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Fasting while breastfeeding

(27 Posts)
Highlove Tue 24-Jan-17 21:43:43

Just wondered if anyone had done this, how they'd got on and if they'd tweaked their diet accordingly? And how has it worked out, in terms of how tough it's been and weight loss?

If it's relevant, DC2 is approaching six months, so supply well established. We've not started weaning yet so she's fully BF still. I'm about two stone over what I'd like to be, a good stone or so over having a BMI of 25.

Interested to hear others' experiences.

OP’s posts: |
Highlove Wed 25-Jan-17 18:45:48


OP’s posts: |
kilmuir Wed 25-Jan-17 18:46:49

I would wait until you are properly weaning

Skala123 Wed 25-Jan-17 18:52:29

I dropped down to 1100 cals a day when breastfeeding and me and my milk supply were fine

Summer23 Wed 25-Jan-17 18:58:20

I don't thinks it's advisable to fast whilst still breastfeeding fully. Just adjust your diet to eat healthily without fasting. Think you could make yourself ill fasting whilst breastfeeding, you need the calories.

Highlove Thu 26-Jan-17 09:12:54

Ok thanks. I know you can do it while BFing as did with my first but she was much older and well established on solids. I'm just a bit desperate for a boost!

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Summer23 Thu 26-Jan-17 19:04:42

You'll need to think of something else for now, doing some kind of exercise might help if you're not already. Good me time and makes you feel better.

SydneyCarton Thu 26-Jan-17 21:20:10

I'm breastfeeding (literally right now!) and have allowed myself 700 calories on fast days. Baby is 9 months old and solids have recently really taken off so only a couple of feeds in the day but quite a few at night due to crap sleep. It's been 3 weeks so far, although I have done 5:2 before, and it's going okay. I've not had any headaches or weakness etc and she doesn't seem to be having any problems. I'd wait till you've got weaning going, then start at 1000 calories on fast days and gradually drop down as her solid intake increases.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 29-Jan-17 20:12:11

If you are BFing, it is recommended to start at 1000 cals and optionally reduce to 700 cals as you get used to fasting.
You can always increase again to 1000 cals if you get ravenous during say a growth spurt.

Plenty of info & support on the main 5:2 thread, currently #66

BigChocFrenzy Sun 29-Jan-17 20:13:44

Many 5:2ers have successfully managed to lose weight while BFing, including EBF or tandem feeding.

JeopardyMouse Wed 01-Feb-17 23:47:05

Yep I'm doing it currently. Fasted before I was pregnant, stopped while pregnant, restarted when DD was five months. Hasn't affected supply at all - and DD is on the 90th Centile. I try to eat one meal a day but listen to my body and eat lunch if needed. Works great and is the only way I can lose weight. Tried every diet under the sun and it's IF that's effective.

Highlove Thu 02-Feb-17 18:50:02

Thanks Jeopardy. Do you stick with the 500 Cala or allow more?

I've done two FD days now and managed about 750/800 each time - felt OK at that level but would have struggled to get under that. Though based on what BigChoc says I think that's fine.

I've done 5:2 in the past and it worked brilliantly. In fact was BFing DC1 the first time, but she was much older, well established on solids and sleeping more reliably!

OP’s posts: |
JeopardyMouse Thu 02-Feb-17 19:04:33

No I don't do 5:2 I just try and eat once a day, every day, and have a normal, fairly low carb, meal. I find that eases the pressure on me having to calorie count and does the trick of shifting the weight. I feel often better when fasting, but if I don't then I will eat. I drink lots too.

JeopardyMouse Thu 02-Feb-17 19:05:53

People tend to freak if you mention fasting and breastfeeding together but done sensibly and building up slowly I think it can be perfectly safe. Good luck.

jessplussomeonenew Thu 02-Feb-17 19:12:22

Do watch your calcium levels - bf uses a lot and I found even on a normal diet it wasn't easy to get enough even for a non-bf adult.

Highlove Thu 02-Feb-17 19:41:08

Do you do that every day, Jeopardy? Wow!

Thanks Jess. Have loads of dairy so should be fine.

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JeopardyMouse Thu 02-Feb-17 20:00:21

Yes normally. But I have a lot of weight to lose - 4st - and I only do it because it makes me feel good. I would stop if I felt in any way faint, sick or ill. I'm not recommending it as a regime - just letting you know what works for me. I think that's the most important part - do what is good for you. I have a nutrient rich diet high in healthy fats, dairy products and meat and veg. All the best!

gardengirl88 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:29:49

I've 5:2d basically since my dd2 was born in January and bf the whole time without any supply issues. It's the tiredness from no sleep that sometimes thwarts my fasts, not because I 'need' the food or am hungry.

