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Breastfeeding a toddler and my own food needs

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My son is 16-months old and I am still currently nursing him a fairly good amount of the time. He nurses to sleep for nap and bed, and then feeds a few times during the day as well.

I know that nursing burns calories and that breastfeeding moms are generally hungrier since they need the food to make more milk, but I'm wondering how much this should still be affecting me right now? I think I have it in my head that the longer I breastfeed, the more my body should adjust to it (and also make less milk) and I should stop feeling so hungry.

Lately I've been eating massive amounts of food and could definitely eat more. I'm still trying to sort out "real" hunger versus cravings, and I've cut out snacking between meals for the most part, but I'm just wondering if breastfeeding could be the cause of all of this.

I'm generally eating 1 1/2-2 protein servings per meal (sometimes more) and usually 1-2 sweet potatoes a day (I'm really craving carbs). I make sure to get my fats in, generally by olives or coconut butter/milk...my biggest problem area is veg (but that usually where the sweet potatoes come in).

Any advice? Should I just go with it, and keep eating? I'm not doing this for weight loss, but I do have some weight to lose and I'm afraid of sabotaging that (I know, I know, throw the scale away and focus on how I feel...but I feel like I want to lose weight! ;) ) Should I curb myself a little and just live with the stomach grumbles/rumbles?

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Personally I'd say if you're hungry - eat. Do Melissa's test 'Are you hungry enough to eat steamed fish and broccoli?' If yes - go eat. If no - then it's probably a craving so try to distract yourself. However I have to say that adding non starchy veg to your meals should help. I eat a ton a week :) I really don't think I'd feel full without them

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I'm new to the forum, but wanted to pipe in. The first thing I started looking for was breastfeeding mamas :) Because I'm RAVENOUS on Whole 30 and breastfeeding a 3 year old. Yup. Three.

We nurse to sleep, sometimes once in the middle of the night still, and then in the morning, which is early. I have no idea how much this contributes to my caloric needs, because it's way less nursing than a younger child obviously :)

I thought the reply you received was excellent. I'm going to try that, if I'm hungry enough for broccoli or cauliflower... then I'm hungry!

I'm not counting calories, however I estimated roughly that yesterday I consumed 3100 calories! Of high fat, moderate protein and lower carb. That's insane. I don't exercise except for functional exercise of walking, carrying a 3 year old, playing, housework, errands on foot etc. I'm lazy and exhausted and tired and pretty sedentary otherwise.

So I was wondering if my appetite was related to the breastfeeding. Could be.

Anyway, bravo for still nursing at 16 months! That's a wonderful gift to your little one's health :)

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Thanks guys!

I'm on day 22 today, so I feel like I'm beginning to sort out real hunger vs. cravings (although I'm sure not all the time, but still)...I also think that I was causing myself so much stress about trying to follow everything absolutely exactly (Like time of eating, amount, variety, no snacking, etc) that I was stressing out and kind of un-doing all the good things I had happening.

I've been a bit more lenient with myself, and just focused on making sure that everything I eat is compliant, and as soon as I made that switch, I noticed all the changes starting in my body. It could be a coincidence and I just finally caught up with myself, but I really think decreasing my stress levels has helped.

I've kind of cut back on exercising (not that I was doing a ton before) because I felt like I only had enough energy to worry about one part of my life at a time, and food was it. When I'm off my whole30 next month, I'm going to try and get an exercise groove going, so that when I start my second one in January, I'll have a routine in place.

Anyway, it's nice to find fellow toddler-breastfeeders here--I'm so glad that people are supportive of it, because it can be HARD, but I know how good it is for their health!! MG12, I noticed a lot of shifting going on with my appetite over the last few weeks...the first few days I was fairly easily satisfied (except for my "snacky" cravings around 8pm), then I was full and didn't want to eat much, then I shifted and was HUNGRY. I feel like I'm kind of settling into a routine now, but I'm also making my meals a bit bigger as well. But I'm satisfied, and that's the important part, right?!

Also, chasing around a 3-year old DEFINITELY counts as exercise!!!

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