I finally figured out how to lose the baby weight fast with my fourth baby. I had lost the weight three times previously, and my fourth baby was the only baby I finally had Milk Dust to help me! I can't tell you what a difference it made in terms of losing the baby weight faster, and I did have more weight to lose than normal because I gained more weight during my fourth pregancy due to Covid and probably just being a lot older. I was 33 when I got pregnant with my fourth, where as I was 26 when I got pregnant with my first! I have some great tips to help you lose as much weight as you want, whether it's 5lbs or 20lbs or more. I've learned so many things with all of my babies, so I can't wait to share everything with you!
I highly recommend you read through this post, and then grab this free breastfeeding diet plan!! It will get you started and on the right track!
I've been helping moms lose weight while breastfeeding (literally thousands), for over 5 years now. I started my fitness career as a Pilates instructor, went on to become a certified nutrition coach and a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist. I've developed nutrition guides, recipe books and workout plans for postpartum mamas, and most importantly I developed Milk Dust. Milk Dust is a protein powder specifically formulated to help breastfeeding mamas lose weight by stopping sugar cravings, providing essential protein and galactagogues for milk supply. I will go into Milk Dus more throughout the post to explain exactly how it helped me so much with weight loss. If you are experiencing postpartum weight gain, which is also very common, this tips are also very helpful!
Following my tips can also help with postpartum depression, as some studies are starting to show that a healthy diet plan can help with postpartum depression, but if you think you have any signs of postpartum depression, make sure to check with your healthcare provider. They can advise you on if you need additional medication to help, or if getting in shape and taking care of yourself may be the mood-booster you need!
1. Clean nutrition
My first step when trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight is to eliminate foods that have very little nutrients and eating a healthy diet. Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat, but low in nutrients only gives your body extra calories to store as fat. New moms, especially breastfeeding mamas need nutrient-dense foods to support hormonal function, which is essential for keeping up your milk supply. Nutrients are more important than calories when it comes to producing enough breast milk, so focusing on nutrients is what saves my milk supply, while also helping me lose the extra pounds. Crash diets should definitely be avoided just because they can limit your nutrient intake, and you want to make sure you are getting in all the nutrients you need!
I've found that when I clean up my diet my milk production actually increases, while I watch the extra weight fall off. When your body is fully nourished, it can let go of stored fat and nutrients to use as fuel for breastfeeding. With a lot of nutrients, you can actually keep your calorie intake lower, so your body can use fat as fuel to get back to your normal weight, or your pre-pregnancy size. I also use Milk Dust (it was KEY for losing weight after the 4th pregnancy!), which supported my milk supply with milk-boosting herbs and nutrients, gave me extra protein and stopped my sugar cravings! I know many new mothers who are breastfeeding, myself included, have a hard time with sugar cravings, and Milk Dust is specifically formulated to reduce sugar cravings by supporting blood sugar levels using vitamins and minerals like Chromium and Vitamin B12. The additional vitamins also help me keep my energy levels up, so I can survive the lack of sleep. My babies always woke up a few times in the night to nurse (no matter what I did!), so I am very tired from birth to at least 18 months postpartum!
2. Milk-boosting supplements
There are so many lactation-boosters on the market now, including our Milk Dust Protein, and it is a great tool to help you keep your milk supply up. By using lactation boosters, you can encourage your body to keep producing more milk while you adjust your diet. Many of the lactation boosters have different herb blends, which is why it is a good idea to try a few. We have sample packs with 6 servings, so you can see if it works after a few uses. Our lactation blend is particularly unique because we use a combination of herbs and nutrition. There are very few lactation-boosters that use the power of nutrition, herbs and vitamins to fully support breastfeeding mamas. Our protein blend even has lactation-boosting protein from chia and flax seeds, which you won't find in many other products. Make sure to avoid the sugary, high-calorie lactation cookies and snacks. Those can add up fast, and don't promote a healthy diet. They are great for a small treat, but there are better options. Our Milk Dust Lactation Bars taste just like a sweet dessert, and only offer essential nutrient, protein and lactation herbs. They are so delicious, you will never want to eat a lactation cookie again, when you can have one of these! Other great lactation-boosters are teas and supplements. Supplements can be difficult to digest, but are a fast and easy way to get in the milk-boosting herbs, and teas are going to be easy to drink hot or cold throughout the day. No matter what lactation-booster works for you, start with this step. It is essential for establishing your milk supply before going on a diet.
