This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and weight loss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
What A Healthy Breastfeeding Diet Looks Like And How To Do It
Creating a breastfeeding diet plan is really important to your health as a new mommy, as well as your milk supply. Successfully creating a diet plan you can follow while breastfeeding means that you are losing weight and nourishing your body all in one. This is what I preach over and over to mamas in my program. It is entirely possible that you can create your own breastfeeding diet plan to lose weight and keep your milk supply up. I am going to give you the steps to take to help you do just that!
Creating a breastfeeding diet plan uniquely created for your personality will help you stay happy and be successful!
As a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and nutrition coach, I have my own ideas on what a breastfeeding diet plan should look like, the best foods you should eat, recipes to go along with that and more. BUT, some women find it is easier to make their own plan. The benefits of making your unique breastfeeding diet is the personal touch. You know yourself better than anyone else, so why not create the plan yourself?
Here is exactly how you can create your own breastfeeding diet plan in 7 steps!
Decide What Type of Eater You Are:
This is really important to determining the best breastfeeding diet plan that will help you lose weight. There are many different “types” of eaters, but here are some main questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I like to eat large meals or small meals?
- Am I hungry right away in the morning?
- Do I go long hours without eating, then binge?
- Do I prefer carbs or fats? (would you rather have fries or steak?
By asking yourself these questions, you can get a general idea of what type of eater you are. Maybe you are snacker, where no matter how large your meals are, you want to eat something every couple of hours. If that is the case, don’t fight your natural instincts and try to do intermittent fasting or large meals hours apart. Accept that you are a snacker, and eat many small meals. On the other end, if you can’t stand eating every couple of hours, and feel completely full, and would rather eat a large meal later in the day, then do that. I will get into the calories aspect of things later. The point is to determine how you prefer to eat, and leverage your natural tendencies. Using your instincts needs to be a part of your breastfeeding diet plan. This is also important when determining if you are going to be a low carb eater, or low fat eater. In general, I advise one or the other because carbs and fats are both fuel sources. If you give your body two fuel sources, the carbs will be used immediately and the fat stored as fat. If you eat low carb, and there is a lack of carbs, then your body will use the fat you eat, and in a deficit the fat your stored. If you eat low fat, then your body will use the carbs you eat, and tap into fat when the carbs are used and you still need energy. If your body has both, then fat loss isn’t as efficient, though in a calorie deficit you will still lose fat. This is a general guide I will go into more.
Decide on How You Can Clean Up Your Diet:
Your breastfeeding diet plan needs to be as clean as possible. This is important to nourishing your body. Eating nutrient-dense foods is going to help you let go of fat, produce a healthy milk supply and nourish baby. Nutrient-dense foods are foods that are full of nutrients, not just calories. This means you need to get rid of low-nutrient foods to make room for the higher quality foods. Think about how you can do this. I have a 14-day clean eating challenge that will walk you through this, and give you the guidelines free. You can incorporate this into your breastfeeding diet plan and take advantage of some of the recipes. Nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, eggs, garbanzo beans, quinoa, sweet potato, fruits, and lean proteins are lower in calories than packaged and processed foods. This will make eating a lower calorie diet more satiating. You can actually feel fuller on less calories eating this way, and your body will be much happier with more nutrients.
Use Supplements To Support Your Breastfeeding Diet:
Supplements can be a very helpful part of a breastfeeding diet plan because they help you keep up on your nutrients. I personally love a protein powder because protein is hard for me to get in. Many women who are trying to lose weight do well on the salads, fruits and snacks, but struggle to get lean protein in. I created Milk Dust, a very unique protein powder that is formulated to help women produce a healthy milk supply, as well as combat sugar cravings. I am so excited it will be available in a few months, and I highly recommend it to help you with nourishing your body and combating sugar cravings. Breastfeeding often causes lots of carb and sugar cravings due to nutrient deficiencies and lack of protein. This is a clean, plant-based protein powder that nourishes your body, boosts your milk supply with herbs and balances your blood sugar. If you need a good protein powder now, I really like this plant-based protein powder, and this lactation protein powder. The reason protein shakes can be so helpful to your breastfeeding diet plan is because they are fast, simple, nourishing and EASY!
