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WOBBLYMOMMY's Photo WOBBLYMOMMY Posts: 70
6/22/14 1:50 P

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I have always found it incredibly difficult to lose weight while breastfeeding. I've been nursing and/or pregnant for the last...8+ years (Oldest is 8, youngest is 26 months and still nursing). I lost weight most easily after my first, but it took a year or more to get to my goal weight (I lost about 30lbs, very slowly). Then I got pregnant again, put on 50 and never lost more than 20lbs of that. Between 2 & 3 I had three miscarriages and I know that threw off my weight loss a lot, I never recovered my normal weight and I am still carrying around those 30-35lbs after baby #3 (2 years later I don't know if I can even count it as baby weight any more ;)).
Here's what I do know - nutritionally, the most important thing is that you are supplying your body with what it needs to keep you healthy and to keep your milk supply strong and healthy. So it's a lot about the quality of what you're eating. Healthy fat, good protein and lots of veggies are probably your best bet. I'm not a huge fan of the paleo diet (because of it's ridiculous emphasis on massive amounts of protein) but I do think that for breastfeeding moms, especially those trying to lose weight, it's a good starting point. Keeping your focus on taking in good quantities of high quality real foods will help you ensure that your body is making the best use of what you feed it. Look at the meal templates over at Whole 9 Life for a good spring board. I'm not anti-carb, but lets face it, not all carbs are created equal, even if they match calorie-for-calorie. A sweet potato is going to do more for your body than a few slices of white bread.
I did the Whole 30 last year and my milk supply was fantastic and I dropped 9 lbs. Of course when I slacked off on the template, I put that 9lbs back, plus another 5 - but that's my fault, not paleo. :)
In my experience, your diet is going to count a LOT more than exercise. Not that exercise isn't important - it's just that I think especially because your body has other agendas when you're nursing, exercise becomes about condition and tone and almost not at all for weight loss. I think it's hard to part ways with the old "calories in vs. calories out" notion of weight loss and health, but from what I've experienced personally and seen in friends, plus years of research on the topic, it's not that simple, especially for a breastfeeding mom.

Good luck! I hope you can find a system that works for you!



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GERMANPICKLE's Photo GERMANPICKLE Posts: 1,254
6/18/14 2:32 P

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Just wanted to post a quick update to this question.

I read Good Calories, Bad Calories and started to reduce sugar and carbs in our family's diet even more than before. We still eat "natural" sugars, like potatoes, vegetables, and fruits. I have also chosen to cut out all carbs and sugars in the evening (except for red wine...I have two children in my house! hehehe) and I've dropped 7 pounds while having LESS hunger and MORE energy and - more importantly - my toddler's skin issues have gotten significantly better.

Also with all the pilates I've been doing, the shape of my body has really changed even when the scale has slowed down. Pictures are on my blog.

Edited by: GERMANPICKLE at: 6/18/2014 (14:33)
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NEWDAYGIRL23's Photo NEWDAYGIRL23 Posts: 187
5/15/14 6:08 P

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Such a tough issue, since everyone's experience varies so much. I'm now only nursing my 13 month old in the mornings and at night, so I really don't know what that is or isn't doing to my weight loss.

I was really stalled until this new year started and I made a serious focus and started walking and exercising SO much more...and the scale still has only nudged it's way down. Now that I'm only nursing twice a day though I think I really need to scale back on my calories. He isn't getting his nutrients from me anymore, so I'm not burning as much calories I would assume. It's pretty hard to say what I'm even producing at this point, so I'm not afraid of hurting my milk supply a bit. But the weight certainly isn't falling off with decreased nursing! Like I said, I know need to eat less calories because of it.

I feel like that's the constant issue for me: If I'm burning more calories (from nursing or working out, really) then I'm more hungry, so I eat more! It never really helps it to just "melt off" as people say. I mean I guess it would have while I was EBFing if it wasn't making me a ravenous monster!! haha

I'm not exactly sure when we'll wean, but it probably won't be too long from now, since he's pretty indifferent to the boob vs. bottle. So I'll let you know what it's like from the other side! I'm curious if there will be any noticeable difference, from infrequent nursing to none at all in the weight loss department.

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AEVANSNUTRITION's Photo AEVANSNUTRITION Posts: 1,198
5/14/14 8:30 A

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I totally know how this goes!! I nursed my first (daughter) until she was 17 months. Before she even stopped nursing, I was pregnant with my second (son) again, so I never had the chance to really see what would happen when I stopped nursing. I DID get back down to my pre-baby weight between the two of them, but I think it was RIGHT before getting pregnant again, if I remember correctly, so it took me over a year to do it.

