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5:2 diet - safe if breastfeeding?

(27 Posts)
lucywiltshire Thu 18-Apr-13 22:32:18

I am really keen to start this diet with DH as need to lose the 3+ stone I put on during pregnancy but am breastfeeding 8 week old DS so am worried about effect on my milk. I have bought the book but no mention of breastfeeding so does that mean I can safely do the diet without it either reducing my milk supply of making my milk too thin/watery?

Patilla Sun 26-Oct-14 23:16:50

I haven't done SW for years but it's still fairly similar. I'd recommend it as a bfeeding friendly diet. Might be worth giving it a go if you're desperate to change things. As a minimum it should help stop things getting worse during those sleep deprived days when you crave high energy foods.
And congrats on your baby and the bf.

bakingtins Sat 25-Oct-14 22:42:29

You are supposed to base your meals on 'free' foods, lean meat/fish, pasta/rice/ couscous/ potato and fresh or tinned fruit/veg, with at least 1/3 of every meal fruit or veg. If you are breastfeeding you get additional allowances of fibre ( bread/ cereal) and calcium ( milk/ cheese) containing 'healthy extras' which means you can not worry too much about counting these. Anything processed/'naughty' is counted as 'syns'.

Emms79 Sat 25-Oct-14 13:51:25

Wow 23lbs that's amazing! If I could lose that I would be over the moon! How does the sw diet work roughly?

bakingtins Sat 25-Oct-14 08:03:48

You need about 500 cals a day for exBF on top of your normal TDEE ( total daily energy expenditure ) which is likely to be 1700-2000 cals. there are various online calculators will work it out for you based on height, weight and activity. I think 5:2 is too drastic esp early on in your postnatal journey. I'm BF 5m old DD and have lost 23 lb so far, starting when she was 6 weeks old, just by loosely following SW, which is approved for BF and not eating the extra 500 cals as cake.

Clairol19 Sat 25-Oct-14 07:04:21

I've been taking supplements that are safe for breast feeding and make no difference to the health of the baby but alllll the difference to mine! Plus I'm not starving smile

Patilla Fri 24-Oct-14 23:56:29

No don't give up it's such a short period of time and such precious memories.

Dd(18 months) has the best chuckle when I ask if she wants milk. They are lovely times. Even when she tries to stick her foot in my mouth!

Emms79 Fri 24-Oct-14 21:14:10


Emms79 Fri 24-Oct-14 21:13:44

Thank you Patilla, i did even go as far as considering quitting nursing but when it came to it I just couldn't do it, I love nursing my baby so much. I'm just feeling so uncomfortable with my appearance at the moment and would live to drop some lbs! My baby is 3 months old now so I guess if I'm going to wait until around weaning I'm half way there!

Patilla Fri 24-Oct-14 18:13:39

I wouldn't do it until weaning was taking place which tend to naturally decrease demands of milk and therefore demand on your body. Fasting while going through growth spurts would be extremely difficult I would imagine.

I say that as someone now doing the fast diet and breaastfeeding, but DD is eighteen months and only feeds morning and night.

Your body is very possibly still recovering from pregnancy and you are sustaining another person. Give yourself a chance to get back on your feet, you've done amazing things with your body and continue to do so.

Emms79 Fri 24-Oct-14 17:53:00


Emms79 Fri 24-Oct-14 17:52:35

I to am thinking of starting this as I did it before I feel pregnant and lost lots of weight, I haven't gained loads during pregnancy but enough to make me feel self conscious ��
I would also stop if my milk supply became affected but let's face it getting back into those jeans would be a great feeling!

Charliebarry1 Wed 10-Jul-13 16:34:24

hi. my baby is now 10 months old. i put all my weight on after i'd had her as my body stored fat to ensure milk was there. i had to forget about the weight loss as by baby's wellbeing had to take over. when i ate less, my milk supply went down.

now my supply is there no matter what and im only feeding her morning and lunch time, (i give her formula before she goes to bed) i have just started the 5:2 diet. im trying to find out if i need to maybe increase the calories on fast days by 200 or something?

going on a diet is one of those things that has to go on hold when you're breastfeeding a young baby unfortunately. it doesnt last forever though.

Emilythornesbff Wed 03-Jul-13 13:21:05

I have been doing 5:2 for about 11weeks. Ebf baby who is now five months old.
I take my vitamins every day and have lost 1st 9lb.
Baby is thriving.
My BMI has gone from 25to 21.
Not for everyone but I have found it easier than"healthy eating".
You will lose weight (probably) just from feeding.
I did with DC1.

moustachio Wed 03-Jul-13 11:41:36

I wouldn't. Really wouldn't! I put most of my weight on when I was breastfeeding because I was so tired from lack of sleep from having a new born + having constant cluster feeds for the first 6 months!

