As a nursing mother, weight loss needs to be done safely, so milk supply and energy aren’t at risk. Many mamas are excited to lose weight after baby, so they can feel themselves again after 9 months of pregnancy. Breastfeeding can bring some challenges for weight loss, some of them including sugar cravings and extreme hunger.
Here at Milk Dust, we specialize in nutrition while breastfeeding, specifically by offering a protein powder to help new mommies nourish their bodies, stop sugar cravings, lose weight and keep up their milk supply. A protein powder is a supplement thought. It is a huge help to new mommies, but it is also best to follow a well-rounded, healthy diet.
What foods should a breastfeeding mama eat to lose weight?
Eating the right foods is the secret sauce to losing weight while breastfeeding. Calories do matter, but nutrients matter even more. Here are some very important, nutrient-dense foods that will help with weight loss as a nursing mama.
What should a nursing mother avoid to lose weight safely?
A nursing mother can absolutely lose weight safely by eating the foods we listed and staying as active as possible. Breastfeeding does burn extra calories, so calorie restriction doesn’t have to be the way to lose weight. There are a few important points to keep in mind to lose the weight safely:
Do not restrict calories to the point of extreme hunger
Keep energy levels up with healthy carbs from fruits, veggies, sweet potatoes and oatmeal
Don’t fill up on crackers and chocolates
Avoid deep fried foods, processed meats and breads
Take out dairy because of the affects on insulin
Take out white carbs like breads and potatoes
Avoid calorie-dense cheeses and butter
By taking out many of the calorie-traps that fill your body with no nourishment, a nursing mother can lose weight without losig milk supply. There are some very specific ways you can protect your milk supply while losing weight, so you can be sure your baby won’t suffer at all.
How a nursing mother can protect milk supply while losing weight:
When breastfeeding, many mamas are concerned that a “diet” will cause milk supply to drop. In reality, calorie consumption doesn’t affect milk supply unless a breastfeeding mother doesn’t have any fat stores. Fat stores are created during pregnancy specifically for this function. Some mothers think their milk supply is dropping, when it actually isn’t. Make sure you know the real signs of a dropping milk supply, which is really important for safe weight loss. Here are some great tips to keep your milk supply up, while losing weight:
Following these simple tips will keep your milk supply flowing, while allowing your body to also let go of extra wieght. Now that you know how to protect your milk supply, and what to avoid, let’s get into some steps you can take, as a nursing mama to get rid of the extra fat.
Steps for a nursing mother to lose weight safely:
Reduce carbohydrates and sugar intake
Fill your plate with fruits and veggies
Use the size of your fist for protein servings
Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
Focus on protein at every meal
Add fiber-rich foods at every meal
Walk 45 minutes a day
Following these simple steps can actually make a big difference. The issue for many women is that they don’t stay consistent. Consistency is the key in weight for anyone, and the same goes for weight loss while breastfeeding.
How much weight can a nursing mother lose weight breastfeeding?
Many nursing mothers want to know right away how fast and how much weight they can safely lose. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you are most-likely burning anywhere from 300 to 500 calories a day. If calorie consumption remains at a level that doesn’t cause fat storage, then breastfeeding itself can help you lose about 1-3 lbs a week. Much of this depends on your metabolism, current weight, height and activity level. It also depends on how much you are breastfeeding.
If you eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, and exclusively breastfeed, you can lose weight quickly. Depending on how much you have to lose, the extra weight can be gone in a few weeks or months.
What happens if I’m not losing weight while breastfeeding?
Many nursing mothers are not losing weight simply because they are eating too many calories. Most of the time, focusing on nutrient-dense foods fills your daily nutrient-needs on less calories. Some mamas still go overboard on the healthy foods. Nuts, avocados, rice, high-fat proteins and butters can add in many hidden calories. The first thing to do when you aren’t losing weight is to see how much you are eating – even if you think you are eating only healthy foods. Tracking your food intake for three days will be a reality check, and help you realize which foods are adding up quickly.
