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  1. #1
    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Unhappy Should I restrict calories while breastfeeding?!!!!

    Please help me decide.... I am breastfeeding my 5 month old and I am trying to restrict my calories, but as soon as I do I get little headaches and I am always tired and I get some blackouts and stuff when I stand up from sitting down. All that annoying crap. It isn't bad enough to really freak me out, but it prevents me from keeping it up. It is so annoying!!!! I want to lose the weight, but this is the only way I can and it always messes with me. The last time I restricted calories I got done with my workout and sat down and the room started spinning like I was drunk. So I don't want it to get like that again. I hate this! lol Anyone have any ideas in what I should do. I want the weight gone, but I don't know what to do without feeling like I am overdoing it. I mean the training I do is fine, but the eating is what gets me! Uhhggg... :-( I feel like I am a wuss... How can everyone do this stuff, but I can't? Is there something medically wrong with me other than me having a kid recently. I don't think it is normal to feel faint if you don't eat a lot. I don't hear other people on here complaining about it? Help me figure this all out! It is stressing me out and very discouraging... I am so tired of being this weight.
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    I've breastfeed two kids for almost 2 years each, and I don't think it's a good idea to restrict calories. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. Just make sure you eat clean. Your body will do whatever it has to do to provide for your baby, so if you don't feed it enough, it will take what it needs from your body and can leave you malnourished. Especially make sure you keep up your calcium intake because breastfeeding will really sap it from your body. Once your baby is closer to 1 year old, your body won't require quite as much to keep it going and you can try to start lowering cals again. If you're not feeling well, that's your body's way of saying you're not giving it what it needs. Good luck to you!
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    Registered User juicymom's Avatar
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    I breastfed all three of my kids and it did not matter if I ate alot or I ate a little, my body hung on to every extra pound until I stopped nursing. I hear alot of women loose weight just from breast feeding but most women I talk to are in the same boat I was. However, once I stopped nursing the weight came off very quickly. I'm not suggesting that you stop nursing to loose the weight, but I am saying there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Continue to nourish your body and in turn your baby's body with plenty of wholesome food, and keep working out, you will get there.
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    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Talking Thanks to both of you. It's very encouraging.

    I just feel like I am a wuss since I can't handle it physically. I want to get skinny right now, but want what is best for my baby first. I just hate being so fat. lol I need to be more patient and know it will just take some time. ;-) I have been improving my diet though. Haven't eaten fast food in a while now! No fries for me thanks... lol
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    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    How many calories are you eating when you are restricting? Maybe you're just restricting too much.
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    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    How many calories are you eating when you are restricting? Maybe you're just restricting too much.
    Like between 1,500 and 1,700 if I ever do and it kills me. lol My resting rate is about 1,500 the last time I checked... So I thought it would be fine?
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    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Oh and I guess they say that you burn so much breastfeeding but come on... If I burned so much through breastfeeding then why am I just not losing weight without restricting?
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Oh and I guess they say that you burn so much breastfeeding but come on... If I burned so much through breastfeeding then why am I just not losing weight without restricting?
    There are a few issues to think about here...

    Firstly - unfortunately (as you mention) you don't actually *use* that much extra when pregnant/breast feeding... during the second and third trimester you only need an additional 300-500 cals/ day (yay for an extra sandwich)... so it is not like you get to 'stuff' yourself.... And some of that 'extra' is actually retained by you anyway - to help with 'baby food storage' (which = butt fat and boobies for yourself).

    During breastfeeding - it is the same and you don't really need that much extra. The body is really well 'primed' to efficiently create breast milk with the least impact on you as possible... So you don't need mucho more cals that you normally would.

    Additional to the efficient breast milk production - first time mums are also often less active (as they 'fall in' with baby time -->> eat/ sleep/ wash nappies) and they are stressed to the max (= extra 'snacks').... plus - lack of sleep does the wacky with your metabolilsm (as it impacts your melatonin/ serotonin pathways).

    Following from this - The body in general does the 'hormone wacky' when pregnant/ breast feeding... Which often 'slows' you down and makes weight loss harder... and impacts where the fat falls too....

