Balancing Milk Supply & Weight Loss

IMG_4690Most breastfeeding moms I talk to mention the struggle they have with wanting to lose weight while also maintaining their milk supply. This, by far, has been the hardest part of breastfeed (once we made our way past latching issues). Women are constantly under pressure to look a certain way and to lose the baby weight fast and new moms are in constant fear of not being able to feed their babies.

It took me nearly a year to get to a point where I understood what things worked for me to keep my supply up and to start losing weight. Today, I am going to share a little of what I have learned. I am not a dietician nor am I an expert, these are just things that I have learned that work for me – so take them at that and know that what worked for me may not work for you.

  • Be a maniac in logging your food – every single bite has got to be tracked. Knowing how your calorie intake affects your supply is crucial to understanding how many calories you need to eat in order to keep your supply up. Plus, all that mindless eating adds up.
  • Don’t be afraid to eat – seriously. I hear so many breastfeeding moms say they are eating 1200 or 1500 calories a day. This, simply put, is not enough to feed you and your baby. Very few people can actually survive on less than 1500 calories a day. It isn’t healthy. Calculate your BMR and add 300-500 calories to accommodate the burn from breastfeeding (roughly 20 calories per ounce produced) and try not to dip below this number. Bottom line … EAT. Food fuels you and your baby.
  • Be flexible – if you’ve calculated your BMR and added 500, but the scale isn’t moving try eating 100 calories more each day for a week and see if that moves the needle. If that doesn’t work, cut back to your BMR + 300 calories. Weight loss can stall if you are eating too much, but also if you are eating too little. The only way to know which is causing this for you is to keep testing it.
  • Hydrate – seriously. Drink all the water. The goal is at least half your body weight (if you weight 160, push to drink 80 ounces). If you drink caffeinated beverages, add a glass of water for every one you have.
  • Exercise – this is a nonnegotiable for me. Even if it is adding a 30 minute walk every day, move your body. And like I mentioned last week, make it a priority and commit to yourself.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – if you want a cookie. Eat a damn cookie. For real. Denying yourself the cookie will only lead to bingeing later.
  • Know one size does not fit all – just because this worked for me, does not mean it will work with you.
  • Be patient – do not expect to lose 80 pounds in 2 months. Most importantly, know that not losing weight is ok. Focus on being healthy and feeling good. Once you drop the pressure on yourself and just focus on doing what is right and good, the weight will find its way off.

Breastfeeding & Fitness

IMG_4688Breastfeeding and weight loss go together like peanut butter and jelly, at least according to anyone who claims to have known a mom who breastfed.

“The weight will fall right off” they say. Right, ok.

Sure, you burn more calories producing food for your baby – you are still feeding two people. But, the rumor┬áthat breastfeeding burns wicked calories can also make a new mom wonder what she is doing wrong when she doesn’t lose weight. And the last thing a new mom should feel is guilt for not losing weight.

For me, there was a brief honeymoon period where I lost weight and was able to eat a batch of lactation cookies a week. But, that changed pretty much as soon as I went back to work and had to stop eating dairy for the little man. I went from having no time running around at home to sitting for 8 hours a day, snacking and binging on Oreos (no dairy, hallelujah). It took me more than six months to get into a rhythm with my health and fitness.

As moms, we are expected to put ourselves last. But, in reality taking time to work on YOU is not only beneficial, it is necessary. You can’t drink from an empty cup. This is especially true for working moms who are doing their best to stay committed at work and being present for their family.

While I am still relatively new to this journey, I have learned some crucial tips to filling my cup back up and losing weight while also taking care of Mr. Little Man and keeping my supply consistent.

  • Make you a priority – you are worth taking the time for yourself. Your goals matter. Your health matters – to you and to your family.
  • Make fitness a priority – find something you love and enjoy – walking, running, dancing, weight lifting – whatever it is, find it and enjoy it.
  • Schedule your workouts and commit – being consistent is how you build a habit. If working out at night is something you struggle with, schedule you workout in the morning and set your alarm. If you don’t do mornings, get it in after work. Either way, schedule it and make it a part of your daily routine.
  • Plan your meals – on Sunday prep your lunches for the work week, portion them so you can just grab and go, boil some eggs, portion veggies and fruit.
  • Log everything – every bite you take, log it – even nibbles you steal from your kid’s plates. Pay attention to portions and eat your veggies and your fruit.
  • Don’t focus on the scale – focus on how you feel. If you just nailed your fastest mile, memorize how that felt and remember that feeling when you want to quit.

