So many moms are told the weight will just fall off while breastfeeding. But what happens when you can’t lose the weight while breastfeeding? Weight loss is frequently mentioned as one of the awesome breastfeeding benefits for mom after gaining all that pregnancy weight. A lot of moms do lose weight while breastfeeding, but more often then not, new moms are left wondering, “why can’t I lose the weight while breastfeeding?”
There are MANY factors that come into play for weight loss while breastfeeding. The amount of breast milk produced, hormone levels, thyroid levels, metabolism and diet changes can significantly affect weight loss as a breastfeeding mom. Let’s get into these issues, and how you can combat them to help you actually lose the pregnancy weight while breastfeeding.
Simple steps to take right away, when you can’t lose the weight while breastfeeding:
Track your calorie consumption for at least three days. See where you may be eating more calories than you think
Add in more steps/walking to increase activity and daily calorie burn (walking is safe after birth for most women)
Eat more lean protein and less carbohydrates (AKA have a Milk Dust smoothie as one meal each day!)
Focus on nutrient dense foods for every meal and snack, rather than sugar or processed snacks
Have a fruit/veggie and lean protein at every meal or snack
Lift weights a few times a week to help maintain muscle and promote metabolism
Following this simple
Many Breastfeeding Moms Overestimate The Calories Breastfeeding Actually Burns
Simply, this is one of the top reasons nursing moms can’t lose weight. Experts say that on AVERAGE breastfeeding burns around 500 calories. Because this is an AVERAGE, we know that many moms burn more, and many burn less. If you aren’t losing weight, you could be on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the calories you personally burn while breastfeeding. Hunger cues and calories burned sometimes don’t match up. Many breastfeeding moms experience more hunger, which is due to many things, not just the extra calories being burned. Hunger can result from lack of sleep and lack of nutrients, not just more calories being burned. If you only burn an extra 250 calories a day, and you are eating an extra 500 calories a day, you will end up gaining weight while breastfeeding.
Milk Dust is a great tool for moms who are struggling to lose the baby weight because it helps with feeling full, and reducing sugar cravings that often cause many mamas to eat more than necessary. Milk Dust also provides the essential nutrients moms need to help their bodies feel fully nourished, and not need to signal for more food. Many times our bodies signal for food because of nutrient deficiencies, which Milk Dust is formulated to fight against!
What kind of diet can help weight loss while breastfeeding?
When you are breastfeeding, you have to be careful so that the rate at which you lose weight and the methods you use do not interfere with producing an adequate milk supply for your baby. The key is to ensure your body is getting the proper nutrients, through healthy whole foods, rather than just the right amount of calories. Many breastfeeding mamas focus on eating more food in general, rather than nutrient-dense foods. Sugar cravings also tend to plague breastfeeding mamas, which is why Milk Dust is an awesome nutritional support product that helps curb those sugar cravings. Milk Dust has a great, free, 10-day program to help you get off the sugar all together.
Exercise and diet are the safest paths to weight loss. Breastfeeding moms have unique challenges with both. Most breastfeeding moms have more trouble fitting in exercise, than with exercise itself. That being said, there are other issues that can pop up during exercise for breastfeeding mamas.
A breastfeeding mom needs to make sure she is eating nutritious foods, so she has the building blocks to produce enough milk for her baby. You should avoid diets that restrict entire groups of food. Milk Dust is an amazing nutritional supplement full of protein, vitamins and herbs to support a healthy milk supply. Smoothies are such a fast way to incorporate a fully, nutrient-dense meal in very quickly. The new Milk Dust Bars are also a great, quick snack full of nutrients, protein and healthy herbs to support milk supply.
Nursing mothers also should avoid trying to restrict calories too much. That can not only result in a decreased milk supply, but it can make losing weight harder. When a person’s body thinks it is not getting enough food, it can react by slowing down the rate of metabolism. The result can be a decrease in weight loss or even weight gain. A great way to combat this is to fill your plate with fruits, veggies and lean protein. Most of these foods will give your body plenty of nutrients, so milk supply won’t be a problem, but still keep your overall calorie count low enough to burn fat. Win win!
How to use exercise when you can’t lose the weight while breastfeeding
Exercising is a great tool to help a breastfeeding mom who is struggling to lose weight while breastfeeding. Exercise has a lot of benefits for breastfeeding mamas outside of weight loss.
Exercise will increase total calorie burn for new moms, which is key for weight loss. Often times, a new baby and breastfeeding reduces daily activity because there is a lot of sitting and holding a newborn. Add in complete exhaustion, and many new moms end up burning less calories than when they were pregnant. Adding in daily walks, some light weight lifting and more intense workouts down the road will increase total calorie burn for the day, as well as build muscle and speed up metabolism. This can be just the boost a breastfeeding mother needs when trying to get that weight to budge!
Working out with a newborn is very difficult, but you can skip the stroller and put baby in a carrier! This ads extra weight, allows baby to feel comfortable and helps keep your activity level up. Throw in some squats and lunges, and you can build some muscle at the same time.
Some other great workouts are Pilates, Yoga and biking because they are low impact. Low impact is the best starting place when you are still healing from birth. Of course make sure you have clearance from your doctor.
Sometimes pumping plays a role in why you aren’t losing weight while nursing
A study published in 2014 showed that women who did not exclusively breastfeed did not see any weight loss benefit (Source).
While some of the breastfeeding benefits for baby are present even with mixed feeding, it does appear that for weight loss, exclusive breastfeeding is the way to go. Babies are able to stimulate more milk through sucking, and there are chemical factors with skin to skin that can’t be replicated with a pump.
Postpartum hormones can affect your weight loss efforts too
Research is showing that it is not as simple as calories in and calories out. Hormones affect how our bodies process food, and when we store fat.
Certain foods can cause spikes in insulin. Insulin promotes the storage of fat. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar or highly processed will help keep your insulin at healthy levels.
Cortisol is another hormone that is a big player in the weight loss game. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone. It is the rare mom who isn’t feeling stressed.
Stress raises cortisol levels. Persistently high cortisol levels tell the body to make glucose. The extra glucose gets converted into fat, and the fat ends up getting stored. High cortisol levels can also result in cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods. That is why we crave comfort foods when we are stressed. They make us feel better because of hormones.
Popular Dieting Methods That Are Off Limits
Intermittent fasting is gaining in popularity as a way to lose weight as well as having a long list of health benefits. However, a breastfeeding mama is making milk all the time. Having long stretches of time where she is having absolutely no caloric intake whatsoever can tank her milk supply. If you’ve practiced intermittent fasting before, and your body is accustomed to it, there could be no issues. But, if you’ve never done fasting, it may be a good idea to try when you are done breastfeeding.
