Bethany Lannon

W30 results from other breastfeeding mothers?

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Today is day 38 of my Whole30-turned-40. I knew I couldn't make it to the gym tomorrow or Saturday so I measured/weighed today.

I had decent results but not quite what I was hoping for (yes, losing baby weight was a goal). I lost 4lbs and my body fat dropped by 2%. I'm also breastfeeding my 3 month old. I'm wondering what results were like for other breastfeeding mothers out there? I seem to remember reading somewhere about hormones that produce breastmilk are not very fat-loss friendly.... I was hoping for more like a 6-8lb loss and 4ish % body fat loss, but I don't knowif maybe I had my hopes up too high for being a breastfeeding mother right now.

Anyone else with input??

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Hi Bethany

 

Not sure how helpful this is but I only found out about Whole30 when my daughter was 5 or 6 months old. I did my first Whole30 when she was 7-8 months, and also eating some solids. 

 

I had been paying attention to my diet and exercising with kettlebells from about 2 months, but none of my baby weight shifted until about 4 months after birth. It was coming off at around one pound per month. At times my gut feeling was that I was so tired and lacking in sleep that my body was struggling to shed fat, not sure if that makes sense. However I always felt good after exercising so I wasn't pushing myself too hard, my body just obviously wanted to hold onto that fat more at that time. July (8 weeks post birth) to end of Dec I lost 17 lbs in 6 months. Jan to now I have lost another 30 lbs in the same amount of time. I am still breastfeeding now. 

 

As breastfeeding uses up a certain number of calories then all else being equal, you are probably more likely to lose weight breastfeeding than if you were not. However. everyone is different, some women find that their extra fat for feeding won't shift until their baby is a certain age, and some women find it goes very quick. Others seem to hang onto it until they have stopped breastfeeding and then it comes off pretty easily. Not every breastfeeding mother will be eating the same type or quality of diet.

 

Mainly I would say well done for doing a Whole40 so soon after having a baby, you are taking care of yourself and eating really good food :) Your baby will also be really benefiting from your milk. Be patient and as time goes by you may find that your body fat drops more. Your milk supply is still regulating itself up until your baby is about 12 or 13 weeks old, so once this has settled down and your body has worked out what its doing and how many calories it needs for milk etc, things may change.

 

Hope that helps  ;)

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I just started the Whole30 on Sunday, but before that I had taken dairy and wheat out of my diet. I found the baby weight went off relatively quickly for me (25 lbs). Maybe you are allergic or have an intolerance to something in your current W30 diet that is making it harder for your body to get rid of the added pounds? Allergies don't always surface as hives, sometimes our bodies will maintain weight. It's also possible you aren't eating enough protein since that is a driver in weight loss. I am not an expert re: this, just something I've noticed in all the dieting/programs I have read about.

 

Are you able to workout/go for walks at all? Maybe you just need something to kickstart that metabolism, like a few days a week going for a mile run or walk? After my 6week appointment a few weeks ago, my doctor approved me to start running so I did for a few days a week and lost a couple extra pounds before I started W30 on Sunday.

 

I don't have all the details about your situation though, so I am just making generic recommendations that have worked for me :)

 

Also, don't get on that scale and try not to think about weight loss right now! I KNOW how hard it is because I am a scale ADDICT, but as part of the program we are supposed to stay away from the scale...you are doing amazing, just keep it up!

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I don't know how helpful I can be. I did my whole30 this past April while breastfeeding my almost 2 year old. He turns 2 this month. I had fabulous results. Enough to stick with it for the most part since my official w30 ended at mothers day.

Lost 3 inches and 12 lbs and had several other benefits. And it's very doable while breastfeeding bc there is no calorie or fat restriction issue, both of which are really hard on breastfeeding.

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I'm on day 20 of my whole 30 and have a 5 month old who is exusively breastfed. I have not weighed or measured myself, so am not really sure of how my size is changing, but my clothes are not fitting that much different, maybe a little. I think as was said above some people say they hang onto weight while breast feeding and others are the leanest they have ever been. I think I am in the first category, but my energy has been great! I am an athlete too, play soccer, run and xfit so it is frustrating to be caring around some extra weight ( I think about 12-15lbs). I think patience is the key and any change in the right direction is good. And how much do you have to loose? If its not much its probably harder to loose. I let you know how my final results are and nice work on a whole 40!

