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  • Breastfeeding, PB and weight loss

    I am breastfeeding my 7-month old baby and after 3-4 months postpartum, I could not and still cannot lose any more weight, no matter what I do. I eat according to Weston A. Price and recently PB principles and the scale and measuring tapes won't budge. My body fat percentage is 24.9% and I used to be about 19% before pregnancy. I tried turbo exercising and then I took a 3-week break from exercising, except for light walking and Iyengar yoga. I am now doing Primal fitness with no results. I know that some people say you won't lose weight until you stop breastfeeding (which I don't plan to do until my daughter is 2 years old) because your body wants to hang on to fat for your breastmilk in case of famine times. However, why do I have so many breastfeeding friends that have lost all their baby weight and more? They eat whatever they want and hardly exercise. What am I doing wrong? I will add that I am hypothyroid and taking dessicated porcine thyroid, but even that doesn't help!

    What am I doing wrong? I can't imagine maintaining this body weight until my baby weans from the breast! I have no clothes that fit me and don't want to buy a new wardrobe. Help!

  • #2
    I wanted to add a question: how can I trick my body into using my fat reserves - how can I make my body know that a famine is not in the future?

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    • #3
      I am breastfeeding my 15 month old and am hanging on to weight also. I know where you are coming from with not wanting to buy a whole new wardrobe. I stopped loosing weight at about 2 months postpartum and kept it all on pretty much until a few months ago when I went primal. I just figured that it was more important for me to breastfeed my son and be fat than for him to eat formula and me probably still be fat. I don't know if this helps you but the weight WILL come off eventually it just takes some time. Have you seen the website http://theshapeofamother.com/ This is a beautiful website that really helped me be at peace with my body.
      My blog - About me, my family, and my hobbies!

      *Please ignore my horrible typing and grammar I am usually typing it all on my very uncooperative phone*

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      • #4
        Also, how long have you been primal? Are you eating enough fat? I went primal on March 7th so I have not been doing this very long at all but within the 2 months I lost 18 pounds but the first 2 weeks I did not lose weight because I wasn't eating enough fat.
        My blog - About me, my family, and my hobbies!

        *Please ignore my horrible typing and grammar I am usually typing it all on my very uncooperative phone*

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        • #5
          I have been eating high fat, moderate protein, lower carb - (probably still at 150g) all through third trimester and postpartum. I probably take in about 120-220 grams of fat per day according to my food logs on Fitday.com. I now eat less than 100g carbs a day. I have been doing the less than 100g for about two weeks with no weight-loss results. My fat comes from bacon, raw butter, heavy cream, cheese, grass-fed beef, dark meat free-range poultry, some raw whole milk, etc. I have been eating according to Weston A. Price principles for about 4 months - they emphasize all traditional foods, high fat, cod liver oil, etc. I probably eat an average of 2300 calories a day and according to my BMR, which includes a calculation for breastfeeding, I should eat 2700 calories to maintain my weight.
          What constitutes enough fat?

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          • #6
            It looks like your eating enough fat to me but I have only been doing this for a few months so maybe someone else can chime in, but it looks like enough. You could try cutting out all dairy, a lot of people say it helps them lose the weight. Do you like coconut? When I eat coconut milk or coconut oil I know the weight comes off a lot faster. You can also try fasting, I thought I would DIE without eating every 5 hours, but now I do 2 24 hour fasts a week, it makes me feel great! When I was pregnant my midwife had me eating ever hour to stop the morning sickness (it worked) so for me to go a whole day without eating was wonderful and freeing! And it has not messed with my milk supply at all.
            My blog - About me, my family, and my hobbies!

            *Please ignore my horrible typing and grammar I am usually typing it all on my very uncooperative phone*

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            • #7
              It's been a long time since i breastfed (my youngest is 14 :-) ) but I didn't lose weight until I stopped each time. Then an instant 15-20pounds just dropped off. Some of that is just personal body differences. Some people's bodies hang onto that weight naturally, some people don't. It was probably a very healthy thing to be able to keep that fat on for longer without much maintenance back in the day... not that that makes you feel any better!

              I'll let the other currently breastfeeding primals jump in on the specifics, but I'm thinking that maybe you might hit the same roadblocks that non-breastfeeding women around here do. One is dairy. For some of us dairy stops weight loss cold. For some, not so much... so that's a possibility.

              Also, just wondering how you're calculating your BMR. A few hundred calories off there might be a difference, too. (Not that I'm saying it's wrong at all, just a possibility. I know my BMR is supposedly 1600 resting according to the machine at the doctor's but I'm not all that sure about the accuracy of that as well.)

              Just a couple of thoughts...
              sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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              • #8
                ktwintz,

                I was similarly confused when I actually gained weight on this diet protocol. I had a feeling it had to do with breastfeeding, but I'm not so sure now.