    Anyway - as long as you are reaching your NUTRIENT needs - then there is nothing wrong with maintaining a calorie deficiecy to try to help you lose some of the baby weight... Just don't go tooo low - as you will further create hormone wacky which will make your life even harder.

    Just remember to maintain adequate nutrient when you diet - so get adquate iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine etc... things that are going to be depleted from you to fill your milk (or things that were depleted during the last stage of pregnancy). Adequate omega-3, Vit A and other essential vitamins/minerals are also going to be important...
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    Registered User tina1920's Avatar
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    I can only speak for myself but I didn't restrict when I breast fed my son. I was in school and I worked. So even though I was not working out I was active. I didn't retain my pregnancy weight. If you are trying to loss weight instead of restricting your calories try to clean up your diet. This will be good for you and you baby. Production of breast milk burns calories when I was breast feeding my doctor told me it could burn up to 500calories a day. So eat clean and healthy. Remain active and the weight should start to come off.
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    Registered User Gracehbd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Oh and I guess they say that you burn so much breastfeeding but come on... If I burned so much through breastfeeding then why am I just not losing weight without restricting?
    I imagine its because you're burning extremely little otherwise, since your body's slowing your metabolism WAY down, and consequently you feel lousy. I don't know much about the issue, but I wonder if perhaps it's hard to loose right now because you're so full of maternal hormones which tell it to hold on to fat, but it's just a pondering...
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    Registered User cln1812's Avatar
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    I would also say no. My sister tried to do WW for breastfeeding moms (I think it was around 1800 cal/day) and her milk supply completely tanked. I actually lost a lot of weight beyond pre-preg. breastfeeding (I'm still BF'ing my 15 month old), but I didn't really start losing weight until around 7 or 8 months postpartum, and I wasn't restricting my diet or even eating clean. I still don't eat completely clean because I just don't have enough energy otherwise, and BF'ing gives me such a sweet tooth! Until your little one takes off well with solids, I wouldn't try to diet while BF'ing. It's a very short time in the scheme of things.
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    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gracehbd View Post
    I imagine its because you're burning extremely little otherwise, since your body's slowing your metabolism WAY down, and consequently you feel lousy. I don't know much about the issue, but I wonder if perhaps it's hard to loose right now because you're so full of maternal hormones which tell it to hold on to fat, but it's just a pondering...
    Maybe? I am down to me prepregnancy weight though. I just want to go down even more. Maybe that's why it is so hard to get lower without feeling like I am depleted? My body knows I am my regular weight already or something?
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    Registered User Kritta_G's Avatar
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by cln1812 View Post
    Until your little one takes off well with solids, I wouldn't try to diet while BF'ing. It's a very short time in the scheme of things.
    Yeah it is actually thanks for your point of view ;-) I am just tired of being fat. I guess I'll just bulk and then when I can get my body fat down finally, I will be so toned and hot!!!! lol Then it'll be easy! hahahaha I hope so anyway...
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Maybe? I am down to me prepregnancy weight though. I just want to go down even more. Maybe that's why it is so hard to get lower without feeling like I am depleted? My body knows I am my regular weight already or something?
    This is spot on... Pregnancy is actually one of the times when your body can 'reset' the marker for 'normal' in terms of your bodyfat and bodyweight (your set point). So if you gain +++ weight during that time you'll find it mucho hard to get back down again (as your body tries to maintain the new 'status quo').