Now, my son is 11.5 months and I'm still up a couple of pounds. I did get down to a few pounds below pre-baby weight but only because I had the GI bug THREE (not even kidding) times in a month a few months back. I lost 7# overnight one of the times, 6# another time and a few pounds the third time. NOT the way I wanted to lose the weight! :) Unfortunately, I've gained all of that back and yes, still stuck a couple pounds above pre-baby weight. It doesn't sound like much, but it's aggrivating!

I've started my running for the summer - I do races throughout the summer - and it hasn't budged a thing. If anything, running in addition to breastfeeding, has made me more hungry and want to eat more food. That said, I generally eat healthy options. Even if I'm really watching everything super close nothing budges, so I get upset with the whole thing and just eat whatever I want (right now) and feel like poop. :( I know I should just focus on working at it regardless, but it's so discouraging!!

I really don't want to cut calories too much as I really notice a drop in milk supply when I do. Feeding my baby is more important than my weight ... I just wish I could have both!!

Although I love nursing my kids, I look forward to the day he weans. I will let him nurse as long as he wants, but I don't think he'll be self-weaning at 17 months like my daughter did. He's had trouble taking solids and he's a total boob boy, so that kind of worries me. I still have 6 (HUGE) boxes of clothes in my basement that I can't fit into and it's driving me crazy. I don't think I own much more than a couple of summer outfits that fit me right now.

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GERMANPICKLE's Photo GERMANPICKLE Posts: 1,254
5/10/14 3:16 P

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I think the challenge I'm also facing is that I didn't lose the weight between my first and my second. I knew I wanted my children close together, so I got to a "reasonable" or "acceptable" shape and then focused on everything else but getting back in shape/form. So, while my second is almost 7 months old, I'm actually dealing with weight from my first baby in 2011. Sigh.

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YOGAGIRL235's Photo YOGAGIRL235 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/9/14 7:34 P

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I'm 5 months PP and EBF, and WAS actually gaining weight. I have now lost weight (while exercising, and maintaining sufficient calories so as not to deplete my milk supply - basically eating when I'm hungry, but eating better calories). kellymom.com has interesting articles on weight loss while breast feeding.

I always try to remind myself that it took 38 weeks to put the weight on, I should expect it to take around that same amount of time to get it off. With my first pregnancy, I was back to pre-pregnancy weight at about 10 months, the weight quickly came off once my daughter was around 6 months.

good luck with your PT - I started training with my trainer at 6w, but because I build muscle quickly, I decided to stop for awhile, and focus on losing some of the weight first (and only doing moderate weights at this point).

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GERMANPICKLE's Photo GERMANPICKLE Posts: 1,254
5/8/14 4:14 P

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Thanks for your reply!

She is a healthy-living focused trainer, so she stresses being strong, healthy, and confident rather than thin. Therefore, she just stressed how much strength and health we can build together. :) Which is so what we should be looking at and focusing on anyway....right? cough cough

We are going to focus on building my core - which is exhausted from a complicated pregnancy that had a lot of bedrest - and form during running. I'll work with her for about 12 weeks before we go to the US. I bet that I'll feel stronger by then! And I REALLY hope that I can wear my nice clothes by then too! Or at least some ;)

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CHRISTIANSMA's Photo CHRISTIANSMA SparkPoints: (0)
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5/8/14 2:55 P

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I've heard it both ways. Some women the weight just melts off while breastfeeding. With others it doesn't. Not sure why though. My hardest thing with breastfeeding is making sure that I eat enough calories to keep producing. I did an online calculator to check how many I'm supposed to take in a day. 2400 calories! And that's without adding extra exercise to my normal routine.

Did the personal trainer give you any positive news? It is possible to get more toned and build muscle while breastfeeding even if you don't lose weight. Maybe focus on body measurements rather than weight if you find that you're the type of person that doesn't lose weight while breastfeeding? Just an idea. Sorry I'm not more help.

First goal weight: 199 lbs
HS goal weight: 170 lbs
Ultimate goal weight: 149 lbs

First fitness goal: Run 1 mile straight
Overall fitness goal: Run a half marathon
1 year Fitness goal: To run/walk at least one 5k by May 1st, 2015

Why I'm doing this: I don't want my boys to grow up to be inactive overweight adults, change starts with me


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GERMANPICKLE's Photo GERMANPICKLE Posts: 1,254
4/30/14 4:31 A

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Hey ladies -

I just reached out to a personal trainer to get some support building strength and getting sleek. She mentioned that in her experience nursing moms just don't lose weight even if they are eating well and exercising a lot. That is most certainly my experience. The past two months I have stayed in my calorie range and exercising quite a lot. And while I was losing about a pound a week, I suddenly popped up again.

Is anyone else having this experience? Sigh.

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