Macro Counting While Breastfeeding: What You Should Know

Counting macros is a popular method for losing weight. Because calorie restriction is not recommended while breastfeeding, many new moms wonder if they can count macros. If that sounds like you – keep on reading!

The short answer is yes, you can count macros while breastfeeding! It can be time-consuming, but you can incorporate it pretty early on in the postpartum period.

Macro counting is different than most diets because it’s not about the number of calories you are consuming but the types of macronutrients you are eating. It’s not a crash diet and typically leads to slower, more sustained weight loss while breastfeeding and allows you to have a balanced diet – which is so important when you have just given birth!

What should my macros be when breastfeeding?

This depends on a couple of factors:

  • How often you are breast-feeding
  • Your weight and height
  • Your weight loss or weight maintenance goals
  • Activity level
  • Age

My breastfeeding calorie calculator is a great place to start. This was developed based on the trusted Mifflin-St Jeor Equation, and it takes into account the unique needs of a breastfeeding woman.

Here is an example of a woman who is:

  • 31 years old
  • Exclusively breastfeeding
  • 165 pounds
  • 5’6″
  • Participating in light exercise
  • Wants to lose weight

According to the calculator, this would be a good starting point:

  • Calories needed:
    • 2050 daily calories to lose weight safely
    • 1850 daily calories to maintain milk supply
  • Macro nutrients for losing weight:
    • Carbohydrates: 226g
    • Proteins: 133g
    • Fats: 57g

You can adjust your macro goals to help you sustain or lose weight, and they can be easily adjusted if you have any concerns with your milk supply to increase your calories.

Of course, it can be helpful to work with a registered dietician who specializes in lactation to adapt your plan to help you meet your goals maintain your milk supply.

Where to count macros

I recommend using a mobile app to help you count macros. You could try and do it on a piece of paper, but it’s helpful to use an app that has a large library of foods to help you build your meals.

Here are a few apps that you might find helpful:

If you need help finding recipes that are easy to incorporate into a macro-based diet, here are a few resources:

  • My 28-day meal plan has all of the macros listed with and all the recipes are family friendly
  • Clean Simple Eats – THey have an app and cookbooks you can buy – I have all of them! I find these are a little more time intensive, but they are so tasty.
  • Macro Friendly Food – This is a monthly subscription that takes all the best family-friendly recipes and makes them a little healthier. You can use the code CLARKS10 for 10% off your first month!
  • Pinterest – Tons of free recipes can be found on Pinterest. Just search macro friendly recipes!

Hi! 👋 I’m Katie, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant I have helped thousands of moms worldwide navigate their breastfeeding journey since 2015. I can’t wait to help you! Consider checking out my 1:1 lactation support services or enrolling in one of our online breastfeeding courses today!

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