HI, MY NAME IS CRYSTAL, AND I AM CURRENTLY ADDICTED TO FOOD!
No, really, I can’t stop eating, at least in the evenings. I know that breastfeeding can cause an uptick in appetite, but I never expected this. I am literally TWICE as hungry as I was during pregnancy. Luckily, I have been able to maintain a relatively healthy diet, except I have been caught on Chocolate Covered Katie the last few nights, and dang her, she has single serve desserts. At least they are half healthy right?! (I made single serve cakes last night, and added half a zucchini to it, topped with peanut butter instead of frosting. Is that healthy??? Lets ignore the tablespoon of brown sugar in the cake).
Why are you so hungry??
Well, I have heard from many women that the hunger isn’t uncommon. I knew that you burn, on average, 300-500 calories a day just by breastfeeding. For me personally, this may be a little higher. Many sources say that you burn 20 calories to produce each ounce of breastmilk. This makes sense, as the average breastfed baby eats approx 25 ounces a day (simple math: 25 ounces x 20 calories = 500 burned). There is an article in Shape Magazine here.
Right now, I am probably hovering in the 36-40 ounce range, because in addition to breastfeeding the baby exclusively, I’ve also been pumping and I aim for 12 ounces per day over what he eats so I can keep my freezer stock up for travel and for the day my supply decreases. Thus, I could be burning in the neighborhood of 700-800!!!!!
Add that onto working out 6 days a week, and running 25-35 miles per week…..it isn’t shocking that I would be eating so much.
So why is it a problem?
I still feel like I am just eating too much at some of my meals, and snacking even too frequently, regardless of my calorie burn. I worry that I am making bad habits, and….I’ve never in my life had a sweet tooth! Seriously, never. I did cave to the peanut M&M’s at the office while in my last trimester, but, mostly because they were nutty. Chocolate has never been my thing, in fact, I never even liked it (crazy, I know…like, am I even a female?!). Well, since giving birth, my yearning for sweets, and even chocolate-y things (not necessarily chocolate, but cocoa in my shakes and the like) has increased…10 fold! I always want a sweet treat after my meal, especially dinner.
Back to Chocolate Covered Katie….and I made those personal cakes two nights in a row! Before that, I made a sort of sweet treat shake. Of course, these are no where near as bad as a candy bar or ordering dessert at a restaurant, but it is more sugar than I have ever eaten before. Then there is the issue with the extra belly fat I still have my the pregnancy, which I was hoping would start coming off soon!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be back in almost all of my clothes, despite still being approx 7 pounds over my pre-preg weight (maybe its more in my boobs than I initially thought….or more likely, it is just evenly spread). BUT…..of course, I want all of those pounds off at some point.
Light at the end of the tunnel??
While it is often thought that weight falls off breastfeeding…….it seems the truth is that 90% falls off really quickly, like within the first month. But, that other 10% kind of hangs around awhile. I have read a bunch of blogs and message boards, and polled the people I know personally, and most seem to agree that they hung onto about 5 pounds, and that it seemed to start coming off between 3-6 months.
I am nearly 3 months (2 more weeks), so we’ll see what happens.
And I have better days, then worse days. The other day my hunger actually seemed back in line with my norm, but the next day it was back to overdrive.
I am also going to do the Whole 30, starting in a week or so (after my hubs reunion on the 12th!). Not just to try to pull some weight off, because I MUST keep the calories up to some degree in order to keep producing the goods, but, so I can get my habits in check….and maybe lean up a tad before the marathon.
And, ya know, I also run…..
Running has been going really well. I have been trying out new things. Some of them are working, some of them are not. The main thing that is relatively new to me is lots of solo running. Many of you may be laughing at that, but, it is true. I have resigned myself to the fact that I must get better at running alone, and honing that mental aspect. With the baby, his feeding schedule, and me needing to sleep later sometimes, it just doesn’t work to schedule with my running friends or meet with the running group.
Tempos have been (mostly) hit. Speed work has been (mostly) nailed. Easy days have (mostly) been easy (I really am trying to remind myself what NYCRunningMama has been preaching about keeping easy easy, but sometimes it is hard). I have done all of my long runs…..except this Saturday.
I don’t want to throw out a bunch of excuses for my long run fail this Saturday, because in my heart of hearts, I could have squeaked it out. But….we had a pretty rough night the night before with more wakings than normal. I couldn’t drag myself away to meet the running group because I would have needed to leave by 5:30, and that was not happening with waking up 4-5 times. Soo…..at 4 in the morning I told myself I could do 20 by myself (for the first time ever). Well, guess what….it was 100% humidity, temps already hovering around 77 by the time I got out the door, so a heat index somewhere around 84. EEKK. And, did I mention, I was going to attempt 20 solo miles for the first time ever? Well, I made it 10, and I am okay with that. I am at the halfway point of the cycle, which as you all know is basically like the doldrums of running. I haven’t missed a long run, so, I chalk this up to a bad day and move on my way. Plenty left still ahead of me to make up for it.
How was your hunger while breastfeeding?
Did you hang on to weight while breastfeeding?