I don't know why but I just really wanted to post my little story here to give some motivation and moral support for all the ladies here who are struggling to lose weight while breast feeding because it was seriously depressing me, seeing the scale stay at that one weight for weeks, and weeks, and weeks.
I had always heard throughout my pregnancy that BFing "torches" calories, that you can eat like a trucker and lose weight, etc. So I really, truly believed that by the end of my maternity leave I'd be halfway through the last 20lbs, and well on my way to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.
Man, was I wrong. Man were all those other sources just WRONG! I was seriously expecting the BFing to just melt the pounds away. They say eat 2500 - 2700 calories to maintain your supply while your body just burns, baby burns, those calories. NOT TRUE.
I got back on the workout wagon around six weeks postpartum, just a few a week and still didn't see much results. Maybe a pound here, but then it would sneak back on. Well, it's because I was also listening to everyone out there saying that I HAD to wolf down 2500 calories or more. So it wasn't going anywhere, that fat, because why should it? My body was getting plenty of energy to burn from all the food I was eating.
Finally stuff clicked together. I was eating too much and burning too little, regardless of what they say about BFing. I went back to work which helped me regulate a workout schedule: 30-40 minutes right after work, and then once my working out was established, I slowly began to cut out some calories. 2500 to 2300 now to 2000. My supply is just fine because I did everything gradually, and I have lost 4lbs since July 12th and I am just so relieved.
I was honestly panicking because the weight wasn't going anywhere and I was following all the Expert Advice out there. But then La Leche League says you can safely go down to 1800 calories with little to no affect on your supply, My thinking is that you just have to do it gradually. But there are women in this world who are lucky to eat 1200 calories a day and they are able to BF, so I knew that it had to be possible.
And then another resource (either LLL or Kellymom) said BFing burnns 200 - 500 extra calories from what You Used To Eat before pregnancy to maintain Your Weight. There is no magic caloric needs number that we all abide by. So if you had to stay on a strict 1600 calorie diet to maintain your weight, then add the 200-500 calories to THAT number, not to some ideal number like 2100 or something.
Anyways, for those ladies who are frustrated because the weight is not coming off like you'd hoped, and you're worried about harming your BF supply, don't! Just do things gradually so they don't shock your system. Start with one run a week and build up to as many workouts as you want, and then after a week or so of that new routine, then start cutting down calories by 100 - 200 a day. Give that a couple of weeks and if you're still not seeing results, try adding one more workout or try reducing another 100 calories. It takes time to find the balance, but it does exist.