We’ve all heard of the Keto diet which has gained a lot of popularity in the last 5 to 10 years. But is it safe to follow the keto diet while breastfeeding?
Many mothers fear that if they start the keto diet while breastfeeding that it will hurt their milk supply. There are horror stories of women trying the keto diet and then the next day their milk supply was completely gone. There are ways to safely do the keto diet and not hurt your milk supply.
Lose The Baby Weight on Keto While Breastfeeding
I actually lost all of the baby weight plus some while breastfeeding and following the Keto diet. Honestly, I was not at a good weight before I got pregnant this last time. Which I should mention was my fourth pregnancy. It was very important to me to lose weight but it was even more important to me to successfully breastfeed, especially since my youngest child was born prematurely.
What is the Keto Diet?
First things first, to lose weight on the Keto diet while breastfeeding, you have to know how to follow up properly.
The Ketogenic Diet, aka Keto, is a diet plan that includes lots of healthy fats, moderate proteins, and as small amounts of carbohydrates, aka carbs, as possible.
Our body uses carbs as the primary fuel source for our brain, muscle, and organs. When you stop eating carbs and the body burns up all of the carb stores, it starts to break down fat molecules which are known as ketones. The ketones feed those physiological processes which creates a healthy way to lose weight. When your body is burning ketones instead of carbs, you are in ketosis.
What is Ketosis and is it safe for Breastfeeding Moms?
Ketosis is the state your body is in when it’s using ketones for fuel and energy versus carbs. This happens when you reduce your consumption of carbs and limit your body’s supply of glucose or sugar, the main source of energy for cells.
Following the Keto diet is the best way to enter into ketosis while breastfeeding. There are other ways, such as fasting, but this isn’t a good way to lose weight while breastfeeding your baby. To reach the ketosis state, it generally involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on healthy fats.
A breastfeeding mother can’t follow the exact same keto diet that a bodybuilder follows. That’s where a Breastfeeding Keto Diet Plan comes in!
Keto and Breastfeeding Misconceptions
You should now have a basic understanding of the keto diet and ketosis. Let’s dive into some common misconceptions around breastfeeding and the Keto Diet.
Ketosis is dangerous for babies
Actually, infants are born into a state of ketosis! And, when they are breastfed, they continue to stay in ketosis. Ketosis is a natural state for the human body to be in! So, if your baby is born into ketosis and is actually in ketosis while breastfeeding, it’s pretty apparent that you being in ketosis while breastfeeding will not harm your baby.
High fat is bad for your infant’s health
Seriously? Like, are you for real? I’ve heard this too many times and each time I can’t control the look on my face. Babies need fat to grow and develop. When you are on the keto diet while breastfeeding, it will increase the calorie content of your milk and increase the fat content of your milk.
Your milk production will decrease
It’s a myth that when a mother decreases carbs her milk production will go down. Because of healthy fats and proteins, your breastmilk on the Keto diet is enriched with more and better nutrients and energy.
However, your milk production can be affected when your water, electrolytes, and carb intakes are too low. But, that’s why you are here. To learn what foods to eat while on the Keto diet while breastfeeding.
Keto means zero carbs
Again, not true at all. Keto is all about eating healthy carbohydrates like vegetables and reducing the harmful ones to a bare minimum, like sugar and processed carbs. Consuming around 50 to 75 carbs while breastfeeding is a perfectly healthy way to start the keto diet.
If you want to try something higher in carbs that will also allow you to lose weight, read my 21 day smoothie diet rapid weight loss review.
Benefits of Following a Keto Diet Plan While Breastfeeding
A keto diet while breastfeeding doesn’t only allow the mom to lose weight but also provides several health benefits to her and her growing baby.
1. Extra Energy
When a mom follows a keto diet plan she is consuming whole foods and less fried, sugary foods. This means that she is eating more veggies, berries, nuts, dairy products, oils, meat, butter, and more. These foods will give her extra energy and will be more able to provide better nourishment to her baby.
2. Calorie increases for baby
A study done in the late 2000s concluded that babies fed with the milk of moms following the Keto diet were more energetic and strong because the milk gave them higher quality fats and more calories. Since breastmilk is about 60% fat, it’s important that the fats are of the highest quality.
3. Lose Weight Naturally
Taking weight loss pills is risky and can pass into your breastmilk depending on the type and amount. Even trace amounts of certain weight loss medicines can be dangerous for a growing infant. By following a keto diet, breastfeeding moms are losing weight naturally while passing on the nutritional benefits to their babies.
Keto Diet While Breastfeeding Meal Plan
It’s important to note that while on this meal plan if you think your milk is decreasing, increase your carb intake to 50 to 75 carbs per day. Also, it’s important to add electrolytes throughout the day. I recommend using electrolyte recovery plus powder. My favorite is lemon but they have lots of other flavors.
Here is an example keto diet plan while breastfeeding:
Milk Dust Lactation Replacement Shake – This replacement shake has everything you need for the best keto diet plan while breastfeeding. It gives you so many nutrients to keep your milk supply up. I suggest replacing one meal a day with the milk dust shake. It’s the only one out there specifically formulated for breastfeeding moms on the keto diet.
4 to 6 oz of fish or chicken, preferrable free-range, 1/2 cup brown rice, and 2 cups of cooked vegetables. Feel free to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil with spices for taste.
Grilled steak with 1/2 cup of broccoli and shredded cheddar cheese. 1/2 sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Pistachios and celery with almond butter
Full Keto Diet Plan while Breastfeeding
Remember, you won’t lose all of your baby weight in a day or even a week. It will happen though as long as you stick with your keto diet plan.
It’s also important to have a customized keto meal plan for your body type and goals. Following a one-size-fits-all keto meal plan while breastfeeding may not go so well.
Fast Keto Weight Loss Plan while Breastfeeding
Taking it slow is important but there are ways to jump-start your weight loss while breastfeeding on Keto. You have to be fully committed and ready to get started right away.