The Best New Diet Pill Around

Posted: March 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Breastfeeding and weight loss. Where did the notion that a child sucking the life out of you 6 times a day equates to easy weight loss come from? I would like to know. And I would then like to smack the idiot for opening this can of worms that leads women to believe breastfeeding is THE way to lose weight. Watch out Hydroxycut…mama’s making milk!!!


[Note: diet pills are crap and I’m just enjoying my sarcasm…mmmkay?]

You know I never keep my big mouth shut on the realistic side of all things…well, life. So, here you go. The top 5 reasons breastfeeding does NOT make you skinny. 

1. You get HANGRY. To make the baby juice, your body needs extra fuel. Yes, you need the extra calories for milk production, but it can still be easy to go overboard. I know I have never run a long distance race, but I can imagine that the hunger of a growth spurt day rivals it. No joke. I’m in one right now. Bottom. Less. Pit. Calories still count. The hunger beast that is breastfeeding can quickly make those calories add up above weight loss levels. 

2. There is no snooze button.


Babies get hungry. They don’t care if it’s 2 am. Then 4 am. Then 6 am. And guess what? Daddy doesn’t have the booby. Lucky you. You get every overnight feeding. Like…all five of them I experienced last night. That can easily make for a sleepy mommy. I don’t know about you, but sleepy mommy = a mommy with more cravings. Sleepy mommy also = less motivated to workout mommy. It’s hard to stay on your A game when the exhaustion of all those feedings inevitably hits at times.

3. Freedom? What’s that? You’re on cutie patootie’s schedule. That quickly leads to workouts sometimes being hard to fit in or having to be cut short. And sometimes, the only option for food you have is a frozen meal because the kiddo decides he’s hungry just as you start prepping lunch.

4. I’m not letting go!

Despite what the rumors say, the body wants to hold onto some fat to have stores saved up to make the baby nectar. It doesn’t all just fall off automatically. Your body may actually fight you over it. I know I immediately dropped almost 5 pounds after I stopped nursing Makenzie.

5. You fell for it. You get caught up in the belief that you will effortlessly lose weight while breastfeeding. You get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. You make excuses easily, such as needing to eat more so this candy bar is A-OK! Sorry. Doesn’t quite work the way “they” would like you to think.

Disclaimer: I 100% believe in breastfeeding and that it is one of the best things you can do for your child, if possible. I wrote this post simply to say that it’s not a cure-all for post-baby weight loss woes, despite what some may think. I wanted to debunk that myth. It still takes discipline and consistency to make those physical changes. Breastfeeding should be embraced for all the other numerous benefits and not as a magic answer to post-partum weight loss. 

Question of the Evening – Is there a myth you wish to debunk? Any of the above surprise you?

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59 Comments to “The Best New Diet Pill Around”
  1. You’re scaring me lol. I just found out I was pregnant O_O

  2. Thanks for clearing up that myth. I think the same is true for people who take up long-distance running, thinking it will help them lose weight. HAH! I tend to drop weight easily when I’m not training for any race.

  3. I know that breastfeeding burns extra calories, but you know what they say – calories in calories OUT!! That means you get hungrier, just like if I went out and ran 8 miles today I would have to refuel!

  4. I’m still holding out hope that it will be a miracle cure!! 🙂

    • Tina says:

      You do still get to eat more, which really helps. The main thing is still keeping discipline with healthy choices. Breastfeeding doesn’t make you consistent with healthy decisions. That’s all personal will.

  5. LOL! Love the post! You’re honesty is awesome (and you some how make it funny too) 😀 Go Mommy!

  6. I think it can help, but you have to be aware that while you are hungrier…you have to eat wisely. I am way smaller than I was before I had kids and I think a lot of it has to do with nursing. Nutrition is a large part of it too!

    • Tina says:

      Exactly! You do get to eat more…which helps a ton with dieting, but it still takes attention to nutrition. Discipline still matters and so many people don’t consider that. They just expect to lose a ton of weight at the snap of their fingers because they breastfeed.

