Meal Plan To Support Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

Meal Plan To Support Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding moms are generally told that one of the benefits of nursing your baby is that your body will return to its pre-pregnancy body much sooner. However, for one reason or another, this is not always the case and sometimes we need to take some extra attention to our diet. This article looks more closely regarding the relationship between weight gain and breastfeeding and the different factors that impact whether we may gain weight or not while breastfeeding. Here I have drawn up a healthful and basic meal plan to support weight loss while breastfeeding your baby. Please note that you should not try to lose any weight for at least 2 months postpartum. Start gradually and remember to never consume less than 1600 calories per day. Moderate exercise will also assist in any weight loss.

When we refer to tea, we are referring to a tea that is made up of one or more of the following ingredients: fenugreek, milk thistle, fennel, alfalfa, blessed thistle, marshmallow root.   

Although we did our best to include all of the essential nutrients to meet the needs of a lactating woman, a prenatal vitamin should be taken in conjunction with this meal plan. Please consult with your doctor for guidance.  

DAY 1

Breakfast 

• 1 serving steel-cut oatmeal with sliced almonds and 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
• 1/2 medium banana

1 cup coffee

A.M. Snack 

  • 1 medium orange
  • 5 walnuts

Lunch 

  • 4 cups mixed vegetable salad with white beans and oil-based salad dressing 
  • 4 oz canned tuna salad mixed with ½ ripe avocado, salt, and pepper
  • 6 seeded crackers

P.M. Snack 

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. nut butter of choice
  • 1 cup bone broth

Dinner 

• 1 cup raw kale topped with 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds and oil-based dressing
• 1 4 oz chicken breast-grilled (grill extra for lunch next day)

  • 1 small. Lactation cookie made with oats, flax, and/or brewer’s yeast)

1 small glass 1% milk

Evening Snack 

• ½ grapefruit-broiled and sprinkled with cinnamon  

1 cup tea

Day 2

Breakfast 

2 slices whole grain toast topped with ½ mashed avocado and two cooked eggs

¼ cup raspberries

1 cup coffee

A.M. Snack 

  • 1 medium pear
  • 15 almonds
  • 1 cup tea

Lunch 

• 2 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
• 4 oz chicken breast left over from dinner
• 2 Tbsp. dressing of choice
• 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds

• 1 medium orange or 2 small mandarin oranges

P.M. Snack 

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • Sprinkle of dried coconut

Dinner 

• 1 cup chili (vegetarian or with meat-made with lots of colorful veggies)
• 1/2 cup microwavable brown rice (mixed with nutritional yeast-optional)

Snack

¼ cup cottage cheese

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground flax

Day 3

Breakfast 

• 1 serving cheerios with berries of choice
• 2 slices cooked nitrite-free turkey bacon

1 cup coffee

Snack

Mini granola bar (low sugar) or two lactation cookies

1 cup tea

LUNCH

English Muffin Pizza 

• 1 whole-wheat English muffin

• 2 Tbsp. jarred pasta sauce

• 1 cup baby spinach

• 2 thick slices ripe tomato

• 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Split English muffin. Spread sauce evenly over each half. Top each half with spinach, tomato, and cheese. Broil in oven (or toaster oven) until cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes

• 1 cup (or about 10) baby carrots with 2 Tbsp light ranch dressing for dipping

1 cup tomato basil soup

P.M. Snack 

4 oz Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp granola and ½ cup blueberries

DINNER

• 1 serving baked tilapia with stir fried vegetables including fennel and 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce. Top with 1 Tbsp sesame seeds.

• ½ cup microwavable brown rice (mixed with nutritional yeast-optional)

Day 4

Breakfast 

• 1 cup berry kefir spinach smoothie made with 1% milk 

1 cup coffee

A.M. SNACK

A.M. Snack 

• 1/2 whole grain bagel

• 1 Tbsp. cream cheese

LUNCH

Lunch 

• 2 corn tortillas

• 1/3 cup canned black beans

• 2 Tbsp. salsa

• 1/2 avocado, sliced

• 3 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese

• 1/2 cup baby lettuce

Warm the corn tortillas then fill with black beans, salsa, sliced avocado, cheese, and lettuce. 

