The Ketogenic Diet and Nursing

Posted July 10, 2019 by Kalyn in Breastfeeding, Health, Keto, Motherhood / 0 Comments

A big part of my postpartum journey has been my diet. Before getting pregnant, my husband and I maintained a ketogenic diet. We got into the best shape of our lives and boom – I got pregnant. We…umm…fell off the band wagon in a major way during my pregnancy, but I always knew I wanted to get back on once I delivered. However, losing weight while nursing can be a tricky feat. Add in cutting sugars and it gets even trickier. Honestly though, keto isn’t just about weight loss for me at this point. I feel and function so much better without sugar in my diet!

I have had some success with losing weight though! I initially lost about 21 of the 50 lbs I gained during pregnancy. But after 3 weeks my weight had stalled. Going back to keto has helped me to lose another 17 lbs without working out consistently.

I’ve had lots of people ask me about keto in regards to nursing my baby. I frequently get asked the same questions, so I figured a blog post was in order!

Before we get started, remember – I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist or any kind of health professional. I’m just a woman on a journey to reclaim my health.

Are you interested in the #ketogenicdiet but have some reservations because you're #breastfeeding? Here's a helpful FAQ on how I do it! Click To Tweet

Is keto healthy for my baby?

I probably get asked this the most frequently. Again, I’m not a medical professional. However, I do personally know many women who nurse while their body is in a state of ketosis. Their babies are healthy, happy, and growing well. So is my son, Lincoln.

Furthermore, there is evidence that human babies enter ketogenesis after birth and that nursing babies are in a deeper state of ketosis. Ketosis seems to be natural for them.

Has keto affected your supply?

The second most frequently asked question! As I said earlier, losing weight while nursing can affect your supply. Therefore, there is no added risk of diminishing your supply simply because it’s keto.

The secret to making milk is calories, not carbohydrates. So as long as you’re eating enough calories, your body will continue to make the milk your baby needs.

Keto has not affected my supply personally.

What have been your struggles with keto while nursing?

Oddly enough, my biggest struggle has been working out and not eating enough. As I said, I did keto before getting pregnant, so it’s all too easy for me to fall back into old eating patterns. But my old eating patterns are too calorie restrictive while nursing. Yes, it’s a weird problem to have! But I find that if I don’t eat enough calories then it doesn’t promote weight loss.

I struggle with working out for the same reason. I got really good at torching some calories in the gym before getting pregnant. Like, 700-1,000 calories per work out. Right now, that high of a calorie burn is just too high. It doesn’t promote weight loss. And I now have two small children, so mama literally doesn’t have to time to eat that much more food to promote weight loss.

Do you take any supplements?

It’s common for people who lead a low-carb/ketogenic lifestyle to need to supplement their electrolytes. Yes, salt is that important for mammals. Before nursing, I did not have to supplement my electrolytes. However, while nursing, I definitely need to. Right now I supplement by putting pink Himalayan salt on nearly everything I eat and drinking a Powerade Zero every day.

There’s lots of different electrolyte supplements on the market. Powerade Zero, while not the best ingredients, is easily accessible and affordable for us. I’ve seen Keto Chow recommended a lot though.

Pro tip: for an oddly delicious drink, sprinkle some pink salt into your Powerade Zero!

How many calories and carbohydrates do you eat in a day?

Unfortunately, I can’t answer this question for you. I don’t track or weigh my foods. Never have. I find it to be extremely monotonous and time consuming.

However, if you aren’t familiar with nutrition labels, macros, or portion sizes, I always recommend you track your intake for a week or so, whether you’re nursing or not.

What do you eat in a day?

Breakfast: three eggs with coffee and usually a small serving of berries.

Lunch: salads, cheeses, meats, veggies, more eggs, left overs.

Dinner: various keto recipes. Our favorites right now are bunless burgers, shrimp and mashed cauli flower (like a play on shrimp and grits), keto chicken parm, and cheese shell tacos.

For other meal, snack, and drink ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram! I’m often posting my foods to my IG stories.

What are some of your favorite keto-friendly foods? If you have any other questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

If you found this post helpful or informative, please share!


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