Find tools that will help you make your new breastfeeding diet plan easier! I just grabbed an air fryer that was on sale at Target, and I am in LOVE! It makes healthy cooking faster, and everything tastes so good! This isn’t a supplement, but an example of how you can use the tools available to help you achieve your goals.
Take A Look At Your Body Type:
Your body type is going to tell you a lot about the type of foods you should focus on in your breastfeeding diet plan. There are three basic body types we learn about as fitness professionals, ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. These are technical terms for thin/athletic, pear shape, stocky/muscle. What you need to assess here is where you gain and store your fat. If you store fat in your belly, in general, a lower carb plan is going to work for you. This is because you have more insulin resistance (in general). If you gain and hold your weight in your lower body, then a lower fat diet (in general) is a good direction to go. Knowing your body type is really helpful in giving you a direction, based on what your hormones and insulin levels are doing. Of course there are unique situations, genetics and other factors that can make this not work, but as a general guideline it works pretty well. If you gain weight all over, very evenly, then you are probably okay eating a balance of carbs and fats, or alternating with high carb and high fat days depending on how you feel.
Make A List Of Healthy Foods You Love:
Focusing on foods you love will help make your breastfeeding diet plan something you can sustain. By this point, you should have an idea of how you like to eat, what foods will suit your body type, and how you can clean up your diet. From there, focusing on what you CAN eat it motivating. Find recipes with the foods you can eat to inspire you and help you realize you can enjoy this way of eating. For example, if you are pear shaped and a snacker, then making a list of foods and snacks that are low fat is a great step. These might be deli turkey and cucumber sandwhiches, fruit slices, overnight oatmeal, protein smoothies, hard-boiled eggs etc. I have a great list of healthy breastfeeding snacks that will get you started.
Keep All Your Recipes Simple:
Do not make a recipe list full of ingredients, prep and stress. Focus on the foods you are eating in your diet plan, and find simple recipes for salads, smoothies and dinners that you can prep and freeze, or prep and cook quickly. I have a video in my breastfeeding diet program, where I go over how I grocery shop with all the kids and buy things that are quick and easy to prep. I also go over what I prep and have on hand during the week. This is super helpful because by having large batches of healthy staples like cauliflower rice, turkey burgers, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes and cooked eggs, I always have something on hand and ready. It is amazing how creative you can be if you have your ingredients cooked and prepped. Making salads can be fun each day because you can change up what you put in your salads. Keeping frozen fruit and veggies in the freezer is affordable as well as super simple for smoothies as snacks or breakfast. I find this to be such an easy help! Don’t be afraid to repeat meals you really enjoy. Food doesn’t have to be different and exciting – it needs to be nourishing.
Track Your Food and Calories:
This may be the MOST important step of your breastfeeding diet because if everything I’ve mentioned above gets too overwhelming, you can always just track your calories. I HIGHLY recommend this because life happens. Maybe you haven’t had a chance to get to the grocery store, so you are left with meat loaf and potato chips to eat. No problem. Just eat within your caloric needs. Simple. Too tired to cook anything? Do fast food, just eat with in your calories. By doing this, you won’t give up and let months go by before making changes. Figuring out your caloric needs is actually very simple while breastfeeding, and I go over that in detail in my program. I detail how you calculate YOUR calories, not a general amount for a wide range of women. That isn’t helpful. Before you try to reduce your calories, make sure you’ve established your milk supply. Once you milk supply is where you want it, reducing your caloric intake is possible. If you notice any affects and changes in your milk supply (by looking at baby’s soiled diapers, not just guessing!), you can use supplement boosters and increase your nutrients. These are my favorite tips to increase your milk supply fast.
These 7 steps will help you set up a breastfeeding diet plan that is unique to your needs.
In doing this, you will have more chances for success, less of a chance for a dip in milk supply, and ultimately find a way to live a healthy lifestyle that works specifically for you. Fad diets are a general concept that doesn’t take the individual into account. This is how I teach my program as well. We work through the foods you need to focus on, the foods you need to eliminate, how to calculate your calories, and recipes, meal plans and grocery lists to make it as simple as possible to lose weight while breastfeeding. If you need more help, I highly recommend checking out my program that also has a section of videos on healing your abs and pelvic floor, workouts and so much information.
Having a diet plan while breastfeeding will set you up for success with milk supply and weight loss.