P.M. Snack 

• 1/4 cup hummus

• 1 cup cucumber slices

• 1/2 whole wheat pita 

Use cucumber and pita wedges for dipping into the hummus.

• 1/2 ounce (about 13) unsalted pistachios

1 cup tea

Dinner 

• 1 cup whole grain pasta mixed with mozzarella cheese, olive oil, spinach, and cherry tomatoes 

Small mixed green salad with oil-based dressing

P.M. Snack 

• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 medium plum, chopped

Day 5

Breakfast 

• 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted. Top with sliced banana and cinnamon.
• 1 hard boiled egg
• 1 medium piece of fruit or ½ c berries

1 cup coffee

A.M. Snack 

  • 1 Tbsp raisins mixed with 15 almonds

Lunch 

• Mixed salad of canned beans, mixed veggies, avocado, oil, and vinegar, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
• 1 slice sprouted-grain bread topped with 1 oz. Cheddar cheese and toasted

P.M. Snack 

Whole-grain Waffle Snack

• 2 whole grain waffles

• 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (2% fat)

• 1/4 cup sliced berries

Toast waffles then top with yogurt and drizzle with honey. Top with sliced strawberries.

Dinner 

• 4 oz pork chop with roasted broccoli and 1/2 sweet potato topped with 1 pat butter.  

1 cup tea

Snack

1 frozen fruit pop made with 100% real fruit

Day 6

Breakfast 

• 2 scrambled eggs
• 1 cup berries
• ½ avocado

½ sweet potato left over from dinner

1 cup coffee

A.M. Snack 

• 1 cup oatmeal with 1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 piece string cheese

3 dried apricots

Lunch

• 1 sandwich made with hummus, vegetables, salt, and pepper on whole grain bread.

• 1 small cup frozen yogurt

P.M. Snack 

  • 1-2 lactation cookies (depending on size). Made with ingredients like oats, flax, brewers yeast)
  • 1 small glass 1% milk or milk alternative

Dinner 

• 1 serving stuffed peppers (rice, ground turkey, cooked fennel)
• 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. oil-based vinaigrette 

Evening Snack 

• 1 cup air-popped popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast

1 cup tea

Day 7

Breakfast 

• 1 cup fruit smoothie with spinach and flax seeds

1 cup coffee

A.M. Snack 

  • ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich on oatmeal or whole grain bread

Lunch 

Salmon fillet on top of mixed greens and 4 sprouted crackers

P.M. Snack 

1 hard boiled egg

  • ½ cup sliced veggies (red pepper, cucumber)
  • Dip of choice (guacamole, hummus)

Dinner 

•1 small hamburger (3 oz lean ground beef or ground turkey) on a whole-grain bun with lettuce and tomato

Baked homemade sweet potato fries

½ cup cooked fennel

Snack

½ mango sprinkled with cayenne 

1 cup tea

Note: this meal plan should be used for general recommendations and should not be used for personalized advice. Each body has different nutritional requirements and using this meal plan as guidance will be at your own risk. This meal plan provides no less than 1,600 calories and does not take any previous medical condition into account. The foods selected support production of healthy breastmilk, adequate milk supply, and postpartum healing. While we included some foods that are thought to be galactagogues, we did not include suggested supplemental herbal remedies like fenugreek. These should be discussed with your doctor. This, and any weight loss plan should be discussed with your doctor before initiation.

No weight loss plan should be considered until at least 6 weeks postpartum and must be cleared with your doctor. Many women will lose weight while breastfeeding if they eat more than 1600 calories depending on their needs. Breastfeeding, on average, requires an additional 500 calories a day so this plan should not be used as personalized advice. 

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