After tracking food intake, if you know you aren’t eating too many caloires, then start adding in some more activity. Having a new baby can cause your life to become more sedentary with all the sitting, nursing and holding a baby requires. Try wearing baby on walks more, add in some easy strength work, and work on getting your metabolism to speed up a bit.
If you are working out, walking a lot during the day and eating the right amount of calories, nutrient deficiencies can limit fat metabolism. This is why Milk Dust can be such a helper for weight loss. Milk Dust offers many of the nutrients new, postpartum mamas need like Folate and B12. These two nutrients alone can help with metabolism, energy and hormonal function, which can assist your body in letting go of extra fat.
I’m not sure why they call it baby weight. Those extra pounds that you put on during pregnancy are still hanging around even after you give birth to the baby. They should call it breastfeeding weight. One of the primary reasons that a woman puts on extra weight during pregnancy is that the stored fat helps fuel milk production.
Weight loss is a very popular benefit of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding burns calories. Depending on how much milk you produce, it can burn close to 1000 calories a day. It’s not a magic wand, though. There are things a woman can do to help or hinder the weight loss process.
FACTORS THAT IMPACT POST PREGNANCY WEIGHT LOSS
It’s wise to remember that every woman is different. How quickly a mom loses baby weight is affected by:
How much weight she gained during her pregnancy
Her level of physical activity
The good news is that a woman has control over all of these.
REALISTIC WEIGHT LOSS EXPECTATIONS
It’s important to remember that it took nine months to gain all that weight. It’s going to take some time to lose it.
Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race. It is a cliché, but one that is true. Reducing calorie intake by about 500 calories per day will result in losing about 1 pound per week without resulting in decreased milk production (Source). Research has shown that the combination of diet and exercise is the most effective way to lose pregnancy weight (Source). Your body will be different after having a baby. Your clothes may fit differently, even when you get back to your pre-pregnant weight.
MAINTAINING MILK PRODUCTION WHILE LOSING PREGNANCY WEIGHT
A common concern many moms have is maintaining their milk supply while losing weight. It’s best to wait until your milk supply is established before starting your weight loss program. For most moms, this will be at 6-8 weeks. Although cutting more than 500 calories a day will speed up weight loss, it is not advised. Severe calorie restrictions can affect milk supply. This is especially true when the calorie-cutting is sudden.
Not eating enough also can contribute to fatigue in a nursing mom. Who needs that? Most new moms already struggle with getting enough sleep. These tips will help ensure continued abundant milk production as well as weight loss and good
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY DIET
Food prep once a week.
Slice up your favorite veggies and put them in reusable containers or plastic
Find a friend to do this with to make it go faster. Or at least it might seem to go more quickly. It will definitely be more fun.If you have more money than time you can buy a lot of fruits and veggies already cut up. Nursing moms get hungry.
Strategically locate healthy snacks:
At your breastfeeding station
In your breastfeeding basket
In your purse
In your diaper bag
In your car
At your bedside
Ten healthy snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated:
Nut butter packets
Baked veggie chips
Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein. This is essential for maintaining
energy levels. Protein also helps boost metabolism (Source).
Eat high-fiber foods
Start your day off with a breakfast smoothie made with oatmeal, flax, and some green veggies like spinach or kale. It will give you energy and fiber. Using a protein powder like Milk Dust helps support milk production.
These power-packed drinks aren't just for breakfast. Having a smoothie for lunch is a great option for busy moms.
WATER AND WEIGHT LOSS
It is essential to keep well hydrated. It helps you make milk. It also helps your body function properly. And drinking one liter of water a day is associated with weight loss (Source). One of my favorite tips for breastfeeding moms is to fill several water bottles every morning and place them around the house wherever you might be. Since you will often be holding your baby,
this gives you one less thing to try to juggle. Put one in the car and one in your diaper bag and one in your purse.
EXERCISE AND BREASTFEEDING
Start exercising once you are cleared by your health care provider. Exercising, in combination with dieting, will help shed those pregnancy pounds. Choosing an exercise program that involves resistance training as well as aerobic activity is beneficial in not only helping you lose weight. It has also been shown to slow bone loss when a woman is breastfeeding (Source).