3. Protein first
Protein is essential for lactating mothers, and it is also an important macro nutrient that aids in weight loss. Ensuring that you have protein at every meal will help keep you full! Protein is also a very thermal food, meaning it takes energy to break it down. See this post for more details on the HUGE benefits of using protein for weight loss while breastfeeding. Most breastfeeding mamas crave carbs and sugar from exhaustion, stress and lack of nutrients. This can make it difficult to force yourself to eat protein-rich foods. Milk Dust is an awesome, sweet protein powder that helps curb those cravings, while providing an essential amount of protein! If smoothies aren't your thing, our bars are an amazing snack that is full of protein, yet tastes like a candy bar. Sometimes a chicken salad just doesn't sound good, and something sweet sounds way better. It's also difficult to pack protein-rich snacks on the go. String cheese, turkey or hard-boiled eggs aren't easy to keep cool and fresh. Our bars are full of protein, and super easy to eat on the go! Eating more protein will also help with energy levels when you aren't getting enough sleep. It can be tempting to eat more carbohydrates from lack of sleep, but protein is so important to help keep those carb cravings at a minimum.
Protein is thermogenic during digestion, meaning those calories take more calories to digest then other foods. If you lower your fat content and increase your protein intake, you are lowering your calorie consumption just a tiny bit, without feeling like you are eating less at all. Protein is also really important to your milk supply, so it will help keep your supply up!
Using a protein shake like Milk Dust is so helpful because you can blend it with coffee (check out these Proffee recipes!), frozen fruit and frozen veggies, which will keep your fat content down, but help you feel super full! Milk Dust also offers the extra nutrients that are needed to stop sugar cravings, nourish your body postpartum and boost energy levels with amazing superfoods like Chlorella and Spirulina.
Benefits of Protein For Weight Loss While Breastfeeding:
Protein Keeps Insulin Levels Down
Protein has a minimal impact on insulin. A rise and fall in insulin is connected to extra calories and fat being stored on your belly. Basically, insulin sensitivity plays a role in WHERE fat is stored. There was a very in-depth study done in Germany illustrating this concept, "Our study reveals a novel key mechanism that regulates fat distribution in humans. Insulin sensitivity in the brain determines where fat is deposited." What they found is that a higher sensitivity to insulin in the brain affected where fat was stored, ans specifically the dangerous visceral fat on the belly. Protein is a key nutrient to help keep insulin levels down, and increase sensitivity. Protein helps with satiation and keeping blood sugar levels down by never spiking them much. By combining protein-rich foods with fiber-rich foods, a person can feel full for hours without spiking blood sugar.
Protein Helps Decrease Sugar Cravings:
Many times, a person craves carbohydrates and sugar, without realizing that they are deficient in protein. Our bodies don't produce all the amino acids on their own, so we need to consume these amino acids for our cells, muscles, hair, skin and nails to be healthy. Both pregnant and breastfeeding mamas need protein more than non-pregnant or lactating women. This is why we focused on creating a protein powder for breastfeeding women to help with weight loss. Many women crave carbs and sugar, leaving protein behind in their daily consumption. Oatmeal, toast, cereal, lactation cookies, cows milk, flavored yogurts, rice, potatoes and bread are all foods that many mommies grab quickly, without thinking about the added fat and lack of protein. But, the body doesn't really know how to signal a craving for just protein - it often comes out in a sugar cravings. This is confusing, and results in a cycle that is hard to break. By consuming more protein, and filling in those nutrient and amino-acid needs, a mama can reduce the sugar cravings and stabilize insulin. Milk Dust is specifically formulated to target these sugar cravings with herbs and nutrients (as well as protein), and a sample pack is a great way to see if it is something that will work for you!
Protein Burns More Calories During Digestion:
As we discussed in our protein and weight loss article, protein takes more energy to break down. This means that your body works harder and burns more calories consuming protein than carbohydrates. Basically, protein is fairly magical in the sense that it gets sent straight to important parts of the body like muscles, fetal development, hair and skin, and it takes more energy to do this. Carbohydrates go straight to the brain, then to fat, while fat goes to fat (assuming you have enough calories in your diet). Some argue that fat takes energy to break down, and technically, if you have to break down fat for energy it does. But this is only if there is a deficit in calories, or no glucose coming in for your brain to use.