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I honestly think it's just too much to try to have a weight loss "goal" while BFing. You can't lose weight too fast, or milk production will tank. You're not going to lose weight if you're sleep deprived, and I don't know a mama of a 3-month old who isn't to some degree. The more sleep-deprived and stressed you are, the harder weight loss will be. Your exercise will also play a role - are you trying to do too much too fast? High-intensity work with a newborn while BFing and sleep deprived may be hurting, not helping. Plus it depends on how much weight you gained during pregnancy, where you gained it, what your activity levels and health looked like before you got pregnant, how quickly your hormonal balance was able to recover... it's complicated, to say the least.

 

I think the Whole30 is the best thing for BFing mamas and their babies, but I'd recommend taking weight loss off the table until your kiddo is eating solid food. (Not to say you can't work towards very moderate weight loss - only that you should ditch expectations of it happening fast, or happening the way it would have, before you got pregnant.)

 

Sorry that's not very encouraging, but the factors involved with having a newborn are complex, and everyone is going to have a different path to follow.

 

Melissa

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Thanks everyone... I've improved on my mindset about my results since posting. I'm doing as M suggested, taking weight loss off the table until I'm done breastfeeding. I worked out regularly while pregnant (continued running until I was 37 weeks + lots of strength training) and I've maintained a consistent workout regimen. I'm currently training for my 3rd full marathon AND breastfeeding, so I know that I must make good quality calories a priority & I know that I must make sure I'm eating enough. I've been journaling my food intake purely for those two reasons. I know that I need to eat to fuel my workouts as well as to feed my daughter. I've chosen to not weigh myself more than once per month (even then, I'm not sure I'll do it that often), but mostly I'll use my body fat % as my gauge, once every 4-6 weeks.

I'd taken a day off after my whole40, jumped back in for a couple weeks the next day, then took about a week off before I started my current cycle which is a whole6, followed by off-roading tomorrow evening and then a whole8 starting Saturday. I really feel like everything is starting to click for me now, even with the random spurts of time off/off-roading. Dare I say it's the coveted tiger blood?? My attitude toward my self image is improving, my relationship with food is slowly improving, and I'm finally feeling that consistent high energy through the day. Not to mention my daughter keeps getting a little chubbier (a good thing! I know she's gaining weight & that I'm feeding her what she needs!) and my runs are getting faster. It's like my entire whole30 experience (even including my days in between cycles) has been a slow & steady downhill ramp where I'm slowly building speed for the take-off and upon starting this current whole6, I've gained enough momentum and that ramp took the sudden upturn and has sent me soaring.

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Everyone's experience with bf'ing is different. I lost 10 pounds beyond my pre-preggo weight with DD1 within about 4 months following a somewhat restrictive low-fat high-veggie diet. With this babe, I lost my 15 lbs gained within 2 weeks eating whatever.

 

Eat to nourish yourself and your babe. Eat mindfully (don't overeat) and it WILL come off!

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Now that my baby is 7 months I'm comfortable starting on this Whole30. I tried once before but my supply kept going down without rice and potatoes. I stuck with just being loose paleo until now to give myself the extra calories, I just can't eat enough on this strict a diet because I stop getting hungry. I steadily lost 25 lbs in the first 7 months but I had 60 lbs I needed to lose before I put on the 23 lbs from my pregnancy. It takes a while to put on baby weight when you are pregnant, give your body time to take it off. A marathon would be too ambitious for me to commit to within a year of giving birth. Remember it is our bodies natural instinct to retain a minimum amount of fat while breastfeeding to ensure adequate nutrition to the baby and so you can't easily starve to death no matter the conditions. Working against your body is not healthy. 

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Some people hold on to fat while breastfeeding. For me, my DD sucked it all out of me and I dropped to less than I weighed at 16 by the time she was 20mo. Then my hormones shifted to allow normal menstruation and Ib put it all back on. I was a vegetarian then, but tried to eat less processed foods a lot. With my son, on a general omni diet, I didn't see the dramatic loss. I did lose some when I restricted calories, but it was more work. I was older, and my diet was different. He's 2 1/2 and still nursing, and it'll be interesting to see how the Whole30 affects my weight, but I'm not doing it for that so much as to see how it affects my general health.

Don't be in a rush about weight loss, especially while the baby is EBF'ing.

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