If you find that your weight loss efforts have resulted in you making less milk, the good news is that once your milk supply is established, it should come back if you make some adjustments. This post is a great read if you need to get your milk supply back up again.
Be patient with your weight loss goals. It took nine months to gain the weight. It will take time to lose it.
The dreaded mommy tummy is something many moms don’t look forward to getting, and don’t know how to prevent during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take during pregnancy and right after birth to help your body heal faster, and prevent the mommy tummy from developing.
What causes mommy tummy during pregnancy?
Mommy tummy develops during pregnancy from the muscles stretching and lengthening, and from excess fat being stored on the abdominal during pregnancy. Pregnancy causes trauma to the abdominal muscles, which requires some therapy and healing afterwards.
Early in postpartum recovery, abdominal separation is normal. It takes time for the gap between the muscles to start closing in. Without the proper support, this gap can remain separated, which is called diastasis recti. If the gap remains after 3-6 months postpartum, daily exercises and posture work is essential. We will get more into how to do that at the end of this post.
Pregnancy also causes extra weight gain, which many women experience in their hips, thighs and stomach. The stomach fat isn’t as noticeable because it is stretching for baby. This is why many new moms are surprised to find a left-over pooch because they didn’t realize the extra fat went to their stomach as well.
What can you do during pregnancy to prevent mommy tummy?
To prevent mommy pooch during pregnancy you can do two things: gain less weight and engage your core daily. Let’s go over each of these.
First, gaining less weight means you will have less fat on your abdominal.
The extra weight on the outside of the abdominal muscles makes it more difficult for them to pull back in. Losing the extra weight is ESSENTIAL for helping your abs heal and recover. The more weight on your stomach, the more weight pulling your abs out, rather than letting them go back to their normal position. By eating healthy and staying active all pregnancy, you can gain less weight and help prevent mommy pooch from developing.
Second, if you practice engaging your core throughout pregnancy, your muscle memory and control will be much greater for recovery.
The more mind-muscle connection you have, the easier it will be for you to regain strength and control in the stretched muscles. This means that it will be more like second-nature to engage and breathe correctly, rather than having to learn to do this after you have the baby. Prenatal Pilates is a great way to do this, and it can be done in all trimester. Your core is the same as any muscle. If you do your squats all pregnancy, those muscles will remain strong and toned even after baby arrives. It will also be easier to jump back into squats because your muscles have memory!
What can you do after birth to help prevent mommy tummy?
After pregnancy, there are some things you can do right after birth to help you prevent the mommy pooch from even developing. Here’s where to start:
Wear a postpartum belly wrap to support the muscles and encourage good posture
Practice sitting and standing taller with an engaged core (no slouching and breastfeeding)
Eat healthy right away. Don’t wait to nourish your body. Grab our free 10-day plan and a starter pack, so you can get going right away!
Start a gentle Pilates routine to keep your core muscles engaged and healing
Managing a new born is a full-time job, so it can seem overwhelming to have to heal your body after birth as well. But, you really only need to spend 5-10 minutes working on your core every day with effective exercises, AND you can accomplish a lot just through your posture and a belly band.
How can you lose the mommy tummy once you have it?
Even with minimal weight gain and core work during pregnancy, mommy tummy can still develop. It is a natural process that happens after birth, and it can some times be more predominant with multiple pregnancies. Still, you can lose your mommy tummy long after you’ve had babies.
Your muscles can always be healed, and you can always lose extra abdominal fat. The longer you wait postpartum, the more work it may require, but doing the work will decrease your mommy pooch.
Here are some things you can do NOW, to start losing your mommy pooch:
Jump start your weight loss with our free, 10-day diet plan (that won’t affect your milk supply)
These are very simple, actionable steps you can take NOW to start losing the mommy pooch and regaining your abs again.
How long does it take to lose the mommy tummy?
The time it takes to lose your mommy tummy is really dependent on the severity of your abdominal separation and the amount of weight you have on your stomach.
The first step is determining how wide your abdominal separation is. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to lie on your back and do a small crunch. While in the crunch position, put your fingers around your belly button area and see how deep and wide the separation is. The wider the separation the longer it will take to heal.
Second step is to determine how much fat is still remaining. There are a few ways to do this. You can just look and feel where it is, or you can measure your stomach, so you have something to go off of. No matter what, you will have to lose weight ALL OVER in order to reduce the stomach fat. Your body doesn’t lose weight in specific areas, so measuring your weight loss will help.
One of the most difficult body changes for new mommies is the seemingly new tummy pooch or overhang after pregnancy. Many postpartum mamas spend time in front of the mirror examining their new stomach, wondering if it will ever return to a pre-pregnancy state.
There are many myths and wrong advice on the mommy pooch, that lead many postpartum mamas stuck feeling like they have to embark on a diastasis recti physical therapy plan to get their tummy back. This is a good idea for EVERY mama, but there is more to losing the pooch than just a few rehabilitation exercises (save the top 5 exercises for later!).
We want to explain some of the details on the mommy tummy, and hopefully help postpartum mommies understand what’s going on. This will allow you to create your own plan of attack, to flatten your tummy again.
The Mommy Tummy Explained: What causes the mommy pooch?
The pooch is a result of muscle separation + fat gain:
Muscle separation in the abdominal muscles is a normal process during pregnancy.
The muscles need to separate in order to make room for the growing uterus. There is a thin, fabric-like fascia between the muscles that connects them, as well as stretches as they separate. The more stretching that happens, the less pull this fascia has to pull the muscles back together.
As the muscles stretch and elongate for 9 months, they don’t always bounce back to their original strength and position. This is where exercises and belly bands can help support the muscles as they contract back into place.
The fascia between the muscles doesn’t always pull back to the original elasticity and strength, leaving a looser gap between the abdominal wall.
When the muscles have been separated multiple times, they can take longer to go back into place, and need more support.
If left alone, in many mamas, the muscles stay in a looser position, thus creating a pooch appearance.
Extra fat during pregnancy stays on top of the abdominal muscles.
Weight gain during pregnancy has a large effect on the aftermath of your tummy. The more weight you gain, the more fat you will have to lose on top of your stomach muscles.
Holding extra fat encourages the muscles to pull out too, because the fat is extra weight that pulls the muscles in the wrong direction for healing.
Pregnancy can cause more fat on the abdominal wall than realized because everything in that area stretches so tight. Often times many new moms don’t realize that most of the remaining pooch is extra fat that still needs to be lost.
Losing extra weight gained during pregnancy is ESSENTIAL to being able to see your abs and completely flatten your mommy tummy. Make sure to try a sample pack of our protein powder and join our free, 10-day diet plan to help you get started on the weight loss while breastfeeding!