I've definitely found lowering carbs helps control cravings and so combine that with regular 5:2. Main thing for me with bf is drinking loads of water.

gardengirl88 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:30:07

As in, last January!

Highlove Thu 02-Feb-17 20:46:21

Oh great - good to know. How much have you lost? (If you don't mind me asking!)

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gardengirl88 Thu 02-Feb-17 21:28:42

It's all blurring into the haze of those first 6 months but from memory I had about 10kg to lose and managed to drop the first 6 pretty quickly. The last 4 were harder...I still have another 1-2 to go before I am back to pre-DC and feeling really trim. I am quite tall though and lowish bmi. My (unscientific) theory is that bf holds onto that last stubborn fat! Doing HIIt has worked wonders though for my general outlook and helps appetite hugely.

gardengirl88 Thu 02-Feb-17 21:29:24

Sorry f this is garbled. I am feeding and thus using my left hand to type!

mickdundee Sun 12-Mar-17 12:46:56

I'm exclusively breastfeeding and I've just restarted fasting, I have a 2 month old and so it's been nearly a year since I stopped when I got pregnant. I'm drinking a lot and I won't eat till tonight, but I think I'll eat as much as I want to (within reason!) as opposed to keeping it light. So far it's going ok, he's been feeding as usual. Touch wood I'll be able to keep this up twice a week as I used to.

OneOrgasmicBirthPlease Wed 22-Mar-17 15:10:03

I did this with no problems.

A quick recap of my experience from a couple of years ago (I trawled through some old posts of mine for accuracy), it is all copied and pasted:

Written at the end of March 2015 (roughly 11 weeks after giving birth, still EBFeeding)

I have some baby weight to lose as I was a human dustbin while pregnant last year and managed to put on 24kg which is roughly 4st, more than a third of my normal weight! I was quite appalled when DD came out a dinky 7lbs4oz and, having weighed myself a week after giving birth, I found that I only lost a stone, BMI 24.5. Another stone came off by itself soon afterwards, but my weight plateaued at 11.5st, leaving me with another two stone to lose. I was hoping it would come off effortlessly, but my carby pregnancy habits and a life-long love of sweets got in the way. I started 5:2 within a month of giving birth and initially I was losing 2lbs a week, which then became 1lb a week.

At that point, I reassessed what I was doing since I felt as though I was fasting an awful lot without seeing particularly quick results, especially in terms of reduced cravings. I guess I don't have a lot of patience and find not being able to fit into any of my own clothes quite depressing. I decided to give 4:3 a try and have been sticking to it for a couple of weeks now. I also picked up tips from this board about using MFP for keeping track of my NFD calories and found that I was eating back some of them. Yesterday I weighed 10.9st, BMI 22. I want to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 9.7st, and I have now realistically accepted it will take months rather than weeks. I'd love some company along the way.

As for exercise, I have a nearly 4 year old DS, who keeps me reasonably active, and used to practice yoga most days a week before I became pregnant again. I am now slowly getting back to it. DD is 11 weeks and EBF, but unfortunately I don't find that I am losing an awful lot of weight just through feeding. 5:2 or 4:3 has had absolutely no effect on my supply as far as I can tell and DD is gaining weight along her percentile.

I tend to fast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or Saturdays. Getting back into yoga makes avoiding food a lot easier as it is always a rush trying to get the kids to the gym crèche before the class and I am then not around snacks.

As for FD kcals, I tend to aim for 500-600. I am still hungry on a 1000kcals, and I find I don't lose as much weight to keep myself motivated long term, but I decreased the calories gradually as I did not want to affect my milk supply or my mood too much.

My top tips for bfeeding fasters - lots of tea and frequent naps. Easier said than done, I know!


A month later, I reached my target weight and then stopped doing 5:2, but now I am back on ADF as I started putting the weight back on because chocolate.

Best of luck with the fasting.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 22-Mar-17 17:35:58

iirc, Mosely and Varady recommend BFiers have 1,000 FDs
On our threads, many women start at this on EBF, but usually move gradually down to about 700 FDs

So far, they have all reported supply is ok, but obviously if you feel it is affecting things, then don't fast.

What is important is that you fully recover from birth, so give yourself at least 3 months before starting 5:2

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