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.
Carbs are a huge part of my life postpartum, even while losing the baby weight. With the keto-craze happening right now, it seems to me that everyone is scared of carbs. Carbs are amazing, and you can totally eat carbs and still lose weight. I am a carb-eater, and with breastfeeding and running, I need them to function. If I switch to low carb, I want to die and scream for days. If this is you, DON’T WORRY! You can eat carbs. Your body might like to run off of carbs, and feel terrible in ketosis, so don’t force it. Let’s go over how to eat carbs and still lose the baby weight.
Carbs actually help with weight loss, especially after baby.
Carbohydrates are an essential macro nutrient our bodies need, even when losing weight. Eliminating carbohydrates does work for some people, but not everyone needs to eliminate carbohydrates to lose weight. Carbohydrates actually offer more volume for less calories than higher fat foods, popular on the keto diet. This means you can eat much MORE food in terms of volume per meal, than if you are on the keto diet or a low carb diet. Fat offers more energy per gram, isn’t what we want for weight loss.
Carbohydrates also offer fiber, which is VERY filling. Try eating 300 calories of raw broccoli, or 300 calories of cheese. You will quickly see how FULL you feel after the brocoli, verses the few slices of cheese. This is why many lower-fat diets were popular before the keto diet. Lower fat helps keep calories low. In reality, all the macro nutrients are important, these are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Focusing on carbohydrates and protein will help you eat more, and allow you to burn the fat you’ve stored.
Why are some people so successful on low-carb diets to lose the baby weight?
Eating low carb does work really well for some people. There are many factors that go into play with this, particularly with blood sugar and insulin. Depending on hormones and genetics, some people need a lower-carbohydrate diet to keep blood sugar stable. If you have a history of diabetes, are pre-diabetic, carry a lot of your weight around your midsection you may want to consider keeping your carbs on the lower end. My protein powder, Milk Dust, specifically deals with sugar cravings and helping with blood sugar regulation because it combines protein with chromium, magnesium, cinnamon bark and turmeric, which have all been used to help treat blood sugar issues!
First, you want to eat as many healthy carbs as possible.
Most of the foods on my 5 best foods for milk supply and losing the baby weight are carbs. They are amazing for milk supply and weight loss. These are carbs like sweet potatoes, apples, oatmeal, bananas, berries, oranges and more. Healthy carbs are going to do a lot for you. They will fill you up with fiber. The fiber will make you feel full, which will help curb your appetite as a breastfeeding mama. Healthy carbs offer a lot of nutrient bang for the calorie buck. This is super important for losing the baby weight. You want to pump your body full of nutrients for producing milk and healing.
Second, protein is essential.
I’ve mentioned the importance of protein, and how I love this protein powder because it is formulated specifically for breastfeeding and postpartum mamas. Protein is going to help curb your sweet cravings. A lot of times our bodies signals us for protein by giving us a craving for sweets. I know it doesn’t make sense, but read this and it will help. My most favorite, delicious and clean protein powder is explained in this post, but basically it is the BOMB for breastfeeding mamas because it is all organic, super clean and full of milk-helping ingredients. The protein helps you feel full and feeds your muscles, while the nutrients will give your body all it needs to produce lots of milk. Check out my milk-producing green smoothie too! If you aren’t sure how to chose a protein powder, read this post to guide you.
Third, allow yourself treats.
You are going to crave sweets and want treats while breastfeeding. I believe in allowing yourself some chocolate, a cookie, or some ice cream. The key is moderation, and because you’ve been filling yourself with carbs and giving your body plenty of healthy glucose all day, you are less likely to binge on a whole pint of ice cream. Once you’ve deprived yourself of sugar, it can be very difficult not to totally beat yourself up for having some or just binge. Allowing yourself some every day, and incorporating it into your daily calories, you will be much happier. There are some great lactation cookies out there, and I have some healthy recipes linked up that are also great for milk supply.
With any weight loss goals, you have to be calorie conscious. Even on the Keto diet, you need to be aware of how much you are eating. Finding the right eating style for your body is super important, then sticking to it and eating as healthy as possible on that program is only going to make you feel great, but also achieve your goals!