Lack of physical activity – sitting in slouching position only makes it worse:
New mommies often find themselves sitting quite a lot while breastfeeding. While sitting, posture can negatively affect how the muscles stay positioned.
Slouching causes the muscles to pooch out even more, and many mamas spend a lot of time sitting in the beginning because they are healing, holding the baby, rocking the baby and nursing the baby. This can make the pooch worse.
Sugar cravings often lead to excess carbs stored as fat on the belly.
Many mamas find that they LOVE sugar and carbs while breastfeeding. This is something we’ve worked really hard to help new mommies with. Our protein powder is specifically formulated to help stop sugar cravings.
Extra carbs and sugar tend to be stored in the belly area, leading to an extra layer of fat that makes the pooch look even larger.
The mommy pooch can be depressing and overwhelming as a new mommy, but there are some super simple habits you can change to eliminate the pooch all together! We have a few posts that will really help you get started:
The Mommy Tummy Explained: What causes the overhang?
The overhang is a result of excess skin and possible scar tissue from a cesarean:
Excess skin after pregnancy comes from a very large belly.
If your baby was very large and/or you gained an excess amount of weight, your skin had to stretch farther. This can result in the skin not being able to regain elasticity and hanging over.
Managing weight gain during pregnancy is the KEY to keeping this from happening.
Using moisturizers and oils can help the skin stretch easier during pregnancy, so it can recover postpartum.
Excess skin can also be a result of a cesarean birth and scar tissue.
Healing postpartum after a cesarean takes extra time and care. Mobilizing the scar tissue at the site of the scar can help soften the tissue and lessen the overhang.
The incision and trauma to the area from surgery can inhibit the healing process for the skin, so it remains lose.
You can reduce the overhang by reducing overall fat.
By losing the extra fat gained during pregnancy, you can make HUGE strides in reducing the overhang. Many times, new mamas don’t realize how much of the overhang is extra fat, not skin.
You can’t spot-reduce fat, but you can lose fat by walking more, eating whole foods, and focusing on protein and fiber to fill your diet (lean protein, veggies and fruit).
What are the best ways to fix the mommy pooch? Here’s 4 Simple Steps
There are three main steps to fixing the mommy pooch, and if you can make these simple changes, you will be surprised at how quickly your pooch will start to flatten!
Burn Fat Through Diet:
You won’t be able to see your mommy pooch reduce unless your fat percentage decreases. Most postpartum mamas don’t have much time for working out, or are still healing from birth, so using your nutrition is the best way to burn fat. We have our free, 10-day plan you can follow to get started, and some great posts to help you! If you are concerned out milk supply, make sure to at least grab a sample pack of our powder, or our Starter Pack to help you jump start your diet and weight loss – without any affect on your milk supply!
A newborn can really make it difficult to stay active, which is why we encourage mamas to get around 10k steps in a day. Staying active all day, rather than one workout and sitting the rest of the day, is really beneficial to keeping your metabolism moving. Also, by staying active, you will be sitting for shorter periods of time, which will be helpful in training your muscles to pull back in, rather than pooch out!
Fix your posture (use a belly band to help!):
Going along with moving more through the day, also grab a belly band to help you remember to stand taller. Belly bands don’t really push your abs back in, but they do encourage better posture and support your abs. Posture is one of the easiest ways to help your core come back, so remember to stand taller, roll your shoulders back and pull your belly button in.
Do 5 diastasis recti exercises every day:
By committing to just 5 exercises for your core and pelvic floor every day, you can regain strength and control over your tummy. By building back strength, you are also helping the muscles to stay contracted rather than loose and long. The exercises are meant to rebuild the mind-muscle connection, so you can practice holding your abs tight in various positions. By enforcing daily practice, the abdominal engagement becomes a natural position, rather than something you have to force yourself to remember.
Healing the mommy tummy takes time and attention. Think of the muscles as going through trauma for 9 months. They need gentle exercises, time and care in order to recover from the event of pregnancy.
The more you exercise and challenge your muscles to return to normal strength, the stronger they will become. The better you take care of yourself in terms of diet and activity, the better you will feel inside and out.
November is here, and we wanted to share this super easy, pumpkin lactation bite recipe. These protein bites are full of milk-boosting ingredients, including the pumpkin, yet are super healthy and low in sugar. Add these to your snack list, or have them as dessert, and you will be able to keep up with your weight loss goals after pregnancy.
Milk Dust is a brand-new resource for new mommies to conquer sugar cravings while breastfeeding, while also increase milk supply. Adding Milk Dust to recipes really helps ensure you are getting in the proper nutrients postpartum, while also keeping your milk supply up. Use code: LACTATION for 10% off your first order.
Pumpkin Pie Lactation Bites (Skinny!)
These skinny pumpkin pie lactation bites will have you feeling like you're biting into pumpkin pie, yet be full of nutrients and milk-boosting goodness.
1/8 cupBaking Stevia (or ganulated sweetener of choice)
Mix water and peanut flour in a bowl. The consistency should be of heated peanut butter. You can use about 1 cup of heated peanut butter if desired. When peanut butter is heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave, it takes on a thinner consistency. This will be easier to mix. You can mix everything in a large bowl without a food processor, or you can transfer the peanut butter to the food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add in the pumpkin puree, Milk Dust protein, pumpkin pie spice, Stevia and salt. Mix the coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time, to make sure it isn't too dry. The dough should be thick and crumbly, so you can roll into balls. Eat the protein bites right away, or store in the fridge.
Keyword lactation, lactation bite, protein ball, pumpkin pie protein shake
Pumpkin offers some amazing nutrients for breastfeeding mamas, so make sure to eat it all you want! It is also full of fiber, low in sugar, and easy to add to baked goods. It can really help with weight loss by helping you feel full on less calories due to the amount of fiber per serving.
Combining fiber and protein is a really effective way to feel full for longer, and diminish cravings later in the day. Make sure to check out our smoothie recipes too!
Yes, you can actually boost your milk supply, while still losing the baby weight at the same time. Many new mommies find they don’t want to attempt to lose any of the pregnancy weight until they are done breastfeeding because they worry about their milk supply.
Fortunately, there are ways to boost your milk supply, and still lose the baby weight. It all comes down to your nutrition, and utilizing the correct herbs and vitamins to support lactation. Knowing which nutrients, foods and vitamins to consume can be overwhelming and confusing, so we’ve narrowed it down to five milk-boosting ways you can lose the weight.
Why does milk supply drop when new moms start dieting?