Next week, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned on balancing diet, exercise and milk supply.

Getting Back To Fit

IMG_4689We’ve all heard the big lie … well at least those moms who opted to breastfeed their babes. You’ll burn crazy calories. The weight will melt off. Yeah. Right.

Well, I suppose this was kind of true for me, at least early on. I was 10 pounds below my pregnancy weight when I went back to work. I was able to pump and keep nursing, which was my biggest goal. I didn’t even worry about losing weight. Until the weight started creeping back on a few months after going back to work.

At home, I stayed busy and didn’t have time to eat. But, back at work I had time to snack and I had mom guilt that I tried to eat my way through. The pounds starting packing back on and within a few months I was back to my pregnancy weight and close to the heaviest I have ever been.

I was tired and I felt completely miserable. I knew I needed to make a change, but I was terrified of losing my supply. The Milk Gods had blessed me with an oversupply and I was able to feed my little munchkin and donate to a few moms and their littles. While I loved having the ability to help others, it put added pressure on me to produce.

The tipping point came in May. I needed new pants – literally NOTHING fit. In the dressing room I could feel my face turning red and my eyes welling up as I slipped into the size 18 pants. I fought the tears off when even those were snug and I swallowed my pride as I went to the register. When I met my husband outside the store I told him I was done. I will never buy that size ever again. That Monday, I restarted 21 Day IMG_4454Fix and recommitted to my eating plan.

Every morning, I got up and I pushed play. Every day I logged every single bite of food. I remained focused and it paid off. In my first 3 weeks, I lost over 8 pounds and almost 10 inches. I’m now in week 5 and planning to do 3 more weeks. I am already down 12 pounds and I feel so much better. My energy levels are up and I am starting to fit into smaller clothes. I cannot wait to share my next round of results.

And the best part? My milk supply has stayed up. Mama is getting herself fit and Mr. Little Man is staying fed. Stay tuned for some tips from my experiences and lessons I have learned.

Getting Back to Me

IMG_1964Despite my goals and plans to stay healthy and active during pregnancy, I did not stick to my plan. I gave into cravings and ate all the cupcakes and cheeseburgers I wanted. In spite of this, I only gained 14 pounds … basically, all baby and pregnancy weight. I do not know how this happened.

I am now one week postpartum and am 6 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, which was about 20 pounds above my pre-wedding weight.

Once I get the all clear from the doctor in five more weeks, I’ll be back on the health and fitness train. The plan now is to kick it off with 21 Day Fix.

Why do I do this?

Sometimes really terrible ideas will randomly sound completely genius. Like when the president of your company and your boss decide to start a half marathon training group. You think, oh, awesome team building AND I can get into running. Plus, this provides some pretty steep accountability, so I can’t fail, right?

All good in theory – but, if you’ve read any of my past posts on training for a 5K or starting to run, you might have noticed a pattern. I love to start new running programs (mostly because it means NEW SHOES!), but I bet you’ve never read a single post on my finishing that 5K or running program. Why is that, you might wonder. Well, it’s simple. Running is stupid. Running hurts. Running is something I hate.

Or, so I thought.

Let me preface this statement with the fact that I am just two weeks in – BUT, the last few mornings, I’ve not only managed to run more than 30 seconds (a HUGE accomplishment for me), but I also haven’t completely hated every step of it. Which, makes me wonder a little bit about what makes this time different. Is it the team aspect? Or, something else. I think it might be a combination of a few things.

First, I have found a really awesome iPhone app called Gipis┬áthat built a training program specific to me. The first question asked what my last run was with “I don’t run” as the first option (#NailedIt) and then proceeded to ask my goals and time frame. Since I have more than 30 weeks to train for the half marathon, it built a really reasonable goal and timeline for my training. Nothing crazy out of the gate, but also something that will build my ability to run while not killing my desire to do so.

