Breastfeeding Weight Loss & Nutrition

Meal Plans while Breastfeeding

You can use the FREE meal plans while breastfeeding and lose weight. If Moms Into Fitness calculated the 1200 Calorie Meal Plan for you please add 2 snacks consisting of protein, carbohydrates and fat – each about a 200 calorie snack. If Moms Into Fitness calculated the 1500 Calorie Meal Plan for you please add 1-2 snacks consisting of carbohydrates, protein and fat. If the 1800 Calorie Meal Plan was calculated for you please add 1 snack of carbohydrates, protein and fat consisting of about 200 calories.

*Please note that you should always eat to satisfaction while breastfeeding! If you are truly hungry at any point you need to add a snack (make sure it has protein in it) or disregard the meal plan until you are done breastfeeding.

Losing Weight safely while Breastfeeding

The most common question…Do I need to follow a low calorie diet? You can lose weight while breastfeeding without following a low calorie diet. But to lose weight safely while breastfeeding there are a few guidelines you need to follow.

According to the ADA if you are breastfeeding you need to add about 350 calories to your daily caloric needs for a singleton baby. This is without exercise. If you are trying to lose weight while breastfeeding the best way to monitor this is weighing yourself every Monday morning and if you aren’t losing ½ – 1 ½ pounds/week you may be eating too many calories (or in some cases not enough). At the same time you must make sure you are consuming enough liquids and protein. And make sure you are producing enough milk. You must eat to satisfaction to continue your milk supply! As well as drink water to thirst.

Did you know you need more protein during breastfeeding than during pregnancy? And that you should eat about the same number of calories as you did in your 2nd trimester?

Keep in mind your weight can stay steady over the course of several weeks to maintain enough fat needed for breast milk production. It’s safe to lose about a lb. a week while breastfeeding. Although for smaller women or women with a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) it should be closer to ½-1 lb. a week.

It is always best to speak with a Lactation Specialist about breastfeeding and weight loss. Or check out the La Leche League, the leader in breastfeeding information.

You can find your specific caloric needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding by visiting www.mypyramid.gov and clicking on pregnancy and breastfeeding. Or click on the Moms Into Fitness Metabolism Calculator and add around 350 calories. The Subcommittee on Nutrition during Lactation advises 1500-1800 calories/day without exercise. Lindsay advises you to monitor your progress every Monday…if you are not losing 1/2-1 lb. you may need to modify your nutrition by either adding or subtracting calories (just make sure you subtract the “not-so-good-for-you” calories like cookies and chips and keep the protein and carbs!) If you find you are not losing any weight and you feel you are eating really well, you will more than likely see a weight loss by adding calories. For some women, especially small women, the body holds onto fat storage because it feels it is not getting enough. By feeding your body more your body will release the fat storage.

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