A study dispelled the belief that babies didn't like the taste of their mom's milk after exercise (Source). With a plan and patience, you’ll be rocking a post-baby body before you know it.
The holidays are an exciting and busy time of year for young families. It is also a time with elements that are a recipe for a stress-fest.
There are constant disruptions to routines. Families may be traveling to visit friends and family. They may be hosting house guests. Between gift shopping, trips to ship packages and mail cards, and going to parties, a new mom may continuously be on the go. Throw in cooking, baking, and decorating. The thought of being a Grinch and skipping the festivities altogether may cross her mind.
A new mom needs all the help that she can get to not only survive the holidays but to enjoy them. Fortunately, there are many time-saving tips and hacks to help this happen.
Some people look forward to shopping and choosing gifts. It can be nice to get out to the mall to see the decorations. Who can resist getting baby’s first photo with Santa? However, some sleep-deprived mamas may want to take a pass on it this year.
The good news is that there are many ways to get it all done and keep your sanity too.
Take advantage of online shopping. You can do it while you breastfeed at any time of day. You have an endless selection. If the recipient lives out of town, you can have the gift shipped directly to them. Most retailers even offer gift-wrapping!
Buy gift cards. Everyone loves a gift card. You can order them online or buy them at the grocery store. You can get a variety or just choose a store that will work for everyone.
When you do venture out in public, take hand-sanitizer. Those malls and grocery stores are cold, and flu Petri dishes.
Go to places where you know there will be a comfortable place to breastfeed. Pick the mall with comfy couches and chairs.
Take healthy snacks and a bottle of water. Fast food courts are not known for their healthy options.
Holiday Dinner Tips
I discourage moms from hosting major meals if they have a baby under the age of six months. If you are expected to bring a dish to dinners and parties, take advantage of the many prepared foods and baked goods at your favorite grocery store.
If you absolutely feel compelled to be the hostess with the mostest, then consider ordering a fully prepared meal. All you have to do is heat it up. Another easy option is a pre-cut baked ham that only requires you to put it on a platter. Assign side dishes to your guests.
Order meals and groceries online and either take advantage of delivery services or the option of having your order brought to your car.
Maintaining You Milk Supply During the Holidays
Between milk-busting foods and missed feedings or pumpings, the holidays can wreak havoc with your milk supply.
Avoid all the yummy peppermint treats that are popular this time of year. Peppermint is known to decrease milk supply.
Two other common holiday foods that can result is lowered milk production are sage and parsley. The amounts in most stuffing recipes are probably not going to have an effect if you just have one serving of stuffing. But if you are the type who has a little turkey with your stuffing, you might want to dial it back a little when you are a nursing mama.
Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water.
Always start your day with a nutrient-dense smoothie with a high-quality protein powder like Milk Dust.
It is ok for a breastfeeding mama to enjoy a glass of champagne or some spiked eggnog. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moms wait four hours until they breastfeed. Pumping and dumping do not speed the process up.
Traveling Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
One of the biggest pitfalls when traveling is stretching out the time between feedings. Make sure that you are not going for long stretches without either feeding or pumping.
If pumping is part of your daily routine, make sure you have a manual pump for those times when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
Find out if the airports where you will be, have designated nursing/pumping rooms. More and more airports do. Find out where they are located.
Nursing or giving your baby a bottle of expressed breast milk will help with the discomfort the air pressure changes can cause to their ears.
Dress for breastfeeding when traveling. Wearing a stretchy tank top under a sweater that you can pull down from the top will keep your tummy covered when feeding time comes around. Another option if you like to cover up is to wear an infinity scarf. It will both keep you warm and serve as a nursing cover-up.
Follow these tips and make some memories this holiday season.
This is a lean, green machine of a smoothie that will really help you make progress on your weight loss goals, while never affecting your milk supply. You can boost your milk supply, while also shedding pounds with this smoothie as your breakfast.
