Weight Loss While Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been accumulating baby weight over the past few years, and I'm Sick. Of. It!  I'm definitely of a BMI that qualifies me for weight loss, so this isn't just a vanity issue! 


I have some of my old pre-pregnancy Weight Watchers materials and have been boot-legging the program.  (I voluntarily quit when they changed some things for the worse).  The problem is that I'm STARVING!!!  This isn't just that natural hunger you feel while losing weight.  I feel shaky, weird, and unable to function on this quantity of food. 


My baby is 8 months old and eats lots of solids. but I still breastfeed on demand, which comes out to every 4-5 hours.  What can I say?  I have a big eater!  :love


Would you recommend that I *increase* how much I'm eating and just see if I lose weight on it?  WW just may not have a realistic program for nursing mamas...at least not THIS nursing mama! 


I feel betrayed!  :lol I thought that breastfeeding was supposed to melt away the pounds. Any tips for some successful but survivable weight loss? 


Sparkpeople doesn't let you join the site if you're breastfeeding.  If you're of the mindset that weight loss while nursing isn't a good idea, I'd be open to hearing your case.  It's just hard to ignore all of those media and cultural messages about the evils of packing around extra pounds. 

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#2 of 7 Old 03-04-2013, 10:02 PM
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Have you checked out the Fitness and Weight management forum here?


Feel free to post what your food intake looks like on this thread. I love looking at what people are eating and I would be happy to comment.


Are you doing anything for exercise?

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#3 of 7 Old 03-05-2013, 01:20 PM
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Oh, love, that's so tough!


If you look at the statistics it's actually pretty common to have troubles with losing weight, around 20% of breastfeeding mothers do, so you're not alone.


Generally it's a hormonal imbalance (which isn't surprising after all the crazy hormonal changes your body goes through). Most women (breastfeeding or not) who are overweight will have high oestrogen, low progesterone and low thyroid hormones.


The fat cells automatically produce oestrogen which leads to less thyroid so your metabolism slows more. Most of these types end up with fat accumulation around their hips. (some people are more the lymphatic type, but the info below will still help you anyway, just a little more exercise is needed for this type)


Here's the important diet bit:

to help balance your female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) you need to keep your blood sugar level. If you're feeling starved you are DEFINITELY not keeping it level at the moment.


Weight loss during breastfeeding is okay, as long as you don't try to go too quickly.  If you're this far along you will have a good, established supply, and as long as you don't go into starvation it shouldn't stop you from breastfeeding.


Something to try:

I won't ask here what type of foods you have in your cupboard, but in general people eat a higher percentage of carbohydrates to proteins.  Generally the body type that will accumulate fat more easily really need to eat some good quality protein like eggs, baked beans, salmon on toast, basically anything from an animal or some good quality beans/legumes to start your day.


The next thing I encourage is to have a definite morning and afternoon snack - it doesn't have to be huge, just whatever will keep you from being hungry tip lunch - remember the aim is to keep your sugar stable (blood sugar levels are influenced by food, not just sugar). Generally some yoghurt (try to get the best quality you can afford so it's not too sweet) or perhaps hummous on crackers, or maybe just a small bit of fruit if you're really not hungry.


Ideally you'll be eating something quite fresh at lunch, but again try to keep your protein levels at least at 30% for the meal - a third of your serving (once you get used to it you may find that this is too much or too little for you, experiment after a week or two).


If you feel hungry and want something sugary or fatty try to include a little protein in that snack - it stimulates your fat metabolism which helsp you lose weight and change your hormone profile (hormones are all made of cholesterol) so it's a good thing to do.


Hope this helps :)

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#4 of 7 Old 03-07-2013, 12:51 PM
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I would definitely recommend eating more if you are feeling that way, doesn't sound pleasant or healthful! I don't think there is anything wrong with losing weight while BFing (as long as it is done gradually, but I feel that way for all weight loss), but also some women do naturally hold onto some weight too until they stop, so don't feel bad if you can't lose all the weight. I'm really not into any strict calorie counting (WW points are just another way to calorie count IMO) as it doesn't take into account so many variables that affect how well/poorly your body uses those calories. I'd try to focus more on getting good, whole foods with plenty of veggies and having a good protein/fat/carb balance more than just calories/points.

I will say though that there is so much negativity about being fat right now that it is ridiculous. Everything is blamed on being overweight now and it is out of control! I know how hard it is to ignore the message, we're all bombarded by them, but keep in mind that most of it way overblown at best and flat out wrong at times too.
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#5 of 7 Old 03-07-2013, 01:40 PM
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My sister did WW and as I recall nursing moms get extra points because breastfeeding causes you to burn calories. In fact, I'm quite sure of it. Make sure you're including the extra points, and then if you're starving I'd add a couple of points so long as it's still working for you. Maybe you burn more calories when BF than other moms.

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#6 of 7 Old 03-08-2013, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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All of this is so helpful and validating.'I think I'll check out the weight loss forum that Phatui mentioned, rev up the protein, and increase my point count. WW does allow those extra points, but they weren't enough. When they switched over to the new program, a leader *assigned * me a daily points target of 6 points less than I was already getting, (members used to calculate their own). If I pad my daily intake a little but still record things, at least I'll be keeping my quantities under control. I was losing 3-4 pounds per week and would like to slow that down to keep it off. Thanks all!

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#7 of 7 Old 03-17-2013, 04:36 PM
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If you like you can try what I did,.

Eat everything you want in the morning.

Eat something in the afternoon.

and few in the evening.


Reason behind this..

Anything you will eat in the morning will be metabolised until evening. so excess food you eat in the evening that will not be use by your body will turn into fats.

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