As a certified nutrition coach, mom of 4, and Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, I have had many years of practice losing the baby weight while breastfeeding. I've been helping new mothers lose weight while breastfeeding through nutrition for years now, and there are specific foods, meals and nutrients that help make weight loss so much easier while breastfeeding. I've found that the trick to burning fat after pregnancy, without losing milk supply is all about nutrients. Postnatal mamas need specific nutrients to support lactation, which are more important than eating extra calories while breastfeeding.
In my experience, many mamas are focused on eating more calories, rather than eating more nutirent-dense foods. The key is to eat more nutrient-dense foods, which will balance hormones and blood sugar, so the body can let go of fat stores. Many times, if breastfeeding mamas are deficient in nutrients, the body stores nutrients in fat cells, and it wants to hold on to those stores to ensure there are enough vitamins and minerals. I put together a great, free pdf diet plan that you can follow, to make losing weight easier, without losing your milk supply. I created Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder to take care of all the nutrients you need while breastfeeding, so you can produce a lot of milk, stop sugar cravings, and enjoy a delicious protein shake! I will go over Milk Dust more below, but there are some great recipes in the breastfeeding diet plan, and I included many of the nutrients I go over to help ensure you can get a huge bang for your buck! Even better, all the nutrients and super foods in Milk Dust (like Chlorella and Spirulina) help increase your energy levels, so you might not need as many cups of coffee to get through the day after a long night of breastfeeding.
You can grab your free diet plan here, and read below for some more helpful tips on weight loss, milk supply and nutrition for breastfeeding!
12 important nutrients for your breastfeeding diet plan:
Breastfeeding requires certain key nutrients to support the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. Nutritional needs are dramatically increased postpartum for healing after birth and lactation. Good nutrition is so important for breastfeeding, because these nutrients are what help keep your milk supply up. The best thing you can do for your body is focus on these nutrients, so you can heal your body and give your baby lots of milk. Here are some key nutrients to include in your healthy breastfeeding meal plan.
Breastfeeding requires additional calories to support milk production, typically around 500 extra calories per day, however these calories are not supposed to be coming from junk food. It is a good idea to add extra calories from very nutrient-dense foods, and that is where a meal plan can be super helpful!
Protein is important for tissue repair and growth, both for the mother and the baby. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Protein in particular has been linked to milk supply, and it plays a major role in helping with weight loss. Protein helps you feel full, burns more calories during digestion, and supports a healthy milk supply. This is why creating a protein powder specficially for breastfeeding moms was so important to me! Milk Dust is a plant-based protein powder, free of many allergies, non-GMO and made here in the US.
Iron is crucial for preventing anemia in both the mother and the baby. Good sources of iron include lean meats, poultry, fish, fortified cereals, legumes, spinach, and dried fruits. Pregnant women often take an iron supplement of take extra iron in their prenatal vitamin, but postpartum mamas need extra iron too. I added iron to MIlk Dust, as well as foods high in vitamin c, which is necessary for the absorption and metaoblism of iron.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are important for the baby's brain and eye development. Fatty fish (like salmon and trout) and DHA-fortified foods are sources of omega-3s and healthy fats. I included flax seeds and pumpkin seeds in Milk Dust protein blend to help increase the omegas, as well as increase milk supply.
Folate is important for preventing birth defects and supporting cell growth. Dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, fortified cereals, and citrus fruits are good sources of folate. These foods also have additional nutrients like vitamin c, fiber and antioxidants. I included L-Methylfolate in Milk Dust becuase it is the activated form of folate and can better be absorbed for anyone with the MTHFR gene mutation. This is really important because many women have it and don't know it.
Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and red blood cell production. It's mainly found in animal products, so breastfeeding mothers who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet may need to consider supplementation.I added vitamin B12 in particular to Milk Dust to increase energy levels, and lower levels of this vitamin have been linked to lower milk supply. "Supplementation may be necessary to achieve these recommended daily intakes or to correct a known deficiency. Low doses (1 to 10 mcg) of vitamin B12 found in B complex or prenatal vitamins increase milk levels only slightly. Higher daily doses of 50 to 250 mcg are needed in cases of maternal deficiency."
Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining milk production and overall health. Women who don't drink much water can experience lower milk supply volumes due to dehyrdation, so it is really helpful to drink more water. Do not drink fruit juices (full of sugar!), or sugary drinks as these actually dehydrate you and add in empty calories that will stop your weight loss goals.
Zinc is essential for immune function and cell growth. Good sources of zinc include lean meats, poultry, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Of course there is added zinc in Milk Dust, and zinc can be helpful in baby's growth because it passes through the breast milk to baby.
Vitamin A is important for vision, immune function, and skin health. Orange and dark green vegetables, as well as dairy products, provide vitamin A.
This is a big list of vitamins and nutritents, and it can seem overwhelming when looking at all the nutrients you need while breastfeeding, but the good news is that many healthy food choices have a lot of these vitamins and nutrients in them. For example, many protein foods have protein, iron and vitamin b in them. Creating a healthy breastfeeding diet isn't as overwhelming as it may seem, and if you chose to use a supplement like Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder to help, it will be so much easier to maintain your healthy diet and stop those sugar cravings and hunger.
