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Breastfeeding but not losing weight (help!)

I thought breastfeeding was supposed to burn extra 500calories a day / help you lose weight. Well .... I want a refund!

I really need to lose some weight. My sister is getting married in June, I need to go shopping for an outfit, its just not happening. Booo.

I have cut out all crisps, biscuits, puddings etc. I am now doing a fair amount of exercise (well as much as one can with a toddler in the mix!). I cook most of our food from stratch and its pretty healthy ( i think!)

Do i need to actually start calorie counting? Never done this before and not sure where to start ...... help (numpty alert)


  • Hmm, it sounds like if you need to lose weight you probably should be with the healthy eating/bf & exercise, how unfair! It might be worth trying my fitness pal to monitor what's going on if you're really struggling, it's free and tracks calories in from food and expended through exercise. It's a bit time consuming at first as you get your regular foods entered but gets easier over time. You can get a smartphone app version too to make it easier on the go.

    I'm dreading having to lost the weight I've gained in this pregnancy, I had such good intentions of not turning into a heifer and they all went out of the window, so I'll be joining you on the weightloss bandwagon in a few weeks!

  • Oh just remembered - I did have a meal out on Sunday - with an ice-cream for pudding. .

    There's an app for that? Of course! Off to investigate, thanks
  • Honestly, I feel like I haven't lost any weight BF. Others say differently. When I did start trying to calorie count and I did start loosing weight it actually affected my milk supply which was very stressful. So I went back to eating "normally" again and my milk supply went back to normal, I have been alot happier since. So just be aware that if you do start calorie counting it could affect your BF. Embrace your body as it is now. You are a mummy, we can't expect our bodies to be straight back to how they were pre-baby. It took 9 months for you to develop your baby, so it wont spring back over night. You won't be breast-feeding forever, then you can look at getting your body to how you want it. Be happy with how you are now!

  • I didn't start to lose any weight until A got much older - more like 8/9 months, and then lost it very rapidly (then got pregnant at 10 months which really put the accelerators on). I guess that was the time he started to need a lot more calories from me? He didn't eat much by way of solid food until around a year old, we did BLW and although he seemed to enjoy it I don't believe he swallowed very much until 1yr.

    Mummysimpson speaks sense too, remember Toby hasn't even been out as long as he's been in :) I've read it can take over a year generally for a woman's body to properly recover from pregnancy and birth, so be kind to yourself too :) x

  • I joined Slimming World in January and have lost nearly a stone and a half very easily (I've been a target member for a month or so now). I've done it before and kept the weight off until I was pregnant so I'm a big fan and will recommend it to anyone who'll listen! They have a plan specially for breastfeeders so it didn't have an adverse impact on my milk supply or anything.

  • I've successfully lost weight whilst breastfeeding twice now. First time I used My Fitness Pal, adding the extra 500 calories a day for exclusive breastfeeding or 300 once weaning was established, to the amount the website suggested and I lost nearly 3 stone without any adverse effect on my supply. This time I'm doing Weight Watchers online and have lost over 2 stone so far, again you get extra points for breastfeeding, either exclusively or with food as well.  With WW, fruit and veg are point free which is good so if you are hungry, you can still eat without worrying about your points and it works well alongside early weaning. Shout if you have any questions, I'm happy to try and help!

  • I think it is down to personal choice but I'd probably try Slimming World rather than calorie counting. I think it sounds like the most bearable whilst breastfeeding - your not limited with how much you can eat, plenty of fruit and vegetables, etc!

    Tina - Whats the special plan? I've never done Slimming World (always WeightWatchers) but have been looking it up online. I've you get extra healthy A's & B's if breastfeeding?

  • This is interesting! I lost 18lbs with labour, and have lost only 1-2lbs since and I'm going walking regularly, drinking masses of water and eating healthy meals. I was hoping to shift a fair bit before summer when we've a weekend break and 2 weddings. I think I'm eating way more snacks than I should because I'm cold/tired a fair bit. That's my first port of call, and have just set up my My Fitness Pal so thank you for the reminder! That will help as a start, hopefully :)

  • For those on MFP, you can add breast feeding as a food item, search for breastfeeding and then add the appropriate option (500 calories for exclusive feeding) and it will add it as a minus figure in your food diary giving you the additional calories. Good luck!

  • Pep - yes essentially you get extra healthy extras! There's advice on how many to have at each stage of feeding, so early days when feeding is constant but baby's tummy is small, then up to weaning, whilst weaning, if mix feeding, etc. I think there is guidance about which specific healthy extras have the most calcium too. Basically I ended up eating so much cheese on toast and drinking so many lattes that I never had time to eat anything bad for me haha.

  • Lol! Sounds like fun ;) I ordered the Slimming World books from Ebay the other day. I thought I'd try and get my head around it all before baby came - maybe batch cook some suitable food etc, so I could throw myself into it sooner rather than later.

  • Give yourself a break woman, you will have plenty to think about when baby is here without thinking about weight loss right away. You will lose most of it through giving birth and loss of fluids anyway so fit a few cakes in before you start being strict on yourself.

  • Haha! I didn't mean right away ;) In my head I'm thinking more 4 weeks after birth.

  • I'm totally the same ... I was expecting this huge weight loss that everyone goes on about ... I've lost a stone when R was born then bopped up & down 5lb!! I joined slimming world & lost nothing, not sure if I was eating too much?? I'm currently doing weight watchers & hoping to lose, I lost 5lb in first 2 weeks. You get extra points for breastfeeding.

    I have a low milk supply, I tried to calorie count but it affected my milk, so far with weight watchers I've been eating all the points plus half the breastfeeding points & it hasn't seemed to affect my milk as yet.  If I ate all the breastfeeding points it was more food than I was eating previously when not losing weight.

    I've also just joined the gym, I am so unfit ... I can only go between 9-11am when I know R can go the longest without a feed but this week R has decided to go through a growth spurt so the nights i'm having no make me very motivated to exercise in the morning.

    I'm not back at work until R is 1 .. I really need to be back into my uniform don't fancy asking for a bigger size!

  • Margot - that's brill, I didn't know you could add BFing!

  • Bf has, if anything, made me hold on to weight rather than lose it.

    I've done SW both times.

    This time I lost 3 stone (plus 2 at birth) so ended up lighter than I started.

    It's so easy and you can eat loads so no milk supply affect.

    I should add that I buggy ran about 12 miles a week, walked 8 and ran 10 without the buggy.

    Calorie counting just isn't maintainable for me
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