Best diet whilst breastfeeding, feeling shattered and always hungry?

(29 Posts)
Veggy Wed 29-Feb-12 13:58:42

I had my baby over 3 months ago and the 'just had a baby excuse' for being 4 stones over weight is wearing a bit thin! However, I'm tired and always hungry. Breastfeeding and tiredness both contribute to feeling hungry so how is it possible to loose weight? Also, I'm convinced breast feeding makes the body grip onto fat.
Does anyone have any diets they'd recommend? I do moderate exercise and also have a 5 year old so I'm pretty active. But the scales don't budge as I eat like a horse! Help me .... How do I curb my hunger and resist the snack drawer?

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Wed 29-Feb-12 16:08:28

I did Rosemary Conley whilst breastfeeding, and it didn't affect my milk supply.

One massive tip is to drink loads of water...looking back now I confused thirst and hunger while bfing which led to weight gain.

This website is great for info.

titferbrains Wed 29-Feb-12 20:36:21

watching thread to see if anyone else has tips. Am in the same position with a 6mo and a 3yo. Planning to do more long walks (1hr plus) during the week in an effort to get fitter but not sure where to start re: diet and coping with hunger and I'm only really bfing at night, plus the odd feed between bottles during the day...

ShowOfHands Wed 29-Feb-12 20:48:49

I have a 6mo and a 4yo and have lost all the weight. I learnt the hard way the first time round that I needed to tackle it asap. With dd I didn't lose any weight until she was over a year old and it was because I was eating the wrong sorts of food and exhausted and stuck in the cycle you're in now. I wasn't so worried about how I looked tbh but I was always tired, wasn't enjoying dd and found that losing weight and getting some energy back helped with my self esteem.

I don't diet. I couldn't do it. I do eat healthily though. I am bfing a hefty 6mo so I get hungry so I have good, energy packed snacks in the house. So lots of oat based stuff, protein, smoothies, fruit etc. I don't eat sweets, chocolate or cake unless it's a special occasion. So I had some stuff at Christmas and on my birthday or if out for dinner because that's what treats are for. And actually they taste much nicer as a treat than they do as a regular thing.

I always have a bottle of water with me as bfing makes me quite thirsty. Thirst and hunger feel the same until you're actually dehydrated so it's good to get into the habit of making sure you're hydrated. Not over drinking, just learning what your actual thirst is instead of crashing and eating rubbish because you're getting dehydrated.

Exercise is the main thing tbh. I walk or cycle everywhere. I leave an hour earlier than I need to for the school run and I walk round the village. I walk a route which is slightly too long for the time I have so I have to hurry. I turn up to school red faced and out of breath every day with ds strapped to me, fast asleep due to the exercise. I also do some other form of exercise every day. So I've done the Shred, run when the weather's nice, have several Davina dvds and have been to Zumba.

I've lost 2.5 stones since ds was born and in a lot of ways am looking better than before I had him.

dukeofpork Wed 29-Feb-12 20:53:50

I was also in the same boat - until yesterday when I caught the d&v bug that ds1 had last week! Now I am half a stone lighter!
Not the best way to diet though! I'm another believer in lots of water and exercise being better than dieting for us bfeeders!

Sleepwhenidie Wed 29-Feb-12 21:01:20

Do you know what? I would say give yourself a break - you are breastfeeding and dealing with two small DC's whilst surviving on very little sleep. The last factor alone has been shown to spell disaster in terms of controlling appetite and cravings for all the things you shouldn't be eating!

For the time being I would try and put the focus on eating as healthily as possible, squeezing in exercise when you can. Rather than trying to lose weight, make sure you don't gain any more. Enjoy your newborn! Then plan to really go for the weight loss when you are sleeping properly and probably not breastfeeding. This should be such a short time, nothing in the scheme of things.

Re diet, low GI food and plenty of lean protein are key...think healthy rather than low calorie. Plenty of veg and some fruit.

Eggs and wholegrain toast or porridge and fruit for breakfast rather than cereal/White toast and jam.

Tuna/chicken/eggs/baked beans for lunch but with a salad/wrap or baked potato rather than a sandwich with lots of spreads/Mayo.

More lean meat or fish for dinner with stir fried/roast/steamed veg and a small portion of carbs - avoid refined ones such as pasta and white bread as far as you can though.

Include protein in snacks if you can too...a palmful of nuts, a hard boiled egg, some Greek yoghurt with berries, a skinny latte, a couple of squares of dark chocolate, miso soup, half an avocado, a small banana. These will all keep you feeling full and energised and hopefully away from the biscuits!

Try and do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day...a brisk walk with the buggy will do, a swim, yoga or exercise DVD session even better if/when you can.

If you follow the above you should feel much better for it and be in a great place to further adjust your diet and exercise regime when life is a bit calmer and you are sleeping better and can focus on yourself more?