Understanding why your milk supply may drop when starting a weight loss diet is really important. There are simple mistakes new mommies make that negatively affect milk supply, which can easily be avoided! Calorie consumption isn’t actually as important as many general blogs like to tell you. Many medical professionals just relay to mommies that they need to eat “enough calories.” While eating enough calories is important, eating enough nutrients is even more important. Many nurses, lactation consultants, and even doctors are not educated on nutrition during breastfeeding, so they all say the same, “eat more calories if milk supply drops.”
Big mistakes breastfeeding moms make when starting a diet:
Dropping calorie consumption too fast
Focusing on calories, rather than nutrients
Allowing hunger to become too strong (never feeling full)
Not combining protein and fiber for satiety
Avoiding fruits for fear of carbohydrates
Not eating enough protein at every snack or meal
Eating too much sugar when hungry (which can increase estrogen)
Working out too much (which can increase hunger levels)
Most of these mistakes are very easy to avoid if you have a good idea of what to eat. By focusing on how to eat properly, you can keep your milk supply, or increase your supply, and still lose the weight.
5 Milk-Boosting Ways To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding:’
Find a lactation-booster that works for you:
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.
Focus on nutrients, not calories:
In general, calories do matter, but while breastfeeding, nutrients matter more. Weight loss is an equation of energy in vs energy out, but not all energy is created equal. Your body is going to unpack and digest processed food very differently than whole fruits and veggies. Processed foods, and even low-quality proteins are going to have very little nutrients per calorie. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and eggs all have a lot of nutrients per calorie. Your body is also designed to consume and digest these foods. Think of whole foods as foods your body is happy to have. It knows what to do with every part of the food, it wants to absorb all the nutrients, and everything serves a purpose. With processed foods, your body has to store the junk and work hard to take out anything that it can use. The brain is happy with the processed food because it gets glucose fast, but the rest of the “stuff” gets stored in cells as fat or eliminated in waste.
Processed foods also affect the hormonal balance of the body, which can in turn affect lactation. By making every snack and meal nutrient-dense, you can ensure your body is getting the wide variety of nutrients it needs, while also eating fewer calories because most nutrient-dense foods are not calorie-dense. Basically a win-win for breastfeeding mamas!
Have protein at every meal:
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!
Eat more fruit throughout the day:
So many mamas skip the benefits of whole fruit because they are trying to cut carbs. Cutting out carbohydrates that are full of nutrients can be detrimental to a successful breastfeeding diet. Fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that are huge benefits to milk supply. Fruit is also very filling, and a healthy way for your brain to get glucose quickly when it needs it.
Many breastfeeding mamas crave sugar because their brain is tired. A tired brain loves glucose. Instead of reaching for the chocolate or ice cream, grab an apple, berries or banana. The extra fiber helps slow the glucose impact, and fill you up way more than a candy bar. The extra nutrients will support hormonal function and ensure your body can continue producing milk.
We’ve added blueberries into our protein powder because of the powerful nutrients and antioxidants they offer. Many of our shake recipes are full of fruit because frozen and fresh fruit blend so well and make such a delicious smoothie.
Add in milk-boosting foods that are weight loss friendly:
There are more healthy foods you want to have in your diet weekly, so you can ensure you are encouraging your milk supply. These foods are:
Eat some of these foods every day. Have sweet potatoes cooked and ready in the fridge, and small bags of pumpkin seeds ready for grabbing. Hard-boiled eggs are also a quick and easy grab during the day, and they offer a lot of protein, healthy fats, and other amazing nutrients like vitamin B12 (which is also in our protein powder!), which is super important to energy levels and milk supply.
By adding these foods into your diet every day, you will fill up on healthier foods, making you less likely to eat all the other foods. All of the foods on the list have fiber or protein, which can help make you feel full. Eating until you feel full can really help eliminate the sugar cravings that may be difficult later.
By following these 5, milk-boosting tips, you will also help yourself lose the baby weight! Weight loss while breastfeeding can happen, and you don’t have to wait until you’re done breastfeeding to get back in shape. If you want even more information on nutrition and weight loss while breastfeeding, some of our other posts might be super helpful too!
This pumpkin pie lactation overnight oats recipes is one of our favorite recipes yet. The overnight oats are full of protein, and the oats add an extra milk-boosting punch to really boost your milk supply right away in the morning.
If you are looking for something other than a smoothie, which we do have a great pumpkin pie smoothie, this overnight oats recipe will really do the trick!
The key with overnight oats is to add enough liquid for the oats to bulk up and “cook” overnight. This recipe is only one serving, in a smaller mason jar because it is so full of nutrients!
This lactation overnight oats recipe is particularly unique because it offers protein with the oats. Oats will give your body the sustainable carbohydrates, and combined with the protein you will be full for hours! Bye bye breastfeeding hunger!!
This recipe is also LOW SUGAR and super filling, so it is the PERFECT breakfast for any mamas wanting to lose weight while breastfeeding, but keep up your milk supply. Overnight oats is a great alternative to smoothies in the morning, because they still offer so many nutrients.
Overnight Pumpkin Pie Lactation Oats With Protein:
Pumpkin Pie Protein Lactation Oats
These pumpkin pie lactation oats are perfect for breastfeeding mamas because they can be made super quick, and left to "cook" overnight Enjoy them right away in the morning for a big milk boost!
Start with your Milk Dust and oatmeal at the bottom of your mason jar. Add in the pumpkin puree and the yogurt. We layered the ingredients. Sprinkle your pumpkin pie spice on top of the yogurt, followed by the pumpkin seeds if desired. Pour in your milk and mix well, or shake with the lid on tight. Leave in the fridge overnight to enjoy in the morning!
Protein is one of the key nutrients necessary for weight loss while breastfeeding, and it also plays a major role in eliminating belly fat that often accumulates during and after pregnancy. Many mamas find that their abs are in need of some serious rehab work, as well as some extra flab hanging around post-baby.
Let’s discuss the postpartum belly fat, and how protein can help burn it off – fast:
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 and carbohydrate 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!
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.
What are some good protein sources for breastfeeding mamas?
If you are trying to lose the belly fat, protein sources low in carbs and fat are the best choices. These include:
Eggs + egg whites (mixing egg whites with the yolks keeps the integrity of the egg, while adding more protein)
Lean ground turkey
Turkey bacon (organic, natural brands if possible. It can be highly processed)
Low-fat Cottage Cheese (assuming baby is okay with dairy, and mama doesn’t get a large insulin spike)
Deli Meat (natural, no nitrates etc.)