    The other really important times are in the womb (so how big/fat a baby you were) and also your teenage years/ the time around your menarche (which is why those who had very 'large' bodies during mid teens often find it hard to drop weight later).
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Please help me decide.... I am breastfeeding my 5 month old and I am trying to restrict my calories, but as soon as I do I get little headaches and I am always tired and I get some blackouts and stuff when I stand up from sitting down. All that annoying crap. It isn't bad enough to really freak me out, but it prevents me from keeping it up. It is so annoying!!!! I want to lose the weight, but this is the only way I can and it always messes with me. The last time I restricted calories I got done with my workout and sat down and the room started spinning like I was drunk. So I don't want it to get like that again. I hate this! lol Anyone have any ideas in what I should do. I want the weight gone, but I don't know what to do without feeling like I am overdoing it. I mean the training I do is fine, but the eating is what gets me! Uhhggg... :-( I feel like I am a wuss... How can everyone do this stuff, but I can't? Is there something medically wrong with me other than me having a kid recently. I don't think it is normal to feel faint if you don't eat a lot. I don't hear other people on here complaining about it? Help me figure this all out! It is stressing me out and very discouraging... I am so tired of being this weight.
    You're not eating enough. Based on your stats you would need 1800 calories for fat loss. But since you are breastfeeding you need to add an additional 300-500 calories...which puts you between 2100-2300 calories a day. This is what your body needs right now as a nursing mom.

    As long as your eating a clean diet and exercising you will be fine. Your body burns calories when breastfeeding so you shouldn't gain any weight, if anything you'll probably lose some.
    Last edited by kimm4; 03-20-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Like between 1,500 and 1,700 if I ever do and it kills me. lol My resting rate is about 1,500 the last time I checked... So I thought it would be fine?
    how often are you eating?
    and no i wouldnt restrict your calories more,
    just work on eat OFTEN and small amounts. golden rule is every 2-3 hours
    and that is important. restriction will could make your body hold on to its fat more stubbornly and, of course, make you feel like crap and lessen the nutrition for your baby
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    Originally Posted by Kritta_G View Post
    Maybe? I am down to me prepregnancy weight though. I just want to go down even more. Maybe that's why it is so hard to get lower without feeling like I am depleted? My body knows I am my regular weight already or something?
    I think these ladies have ALL given some great advice-- so I am not even going to try and touch on what your eating...

    I just want to say that I think it's normal after we have kids to feel how your feeling (no matter how much you lose, you want to keep losing more and more because in the mirror you just never look quite how you did before). I looked at your pics-- and your doing a wonderful job!

    Good for you for breastfeeding. I was unable to, so I think your doing a WONDERFUL thing!
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    Smile

    First off congrats on the new bundle! Having children is the best thing ever I think, you just never know what they're going to do next. Secondly, congrats on nursing as well, I know first hand that it can be challenging at times, but it's well worth it in the end, and you're giving your baby the best you can provide, so koodo's to you.
    I nursed my son for 13months, and like you was driving myself crazy with trying to lose the stubborn fat. I'd exercise and restrict cals to much that it actually effected my milk production and I was GAINING weight! Basically you can put yourself into starvation mode just as easy while nursing as you can when you're not, so you really have to watch out for that. I would certainly listen to the ladies on here, and what Kimm4 suggested, sounds about right. It wasn't until I upped my cals that my body started to let go of some of the weight and my milk supply went back up. But I too was one of those moms that didn't lose much while nursing unfortunately, but once I stopped I lost 5lbs right off the bat, and yup it all came off my chest first thing, and now slowly my body is letting go of the excess weight, but I'm doing it the right way, eating the cals my body needs for what I personally am doing (workouts..etc). There's a good site that some of the other moms on here are on and maybe give it a try, there's a lot of women on there willing to help you out as well. It's www.babyfit.com , at the very least you might meet a few new mom friends along the way.
    As for your symptoms you were having, sounds to me almost like hypoglucemia, so certainly if you're not eating enough you're going to get that way. Sometimes even when you're blood pressure is up a bit to high you can experience that and if you are just finishing up a workout, you may not be cooling down enough before sitting down or making any sudden movements, all this can lead to your head spinning, seeing lights and black outs..but I would certainly look more into your way of eating and listen to all the great ladies on here when they tell you to eat more, and quality food for sure. Best of luck to you, and let us know how you do if you chose to take everyone's advice.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    You're not eating enough. Based on your stats you would need 1800 calories for fat loss. But since you are breastfeeding you need to add an additional 300-500 calories...which puts you between 2100-2300 calories a day. This is what your body needs right now as a nursing mom.

