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Thread: Breastfeeding, PB and weight loss page

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    ktwintz's Avatar
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    Exclamation Breastfeeding, PB and weight loss

    Primal Fuel
    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!

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    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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    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.

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    Fern's Avatar
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    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.

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    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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    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.

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    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...
    "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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    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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    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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    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.

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