Lose the Weight, Not Your Milk

Lose the Weight, Not Your Milk

It’s been a crazy 4 years for me. I have been either pregnant or breast feeding the ENTIRE 4 years. I have three kids ages 3 1/2, 2, and 5 months. I love my life and I love my kids. I am in awe of my body and what it has produced. Seriously, amazing.

But after having my third (and gaining 50lbs during pregnancy) I was just ready for a break and really REALLY ready to stop feeling tired all the time and huge. However, being a big advocate of breastfeeding and having gone a year with each of my babies so far, I was really concerned with trying anything that included a drastic diet (paleo, no carbs, etc.) and how that would affect my milk supply.

I searched around online, but didn’t find too much. I guess most women either just lose the weight through breastfeeding (which happened with my first two, but not with number three!) or just kept the weight on and didn’t get serious until after a year. Or lost weight while breastfeeding but didn’t have time to blog the details, which I can TOTALLY understand.

So, I set out on my own. After researching several options I settled on a program from Beach Body called The 21 Day Fix. It was a combination of (1) work out DVD’s (which was really my only option for working out as a stay at home mom with three babies and a husband who works TONS of hours and is getting his Master’s at the same time), (2) a meal plan which allowed me to eat complex carbs, TONS of greens (which helps milk production), lots of protein, healthy fats and oils, through an easy system of color coded containers that help me see how big of portions I should have of each type of food. The fitness program also included (3) a month supply of a dense super food enriched shake called Shakeology, which was a game changer for me and so delicious.

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I did my calculations for the meal plan and then added 500 calories to what I should be eating because I am breastfeeding. That gave me 1800 calories a day! I was skeptical if I would actually lose weight eating that much. I was also worried about my supply. To my surprise, my supply seemed even richer than before (more dense nutrition going in, better milk coming out!), AND I trimmed down in just 5 weeks back to my pre-pregnancy size clothing and lost 15lbs.

I was hoping these results would happen in the next 5 months, NOT 5 weeks!

Here’s a sample of what I might eat on a typical day, I try to have something every 2 hrs.

Breakfast (8am): 2 Eggs, 1 serving of Oatmeal, grapefruit
Snack (10am): Apple
Lunch (12pm): Large salad full of greens with grilled chicken breast and 1 small serving of whole wheat crackers
Snack (2pm): 12 Almonds
Snack (4pm): Chocolate Shakeology with almond milk, 1/2 banana and 1 tsp of almond butter
Dinner (6pm): Roasted Chicken with herbs, sweet potatoes and large serving of green beans
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I think drinking TONS of water helped. Also I began drinking Mother’s Milk tea, maybe twice a week. I try to use my complex carb allotment for oatmeal once a day (a good food for milk production), and just kept nursing on demand.

I’m so thrilled with my results and thankful I was able to do them without sacrificing my baby’s health and nutrition. If anything, I think he might be getting much better milk than ever before.

It’s not easy taking time to put your health first when you are constantly being pulled in different directions. Trust me, I KNOW! But I am so thankful that I have started on this journey. Getting back to feeling strong and feeling like myself again – after four years of exhaustion, pregnancy, and all that goes with it has been priceless.

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Hope this is helpful to other moms who are breastfeeding. It CAN be done, and you will benefit so much! If you have any other questions or are interested in going through a program like this I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to join me in the 21 Day Fix  and join one of my Challenge Groups online – I would love to have you! In these groups I share my best tips, meal plans, encouragement and daily motivation to get you the best results!

Click here to order the 21 Day Fix and be automatically registered for my next group.

You can also follow along on my fb page or instagram where I post tips, recipes and daily inspiration.

Comments

  1. I seriously am so thankful to read this! I just had my daughter 5 weeks ago and the baby weight is seriously driving me crazy. I didn’t know what I could do with my diet to help because waking a mile or two everyday just isn’t giving me quick enough results

  2. Loved stumbling apon this! I’m seven months along with boy number three and have been so worried about bouncing back to pre baby weight (or better) this go around because it was so hard with my last.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I am in the same boat, but this is baby #4 for me in 4 1/2 years and I feel like it’s impossible for me to lose the weight now. I will have to try this plan, hoping I get the same results without losing my milk supply also! Thanks!!!

  4. I just read the blog and it’s the first time I have said “I can do this!” and believed it. I just had my second son 8weeks ago and it’s been hectic chasing a 4 year old and trying to breast feed and eat healthy but now I know I can do it! Thanks for the blog!

    • Leah!

      This makes me SO happy! I would love to encourage and support you through your journey if that sounds like something that would help! Feel free to send me an email, I have an online support group starting soon!

      Xoxo
      Vanessa

  5. Hello! I’m going to email you too, I would love the support of an online group while losing weight. Cause it’s hard!!! 4 pregnancies/babies in 6 years, never a month without pregnancy or breastfeeding. What was I thinking?! 😉 I need something I can (realistically) do at home while breastfeeding my 18 month old. I’m also going to do some research on the shake ingredients. Thanks!!
    Shannon, 70 # overweight

    • Hi Shannon!
      Please do send me an email! I would love to chat with you! I have been doing this program CONSISTENTLY since February – the longer I do it, the easier and more a part of my lifestyle it becomes…I make the same meals for my kids and family as I do for myself and it just works for us!

      Can’t wait to get to know you 🙂

      Vanessa

  6. imterested in learnig more about this! Just putchased the 21 day fix from beach body. How do you keep your Milk supply up? I currently have a 3 month old that I’m breastfeeding while chasing a 2 year around the house.

  7. hi, I’m in the same boat my third baby is now 6 months… And I still need to drop 10-15lbs. But I thought shakelogy wasn’t safe for nursing g moms?

    • Hi Inna!