This lactation smoothie is full of nutrients, not calories:
Many lactation smoothies out there are very high in calories, which if milk supply is your goal, then great. But many mamas are working really hard to lose the extra baby weight, and their goals can quickly be put aside for fear of losing their milk supply. Not with our Milk Dust lactation protein powder and this smoothie recipe. Because spinach is the bulk of your smoothie, you are basically eating very few calories, but completely nourishing your body.
By eating lots of nutrients, your body can safely use stored fat as energy:
Milk Dust uses a unique lactation-boosting herb blend to boost milk supply:
You can count on Milk Dust to protect your milk supply because if offer essential nutrients, adequate protein and amazing galactagogues! These include herbs like fenugreek, fennel seed, milk thistle, red raspberry leaf and Turmeric. These have all been proven both in scientific studies and anecdotally to increase milk supply in many mothers. With this extra boost, and the sugar-craving busting minerals like chromium, you can count on Milk Dust to help you lose the weight, not your milk. Milk Dust also tastes great, and you can read some of the reviews so far on what mamas are saying!
This weight loss lactation smoothie is full of superfoods, boosts milk supply and helps with postpartum weight loss! Perfect for your breastfeeding diet.
Keyword: breastfeeding protein shake, increase milk supply, lactatoin smoothie
3-4hand fullsfresh spinach (this is up to you!)the more spinach the better, but also the more spinach taste.
1scoopMilk Dustyou can add a little extra to mask spinach if necessary
2-4wholestrawberries (frozen of fresh)
Blend everything together and drink right away!
This is a high-volume, nutrient-dense smoothie that is low in calories. It will fill you up on all the essential vitamin and minerals you need, without any extra calories!
This lactation recipe will have you feeling super full! Being full on nutrients and protein, with as nice, sweet tastes is almost too good to be true! Keep in mind that is a big, spinach smoothie. The more spinach you put in, the more nutrients you get, but also the more spinach-taste you get. If you need to add more strawberries, milk or Milk Dust to help with that, feel free to do so!
The keto diet is gaining in popularity for weight loss because it is very effective for burning fat, and if done properly, burning stored fat. But, can breastfeeding mamas use the keto diet to lose the baby weight? There is still little research on breastfeeding and the keto diet specifically, but we can look at what research and experts say.
First, what is the keto diet?
You may have heard the keto diet is amazing for weight loss, and be thinking about it as an option to lose the baby weight, but not fully understand what it is. The keto diet is a very low carb, and high fat diet that forces your body to use fat as fuel, rather than carbohydrates. It is said that your body will then use dietary fat and stored fat for energy, which results in losing fat.
What do experts say about ketosis and breastfeeding?
Not many experts have made statements concerning the keto diet and breastfeeding. It is stated that while breastfeeding, you are sending glucose, or carbs, to your baby, thus burning more carbohydrates than a normal person. The standard keto diet isn’t the best solution because you need more carbohydrates for both mama and baby to function. Experts suggest that 30 grams of carbohydrates or glucose is sent to baby, and the keto suggests eating less than this for an average female.
Eating too few carbs can be dangerous for breastfeeding:
Experts suggest eating at least 50 grams of carbohydrates per day for breastfeeding mothers.
How to make low-carb eating safe for breastfeeding:
It is actually fairly simple to make low-carb eating safe for breastfeeding by adding in extra fruits, veggies, and complex carbs to compensate for the additional glucose being used as fuel for both mama and baby. At the end of this post, we have an awesome keto lactation smoothie that uses raspberries and avocado to help with the additional glucose needs, but still keep the carb-count low.
Our favorite low-carb carbohydrates for breastfeeding:
Eating carbohydrates does not mean eating processed foods like chips, bread and crackers. There are carbohydrates that are low-carb because they are high in nutrients and fiber, yet low in sugar. Here are our top picks:
Sprouted Grain Bread
These low-carb carbohydrates are really important to supplying breastfeeding mamas with both the nutrients and glucose they need to fuel themselves and babies, without getting too much glucose that will be stored as fat.
Is Milk Dust low carb?