Lean ground beef (97% – 99% lean)
White meat chicken
All of these sources are low in fat, which is essential to allowing your body to use fat stored on the belly. Not all of these sources are tasty for new mommies, or realistic to have on-hand or ready to go. That is why Milk Dust is an amazing, delicious source of protein that you can combine with fiber-rich fruit to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Lactation Protein Smoothies are a great tool for breastfeeding mamas to lose belly fat:
Seriously, a lactation smoothie made with a high-quality, milk-boosting protein like Milk Dust, and low-sugar berries like blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, is the magic potion breastfeeding mamas need to lose the belly fat.
By keeping the protein high, sugar low, and nutrients off the charts, Milk Dust lactation smoothies are pure gold to nourishing lactating mamas. The herb-blend in Milk Dust for milk supply also ensures that milk production stays strong while belly fat is falling off.
Protein powder is often a realistic, quick way for breastfeeding mamas to get their needed protein in. You can shake it up with one hand, or make one of our tasty recipes with just one-hand and a blender. Easy clean up, and no major cooking and prepping required! Our protein powder tastes amazing with just ice and milk too, so if you are short on groceries, you literally have all you need!
Breastfeeding often comes with the expectation for easy weight loss. So many moms have heard that the weight will just fall off naturally. This does not always happen, and many moms have to work much harder than expected to lose weight – or so they think.
Losing weight naturally can happen while breastfeeding, with out embarking on an intense workout routine and restrictive diet. The key is to focus on hunger cues, nourishment, and overall daily movement. This is your complete guide to losing weight naturally while breastfeeding, without a specific diet or exercise program.
How To Lose The Weight Naturally While Breastfeeding:
Focus on hunger cures:
The first tip is to pay attention to your hunger cues. Many new, breastfeeding mamas eat and snack out of habit more than hunger. This is such a simple step that can have a dramatic impact on your weight loss. If you find yourself enjoying a snack while breastfeeding, but you aren’t actually hungry, then it is probably best to skip the snack and chew some gum instead.
Being home with a newborn can also mean more mindless snacking. There is a lot of down time, where you can’t get a whole lot done, but you can grab a snack as a fun break in between all the newborn work. Once baby is ready, try getting out of the house more, or finding lower calories drinks to sip on rather than eating.
You can also set specific eating times, rather than allowing yourself to eat all the time. By eating at specific times, you will learn when your body is naturally hungry, and when it isn’t.
Learning your hunger cues does take some time, and mental connection, but it is so much easier than following a strict diet or elimination plan. If your body is actually hungry, that means it is ready for nutrients, which leads us into the next tip.
Focus on nourishing food – rather than cravings:
It is extremely important to consume nourishing foods while breastfeeding. Nutrient demands are much higher during breastfeeding and postpartum healing, so you need to put quality food into your body. What are nutrient-dense foods? Stay focused on lean protein, veggies, fruits, and natural carbohydrate sources like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, quinoa and seed-based breads. Nuts, seeds and beans are great too. Dairy can be a wonderful source of protein, though some babies are more sensitive to dairy proteins in breast milk. Go for lower fat dairy products like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Low-fat dairy will have higher protein per serving, and lower fat, making it a good source of protein, which is essential for weight loss!
Our Milk Dust lactation protein powder is an amazing, protein-rich and nutrient-dense food that is also full of specific nutrients for breastfeeding. Milk Dust is specifically formulated to help new moms properly nourish their body, while also being able to lose weight. By offering 16 grams of protein per serving, and only 100 calories, you can drink Milk Dust in between meals mixed with milk, or as a full smoothie.
Making nutrient-dense meals can be overwhelming and too much work with a newborn, which is why making a one-handed smoothie is often a wonderful solution! We highly recommend grabbing one of our sample packs, so you can see how Milk Dust will work for you! We’ve specially formulated it to ease sugar cravings, make you feel full, and boost your milk supply while you drop weight.
Every time you feel hunger start setting in, make sure that you are choosing foods that will benefit your body and milk supply. Rather than a carb-heavy sandwich or bowl of cereal because it sounds good, think about 80% of your meal of snack being full of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. By filling your meals and snacks with nutrient-dense foods, there is less room for sugary or snacky foods that often lead to excess calories.
By eating mainly nourishing foods only when you are actually hungry, your body will adjust to less calories, feel more nourished, and be able to let go of excess fat naturally. What about exercise? Well, the key is to move often throughout the day, rather than just a 30 min workout a few times a week.
Finally, focus on all-day movement, rather than getting in a workout:
Many new mamas focus on getting in a 30 minute workout every day, but don’t actually move much throughout the day. This can actually be more harmful than helpful when it comes to weight loss. By putting your baby in a carrier or wrap, or walking with a stroller frequently throughout the day, you end up keeping your metabolism higher. You also eat less when sitting less. It can be very tempting to sit a lot with a breastfeeding baby because of breastfeeding. But, if you want to lose the weight, without having to get workouts in, just get up and move more. Setting goals for walking 10 minutes of every hour, or wearing baby more often are super simple and really effective.
Add in some postpartum exercises (like these to help heal diastasis recti), and you will start regaining strength too. The more you move throughout the day, the easier it will get to stay active throughout the day.
You can end up burning more calories, by just walking more often through the day, than a 30 minute workout (depending on your workout) without even realizing it every day.
By following these three focus-points while breastfeeding, weight loss can come naturally, without much real effort at all.
No matter what, there is a deficit of calories needed to lose weight. These tips are going to help you naturally reduce the number of calories you are eating, while also increasing the calories you are using throughout the day.
If a plan might work better for you, we have a free 10-day diet plan you can follow, and we highly recommend our Milk Dust to help you manage the hunger and cravings that can be really intense during breastfeeding. Remember to use code: LACTATION for 10% off your first order!
Protein is a powerful macronutrient that is very beneficial to new, breastfeeding mommies trying to lose weight while breastfeeding. The struggle to lose weight while breastfeeding mostly comes down to milk supply issues, and many mamas give up after they notice a decrease in supply soon after their new diet.
Protein can play a major role in helping to accelerate your weight loss goals, without harming your milk supply. This is why we created a protein powder specifically for breastfeeding moms. The amino acids in various proteins are vital to a new mother’s health and vitality, as well as baby’s nourishment through breast milk.
Protein is the magic key to weight loss without losing milk supply, and here’s why:
Most breastfeeding mamas are loading up on carbs due to cravings and intense hunger. While fruits and veggies as carbs are essential to nourishing mama and baby, starchy, processed and complex carbs can start a viscous cycle of hunger and cravings.
Without enough protein in a breastfeeding mother’s diet, there will be extreme hunger and cravings. Protein is a more complex nutrient that takes more time to break down. Because it is more difficult to break down, a breastfeeding mom will feel full longer, than if they were to eat pure carbohydrates. In addition, protein takes a bit more energy to break down and digest, meaning you burn more calories eating protein.