Good luck smile

livealoha Wed 29-Feb-12 21:09:16

Slimming world it's so easy to do you can eat tons of good comfort type food jacket pots, spaghetti Bol, chilli and rice, eggs, bacon etc I have been doing it since I had my ds 3 1/2 yrs ago all through pregnancy ( kind of wink ) and now my dd is 9 weeks am really getting stuck in again. There is no need to be hungry with this diet smile

needthistowork Wed 29-Feb-12 21:11:33

I too have 4 st to lose and am breastfeeding a nearly 6 week old.

I joined myfitnesspal.com last week which i use to calculate the calaries in everything i eat and drink so i could see where i was going wrong (i was drinking 400-500 calaries a day in apple juice !). I have had snacks when hungry between meals but as im adding up the calaries and wanting to save some for an evening snack i have been making sure the snacks are lower in cals than before. It has also stoped me nibbling when im in the kitchen or finishing DS1s food.

The website also lets you trak the fat, carbs and protine but i havent got to that yet.

I have lost 5 pounds this first week

Veggy Wed 29-Feb-12 21:12:12

Thank you all. Yes, I suspect I am often thirsty rather than hungry as a often remember that I've not had any fluids form a couple if hours, yet have managed to find the time to eat a twix. Hmmm.
Showofhands -great tips. My walk to school is a long walk with hills, which I try do as often as I can. And tonight I did a 20 min run, so I hope that will be a thrice weekly habit.
I do need to nip the terrible eating though. I just eat way too much junk. It's awful. I must remind myself that I'm basically feeding my baby junk too which is a nasty thought. I do have a memory of someone recommending sugary foods to keep my milk sweet. Nonsense I know...
So, more fruit and protein and less toast and butter.
I need my energy back and I need to sort this out now!
Thanks all. X

Veggy Wed 29-Feb-12 21:18:14

Sorry, my typing is awful. Lots of spelling mistakes. I hope you can work out what I'm trying to say!
And yes, I will be a bit easy on myself. Being sleep deprived and looking after 2 kids isn't easy. But I'm sure it would be less exhausting if I wasnt so overweight. I want to be an energetic healthy mum, not a snoozing blob on the sofa encouraging her child to watch tv because she's too tired to play!

titferbrains Wed 29-Feb-12 21:31:03

SOH, respect! Sounds like a great approach. Can you post a list of your healthy snacks? I am rubbish at eating healthy snacks, I keep trackers in the cupboard and have one of those when I'm about to fall over...

foreverondiet Wed 29-Feb-12 23:15:23

Don't diet! Enjoy your baby and your food. Your baby is only 3 months old, its a great excuse.

When breastfeeding I am always starving and tired, not conducive to dieting.

When DS2 was 6 months old I was 3.5 stone overweight and I lost it over the next 6 months - as he ate solids, had bottles and we both slept all night.

If you must do anything I'd suggest eating more protein - base each meal on it, you might find it naturally curbs your appetite.

ShowOfHands Thu 01-Mar-12 09:17:14

titferbrains, I do have things like nutrigrain bars and cereal bars in the cupboard. I'm not super healthy at all. Usual things in the cupboards/fridge are...

Yoghurt (with fruit and granola)
Homemade flapjack (lots of seeds and nuts)
Seed and nuts
Hard boiled eggs
Smoothies
Batch cooked soup
Hard boiled eggs
Cereal
Fruit (some dried, lots of fresh)
Jelly (sugar free made with lots of fresh fruit in it)
Crackers with lean meat or cheese (crackers are usually rye/wholegrain)
I like having different fruit juices too and mixing. Have mixed pomegranate, raspberry and cranberry this morning. Cold with ice.
Carrot sticks/pitta with dip (humous and tzatziki, both homemade in the fridge atm)

DH also makes lunch for me at the same time as his packed lunch so there are wraps or salad or sandwiches or whatever in the fridge ready for lunchtime so if I'm busy or the baby's crashed out on me I don't have to worry about making stuff and end up resorting to snacks instead.

Veggy Thu 01-Mar-12 11:53:54

Excellent suggestions. I do need to up my protein. It's all carbs at the moment!

lovechoc Sat 03-Mar-12 19:40:49

Oh goodness, I'd say forget about weight loss just now whilst you're breastfeeding (IMO). You have enough to contend with without worrying about what foods you're eating, how many calories you're consuming, etc.

My advice would be just enjoy your children and once you have stopped breastfeeding then focus on your weight loss.

Women seem to want to do it all at once! I didn't really care about what I ate whilst breastfeeding (stopped bfing DS2 when he was 16 mo). It's only since I've been 'free', that I've genuinely felt like I can go out whenever I like (evening swims) and be strict about what I eat each day (limit treats - a contrast to what I was like at Christmas!).

I lost just over 2st after I had DS1 (when he was around 9 mo) but I pushed myself and had dizzy spells so I vowed never to do that to myself again. I'm a lot more sensible this time round.

lovechoc Sat 03-Mar-12 19:43:46

Agree with earlier poster and making sure you are not sleep deprived, wait until you are both sleeping through. I found this helped tremendously (DS2 started sleeping through the night last November). It is utter bliss, I tell you!! You feel like a human being again.

innerstrength Sat 03-Mar-12 19:49:57

Please please don't worry about dieting at all at this stage - I agree with the posters above who have said to wait until you have stopped breastfeeding.