The answer is yes! Milk Dust offers only 2 grams of sugar per serving, and it has 2 grams of fiber, leaving the total carbohydrate count at 5 grams per serving. Milk Dust is specifically formulated to be low in sugar, but offer an amazing sweet taste (just read our reviews!). This helps curb sugar cravings, balance blood sugar and offer the amino acids new mommies need. As you work through your keto diet, and make adjustments necessary for breastfeeding, try this amazing keto lactation shake!
This Keto lactation shake is amazing for breastfeeding mamas needing a sweet, lactation boost, but wanting to stay low in carbs.
Keyword: breastfeeding protein shake, lactation recipe, lactatoin smoothie
1/2cupwater or keto-friendly milk for blendinguse as needed for desired thickness
Blend all ingredients together in a blender and enjoy! Your water/milk for blending can be added a few splashes at a time for desired consistency, depending on if you like a thicker or thinner smoothie!
This recipe is specifically made for breastfeeding mamas on the keto diet. The keto diet can have wonderful weight loss and milk supply affects for some, and because Milk Dust is low in sugar, it works great for the keto diet as well!
Eating low carb while breastfeeding isn’t necessarily dangerous, but does require re-evaluating what low carb means.
If you’ve had success with the keto diet in the past, try adjusting your carb intake to higher than you were before, then tweak it as you monitor your health and milk supply.
Losing belly-fat while breastfeeding doesn’t have to be impossible with the right fitness and diet steps. Belly fat is the area most new mommies want to lose weight, but sometimes it can feel like it will never go away. Here are some easy, yet very effective tips to lose the belly fat while breastfeeding:
Effective Steps for Losing Belly Fat While Breastfeeding:
Be Patient: This is a step because if you aren’t patient with yourself as you make healthy lifestyle changes, you will want to give up.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods
Add in more walking
Don’t jump into lots of crunches or ab work!
Focus on small snacks and meals
Try intermittent fasting
Use milk supply boosters
Thinking about all these steps can be totally overwhelming, but let us take you through each one, so you can make your plan to lose the weight, as well as keep your milk supply. We will go over some tips and tricks to keep your milk supply while losing weight, then take you through each step to lose the belly weight. We also have an awesome 10-day sugar detox + weight loss plan, FREE you can use to get started!
How to keep your 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, 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.
Now that you know how to keep your milk supply flowing strong as you start working on losing weight, let’s get into how to lose the belly fat while you’re still breastfeeding:
Be Patient + Make Small Changes In Your Breastfeeding Diet:
Changing your diet and habits is actually very difficult. People are habitual creatures by nature, so once we develop habits that make us feel good, like tasty food, it is really difficult to change these habits. Especially when the food switches are not as yummy. But, by switching to healthy food that tastes great (like our powder!), and is nourishing, you can get yourself to make changes! Start with small changes. Substitute breakfast for one of our lactation smoothies made with milk dust! Just substituting one meal is a small step with a big impact.
Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods For 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
Start Walking More Often for 45 Minutes At A Time:
Walking is an amazing, free and easy way to help your body burn fat. 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 them 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 that belly fat.
Don’t Start Doing 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.
Try Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding:
Intermittent fasting can be awesome for burning fat because it helps your body use fat as fuel. By fasting for 14-16 hours, your body has to use stored fat once the glucose is used. By combining this with a nutrient-dense diet, you can lose weight, but still nourish your body for breastfeeding. Intermittent fasting can also help with appetite control and cravings, which are so common while breastfeeding.
Use Milk Supply Boosters:
Milk supply boosters, like our powder, take a lot of stress out of the weight loss process while breastfeeding. By offering your body a helper, you can get back to working out, eating healthy, and losing the belly fat without compromising your milk supply. Most women have a lot of success with out powder because it also offers important B vitamins for energy, lactation herbs, necessary protein and superfoods like Chlorella and Spirulina. Purely supply boosters usually comprise of herbs like fenugreek or milk thistle, which we have as well, but Milk Dust offers a full, nutritional philosophy. We believe in supporting mothers with nutrients and herbs, to allow a mother’s body to thrive and function the best it can.
To lose the belly fat while breastfeeding, make sure to start by following our simple steps.