Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding

Hey Mama, if you are here it tells me you are interested in losing the baby fat but afraid to lose your milk supply. Well, we have all been there, cleared to start back physical activity and ready to get back into feeling like our old selves. You are probably wondering if it is safe to fast while breastfeeding, and if so how can you do it without decreasing your milk supply. Well, Mama, I am here to tell you that yes, intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to manage weight while b

reastfeeding. Intermittent fasting itself will not impact your milk supply, what a sigh of relief.

In this post, I am sharing with you how I was able to fast postpartum while keeping up my milk supply. I am going to cover:

  • How I practice intermittent fasting

  • What is intermittent fasting and the various protocols

  • How is intermittent fasting beneficial to weight loss

  • How to fast while maintaining your milk supply

  • So if you are ready to finally lose the baby weight, want to regain energy, have more mental clarity and focus, and find a method that is easy to stick to, then you are in the right place!

How I fast while breastfeeding

I first came across fasting a few years ago and tried it without any success. I say this to tell you that I went about it all wrong and was fasting without any real knowledge on how to do it without having any side effects. I jumped into fasting, thought it was a good idea and tried an 18 hour fast. Bad idea, it quickly backfired and I felt lightheaded before the end of my fasting window. I do not want you to make the same mistake that I did.

The next time I tried fasting was when I discovered the FASTer Way back in 2020. I was a few months postpartum with my first born and I was ready to lose weight. I heard about this program from a friend, and wanted to give it a try. This time I was paired up with an amazing coach who suggested I ease into fasting instead of jumping directly into the 16 hour fast. I slowly started with 12 hours then increased it to 16. What a game changer, I didn't feel lightheaded at all, in fact I had more energy than ever before and for the first time in a long time, and I had great sleep at night.

I continued to intermittently fast during my second pregnancy, which helped me keep down my weight. After having my second son, I dropped my fasting window back down to 14 hours, this was to ensure I was eating enough to establish a good milk supply. Once I was cleared to resume workouts and I felt that I had established a good milk supply, I went back to my 16 hour fast. Again, slowly adding it back into my routine, going from 14, to 15 to finally 16 hours of fasting. The key for me was to slowly increase my fasting time, this ensured that I actually stuck to it.

What is intermittent fasting and the various protocols

Intermittent fasting, means fasting for at least 12 hours, and even going into 24 hours of fasting.

Before you panic about a 24 hour fast, I do not recommend you fast for 24 hours while breastfeeding, in fact the FASTer Way clearly states "Breastfeeding clients are discouraged from engaging in whole day fasts."

Now it is up to you if you want to fast longer than 12 hours, and I personally recommend you try a 14 hour fast then see if you can do a 16 hour fast. I personally would not recommend any longer than that, especially if you are concerned about your milk supply.

The point in fasting is to allow your body more time to completely use your food stores. It also gives your body a break from digestion, which consumes energy. Plus, when your body is in a fasting state, fat cells release stored sugar that your body would use for energy. When you fast, your body uses this stored energy which can result in your weight going down.

So if weight loss is your ultimate goal, try a minimum of 14 hours, so your body has plenty of time to use the fuel stores from the day before

How is intermittent fasting beneficial to losing weight

Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to lose weight when done properly, as regular short term fasts can help you consume fewer calories hince helping you lose weight. A 2018 study in overweight adults found intermittent fasting led to an average weight loss of 15 lbs in 3–12 months and reduced their waist circumference by 3–7%.

But you might be asking yourself, are there any benefits to fast while breastfeeding. Intermittent fasting gives your body a break allowing it to put more energy into creating breast milk. If you are consuming ample nutrients to support breastfeeding, then this is a great scenario for allowing your body an opportunity to use stored fat to create breast milk. When you give your body time to fully use up the glycogen from the day before, it is then able to tap into fat cells and use them to either create energy or produce breast milk. And since your fat cells are also made up of various components,such as water, fat and nutrients. This all goes into making liquid gold for your precious baby.

How to fast while maintaining your milk supply

As a FASTer Way Client and Coach, I was curious on how exactly I fast to maintain milk supply. Luckily, they had it all figured out. If you are new to the program, they recommend that your coach sets calorie and macronutrient goals to maintain weight per week. New breastfeeding clients should not set a weight loss goal until milk supply is established. So for the first few weeks after having my son, I focused on maintaining my weight and establishing my milk supply by consuming glacagonose foods. I also increased my net carbs to ensure I am eating enough to keep up my milk supply.

Once I started fasting, I noticed not only that it was easier for me to lose weight but I had less aches and pains, slept better, and had more energy to tackle the day as a busy mom of two under two. I also found I had less cravings for unhealthy food, and surprisingly did not feel famished by the time my fasting window was over.

If you are ready to try intermittent fasting and reap all of the benefits, I want to invite you to join thousands of people who have joined the FASTer Way community. Click HERE to learn more and register for my next round.

The key to weight loss success, especially while breastfeeding, is not just about fasting but about fueling your body with proper nutrition. If you want to dive deeper into the nutritional side of weight loss or maybe you are just wanting some delicious and healthy recipes, grab my FREE Fit Mom Nutrition Guide. Click HERE to get instant access to my Guide where I cover intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and give you a 7 day meal plan with recipes.

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