Let’s get into how calories are processed, to better understand some major benefits of protein:
Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. Protein has 4 calories per gram, and Fat has 9 calories per gram. Since protein takes more energy to break down, and is sent directly to hair, skin, nails, muscle and various areas where our bodies need amino acids, it actually has less calories per gram when you consider the metabolic energy required to process it. Carbohydrates are easier to break down, and often send sugar straight to the brain and fiber to the gut. This is easier on the body, and requires less energy. Fat goes to fat cells for storage, unless there is an inadequate amount of calories for the body. Then, the body will convert fat to energy, but the immediate response is to put fat into fat cells (despite a small amount to the brain, breast milk etc – but not as much as you would think).
Not only is protein a fabulous nutrient for weight loss, it also really helps combat cravings that so many breastfeeding moms experience.
How protein attacks sugar and carbohydrate cravings for breastfeeding moms:
Protein is the one nutrient that many moms don’t eat enough of. A lack of protein can often come out in sugar cravings, which can be really confusing.
Most breastfeeding moms crave carbohydrates, but attempt to stay the healthy route by eating things like oatmeal, whole wheat toast, crackers etc. While many carbohydrates have essential nutrients – and breastfeeding moms need those too – without the additional protein, the body is left needing to signal for protein, even after a larger meal.
Even salads can be devoid of enough protein, which can make a new mommy feeling confused on why she is hungry soon after, or craving more sugar after a big salad.
A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations… (read more here).
Basically, keeping protein intake higher is gonna help with weight loss for anyone, including breastfeeding mamas. But, we also know that protein is really helpful for milk supply and lactation as well!
How protein keeps up a healthy milk supply – even during weight loss:
All macro nutrients – fat, protein and carbohydrates are used for energy to make breast milk. Fat is stored during pregnancy specifically for this purpose. Since there is already stored fat in the body, there isn’t much need for a breastfeeding mother to consume fat. Some mothers do use the keto diet as a weight loss method, which is definitely okay, but what is happening even on the keto diet is the lack of calories are signaling to the body to let go of stored fat.
The keto diet also provides a lot of protein, which is in the fattier meats, nuts and cheeses. This is why some moms have a lot of success with the keto diet for weight loss while breastfeeding, and we do cover that more in depth as well.
Protein is not stored or made in the body. It needs to be consumed in your diet for your body to use it and convert it. Protein is one of the main nutrients studied and reported in scholarly articles referring to nourishment and lactation. Mothers in poor countries are often lacking protein – with cheaper foods like rice and carbohydrates available. Because there is a lack of protein, and undernourishment, there is also a reduced lactation for these mothers. One of these articles and discussions can be found here.
Protein is a key nutrient to ensure a mother and baby are properly nourished, but often times new moms aren’t craving protein. Foods like chicken, eggs, lean meats and fish are often less desirable, so what’s going on?
Why breastfeeding moms don’t crave protein, and what to do:
Many breastfeeding moms are craving foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, chips, crackers, ice cream and sweets. There are a lot of issues going on with these cravings, but the major issue is the cycle of undernourishment.
Undernourishment is very different than eating too little. Many new mommies are eating plenty of calories, but not enough nutrients. This is the key to the cycle of sugar and carb cravings. The brains do get addicted to the quick, sugar and carbohydrate jumps, and the body is missing essential nutrients found in proteins and produce.
Once a new mother gets into the cycle, it can take quite some time to get out of it. We have a free, 10-day plan that has proven extremely successful for new mothers. 10 days is usually the minimum it takes to get out of a sugar-craving cycle, and so many of our customers have lost over 10lbs in 10 days just following our plan! And it is FREE!
We call it a sugar detox plan, which it is, and it can also be considered a meal plan and diet guidelines too. Make sure to grab it, and we periodically offer challenges and cash prizes to moms that stick to the full 10 days!
Why Milk Dust is an amazing solution to helping breastfeeding mamas get adequate protein and nourishment, lose weight and keep up their milk supply:
Milk Dust exists to specifically solve the issue of undernourishment for new mommies, help with weight loss and keep up the milk supply. With protein as the center nutrient, there are also additional vitamins, minerals and herbs that are hand-picked to encourage a healthy milk supply. Milk Dust also offers a sweet, delicious taste that satisfies the sugar cravings!
By offering a sweet, decadent protein powder (and dessert-like bars!), Milk Dust satisfies the intense need for something sweet, while offering a breastfeeding mama exactly what they need – protein, vitamins and minerals!
We have an in-depth post on exactly what vitamins, minerals and nutrients Milk Dust offers and why, which we highly recommend reading at some point.
We also offer sample packs, so you can try 5-6 servings of the protein powder to ensure it will work for you. We highly recommend grabbing a sample pack and 4-pack of bars, so you can see how our product works, and if it is the right product for you!
It’s a fact of a healthy pregnancy that you will gain some weight that is fat. Most women want to lose that extra fat as soon as possible. A breastfeeding mom wants to make sure that any weight loss program she uses is safe when breastfeeding. Safety of a weight loss program, while you are a nursing mama, is not only from the effect on milk supply. If you want to skip to Milk Dust’s FREE 10-day program, it is a nutrient-dense diet plan that allows breastfeeding mamas to lose weight, without losing milk supply!
The American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for a woman who starts pregnancy with an average weight and who is pregnant with a single baby. Of course, if there is more than one baby, there will be more weight gain. Underweight women are advised to gain more, and overweight and obese women are counseled to gain less.
The reason for the difference in recommendations is how much fat stores a woman has when she gets pregnant. Approximately seven pounds of the average pregnancy weight gain is fat. Your body is storing the fat so you’ll have energy for labor and breastfeeding.
How Much Weight Should I Lose From Breastfeeding?
Typically, a woman loses one to two pounds each month while breastfeeding. If you gained an average amount of weight, this means you would lose the extra weight from fat in three to six months. If you gained an above average amount of weight, it will take longer. There are some things that you can do with your diet and exercise routine to help speed weight loss up.
While it is safe to lose weight a little faster than average, rapid weight loss is not recommended because most mamas do not properly fill their plate with nutrient-dense foods. This is why Milk Dust Protein Powder and Lactation Bars can be such a huge help. If you really want to lose weight fast, the shake and bars offer important nutrients that breastfeeding mothers need to heal, keep up milk supply and feel their best.
What Are The Concerns About Rapid Weight Loss While Breastfeeding?
The two primary concerns with rapid weight loss are milk supply and the release of toxins from fat stores.