                I can share with you some things that I think are helping me. I made some mistakes and learned from them. I'm breastfeeding my two year old boy (still quite often), and I just found out I have hashimoto's. The second month into the change in diet from gluten free to grain and sugar free I suddenly gained 10 pounds in one month. I've been experimenting with how to loose that weight (which was fat, not muscle), and I think I've discovered some things you might want to think about.

                At first, I was baking and eating a lot of nut flour breads and cakes. I was also eating tons of protein, way more than I needed. I was also eating tons of homemade yoghurt and fruit smoothies: so basically I was not tracking on FitDay. I've learned:

                -I can't handle nuts at all. I over eat them, and they make me feel, well, just weird. No nuts.
                -On a similar note, there was a need to balance out my omega 3s and 6s.
                -Fruit makes me feel similarly weird and out of control. So no fruit at all.
                -I learned that I should be keeping my protein to around 100g per day.
                -I can skip breakfast when I'm not hungry.
                -Yoghurt I'm still experimenting with, but it feels nourishing and I really enjoy eating it.
                -I can't have cream (surprisingly), because it makes me fuzzy in the head and my vision goes blurry. (This was explained to me by my acupuncturist as a symptom of spleen qi dampness, which translates into having trouble digesting sugar and high fat dairy-other explanations welcome, I can still handle butter)
                -I need to sprint, get my endorphins going once or twice a week. My knees prefer the stationary bike sprints.
                -Yoga, yoga, yoga, yoga! Lowers cortisol. 2 times per week.
                -Obviously, for me, Hashimoto's is a factor. Don't rule out a change in your hormone replacement needs.
                -Vitamin D3 1000iu per 25 pounds of body weight makes me feel much stronger and wanting to pump some iron.
                -The most IMPORTANT: Learning to love myself: Being very, very gentle! Taking stress out of my life. No guilt. Reconnect with nature. Do things I LOVE everyday, things that nourish me other than food. And patience.

                After 3 months, after all this experimenting, I'm finally seeing results in the mirror. I refuse to weigh myself until I'm absolutely sure I won't be disappointed.

                Good luck, and I hope some of this helps you!

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                • #9
                  I really appreciate everyone's comments and personal stories. I have tried dairy-free and gluten-free simultaneously and didn't lose a single pound. I really like dairy and it doesn't seem to affect me negatively, so I will continue. I am gluten-free for sure. I think the fasts could work, but I'm skeptical because won't my body hold onto fat because it senses famine? Also, I'm afraid of it stopping milk production, but I guess I could try it one day and see what happens.
                  Fern - you fast two days a week? My baby is not eating solids yet, so I need to have ample milk production. I just purchased a fenugreek supplement because I was thinking of taking that while I fast. I used to do 7-10 day juice fasts pre-pregnancy and I felt great, but maybe that set my metabolism up for failure now because it doesn't want me to do that again?
                  I don't know. I'm so confused because I am hypothyroid too, but my porcine thyroid supplements make me have heart palpitations at only 30mg a day.
                  Ultimately I know being 10-15 pounds overweight is less important than my baby's health, but it is frustrating.

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                  • #10
                    From skimming this thread it seems to me that breastfeeding mother's cannot lose weight - which is probably a good thing from an evolutionary perspective. Someone else may be able to confirm whether this is so.

                    But if so I recommend you hold off worrying about losing weight until you stop breastfeeding.
                    A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                    • #11
                      I've breastfed two little bisousettes and had identical experiences: Gained 60 pounds in pregnancy (I would get very sick throughout if I didn't eat every three hours, and often had to eat in the middle of the night, too, and though it was mostly "real" food there were a lot of bowls of cereal in the middle of the night. Didn't know what I know now and maybe I can keep the gain down a touch if I go for #3). However, despite the mega-gain => Lost 40 pounds within 7 weeks post-partum each time. Nothing like standing on the scale each morning and losing 4 pounds daily for a week! Then plateau. Exclusive breastfeeding 6 months, then baby started to eat solids - that weekend lost 5 pounds and one pants size. 9 months - kiddo eats more foods, lost another 5 pounds. With kiddo number one, I weaned at 13 months, and very rapidly lost all but the last 3 pounds. Then started on kiddo number two! Rinse, repeat, but for some reason kept on the last horrible 10 pounds. The weekend after I weaned her, I went on a nutritionist-recommended mostly paleo diet, and as of now, 6 weeks after weaning, I've lost 17 pounds and still going at a steady clip.

