Have you wondered if intermittent fasting works while breastfeeding? Will it lower your milk supply? Read on to find about my experience with intermittent fasting during breastfeeding.
So many diet trends. Supposedly they all work for a lot of people, but why don’t they work for me? Ever asked yourself that question? Then it comes down to “I guess I’m just not disciplined enough, or I have a low metabolism because otherwise, I’d be losing weight.”
But is that really true? Maybe we do need to be more diligent in eating our veggies, and maybe we have messed up our metabolism from too much crash dieting, but maybe not everyone’s body is the same, and what works for one person, might not work for the next! That’s where I was in the fall of 2019.
We had a sweet baby boy in the summer of 2019. I’ve been blessed with 5 healthy babies and have been able to breastfeed every one of them and that’s a gift from God. I also gain 50+ pounds with EACH pregnancy. That’s a lot of pounds to try and lose.
So after every birth, my mind goes towards losing weight. I’m usually able to lose the first 20 rather easily, but not the rest. I can’t eat keto, or THM while nursing because it diminishes my milk supply rapidly. That’s where intermittent fasting came in.
I had been reading about it for a couple of years already, but I have never tried it. My blood sugar levels often want to go crazy, so I had the mindset that it just wouldn’t work. I HAD to have my breakfast, within an hour of getting up.
Also, with dabbling in THM a couple of times, I really started eating in the evening, just before bed. After all, if it was sugar and wheat-free, then it was healthy.
Studies have shown that nighttime eating can cause people to gain extra 10lbs, compared to someone who doesn’t. I never realized how much that was messing with my metabolism until I started intermittent fasting.
My sister had had such success with intermittent fasting, that I was determined to try it as well.
What I learned was the intermittent fasting is a POWERFUL tool for losing weight while breastfeeding. Not only did I have success, but It was also so easy for me.
Intermittent fasting is touted to be beneficial for fat loss, lower blood pressure, and help with blood sugar control, lower inflammation levels, and more.
There are several different types of intermittent fasting. The 16:8 fast, the 5:2 day fast, and even an alternate day fasting.
I figured that the 16:8 would probably be easiest, as well as be the best chance that my milk supply would not diminish. So what I did was eat supper at 6 pm, then not eat again until 10 am. This gave my body 16 hours to recover. Here’s what happened:
Intermittent Fasting While Breastfeeding
I drank more water.
I was finding myself not really thirsty for water as much as usual, and for someone that’s breastfeeding, that’s especially detrimental.
After starting with intermittent fasting, I was very thirsty in the evening. I would sometimes drink more water after supper then I had the entire day.
I started losing weight.
My weight loss had stalled, even though my baby was only five months old. The first week I lost 2 pounds, after which I consistently lost about a pound a week.
I was ok with this slow loss because I really wanted to keep on breastfeeding. What I was not ok with was a stall in weight loss, so I was thrilled with this.
I had more self-control.
This might be a mental thing, but I found myself with more will power to say no. Perhaps also because I felt so much better.
Improved my blood sugar levels.
I didn’t do actual tests, but I didn’t have those crazy sugar swings, where I’m shaking. This gets bad when I eat unhealthily.
Better Milk Supply.
This one was a surprise to me. I figured as long as it didn’t go away, I’d try it. I had not figured on that it would actually increase. It might have been due to me drinking more water.
It caused me to rethink the whole ‘Eat Breakfast Thing’.
I still believe eating breakfast is beneficial, especially for those who never do. However, delaying my breakfast helped me eat less throughout the day. Fasting is a biblical principle, so there might be so many more benefits then we know of.
I did really well with intermittent fasting while breastfeeding for a couple of weeks, and then came the Christmas holidays. I fell off the bandwagon! Now it’s time to start again. Join me, and share your experience!