  7. I know I’ve hear people say it’s so easy to lose weight with breastfeeding but I can’t say I thought it helped you lose all the weight! Love the honesty here 🙂

  8. Jan says:

    I have to thank you for pointing this out. I did so well losing weight while I was breastfeeding my son. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding (he weaned himself), I had such a hard time losing weight. It took so much more effort and then I fell off the “wagon”. I think mentally it was putting a block on my weight loss and efforts. What you’ve wrote has encouraged me (helping me change my mental thinking) to get past that myth. Thanks!

    • Tina says:

      It’s all about consistency. Find a way to eat and move that you can do consistently and the changes will come. Also, It has to be realistic for your body as well.

  9. I completely agree with Sarena! Nursing really does help you lose that weight if you are eating mindfully. When I was nursing, I made excuses that I could have a little “extra” because I was burning it anyways. I wasn’t gaining weight but I wasn’t losing it either.

  10. I always hate it when you read in magazines that celebrities just drop all the weight they gained during pregnancy because of breast feeding. Now I don’t know from experience, but that sounds a little drastic to me!

  11. melissa says:

    I am one of those women who gives that notion i guess. I had to consume 3000-4000 calories a day in order to not lose TOO much weight while breastfeeding and doing moderate running/lifting. I lost all baby weight in 2 weeks but actually gained a couple pounds back when i stopped a little over a year later. Although my girl was a chunker so maybe she just drank tons of milk!

  12. Kristen says:

    Gosh, I love your blog! Thank you for your truthfulness on EVERYTHING! Especially things that I will be dealing with in the near future, hopefully! I’ve definitely heard that breastfeeding is the key to losing baby weight, but everything you said makes total sense to me. Of course, I am an extremely active person, so I know it won’t be my end-all-be-all to lose baby weight. But, thank you thank you thank you for the honest post!

  13. Shannon says:

    I’m running and breastfeeding which makes me extra hungry! I’ve never eaten as much as I do now while breastfeeding! I keep saying that I’m going to have to watch the calories once I’m no longer breastfeeding because I am definitely enjoying extra treats these days 🙂

    • Tina says:

      We certainly do have to eat extra. I “diet” with probably an average of 2500 calories each day and am steadily losing. I still have to be sure I’m mindful of WHAT I’m eating though. I enjoy some extra treats but still focus on caring for my body too. I’m sure you know what I mean. 🙂

  14. Kara says:

    Not to be the person that everyone hates, but when I was breastfeeding, I lost ALL the weight and was back in my normal clothes without even trying. Then when I started working out again, I seriously ate like 4,000 calories a day and didn’t gain an ounce.

    I will say that I got more tone after I stopped breastfeeding. It does make you hold onto some fat!

  15. runblondie26 says:

    Excellent post. I agree with all the points. BF’d wasn’t a magic pll for me either.

  16. I lost a lot when I breastfed

    • Tina says:

      I definitely lose easier when I breastfeed because I can eat more so its easier to “diet”…but it still takes a focus on health too. Not only to get good nutrition for the baby, but also to lose that weight.

      • ya true : ) I was always really healthy with my first one and never had to think about it…but with kiddo #2 Phew that was a lot harder to loose with just breastfeeding….still have it lol!

  17. Well, I don’t have kids, but I have definitely heard the *false* rumour before. Good to know if/when I ever do have kids!! Love the sarcasm & wit – great post!!

  18. Courtney F says:

    It is definately not just boobfeeding that sheds the L.B.S’s. It is many factors and hard work. I agree with all of your truths! It is hard being a “slave” to your child, BUT SO WORTH IT!!
    I am training for a 1/2 marathon now and still breastfeeding at ALWAYS HUNGRY. I feel like my metabolism is like a hummingbird’s!

  19. Holly says:

    As always I LOVE your honesty, Tina. I hate how it’s like all Hollywood moms are programmed to say, “It’s the breastfeeding! Melts those pounds right off!” Um…pretty sure that’s not the case with everyone! I have SO many friends who are somewhat relieved to be done BFing for all the reasons you listed. I don’t know how y’all do it!

    Myths I would like to debunk….other than those about blondes? 😉 Probably that everyone from Indiana talks with a huge twang and has missing teeth.

  20. I totally agree–thanks for clearing up the myth! There’s just nothing that works like good old-fashioned healthy eating and exercise! 🙂

  21. Kacy says:

    Good to know! I can see how it would be like that. It’s the same thing with running for me. Running makes me eat like a hungry lumberjack and I gain weight, but I love running so I deal with it.

