Diet and Exercise Plan for a Breastfeeding Mom

Creating a Plan

If you have no idea where to start with your calories, first try this calculator Ultimate Weight Loss Calorie Calculator (coachcalorie.com/calorie-calculator/). First find your maintenance calories, then put in the recommended calorie deficit of 15%. Next, add 500 to this number if you are breastfeeding. You can also just use our very helpful breastfeeding calorie calculator and subtract 15% (fittobepregnant.com/pregnancy-breastfeeding-calorie-calculator/). This is the average daily calories you want to consume. Give this number 2 weeks before you make any adjustments. Remember fat loss takes time and you have to be very patient if you want to do it right!

If calorie counting seems like a big pain, don’t do it! Just plan your meals out once and get a feeling for how many calories you’re eating, then just eat and don’t worry about it. As long as you’re dropping fat and keeping up your milk supply, don’t make a big hassle of it.

And finally, if the number this calculation puts out seems shockingly high (I have never been on a “diet” that involved me eating more than 2000 calories a day, so I was certainly shocked too!) don’t worry. If your weight starts creeping up, just lower the number a little. It won’t be anything you can’t undo quickly. Don’t underestimate the adaptability of your metabolism, and use it to yours and your baby’s advantage!

Exercise

I began daily walks at 1 week postpartum. I started with just 20-30 minutes of walking and worked up to an hour (about 3 miles). I sustained only this level of activity until 5 weeks postpartum. Here is my exercise plan from here out to get me back to my intense workouts and athleticism:

  • Week 5 – add in 15 minutes of light circuit training (Monday), and a 12-15 minute HIIT workout (Friday)
  • Week 6 – increase circuit training to 30 minutes, add 1 more 12-15 minute HIIT workout (Wednesday)
  • Week 7 – add a 30 minute cardio routine in for Thursdays (jumprope, running, trail running, kickboxing)
  • Week 8 – add a track, stadium, or hill workout for Sundays (sprints, plyometrics, hill sprints, stadium runs)Exercise for-breastfeeding-mom

This timetable gets me back to my pre-pregnancy routine by 2 months post-partum:

  • Mondays – circuit training (30-45min), walk. Here’s a sample of a typical circuit training workout:
    Start with a 5 minute warm up. I do dynamic stretching (stretching while staying moving, unlike static stretches where you hold the stretch), progressing to some jumping jacks and high knees.
    Set 1Set 2Set 3
    Tricep Press (12 reps)Sumo Squats with weight (12 reps)Front Shoulder Raises (12 reps each arm)
    Diamond Pushups (12 reps)One-Leg Deadlifts (12 reps each leg)Clean and Press (12 reps)
    2 min jump rope2 min jump rope2 min jump rope
    2 minute rest
    This is one round. Repeat entire routine a total of 2-3x.
    Each Round (3 sets) took me about 15 minutes. I did 2 rounds for a total of 30 minutes. End with a 10 minute stretching cool down. I like to stretch out my arms, then my hamstrings, my inner thighs, my quads, and then perform a few sun salutations. I also add in cat/cow to stretch out my back and hips, and end in child’s pose.
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