      Shakeology was looked at by my midwife and two OBs and they thought it was fantastic. They said I could stop taking my pre-natal if I was taking Shakeology every day. Obviously, you should check with your own doctor, but I have led hundreds of breastfeeding moms through this program and Shakeology has been fantastic for them!

  8. thank you so much for this! I had a baby in September and have been struggling through trying to find something that wouldn’t dry my milk up and get me moving with three little ones at home. So excited to give it a try!

  9. wow thank you so much for this! I’m currently pg with our #3, due in Oct, and need to lose weight (not just baby weight). I’ve been debating shakeology after I give birth but was concerned about supply. Now you’ve given me hope!

    • I’m so glad (and congratulations!). I love – love – love Shakeology! If you are interested in some support and coaching (and a discount on SHAKEOLOGY) let me know! I would love to help you out <3

  10. Thank you so much for documenting your journey with the 21 Day Fix and breast feeding! This is the program I want to do next after my third baby is born this fall. I love Beachbody programs and was hesitant to try this one post partum because I’ve had supply issues in the past. Thank you again for the information and encouragement!

  11. Absolutely love this post just had a my 3rd child 2 weeks ago and im already mentally preparing myself for workouts and a healthier diet and i was also concerned about the effect it would have on my milk supply… amazing results btw !

  12. I was hoping for fantastic results like these when I recently bought the 21 Day Fix. I followed the nutrition plan (minus the Shakeology) and workout videos every day for a week and lost my milk supply! I even bumped up to the next cAlorie bracket and drank tons of water but still lost my supply. My 4 month old was a mess! I did lose a couple lbs but I was really bummed that I couldn’t continue that way without affecting her food supply. 🙁 still doing the work outs but have gained that weight back.

    • Hi Grace!

      I am so sorry that you lost your supply! Did you add 500 calories to your calculation? When I did that it actually bumped me up TWO brackets and I stuck with that – also eating oatmeal and adding Mother’s Milk Tea to the meal plan helped me a lot.

      I would encourage you to maybe go up to the NEXT bracket because if anything the meal plan really does help you to eat healthier – MORE veggies and protein for sure (at least, that’s how it was for me!) and that can only be a good thing!

      Best of luck!

  13. I’s starting the 21 day fix on Monday and am so happy I found your blog. I’ve been trying to figure out what I should be eating, but my trainer doesn’t seem so sure herself. I would hate for this to mess with my 8 month old. Would I be able to join your accountability group after my current challenge group even though you aren’t my coach? I’d love to have someone who actually understands where I’m coming from.

  14. Hi! Loved reading your story. I was curious, did you still take a prenatal multivitamin while taking shakes? I’ve read from so many people that their dr said to just do shakes. But I’m nervous to stop taking my vitamin.

    • Hey Kelly,
      After talking with my mid-wife and two OBs they all agreed that I should NOT keep taking my pre-natal vitamin while drinking Shakeology. It’s been fabulous for me and I have coached many – MANY breastfeeding (and pregnant) moms through this program and not one has had any issues with this!

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you would like some free coaching! I don’t charge anything for my services – I just love to support and help! <3

  15. I LOVE reading stuff like this! It’s so important to take care of your baby AND yourself and too often you can only find information on one or the other not something that is beneficial for both of you. I am currently in my third trimester with my second and breastfed my son for a year. I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy and lost 80 with my breasfeeding oriented diet so it’s totally possible. Everyone’s body is different and I don’t blog so if it helps anyone this was mine
    AM – green juice and oatmeal with local honey fruit nuts and flax/chia
    AM snack – smoothie/fruit
    Lunch – “leftover salad” last nights dinner left overs over lettuce
    Dinner – 1/4 meat, 1/4 complex carbs, 1/2 vegetables (usually half cooked and half salad) sometimes a piece of bread toasted with vegan raw garlic if I was super hungry
    PM snack – I let myself have small desserts (3 cookies, 1 brownie etc)

    Within 2 months I lost 80lbs and over produced milk

    Hopefully this can help anyone else struggling out there!

  16. I’m on day 9 and I feel like my supply is going way down (my 8 month old is now super fussy at the breast, wanting to switch sides every minute or two and chomping on my nipples). I added 500 calories, which put me at 1850. I use 2 of my carb servings for oatmeal, I drink two cups of Mothers Milk tea a day and I drink plenty of water. Really bummed because I’m already seeing results (down 6 lbs) but I don’t want to mess with my supply. Not really sure what I should do 🙁

  17. Thank you sooo much for this article. I’m in the same boat as many of the other moms. I have three LOs too… a 3,2 & 3month old baby. Eating healthy and exercising seemed nearly impossible until now. Seeing your transformation and tenacity has motivated me to change my mindset and body. This is the first site I’ve come across that is concerned about breastfeeding mom’s health and fitness. Continue to allow God to use you. God bless you.

    • Hey Mallory,
      Thank you for your kind words! and CONGRATULATIONS on losing the 30lbs!!!
      Being a night eater doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be successful in your weight loss journey, as long as you can find healthy substitutions for whatever your favorite guilty pleasure is 🙂

      I also like a late night snack every now and then, but I’ve gone to some healthier options, like homemade stovetop popped corn (where I can control how much salt or butter I add) and healthy raw “brownies” made with dates and cacao powder and maple syrup – I get full so much quicker because they are full of whole foods, but I still get a nice sweet treat. It’s all about filling your body with whole foods instead of processed – processed foods NEVER fill us up – I mean, I could eat a whole sleeve of oreos and not feel full, but when I make raw cookie dough from garbanzo beans – all that protein, fills me up after just a few spoonfuls (and tastes SO delicious).

      I wish you the best on your journey and thanks again for reaching out!!!

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