Milk supply works primarily on supply and demand. But some women do struggle with making enough milk, and restricting calories could potentially result in a decreased milk supply. Some moms have sensitive milk supplies and see their production drop with the slightest changes in hydration, caloric intake, or how long they go between feedings. This is why Milk Dust’s program focuses on nutrients, rather than calorie restriction. It is a great, simple program that has worked for many mamas!
Other mothers make tons of milk, and even if their supply decreases, they still make a lot of milk. For this reason, you can’t assume that your milk supply will not be affected because someone else followed a particular weight loss program and still had a good milk supply
The other concern has to do with toxins. People are exposed to toxins on a regular basis from the environment, foods and beauty, and skincare products. When we burn fat, the toxins get released into our bloodstream and can make its way into breast milk. More rapid fat burning could potentially result in higher levels of toxins in your breast milk.
Safety of Popular Weight Loss Programs While Breastfeeding
Weight Watchers (Now called WW) and breastfeeding
WW is a good option for breastfeeding women. You have a certain number of points you are allowed to eat each day and week. They take your breastfeeding status into consideration when determining your point allocation.
On WW you can eat whatever you want. There are no restricted foods. You will want to focus on nutrient dense foods as opposed to processed foods or empty calories, which can be tricky when you are also counting calories.
The other positive thing about WW is they adjust your point allocation according to whether you are exclusively breastfeeding or if your baby is getting nutrition from other sources. You can download the WW app, and it will make all these calculations for you.
BUT, it is important to note that not all calories are processed the same in your body. Most of the WW colors offer 0 points for fruits and veggies to encourage women to eat highly, nutrient-dense foods. This is really important for breastfeeding mamas because it is the nutrients that fuel your milk supply more than the calories. Milk Dust is also low on the point-system, at only 100 calories per serving and 15 grams of protien, so it can easily fit into your point system every day!
WW has you do an assessment that is personalized, and based on your answers, they recommend one of their three programs which are assigned a color. WW is a paid program.
The keto diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fats with an emphasis on high quality protein consumption. You are not supposed to eat grains, starchy vegetables, fruits that are high in sugar, sugar, or other natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or syrups. The goal of the diet is to maintain a state of ketosis.
There are only a few scientific research articles on breastfeeding moms who follow a keto diet. One study compared women who ate a low carb and high fat diet for eight days and then switched to a high carb low fat diet for eight days. The results showed milk production was not affected by mothers who ate a high fat diet. There also was no change in the amount of lactose and protein in their breast milk. Their milk had higher amounts of fat, and their infants ate more (Source).
A keto diet appears to be safe during breastfeeding in terms of supply. We don’t know what the effect is on the release of toxins. There has been one published case of severe ketoacidosis in a nursing mama that was attributed to her strict keto diet (Source).
Many people who start a keto diet describe a period of not feeling very good. This is called “keto flu.” For this reason, it is probably not a good idea to start a keto diet in the early months of breastfeeding when the average mom is dealing with sleep deprivation.
It’s also important to pay close attention to staying well hydrated and listening to your body. Make adjustments if you are not feeling good on a keto diet.
In addition, the keto diet can flush water and electrolytes from your system because of the lack of carbs to retain water, so if your milk supply is sensitive to hydration, that could be a factor to consider or monitor.
Milk Dust is also super keto-friendly, with just a few carbs per serving and very little impact on blood sugar! You can blend it with higher fat milks to make a delicious keto lactation shake! We have a more in-depth post on the keto diet below, if it is something you are highly considering, or has worked for you in the past.
Jenny Craig is a diet that involves a prepared meal plan as well as coaching. They do make allowances for breastfeeding moms and tailor it to the age of your baby and how often he breastfeeds. No food groups are restricted, which keeps the nutritional profile larger.
Moms are required to be at least six weeks postpartum before starting Jenny Craig. Nursing moms are encouraged to limit weight loss to ½ to 1 pound each week – mostly because of very general health and safety concerns. Of course, every mother is different, and if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can lose more faster.
Jenny Craig can be a good option for the mom who has the money in her budget for the program and who struggles to find time to make nutritious calorie conscious meals. Meals are made for you, so there isn’t a lot of thinking involved, but it could be difficult to stay on for a long period of time.
Getting into a habit of making nutrition meals is important for long-term weight loss, but the difficulties of cooking and preparing with a newborn are so real! I do highly recommend the Milk Dust smoothies (get their free recipe Ebook!), and the lactation bars if you are low on time and energy!
Intermittent Fast and Breastfeeding
The challenge of evaluating Intermittent Fasting (IF) and breastfeeding is that there are so many different ways to do IF. Different schedules include 12 hours of fasting and a 12 hour eating window and increasing hours of fasting to alternate day fasting and other combinations. Most sources discourage intermittent fasting while breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work really well for you.
Intermittent fasting has many benefits for the body. Giving your digestive system a break from food allows it to properly calibrate hunger, which is a major challenge for breastfeeding mamas.
One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is that hunger signals become more controlled. The first few days can be an adjustment, but once the body gets accostomed to not having to ALWAYS eat, it is easier to understand when you are truly hungry.
The long period of time without eating is not an issue for breastfeeding, assuming that the eating window supplies enough nutrients and calories to sustain hormonal function. If that is the case, intermittent fasting can sometimes be the fastest path to weight loss for breastfeeding mamas.
Whatever diet plan you choose, it is important to follow these guidelines:
Wait until your milk supply is well established before starting a diet. This is usually by 6-8 weeks.
Stay well hydrated.
Since you don’t know how much milk you make, you should monitor your baby’s weight every couple of weeks.
Listen to your body. If you are feeling low energy or having any kind of negative reaction, make adjustments to your diet.
Be patient. It is a cliché, but it is true – it took nine months to gain the weight, and it will take some time to lose it.
The Milk Dust breastfeeding diet plan, that focuses on conquering sugar cravings and eating nutrient-dense foods is an awesome place to start if you aren’t sure about any of the programs above, and want to try a program many women have had success on!
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 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.
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.
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.
Losing weight while breastfeeding is harder than it seems for many mamas. Breastfeeding does burn extra calories, but many times that extra calorie burn doesn’t make an impact on weight loss. Many mamas find themselves super frustrated and giving up, after countless healthy meals, workouts and diets, only to find they are only losing milk supply. How depressing! But, there are some real reasons that breastfeeding mamas may not be able to lose weight, and these reasons need to be addressed in order to lose weight.
We’ve got a lot to go over in this post:
First, reasons breastfeeding can put a wrench in your weight loss. Second, we are going to uncover some real reasons a breastfeeding mama might not be losing weight. Third, we have some slutions for you! Simple tips and tricks you can follow when you aren’t losing weight while breastfeeding!
Our founder here at Milk Dust specializes in helping nursing mother’s lose weight. We’ve tapped into all her knowledge to pull together everything you need to know.