Second, I have major health goals. As newlyweds, my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I want to be as healthy as possible so my body is ready to grow a person. Part of that includes trying to get fit. Over the past 2-3 years, I have been so up and down and gained and lost the same 25 pounds. I need to focus on something more consistent and attainable – this is where the Gipis program has become incredibly helpful.

Third, it sure helps to be accountable to the people I see every single day. Does getting up at 4 am and driving 15 minutes to run for an hour in the dark every Tuesday really stink – yep. But, knowing I won’t be solo while I am there and that I have support seriously helps.

Lastly, my husband runs. He actually enjoys it (not sure I’ll ever get there – but my goal is to not hate it) and he encourages me. He’ll walk when I need to walk and then run up and come back – getting him more miles and allowing me to not get completely freaked out by the dark or nature (side note, nature is gross and creepy at 5 in the morning). I also know that if I suggest we go for a walk or a walk/run, he is always down. We usually have really good talks on these walks too.

So, it is my goal to keep with it this time. To actually keep with the training and build my running ability and to run the St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon in April. I am committing here and now that this one will stick and you’ll be sick and tired of hearing about my running or walk/running.

10 Pounds

week5

It’s been a while since I checked in … not sure if any is reading or following along here, but I didn’t want to oversaturate with the daily posts. But, I have been plugging along and pushing play.

I am in my second week of T25 and my fifth week of 21 Day Fix – week two of doubles. As of this morning, I hit the 10 pound loss mark since restarting. I feel healthier, smaller and have more energy. Granted, waking up at 4:30 takes its toll, but I don’t crash around 3 every afternoon.

With a little more than 2 months to the wedding, I am hyper focused on getting healthy and fit.

If have been watching and following along and are interested in learning more about T25 or 21 Day Fix, leave a comment below or email andrea@andreanourse.com. There is no better time to commit than now!

Ready For a Challenge?

challengegroup

We are just 13 weeks away from summer! Which, is just enough time to kick it up a notch and get ready for shorts, tank tops and swim suits (eek). Starting on April 7, I will be hosting a challenge group with T25 and 21 Day Fix – you choose your program and get me as your coach to help motivate you to reach your goals. (Order by March 31, 2014)

25 or 30 minutes a day … that’s it! Focus on your fitness and nutrition and commit to either program. Message me me for details or visit fit.girlinnashville.com to order and sign up!

Round One and Done

21 day fix round one

21 Day Fix round 1 is complete as of this morning! Woo, my first complete (start to finish) program … TurboFire I made it to day 60something before derailing. But, my razor sharp focus has kicked in and I am ready to tackle round two and T25.

Yep, I finally settled on my next program and Shaun T wins (every single time). So, starting Monday, I will be tackling T25 and 21 Day Fix.With 85 or so days until the wedding, it is time to kick things up a notch.

This of course also means that I will need to ensure I am fueling my body, so I will likely increase my calories and lean protein, good carbs and healthy fats. I will still follow the 21 Day Fix eating plan, I will just bump up the calories a bit to ensure I don’t conk out.

Day 19

day1921dayfix

Day 19! What? Just 3 more days of 21 Day Fix? Say it ain’t so! I am loving the strength I am gaining every single day. I feel stronger, I have a smidge more energy (gotta get more sleep!) and I am doing better with the eating plan. I cannot wait until Sunday when I can take my after photos … and my before photos before round 2!

Now, I just have to decide whether to do T25 or Brazil Butt Lift along with it … such a tough decision! I am leaning T25, since it is only 25 minutes a day and some of the BBL days will be over an hour. Plus, I love me some Shaun T!

Shaky Legs

21dayfixday17

“My quads are on fire!” Sing it! As much as I want to work my legs and build those quads (and shrink the calves … BOOTS!), sometimes I dread Lower Fix (aka Leg Day). Don’t get me wrong, once it’s done I love it! It’s just the walk back downstairs immediately after that I am really dreading.

With only five days left in round 1 of 21 Day Fix, I am really excited to tally the final results. One thing I wish I had been better with was following the eating plan. So, that is my focus today forward. I have been committed to the workouts, but it is time to get serious with the nutrition. Starting today, no more mini Twix or Milky Ways (Jennifer, slap me next time I come in your office to steal one!).

Let’s do it!