Seriously just keep to a safe, even calorie count with reasonable exercise. Taking your dc out in the pram etc. You're nourishing your baby through your milk, why would you want to jepordize that??

Theyoniwayisnorthwards Tue 02-Jul-13 08:27:43

Micheal Mosley did a web chat on here in which he said he would not suggest breastfeeding mothers fast, I think his reasoning was that there is already enough demands on your body.

I totally get where you are coming from, I am trying to lose my baby weight while breastfeeding too but at only 8 weeks could you not give yourself a bit more time? Another month or so? My weight is coming off now with reduced portions, less carbs and running with the C25K app.

Marking place - bf'ing 10 week old and have about two stone to lose. My appetite is huge though ��

MollyMollyMolly Tue 02-Jul-13 00:35:58

No. Drastic dieting is not for breastfeeders. You are feeding your baby solely and therefore you need to make sure you have at least 2000 calories per day. If you stick to that you should find that you can lose weight naturally as you should use up about 500 in milk production each day. To drastically reduce your calorie intake will reduce your supply and cause problems when your baby is trying to feed. I breastfed for 7 years in total with my children and noticed when I was ill and not eating that my milk supply dropped a lot.

How is it going lucywiltshire, Doigetastickerforthat? I'm thinking of giving it a try. Do you feel tired on fast days?

lucywiltshire Fri 19-Apr-13 15:53:45

DoIgetastickerforthat - thank you - I am so glad to hear from someone in my situation who is doing it. I intend to have brekkie and supper so won't be going too long between eating. I am also going to do Mondays and Thursdays. I am excited about it - can't wait to look like a woman and not a hippo

DoIgetastickerforthat Fri 19-Apr-13 14:10:34

I've just started the 5:2 (2nd fast today) and am currently breast feeding a three month old. I have upped the calorie intake to between 7 and 8 hundred on fast days and making sure I don't go longer than 18 hrs without eating. Plenty of fluids and ensuring that the food is nutrient dense, I think, will ensure no drop on milk quality or quantity (of anything it'll improve as I'm taking far more care over the nutritional side of things than I usually do).

I'm also, from next week, going to fast Mondays and Thursdays so that there is a good break between each fast and then make sure i'm having my full calorie load on non fast days. Honestly, I can't see it having a detrimental effect on bfing, women throughout history have nursed their babies on far fewer calories but we're all here to tell the tale.

lucywiltshire Fri 19-Apr-13 13:41:48

Thanks very much breastfeedingquest. I plan to have two boiled eggs, smoked salmon and ryvita for breakfast, fruit for lunch and then chicken/white fish/prawns with stir fried veg for supper. This would be within the 500 cal guidelines of the diet and as I will be eating my usual big portions of everything on the other 5 days of the week I hope my milk will be fine. If it isn't I will stop immediately. I have put on so much weight I am sure everything will be fine as I have enough body fat to make my milk rich and creamy and plentiful (I hope).

BreastfeedingQuest Fri 19-Apr-13 09:41:02

You are right to be worried about dieting and breastfeeding. Breast milk production is a smart mechanism. It will pull all the necessary nutrients out of your stores if they are not readily available from foods you eat. So I wouldn't be so worried about the quality of milk. It won't be affected for some time. It is your health, health of your skin, nails, hair that is going to be affected if the diet is severe.
You may, however, experience some drop in milk supply. It really depends on the characteristics of your body.
I have a page on my site where I compiled all the important info on breastfeeding diet and nutrition. Here it is, if you are interested: It will give you a good idea about the nutrients requirements for a breastfeeding mother.

lucywiltshire Thu 18-Apr-13 23:18:42

Thanks for the kellymom link - very interesting. I don't want to fast particularly but want to lose weight for various reasons and this diet seems a healthy one in terms of cancer prevention etc.

What does TDEE mean?

I am hoping that my calorie intake on the two "fasting" days can be higher because I am breastfeeding!

newbiefrugalgal Thu 18-Apr-13 22:43:35

I wonder if you can modify your 'fast' 500kj day like weight watchers do for breastfeeding women -or give them more points.

What is your TDEE?
Maybe try something between the two?
Or plan three very healthy low cal dishes two days a week. Spread them out so they don't interrupt milk supply?
Not sure really don't think you can follow 5:2 exactly but a modified version might work for you?

Tortington Thu 18-Apr-13 22:36:53


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