Reasons Breastfeeding Is Putting A Wrench In Your Weight Loss:
Breastfeeding itself can cause issues with weight loss. Because there are many hormonal factors that are happening postpartum, some women’s bodies don’t respond well to the hormones required for lactation.
Your Estrogen Is Too High:
After pregnancy, your estrogen levels are supposed to drop dramatically as other hormones increase to lactate. If this happens properly, the low estrogen levels help promote weight loss. Estrogen is the female hormone responsible for fat storage and reproduction. If breastfeeding doesn’t cause your estrogen levels to drop enough, then weight loss can definitely stall. Your diet can also increase estrogen levels, which we will get into how to help lower your estrogen with your diet in a bit.
You Aren’t Burning That Many Calories:
Calorie burn is VERY subjective to your individual body. Assuming you are burning more calories doesn’t mean you actually aren. In THEORY, women burn more calories while breastfeeding. This doesn’t mean the every mother burns exactly 500 calories a day while breastfeeding. Some mamas burn more, and some way less. Breastfeeding many not be requiring that many calories for your body, thus making it much more difficult to lose the weight. Especially if you are factoring in a calorie burn higher than what is really happening.
Your Appetite Is Very Large:
Prolactin, which increases for lactation, is also known to increase appetite. This can be a big problem for breastfeeding mamas, and throw a huge wrench in your weight loss. Especially if you are more sensitive to prolactin. Verious women have various reactions to hormonal levels, and some experience extreme hunger from prolactin. With a huge appetite, you are probably eating more than necessary to lose weight.
Your Cortisol Is Very High:
Losing sleep increases cortisol levels. Cortisol can increase appetite and make you hold on to fat, especially in the belly! Some mamas get more sleep than others, and others are more sensitive to higher cortisol levels. This is really a difficult situation for breastfeeding mamas because not a whole lot can be done with a newborn. There are ways you can help manage your cortisol levels, which we will go over.
These are some reasons breastfeeding in itself can cause issues with weight loss. The hormonal levels are all out of wack with a big appetite going on. But, there are also some real reasons you aren’t losing weight while breastfeeding, that are actually harder to realize, but easier to fix.
The hard-to-see, yet easy-to-fix reasons you aren’t losing weight while breastfeeding:
Weight loss takes work, change and sometimes being uncomfortable. Sometimes it is easier to blame breastfeeding, then really look at why you aren’t losing weight. Let’s get into those reasons.
You are overestimating your calorie burn:
Many mamas assume they are burning the most possible calories while breastfeeding. This is just an assumption, but not really a known number. Rather than try to figure out how many extra calories you are burning while breastfeeding, focus on eating healthier.
You are eating more than you realize:
Many mamas make healthy choices throughout the day, but forget how many less-than-healthy choices they make, or don’t factor in how much they are eating. Without weighing and tracking, there isn’t really a way to know how much you are eating. Without taking the time to track properly, most of the time women assuming they are eating less than they are.
You are eating too little, and not enough nutrients:
This is probably the biggest reason you aren’t losing weight. Many mamas focus on eating less calories, rather than nutrient-dense calories. This is one of the main reasons we created Milk Dust protein powder. A tool to help new mamas get in a lot of nutrients at once, fast. Smoothies are super easy to whip up one-handed, or even just mixing Milk Dust with milk or water is a really great way to get in those much needed nutrients. If your body is lacking nutrients, it can signal your appetite and cravings. This can be totally confusing, and many mamas fight this by eating less, rather than filling up on nutrient dense foods. Fruits, veggies and lean protein are the key to weight loss, and the calories are less with these foods. This means you can eat a lot of volume and nutrients, feel full and properly nourish your body, so it can let go of fat.
You are giving into cravings more often then you realize:
Sugar is the most common craving while breastfeeding. Many mamas give into this craving throughout the day, more than they realize. Our Milk Dust protein powder and bar are specifically formulated to help with cravings! We satisfy that sweet craving with a sweet taste, but offer very little sugar, lots of protein and many essential nutrients breastfeeding mamas need! With the help of a nutritional supplement, these cravings can be managed!
You aren’t drinking enough water:
Breastfeeding does require more water intake. Fluid levels are important because breast milk is a liquid! Often times, dehyrdation can be confused for low-energy and hunger. Sometimes drinking an electrolyte supplement can also be super helpful.
Easy Ways To Solve Your Weight Loss Problems While Breastfeeding:
Eat more nutrient-dense foods:
If you’ve read any of our posts, you may be tired of hearing this, but it WILL HELP! Focus on fruits, veggies, lean proteins and beans as the main source of every meal or snack. This does work, and if you need more of a plan, please jump on our free, 10-day detox plan. It has recipes, a plan, and is only 10 days! Many mamas have lost anywhere from 2-11 lbs in just 10 days on this plan! We have a free lactation smoothie recipe book you can download too, so you can get started on some amazing, weight loss smoothies that also boost milk supply! If you struggle with getting in nutrients, try our protien powder or bars as a quick and easy way to get in all the nutrients you need, as well as the milk-boosting herbs you need!
If you are struggling with milk supply, making it hard to stick to a healthier diet, use herbal boosters! Of course our lactation bars and protein powder have amazing reviews for increasing milk supply (just check Amazon for the protein powder or Instagram for both!), but you can also try various teas and supplements to boost your milk supply, so you don’t have to resort to food.
Try walking to reduce cortisol:
Breastfeeding mamas have high cortisol levels, and then jumping into an intense workout can actually increase cortisol levels. Try adding in more walking to your day, rather than intense workouts to calm your body down. Focus on total steps per day, rather than getting in a HIIT workout to help increase your calorie burn.
Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar to manage Estrogen:
Eating refinded carbohydrates and extra sugar can increase estrogen levels, signaling for more fat storage. Higher fat percentage can actually cause more estrogen, which makes a seriously viscious cycle. By eliminating breads, crackers, chips, granola bars and other high-carb and sugar foods, you can reduce your insulin levels and help reduce your estrogen levels. Often times, by eating fruit instead, you are eating less calories, getting more nutrients, and also still getting something sweet to help curb that craving. Definitely try one of our lactation bars instead of a granola bar! These will reduce cravings, satisfy your sweet tooth, provide you with protien and milk-boosting herbs and ultimately help you lose weight!
We hope this post helps you see exactly what is going when you can’t lose weight while breastfeeding. There are many reasons breastfeeding can throw a wrench in your weight loss, and there are usually some honest reasons mamas need to see in order to make positive changes.
Make sure to grab a sample pack of our Milk Dust lactation protein powder, so you can see if it works for you to help you keep that milk supply up and lose the weight.