein, healthy fats, and other beneficial nutrients. I found that all these foods were so helpful for me while breastfeeding!
4 Reasons protein is essential for your milk supply too:
Protein plays an important role in supporting lactation and breast milk production during breastfeeding. Here's how protein intake can impact lactation:
Milk Production: Breast milk production requires an adequate supply of essential nutrients, including protein. When you consume protein-rich foods, your body breaks down the protein into amino acids, which are the building blocks of milk production. These amino acids are used to synthesize milk proteins, such as casein and whey, which contribute to the nutritional content of breast milk.
Tissue Repair and Growth: Breastfeeding places additional demands on your body, requiring energy and nutrients to support tissue repair and growth. Protein is essential for these processes, as it helps repair damaged cells and supports the growth of mammary tissue responsible for milk production.
Hormone Regulation: Protein intake influences hormone regulation, which can impact lactation. Prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, is influenced by certain amino acids found in protein-rich foods. Consuming adequate protein helps maintain hormonal balance and supports the production of prolactin, thus promoting lactation.
Satiety and Energy: Protein-rich foods contribute to feelings of satiety and can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. This is beneficial during breastfeeding, as it can help you meet your energy needs and reduce hunger, ensuring you have the energy and resources necessary for milk production.
It's important for breastfeeding individuals to consume an adequate amount of protein to support lactation. The recommended daily protein intake for lactating women is around 71 grams per day, but individual needs may vary. Including protein-rich foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, dairy products, nuts, and seeds in your diet can help ensure an adequate protein intake while breastfeeding. If you have specific concerns about your protein intake or lactation, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance.