21 Day Fix is an amazing program to use not only if you want to lose weight, but also to change your whole mindset for how to eat healthily and cleanly. This program focuses on portion control of macro nutrients using ingenious colored containers, and it works!
But what if you’re a new mom, nursing a baby? You want to lose some of your baby weight, but safely, and you definitely don’t want to lose your supply of breastmilk, right? The 21 Day Fix program does focus on slight caloric deficits which raises red flags for all breastfeeding mamas out there! We are counting all our calories and value our milk supply more than liquid gold. Anything that threatens our milk supply, even if it is sworn to work in the weight loss department is just. not. worth. it.
So, is there a safe and effective way to follow 21 Day Fix and breastfeed at the same time? The answer is yes! I know, because I’ve done it! And while I will say that every woman, every baby and every body is different, especially when it comes to milk supply and nursing your baby, I successfully completed two rounds of 21 Day Fix, while exclusively breastfeeding my third little boy, when he was two and half months old, and again when he was four months old. I lost over 20 lbs, got back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 7 months, and my milk supply never faltered. I continued to follow the 21 Day Fix program for maintenance and was able to breastfeed my baby for 11 months. I was so successful losing weight with 21 Day Fix while breastfeeding and maintaining my milk supply, and I will share with you the tips that helped me.
- Add 300 calories to your calorie bracket calculation. Before you even start the program, you need to know which calorie bracket you fall into, so that you know how many of each container you are allotted each day. Once you calculate your calorie bracket, using the formula in the 21 Day Fix guide, add another 300 calories to your final result. It will usually move you up a bracket, and that’s ok. It did for me, and I was still able to lose weight following 21 Day Fix while breastfeeding. If it does move you up a bracket, I found I wasn’t always hungry enough to eat all the containers every day, but I varied the containers that I was short on (so I wasn’t always short on veggies, or fruit, for example). If, by adding 300 calories, you stay in the same bracket, that’s ok too, just pay attention to your body, and if you’re hungry at the end of the day, and have eaten all your containers, I recommend adding another green container, or another blue container.
- Drink Your Water! As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to drink half your weight (measured in pounds) in ounces of water daily. For breastfeeding mamas, this is especially true, and if you are breastfeeding, I personally recommend adding another 16 oz to that daily total. If you are also exercising, you should drink even more water. In my experience, the number one variable that affected my milk supply on a day to day basis while following 21 Day Fix was not how many calories or containers I consumed, but how much water I drank. Now, I see you adding up all these ounces and wondering, how the heck am I going to drink all that water? Well, that’s a topic for another whole different post, but I promise it can be done.
- Reserve one yellow container for oatmeal every day. Oatmeal from steel-cut oats is part of the 21 Day Fix plan, AND oatmeal is a food known to promote milk supply. So every day, I reserved one of my yellow containers for oatmeal while I was breastfeeding. It’s an easy way to stay on the plan, and to enhance your milk supply at the same time.
- Reserve one red container for a dairy-based protein every day. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, this tip obviously won’t help you. But I am neither, and I noticed if I ate greek yogurt or cottage cheese every day while following the 21 Day Fix program, my milk supply stayed intact. Maybe it was more of a mental thing for me – I’m producing milk of my own, so I shall consume milk-based products. But whether it was a mental or biological result, it worked for me!
- Use full-fat options when applicable. Several moms who breastfeed are concerned with having enough fat in their milk. Breastfeeding is not a time to skimp on healthy fat. You want to make sure you are consuming enough fat in your diet, especially when using the 21 Day Fix program to lose weight while breastfeeding. Low-fat options tend to have more sugar, anyway. I always ate full fat greek yogurt or cottage cheese, for instance – on purpose! And again, I was able to lose weight on 21 Day Fix, while doing this.
I understand wanting to lose weight after having a baby, and I also have experienced the frustration of the weight hanging around, especially when still breastfeeding. I had tremendous success with these unwanted pounds using the 21 Day Fix program, and I hope, using these tips, you can have the same success!
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