"I love Milk Dust! I’m about 6 weeks postpartum and haven’t started working out yet (waiting to be cleared by the OB) but I have started watching what I eat. With the help of Milk Dust I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, without sacrificing my milk supply! I have struggled with some crazy sweet cravings and Milk Dust satisfies those cravings."-Heather (verified buyer)
4. Increase steps and physical activity
You are probably already following a good workout routine to lose the weight you've lost already, but adding in more steps can really help burn just a few more calories without too much work. Adding more walks in will help get your metabolism going more too, which tends to slow down more and more when you are losing weight. Adding more steps can mean walking 15 minutes in the morning and 15 extra minutes at night. That adds up to 30 minutes of walking total, and it could be a couple thousands steps. This also isn't strenuous, so it won't dramatically affect milk supply or hormone levels, but it can help drop your blood sugar levels and keep them steady too. I will get into postpartum exercise more below, and some specific things that worked for me, but overall, I think light exercise with healthy eating is the best way to get back to your pre-baby weight. As you progress into your healthy lifestyle, and have a gradual weight loss, you can start getting your activity level back up to where it was before, or where you want it to be overall!
How I Kept My Milk Supply While Losing Weight:
Keeping your milk supply while losing weight is a challenging, but possible! You can start by using galactagogues and supply-boosters to encourage a healthy lactation. We have a lot of information on the specific supplements that work, and of course our protein powder has a unique blend that will help breast milk production. Here are some quick tips that help encourage your body to produce lots of milk as you transition your diet for weight loss:
Increasing feedings is going to increase production. By upping the demand, you can increase your supply before you really start making an impact with diet. This will boost your supply to help mitigate and decreases that might happen when your diet, calories and nutrients change.
Add more pumping sessions:
Pumping more is basically the same as feeding more, but adding more feedings doesn't always work with working and schedules. Sometimes baby's don't always want to eat more, so you can use the pump instead.
Wear baby more often:
Wearing baby can add more skin-to-skin contact. This is going to increase the pheromones that help product the oxytocin for lactation. By wearing baby more, or even co-sleeping, you can help increase these chemicals.
Use milk-supply boosters:
Using supply boosters like our protein powder or lactation bars, as well as some teas or supplements can help keep hormone levels stable and milk production going strong. Fenugreek is one supplement in particular that we use in our formula, and many moms have had success with to increase milk supply.
Key exercise tips (that worked for me!) for weight loss while breastfeeding:
Start Walking More Often for 45 Minutes At A Time:
Walking is an amazing, free and easy way to help your body burn fat. It is a light exercise that still adds a lot of movement to your day. If you raise your heart rate a bit, but not as much as running, you keep your body in a fat-burning zone. Luckily, walking with a newborn isn't too difficult, especially if you wear your new baby and go for a walk. Most babies love to be worn and carried, so this makes both mama and baby happy. Some babies do really well in a stroller, depending on their age. By adding 45 minutes of walking to your daily routine, you will add in some fat burning activity to help burn off some of the additional weight gained during pregnancy. Gentle exercise helps keep cortisol levels down (which are already a little higher with the lack of sleep!), and keeping those stress hormones down can also benefit milk production.
Don't Do A Bunch of Crunches!
Ab exercises are not going to burn the belly fat. Eating healthy, walking and ultimately burning more calories than you are consuming is going to help get rid of the belly fat, and extra weight all over. You can do some ab-healing exercises to help your muscles repair after baby. By focusing on closing the gap between your ab muscles, this will help your abs return to normal after pregnancy. Your pelvic floor could also use some attention, and luckily many of the ab exercises I recommend also include your pelvic floor and some breath work. The postpartum body is amazing, but also needs some special attention to ensure that it can heal after birth. The postpartum period is a slow process to get back to exercise, but exercise is not the main factor for weight loss. In my experience, it was my diet and increasing slow activity and walking that really helped me!
My favorite Superfoods For Rapid Weight Loss While Breastfeeding:
What are nutrient-dense foods? These are foods that have a lot of nutrients per calorie. Think of fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories, yet high in nutrients. Some amazing nutrient dense foods, which we also have in our powder include:
- Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds
- Spinach + Kale
- Sweet Potatoes
I love these foods, and I tried to eat a lot of them every day! I found that if I filled myself up on these healthy foods, with my protein shakes, I was too full to eat anything else that wasn't the best fore me!
Don't forget to grab this free diet plan for breastfeeding, so you can get started right away!