How to Lose Weight while Breastfeeding

Keep your supply – lose the fat

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You spent 9 months allowing yourself a few more calories than normal. You were growing a person. If you were like me and had to keep a full stomach or spend the day nauseated, you became addicted to milkshakes for the entire first trimester. We want to lose the weight quickly but now you’re really “eating for two” to make enough milk to feed a tiny human.

What happens to your milk supply when you cut calories? It plummets.  Don’t cut calories. I tried doing the 21 day fix and my poor baby almost went hungry.  The system even says to increase your containers to the next level if breastfeeding.  That didn’t work either.

How did I stop looking like I’m in my first trimester when I was actually 5 months postpartum? KETO! – Well, modified Keto.

I’m not going to give you a million KETO recipes because if you read my “About Me” page, I don’t follow recipes so I definitely can’t create recipes. What I will do is tell you how I did it.

I started with my increase breast milk supply with nacho rule. Eat more fat and protein with moderate carbs. You will need to experiment with your macros. I did 60% fat, 20% protein, and 20% carbs.  A normal non-breastfeeding woman usually follows 75 fat, 20 protein, 5 carb ratio. Not you. You need those carbs to still make that milk. You will need to play with your macros a little until you find your perfect macro ratio.

large plate of nachos
Breastfeed, lose weight, and eat nachos!

I started with my “increase breastmilk supply with nachos” rule. Eat more fat and protein with moderate carbs. You will need to experiment with your macros. I did 60% fat, 20% protein, and 20% carbs.  A normal non-breastfeeding woman usually follows 75 fat, 20 protein, 5 carb ratio. Not you. You need those carbs to still make that milk. You will need to play with your macros a little until you find your perfect macro ratio.

Do not forget to still drink lots of water. Not only is it a must for milk production but it is an essential key to weight loss with Keto.

What’s my perfect Keto/ still breastfeeding macro menu?

Breakfast was a yummy egg, cheese, and steak taco from my favorite taco shop (Torchy’s). I doused that sucker in pico and creamy poblano sauce. Lunch was something like a hamburger or chicken sandwich with only the bottom bun and a Caesar salad.  *Hamburger must be free of sugary ketchup.  For dinner I generally don’t eat much so some tuna or chicken salad on 10 tortilla chips provided the crunch that I miss when on regular Keto. When I had a sweet tooth, just few spoonfuls of peanut butter and a graham cracker would satisfy me. 

As you can see, my carbs were minimal but more than the usual Keto allowance of 20 grams. I didn’t lose all my baby weight at this time but the “I just had a baby pooch” disappeared almost overnight and so did my maternity pants. Just a warning… it is bittersweet when you stop wearing maternity pants. It becomes necessary to remember to zip your fly again.

Here are more meal ideas that will not hurt your milk supply but will still help you shed the baby poundage. Usually the suggestions below are off limits with Keto but when breastfeeding, you need the extra carbs.

  • Nachos!! (love my nachos)
  • Tuna / Chicken Salad on 10 tortilla chips (or this recipe for low carb tortilla chips)
  • Chicken or Steak Quesadillas with tortilla soup
  • Large salad with some fried chicken, cheese, bacon, avocado, etc
    • ranch, blue cheese, or caesar. (no sugary dressings like vinaigrette or 1000 island)
    • no corn, beans, or other carb toppings
  • Hamburger without ketchup and a small salad (no sugary dressing)
  • Apple and a low sugar nut butter
  • Banana and a low sugar nut butter
  • Breakfast Taco without potatoes
  • Small baked potato topped with chicken, butter, cheese, etc.
  • Chicken with a green veggie with olive oil or butter
  • Steak (juicy and fatty) with green veggies and a small roll or baked potato
  • Toscana soup with minimal potatoes
  • Low carb Fagoli soup
  • Thin crust pizza

All of the above suggestions follow a low carb way of eating (WOE). You are allowed more carbs than the traditional Keto WOE so your body continues to make milk. This isn’t a “get skinny overnight” plan but you are almost certain to be less bloated and begin the process of fitting back into the “pre-pregnancy” jeans we all have sitting in our closets.

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