    As long as your eating a clean diet and exercising you will be fine. Your body burns calories when breastfeeding so you shouldn't gain any weight, if anything you'll probably lose some.
    I agree with this ^^

    The reason you are doing so awful and feeling so awful is you were dropping calories much too low!

    Once your baby starts transitioning to solid foods, you can lower your calories a bit from this. But for now, don't restrict so much!
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    Talking Thanks everyone ;-)

    I am so glad I got responses on this subject because it is a challenging one and it is nice to know about how many calories I need. I am defenatley remember all of this wonderful advice. Again thanks...
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    A real wake up call for whats enough is when you have to take your newborn to the hospital for one thing and they end up telling you she has "failure to thrive" due to your lack of caloric intake. Thats a nice way to remind you that the weight will come off in time, but it shouldn't at the expense of your childs health. They MADE me supplement with formula and I swore I would only BF till she was at least 1, and even though I had lost 30+ pounds in less than 3 weeks(and had only put on 20)....I sure felt like a crappy mom. I know its cheaper to BF but maybe check out formula instead if you are really concerned about dropping your calories that low, your lil one needs all the nutrients he or she can get for healthy brain development and growth. I still hate myself for that even though my lil girl is fine, I just felt very shallow, skinny, but shallow.
    My dr said you may only burn an extra 500 a day, I saw actress Jamie Presley on TV say that you burn 1500 a day...NOT TRUE. Talk to your doctor and your pediatrician. That lil one is most important!
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    Originally Posted by sassijessie View Post
    A real wake up call for whats enough is when you have to take your newborn to the hospital for one thing and they end up telling you she has "failure to thrive" due to your lack of caloric intake. Thats a nice way to remind you that the weight will come off in time, but it shouldn't at the expense of your childs health. They MADE me supplement with formula and I swore I would only BF till she was at least 1, and even though I had lost 30+ pounds in less than 3 weeks(and had only put on 20)....I sure felt like a crappy mom. I know its cheaper to BF but maybe check out formula instead if you are really concerned about dropping your calories that low, your lil one needs all the nutrients he or she can get for healthy brain development and growth. I still hate myself for that even though my lil girl is fine, I just felt very shallow, skinny, but shallow.
    My dr said you may only burn an extra 500 a day, I saw actress Jamie Presley on TV say that you burn 1500 a day...NOT TRUE. Talk to your doctor and your pediatrician. That lil one is most important!
    Well no worries I am not counting calories and my baby never had failure to thrive. i have never done it that bad, but I also have to give formula sometimes since he needs more than I can produce, but I think that happened mainly because I was sick for 5 weeks and the last week of that I got the flu and lost 7 pounds in 2 days! So my milk was down very very low. And it has been lower ever since. So I give him some solids and formula every once in a while when he acts hungry still, but am thinking now I might just give him formula regularly too? I am not sure yet. It will depend on how much weight he has gained at his appointment in a couple of days.
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    Oh I know, its so hard to even have an inkling as to how much they are getting! He could be eating for 20 minutes and get nothing or 5 minutes and get 4 oz! I always felt like my supply was ok, there were just no nutrients in it If he is gaining fine and you don't want to supplement, I wouldnt bother! It definitely did not make my second sleep through the night which is the one good thing I thought would come out of it! Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by juicymom View Post
    I breastfed all three of my kids and it did not matter if I ate alot or I ate a little, my body hung on to every extra pound until I stopped nursing. I hear alot of women loose weight just from breast feeding but most women I talk to are in the same boat I was. However, once I stopped nursing the weight came off very quickly. I'm not suggesting that you stop nursing to loose the weight, but I am saying there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Continue to nourish your body and in turn your baby's body with plenty of wholesome food, and keep working out, you will get there.
    Same here, I found I was able to lose most of my pregnancy weight, UP TO A POINT, but then I couldn't get those last few stubborn pounds off until I quit breastfeeding. Even my OB doc said a woman's body holds onto a few extra pounds of fat for breastfeeding purposes. Your hormones are different when you are breastfeeding and they make it so that it's WAY more difficult to lose fat.
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