  22. Angela says:

    I can get pretty hungry at the best of times, especially after I’ve been workign out-, but I don’t even have babies to feed! LOL – great post Tina!

  23. Meg says:

    I love your honesty in this post. Even though I don’t have kids yet, all your posts make me feel so prepared! 🙂

    P.S. I also love your new blog look!

  24. I think breastfeeding makes it easier to lose weight, especially initially, than moms who aren’t breastfeeding. However, the “last 5 pounds” are difficult to lose while you are breastfeeding. That is very true.

  25. Amber says:

    You sound exhausted, yet you still look beautiful! I have not had children yet, but I was there for a friend of mine when she did. I just wanted to offer something she did. She used a pump so at night, if she was to exhausted her husband could feed the baby. Maybe, if you are able you can try that? 🙂 keep up the great work. I really enjoy your journey!

    • Tina says:

      I would still have to wake up to pump though. We actually tried that with M and it was more of a hassle for us. Luckily I feed him laying down so I get to kind of rest even when nursing. He usually only wakes up once at night now, so its only occasionally rough thank goodness. Thanks for the support and input, though! 🙂

  26. trailmomma says:

    I am pregnant with my second now (due in June). With my first, the weight DID fly off me from a combination of breast feeding and training for a marathon. My supply never suffered which means I did everything right (water intake, food, rest etc).

    This time around, I am nervous being my 2nd child, which I hear is notorious for the weight being harder to drop AND the fact that there will be a 3 year old to chase after . . . I know there will be some struggles ahead.

    I am 100% believer in breastfeeding though and its benefits. I just am not looking forward to that 4 am spontaneous hunger burst and feedings! ha 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I had the same worries and you will find a way to get back into that healthy groove I have no doubt. And with the dedication I know you have, it will come off. 🙂

  27. Tina, you are simply awesome. Thank you for this post – and all your posts, really!

  28. Jennifer Rahn says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I really needed it today. Over the last few days, I’ve had major struggles with body image, and I haven’t struggled for a long, long time. I know that my dormant ED can rear its ugly head when I’m most vulnerable, and I’m exhausted beyond belief with a colicky, non-napping six week-old right now. I hardly made it through my spinning class today, and I was beating myself up over it all afternoon. Workouts always leave me energized, but I could barely drag myself through mine today. That demoralizes me.

    To top it all off, I know that I’ve actually GAINED weight since I had Henry. I know that sounds ludicrous, and I admit that I haven’t gotten on a scale, but I can see it in my rounder face and other areas. It’s depressing beyond belief. I’m just too ravenous and exhausted not to eat. I eat incredibly healthfully (mostly veggies) during the day, but all bets are off in the middle of the night, when I’m awake numerous times. That’s when the Cliff bars and animal crackers and chocolate chips rear their ugly heads.

    I’m never not hungry. Or exhausted.

    • Tina says:

      Sorry things are rough with him. I know you are doing all you can though. You also know the tough stages won’t last forever and things will get back to normal soon enough. I know you know how to care for yourself. I’m always here if you need to vent!

  29. Ela says:

    That was awesome! I was scared when I saw the hydroxycut picture pop up in my reader but thought I knew you better than that–you absolutely rule!

  30. erin says:

    It’s not that breastfeeding doesn’t burn calories – it’s just that most women don’t eat right to begin with. When they get hungry they are reaching for something carb-tastic or sweet instead of the apples. KWIM?

    One of the BIGGEST myths is eating for two when you are pregnant. I remember an old boss, pregnant with twins, saying she was eating for three. She gained … A LOT. And it is so dangerous for the baby.

    I DID eat more, but I think it’s the equivalent of a pregnant woman needs like 200 extra calories a day or something like that. So instead of a 6″ sub, I’d eat a 12″ on Fridays when I was pregnant with my first. Oi, right!? But in the end I gained 25 with both pregnancies and was back in my size 6 (and size 4 with my second) after 3 months.

    Anyways – so that’s my myth-breaker.