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                      • #12
                        I used to be an LLL leader & met lots of breastfeeding women. Some women lost really fast while breastfeeding. A minority did not start loosing weight until the babe was about 12 - 18 months old and then lost really fast. Many of the women who lost weight fast at first began gaining again at that 12 - 18 month period, though. Chalk it up to genetic variability, perhaps?

                        Other thoughts: sleep deprivation. That'll keep you from loosing as well (ups the cortisol). Also, watch the dairy. I did WAPF-style diet for about 10 years and I know they emphasize the raw dairy, which is great if you can tolerate it. I've found it does funky things to my blood sugar which keeps me from losing weight. Cheese included, too. See what happens if you stop the dairy for a month or so. Also I don't think their emphasis on cod liver oil is all it's cracked up to be. I found that among the WAPF people I know, the ones that *also* supplement with Vit D get sick less than the people who just do the cod liver oil.


                        Be easy on yourself, though. Being a mom is a tough job, especially with the first one.

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                        • #13
                          I second that cortisol/lack of sleep can do it too.

                          And you say you're hypothyroid (as am I). That does make your system more sensitive to hormonal imbalances. Maybe you need a different amount of meds due to breastfeeding and the hormonal changes? Or maybe even a different type. Have you always done well on porcines? While I do think most people do better on porcines than synthetic, as always each body is different and I've met several who didn't fare well on them and did well on synthetics. Just something to consider.

                          I second the Vitamin D. Makes a huge difference and low vitamin d can stop weight loss as well.

                          And yes, the first one is super tough. I think I kind of forgot who I was for the first four months! So do take some time to relax and breathe... you really need it now more than ever!
                          sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ktwintz View Post
                            I am breastfeeding my 7-month old baby and after 3-4 months postpartum, I could not and still cannot lose any more weight, no matter what I do. I eat according to Weston A. Price and recently PB principles and the scale and measuring tapes won't budge. My body fat percentage is 24.9% and I used to be about 19% before pregnancy.
                            I'd try upping the produce....this really is a produce dominated diet when done 'correctly' - ie per Mark's guidelines and inline with the likely diet of 'an' environment of evolutionary adaptation. WAP is espouses 'traditional'- not paleo/not evolutionary. It's often far too high in grains and far too low in potassium and produce.

                            1)Consider tracking intake via nutritiondata.org for a few days or a week to see how much protein, fat, cals etc you're really taking in.
                            2)Be sure you're getting sufficient vitamin D - 1000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day except when you're able to get midday *summer* sun, in a bikini or less, with no sunscreen to the point just before a burn would occur. In Atlana, this is possible midmay to midsept. In Michigan, this is possible only in June, July and August. Above 55 lat, it's not possible at all.
                            3)the D alone could help jumpstart weight loss...it's possible - but even if it doesnt, it'll support improved thyroid function, energy levels, muscle strength etc
                            4)Consider feeding your baby egg yolk and liver.....his rapidly growing brain needs more iron, more zinc etc than breastmilk supplies. In traditional culures, we still see organ meat feeds as the first that baby gets in addition to breastmilk - usually at 4-6 mos. I made a huge mistake by holding off on solids as long as I did (being the hard core AP mom and LLL'er that I was, it was too easy to do)
                            5)when's the last time your thyroid was tested? what were your levels? not just TSH but everything?

                            Produce and a primal diet:
                            http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AV...drZnFmNw&hl=en

                            Vitamin D testing, levels, amounts:
                            http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AV...A0d3BjMw&hl=en

                            Originally posted by Beauty View Post
                            At first, I was baking and eating a lot of nut flour breads and cakes. I was also eating tons of protein, way more than I needed. I was also eating tons of homemade yoghurt and fruit smoothies: so basically I was not tracking on FitDay.
                            Also sounds like overall, you were just getting too many cals? It can absolutely happen.....totally happens to me. I just can't eat steak fried in butter with bacon grease poured over it

                            And I personally believe that flour from nuts is generally as problematic as flour from grains....though I can and do eat a small amount of nuts.
                            Originally posted by Beauty View Post
                            -Vitamin D3 1000iu per 25 pounds of body weight makes me feel much stronger
                            Cool! This is great to hear. I'm just now maintaining my levels in the mid sixties (64 ng/mL at my last test) at this rate of supplementation.



                            iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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                            • #15
                              I lost all my baby weight within 12 weeks, plus an additional 5 pounds over the next month while breastfeeding my first child. My second child is now 13 weeks and I am still about 9 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. It has been very frustrating since I didn't have any problems the first time. I have tried tracking my food intake, and I have started running and sprinting again, but it hasn't made much of a difference. I have also tried some occasional fasting. I am wondering if my weight loss is different this time around because it's the second child, or has something to do with having a girl this time. It's good to hear that I'm not the only one struggling with this! I would also appreciate any insight or tips anyone has to offer.

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