SparkPeople calculates for weight loss so you have to make some adjustments because you want to calculate needs based on weight maintenance. So, using Spark, set up for weight maintenance using your pre-pregnancy weight. Then you will want to add 500 calories to both ends of the range calculated. THEN you will want to increase additional calories on days you are exercising. Does that make sense? It does seem backwards but if you think of it from an energy usage stand point it makes sense. If you are fit and healthy, you have an efficient metabolism and with breastfeeding requiring energy AND exercise requiring energy -- you have to supply that energy so the body can use the energy stores. You MAY see a slight increase in weight initially but don't freak out. That is a great sign that your body been in a perceived state of starvation and holding on to energy and within a week or so, you will start shifting things and see the scale move. Remember that you want it to move slowly so .5 pound to a pound a week of loss is good. Let me know if there are more questions I can help with.
Wow! Thank you both for your support and encouragement!
Tanya- I read the articles, thank you! It seems SO counterintutive! I never knew that you are actually burning closer to 700 cals a day breastfeeding and that the 500 number already accounts for some use of fat stores for milk production... am I understanding this right? Im definitely a little leery about eating more, but Ill give it a go.... So when I set my new numbers I should assume that by adding only 500 back that Im already running a 150-250 cal deficit?
Sounds like you may not be eating enough to support the activity level you are doing and the increased production needs of your baby so your body is holding on to maternal energy stores instead of using them. This article will explain more about that and help you determine how to adjust your plan to allow your body to use maternal energy stores. Some active, breastfeeding moms need 2500 or more calories a day and many find as long as they are making healthy choices, they can't eat too much -- the more they eat, the better their metabolism and milk supply. Give this article a read and let us know what questions you have.
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Many breastfeeding moms find it difficult to drop pounds while breastfeeding. Sometimes, our bodies try to hold on to that fat for breastmilk production. that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong, just that you may be one of those "lucky" souls.
Even when all the math is correct, there are more factors at play, especially when hormones are involved, and believe me (I'm sure I don't have to tell you this) breastfeeding does a umber on those! Our bodies are not calculators, and often don't cooperate the way we think they will, even when all numbers are correct. With just 12 or so pounds to go, you're going to be losing at most .25-.3 lbs per week. Many moms have found that that last 10-15 pounds just sticks until the baby weans. Keep doing what you're doing, though; having a healthy, strong body when that time comes will make the process MUCH easier.
Do realize that your body is different now that you have a baby; your pre-pregnancy weight may or may not be reasonable for you now. And let me say congratulations for your decision to breastfeed your four month old. You couldn't be doing a better thing for the baby, and as a former breastfeeding mom myself (to 17 months and 15 months respectively) I'm thrilled for you.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
Hi! Thanks for helping me! I am the happy mama of a 4 month old. I am exclusively breastfeeding him currently (no formula or solids). My weight loss has been at a standstill for a month, where I had been loosing a steady pound a week the six weeks before. I am 5'4", 132lbs currently. My pre-pregnancy weight was usually between 116-120lbs. I adjusted my sparkpeople account to reflect the six pound loss. I am currently eating between 1700-2200 calories, averaging 2100 calories. I have been measuring EVERYTHING for the past two weeks once I had seen no weightloss for two weeks. I burn at minimum 1600 cals through exercise, usually closer to 1700-1800. I added 500 calories to my spark range to accout for the exclusive breastfeeding. Can anyone make any sense of this? According to myplate.gov I would need to eat 2600 to maintain, considering my activity level and that I am exclusively breastfeeding a 4 month old... I am pretty sure I am not overestimating my food by THAT much, especially since I have been measuring... Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice? Encouragement? Thank you thank you!!
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