The reason you are always hungry is because your body NEEDS extra calories right now. And you are probably exhausted.

Make the most of the one time in your life where you are ALLOWED to eat whatever you want - your body really does need it! You can tackle a diet when you have stopped breast feeding, and your body becomes your own again - at the moment it is not natural or good for you to be dieting.

Rocketfox Sat 03-Mar-12 22:01:22

You should definitely not beat yourself up about losing the weight but actually I disagree about this not being a good tome to start changing your habits. If you are 4 stone overweight you will be feeling tired and quite possibly a bit fed up and losing some weight may help to break some of the cycle of exhaustion. I think if you are bfing then its actually really easy to lose weight as you have a six hundred calorie deficit (give or take) built into every day!
Try looking a WW propoints which has a BFing option. I have lost 3 stone in 6 months since having DD and I feel absolutely fantastic. I think me feeling good about myself is good for the kids too and them seeing me eat piles of veg is a very positive influence. I do make it a rule though to never ever mention the words diet/weight/been naughty/treat etc in front of them. I have not been hungry at all but fill up on veg and fruit. It does take a bit of discipline but you have one life, one body etc and you own it to yourself to be the healthiest and fittest you can possibly be. You will feel and look better very very quickly. What do you gain by delaying doing something? Good luck!

titferbrains Tue 06-Mar-12 19:19:47

I know some of you are saying that we should forget about dieting for now and wait till baby sleeps thru/is older etc but I'm actually depressed and horrified by my flabby tummy, it seems enormous and I feel I look pregnant, and cannot really find clothes that hang nicely because my norks/tum are in the way.

My dd also made a comment about my big tummy getting bigger and actually asked me if I was having another baby (actually she stamped her feet and demanded another baby, but that's another story) and it did make me die a little inside. sad

We have to look after ourselves, I reckon I am being a pretty dreadful mummy atm because my self esteem is so low!

tralalala Tue 06-Mar-12 19:35:21

titfer - I lost about 2/3 stone in the last 6 months of DC3s life by not dieting as such but did these things:
1. More water
2. lots of healthy yummy snacks (vet sticks, radishes, mangetout, homous, seeds, berries, fruit (lots of different types), oatcakes, natural yoghurt,)
3. Huge bowl of porridge for brekkie - half water/milk
4. don't cut out cakes/biscuits/choc/bread just work out what you eat of it and replace 3/4 of it with the healthy stuff.
5. Do half an hour a day of exercise (walk, swim, zumba, pilates,)
5. Eat regularly but slowly, never skip meals (fucks with your metabolism)

worked for me and 2 years on I've kept it off and it's not a diet it's for life.

Rocketfox Tue 06-Mar-12 19:36:06

Oh titferbrains - I know just how you feel but you can turn things around very quickly so please don't despair. Losing the first few pounds gave me such an incredible boost and inspired the next few etc etc and it seemed to get easier and easier as I felt better and better and lighter and lighter. The discipline is hard but it helps just finding some "hooks" to have as your mantra e.g. "I've bloody well just squeezed a baby out of my fanjo, I am therefore perfectly strong enough to say no to a biscuit etc etc!" and not falling into the trap of "I deserve this (insert crap food or excessive portion) because.." but instead thinking " I deserve to be fit and healthy" etc. It was also very motivating to focus on becoming healthy for the DCs rather than trying to correct my "failure" of being "fat and ugly" (as I saw it). The increased confidence I had in my appearance was then an added bonus.

tralalala Tue 06-Mar-12 19:36:11

also you get so much more energy and will give your baby more nutrients good tastes. Everyones a winner.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Tue 06-Mar-12 19:36:12

I think the Paul McKenna method is very compatible with breastfeeding.
Here.

lovechoc Tue 06-Mar-12 19:40:26

I suppose it depends on how much pressure you want to put yourself under to look the perfect size whilst you are raising your children in the early years. I personally could not have coped with dieting whilst breastfeeding and being sleep deprived all at once. I was a wreck as it was without adding in dieting/exercising too. Fair enough, cut back on the cakes but I wouldn't be too strict about this tbh, you need to just enjoy the early months as much as you can. Before long, you'll have loads of time to worry over how to tackle the extra flab. I just kept wearing the same boring clothing until I was in a position to lose the weight (i.e. had several unbroken nights sleep). You need a sufficient amount of sleep in order to lose weight (you can google to find research on this). It is only logical to wait until you are in an optimum state of health (not sleep deprived) before tackling weight loss.

Sleepwhenidie Tue 06-Mar-12 19:50:34

titfer I don't think many people said forget about changing your diet or habits completely...most have recommended a more moderate approach, rather than trying to lose weight, putting the focus on eating healthily and fitting in some exercise. Chances are if you do this then you will start to feel and look better anyway, without putting yourself through the pressure of "being on a diet". You honestly shouldn't underestimate the effect sleep deprivation has on your appetite. Diets are tough enough without adding that extra stress, on top of dealing with babies.

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