    Oh – and have you seen that book “YOU WILL LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT and other pregnancy myths?” I HATE THAT TITLE! It makes moms feel like they won’t ever be back “in shape”. If you eat right and exercise you will look hotter than you did pre-baby. 🙂

    • Tina says:

      That’s exactly what I was hoping to express. Yes you need to / get to eat more and still lose weight with breastfeeding…but you still have to be MINDFUL. 🙂

  31. This was a great post! I think it is another way of showing how every body is different and that sometimes our body does want to hold on to fat for certain reasons: in this case the health of the baby. This is a great PSA for mom’s not to compare themselves to what every movie star says!

  32. Melissa says:

    Love your honesty Tina!!!

  33. Amy says:

    So true! It does seems that some women literally can’t eat enough food when breastfeeding, while others have a hard time shedding any weight at all. I am in better shape now after my two kids then I ever was (even in high school) but that is not due to nursing, just hard workouts and good nutrition:)
    Another huge myth is that ANY mom makes enough milk for their baby by nursing alone. Some women are milk factories, pumping out 10 or more ounces is 5 minutes flat. I, on the other hand went to lactation consultants, my ob, took every herb, ate every food under the sun, etc that was supposed to help with my milk supply. Even went as far as taking a perscription med to increase my supply….nothing worked…nothing! When your baby isn’t gaining enough from just nursing, it is OK to supplement with formula and doesn’t make you a bad mom, or failure. I beat myself up SO much over this myth. My poor bod just doesn’t produce much milk. (with a professional grade pump, I was getting 2oz in 30 minutes) I nursed and pumped around the clock to no avail and ended up HAVING to supplement for my babies to thrive. Makes me crazy when a mom who effortlessly breatfeeds with an abundance of milk, makes a snarky comment to another mom who just doesn’t.

    • Tina says:

      Yes. I can’t stand when women make other moms feel guilty over anything. I give you serious props for working so hard to get what you could. It’s definitely a myth that breastfeeding is easy. Sure, its a part of nature but that doesn’t mean it happens naturally for all women to the same extent. I always feel so blessed that it came easily for me (I’m one of those overproducers right now), but I also had to wean earlier than I anticipated because I suddenly couldn’t keep up. We each do our best and care for our babies. THAT is what matters.

  34. holly says:

    oh my gosh, my mom told me the exact same thing! she was like it is NOT a miracle weight loss holly. haha. i will say, the whole not letting go part does make me cringe a bit 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Mine came off right after I stopped without any effort. And honestly, I didn’t even notice it to begin with because I was below pre-pregnancy weight already from being consistent with good nutrition and intense workouts. 🙂

  35. Geraldine says:

    I love honest bloggers who don’t sugar coat things. I have no babies but I have always believed breast feeding got rid of an extra 500 calories a day. No one ever mentioned that it makes you really hungry! I love that I can learn these things from your blog and feel more prepared for the future.

  36. Yes, a myth I debunked this morning on my post: it is SO false that caridio is THE way to shed weight and that weight training will make women bulky. It irks me that a lot of people think so—thus I am glad you debunked a myth today too! 😉 This was a great post, and since I am not a mom yet, I didn’t know much about it, thanks!

  37. Michelle says:

    I think you can lose a lot of weight when BFing (I definitely did, without really trying) — but it depends on the person (their metabolism, their hormones, etc). I was also producing a small country’s supply of milk (I’m pretty sure my body thought I was octomom). I don’t think people should ever think it’s their golden ticket to weight loss though. And like you said, it’s A LOT of work!! I’m more hungry now with running (and burning about the same # of calories), but I think hormones play a huge part in that.

    I think in the same vein — the whole running makes you skinny thing needs to be debunked. I kinda touched on that yesterday. Running makes you want to eat your arm off!

  38. I think my issue came when I didn’t realize that he was tapering off, and I was still eating like he was an infant.That ten pounds I had lost was added back on before I knew it. That said when he was first born, he ate and then I ate. I think I scared my mother as to how much food I was eating. 🙂

  39. Love this post. Thanks for keeping it real. I bf both my kids and the weight did not fall off. It prob didn’t help that I was enjoying Graham crackers with peanut butter and a tall glass of milk during the 2am feeding

  40. […] so you can lose the baby weight.” – I have discussed that whole misconception before. Breastfeeding does NOT equal some magic weight loss pill. Sure, my body uses more fuel (aka calories) to produce milk, but breastfeeding also makes me very […]

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