What foods protect milk supply while losing weight?
Choosing the right foods is really important when wanting to lose weight and protect your milk supply at the same time. These foods will help your body let go of fat, while also supporting lactation in breastfeeding moms. I am a big proponent of nutrition, and the power of nutrients for the body. I also found that when I focused on the right foods, I was able to lose weigh faster while breastfeeding. Here are the foods I focused on when losing weight while breastfeeding:
Oats: Oats are a common food suggested to boost milk supply. They are rich in iron, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, which may support lactation. I added a spoonful of oats to my Milk Dust smoothies, or I made protein lactation oats with my Milk Dust for a super milk-boosting meal!
Fenugreek: Fenugreek is an herb that has been traditionally used to promote milk production. I added Fenugreek as one of the main ingredients in the Milk Dust Lactation Blend because it is one of the most powerful herbs. Before I had Milk Dust, I took Fenugreek in a few different herbal teas, but now that it is in my Milk Dust protein powder, you can't taste it, and it is blended with other powerful lactation ingredients.
Brewer's Yeast: Brewer's yeast is a nutritional supplement that contains B vitamins and minerals. It's often added to foods like smoothies, oatmeal, or lactation cookies, but of course I have it in the Milk Dust Lactation Blend to help boost B vitamins and work with amazing herbs like Fenugreek to really boost lactation.
Fennel: Fennel seeds and fennel bulbs are believed to have potential lactogenic properties. Fennel tea or incorporating fennel into your meals can be really helpful, and I of course added it to the Milk Dust Lactation Blend, so you are getting a lot of milk-boosting herbal supplements in one scoop of protein powder.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are sources of healthy fats and phytoestrogens, which are thought to support milk production, and I created the Milk Dust protein blend to include pea protein, organic brown rice protein, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds to ensure that Milk Dust offers so much more than just protein.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in vitamins and minerals. They can contribute to overall health and support lactation. I added a greens blend to Milk Dust including spirulina, chlorella and spinach to give a super boost of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Carrots: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for lactation and overall health, and there is additional vitamin A in Milk Dust.
Lean Proteins: Including lean meats, poultry, fish, and plant-based protein sources like legumes can provide the amino acids necessary for milk production. Lower protein consumption is linked to low milk supply volumes, which is why it was so important for me to make a protien supplement for breastfeeding mothers.
Water: Staying well-hydrated is crucial for milk production. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Whole Grains: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are sources of complex carbohydrates that can provide sustained energy. The Milk Dust protein blend includes organic brown rice protein to ensure there is a good blend of whole grains and protein, rather than just protein in one scoop of Milk Dust.
As you can see, I formulated Milk Dust to include as many essential nutrients as possible to increase milk supply, while also helping breastfeeding mamas to lose weight. Milk Dust also has a special blood sugar blend, which reduces cravings and balances blood sugar to help manage those breastfeeding cravings.
The Milk Dust Craving Blend to Stop Sugar Cravings While Breastfeeding:
Milk Dust takes the cake for the absolute best and safe option for losing weight after pregnancy. Milk Dust is formulated to help stop sugar cravings while breastfeeding through a specific blood sugar blend. Milk Dust uses high quality, science-backed ingredients proven to help with blood sugar regulation and cravings. The propietary blend consists of minerals like chromium, and other ingredients like cinnamon bark that have all been studied for blood sugar regulation and cravings.
Chromium, according to numerous sources, "may be effective at improving the body's response to insulin or lowering blood sugar in those with diabetes. What's more, it may help reduce hunger, cravings and binge eating." Chromium is important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, another important role for achieving an ideal weight. It stimulates a correct balance of fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, so that just the important fats needed for brain function, hormone balance, and cell membrane development are present in the right amounts. This is partly due to chromium aiding insulin’s action on fats and glucose metabolism. This is why chromium is included in the blood sugar blend to help prevent cravings in the best way possible.
Cinnamon bark is another magical ingredient for decreasing insulin levels. One study showed that consuming 1 gram (g) of cinnamon extract daily for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved markers of oxidative stress in people with type 2 diabetes. Most mamas don't have diabetes, but the benefits on blood sugar levels still exist.
L-Methylfolate, Vitamin B12, Magnesium, and Zinc round out the rest of the blood sugar blend in Milk Dust. These nutrients are really important during lactation and postpartum. Postnatal mamas have higher needs for specific nutrients, and without these, lots of cravings and hunger can result. By filling these nutrient needs, Milk Dust ensures that while breastfeeding, you have the specific nutrients you need to produce a healthy milk supply full of the right nutrients for your baby.
Following a diet plan is really helpful when you are breastfeeding because it will help you stay accountable to eating nutrient-dense foods that support your milk supply. Make sure to sign up for your free diet plan, the 20% off code, and get started on your journey to getting back in shape and feeling your best after pregnancy.