Newbie Keto when breastfeeding



Hi, I’m a complete newbie to Keto and I’m exclusively breastfeeding my 12 week old baby.

I used a Keto calculator and input my data. It said with a 15% calorie deficit I should be having 1300 calories but because I’m breastfeeding I added a further 500 calories so I should be having 1800 calories a day, does this sound correct? It put my macros at:

Protein 65g
Fat 123g
Carbs 50g

Also, does anyone have any website recommendations for free meal plans for a moderate (50g) Keto diet. I have four children so I need quick and easy meals. Maybe 3 variations of breakfast, lunch and dinner that I can rotate.

How soon should I start to see weight loss? I don’t have masses to lose, maybe 15-20lbs.

Thanks all,


(The remembrance of bacon past.) #2

You are still eating for two, so do not eat at a caloric deficit. Eat to satisfy your hunger.

And most especially, do not fast. Women have died from trying to fast while pregnant or lactating and eating a ketogenic diet. There is a phenomenon called “euglycaemic ketoacidosis” that can occur, and it is potentially fatal. Pregnant or lactating women should not try to fast, for that reason.

The fat loss promoted by a ketogenic diet is not from cutting calories, but from cutting carbohydrate. When we eat a significant amount of carbohydrate, our body produces insulin to remove the glucose (carbohydrate molecules are nothing more than long strings of glucose molecules bound together) from the bloodstream. Some of it is burned in the muscles, the rest is stored as fat. And as long as insulin remains high, that fat is trapped in our fat tissue, and cannot be metabolised. The solution is to eat a very low amount of carbohydrate (or even none at all), so as to keep insulin as low as possible for as much of the day as possible.

As long as you are eating a minimal amount of carbohydrate, you can trust your appetite to set your caloric intake to the proper level, so that you can eat to satisfy your hunger, and still metabolise any excess fat that your body has stored. On the other hand, if you skimp on calories, your body will lower its metabolic rate to compensate, and will hold on to its fat store in order to see you through the famine. This makes weight loss difficult in the best of circumstances, and is an especially bad idea while pregnant or lactating. Right now you need protein and fat, to feed both yourself and the baby, so trust your body and eat to satisfy your hunger.

(Susan) #3

Welcome to the forum, Ummj =).

All the advice that @PaulL just gave you is excellent, I agree =).

I nursed all 5 of my kids for 2 years and a bit (longest was last one at 2 years, 4 months). Do not limit your calories! Your body and your baby need the calories. All you need to focus on is -eating only 20 grams or less of carbs a day, eliminating all sugar, eating enough protein and healthy fats, and drinking enough water and keeping your Electrolytes (salt intake up). I use Pink Himalyan salt. For sure, do not count calories, if you keep the carbs low, and eat no sugar, and eat enough proteins and fats you will lose weight for sure =). Just eating no sugar and not having carbs will do that. Enjoy your children when they are little, they grow up way too fast!!


Thanks for the advice ladies, I went back and inputted my data again without a calorie deficit.

So basically, if I’m understanding you correctly, I shouldn’t look at my calories but instead focus on keeping my carbs low: I opted for 50 carbs a day as I was worried about my milk supply and the risk of ketoacidosis. So should I just ignore the protein and fat recommendations and just try to make sure I’m getting a good approximate amount of protein and fat?

I’m worried I won’t be able to tell how much protein or fat I should be taking in. What would you suggest a typical day would look like for me?

I was thinking this:


2 scrambled eggs with spinach


1 chicken breast
1 avocado


Lamb of some variety

I don’t eat beef or pork.



According to the parenting magazines, you need at least 500 extra calories just for the milk.

You need to be adding more healthy fats, put butter in those eggs and maybe up it to 3 eggs since you aren’t having any meat that meal.

Top the chicken breast with something like a pesto sauce.

For dinner add in a keto dessert, otherwise you will be cutting back your metabolism and you do not want to do that.

I would suggest you read Dr. Cate Shanahan’s book Deep Nutrition, she talks about how both the diet during pregnancy and the first years of the child’s life are effected by what the mother and child eats. It is just a great book over all but especially addresses how to have healthier kids.


Oh I have the Deep Nutrition book already, my husband and I read it a few years back so I definitely agree with what you’re saying. I’m just unsure of how to make Keto work on a day to day basis without it being too complicated or putting my milk at risk. That book is one of the reasons I finally want to commit to a healthier way of eating. I’m a sweet/carbs/chocoholic!

We already do raw milk and raw butter.

So should I be eating some kind of meat with every meal? This feels a bit much to me, I know it will provide a higher amount of fat for me but can’t I substitute one meal with an extra avocado or something?

Adding in a Keto dessert sounds good!
Would 3 eggs not put me over my protein allowance?

Sorry for all the questions :see_no_evil:


You and your child both need protein an extra egg is not going to hurt either of you. Remember this is not about macros/calories, this is about hormones, stop thinking in terms of calories and macros.

Keto eating is moderate protein, low carb, fat to satiety. People continue to insist on making it harder than it really is.

(Susan) #8

You can make some chocolate fat bombs:

Mix some Cacao Powder (that has no sugar) and some Coconut Oil and mix it well and put in silicone tray for the freezer, or ice cube tray or even roll into balls on a waxed cookie sheet (when frozen can be transferred to a rubbermaid container in the freezer) then you can pop one out for a treat when you like =).

If you want you could also add a brick of cream cheese to the above, I have made it both ways, it is even richer, creamier and yummier with the added cream cheese =).

The carbs and sugars are all I would watch if I was you. Low carb (I do 20 grams or less a day) and no sugar. Since you are nursing, it is important that you are eating enough healthy calories, so protein and good fats (coconut oil, butter, bacon fat, EVOO, etc). Cook your foods in the fats, it is an easy way to increase them.

There are lots of recipes here on the forum in our recipe section as well. The carbs and sugar are what make us fat, not the protein and healthy fats =).


Hi ladies,

So today was day 1 of Keto, this is what I ate.


Filter coffee with a splash of whole milk
3 eggs scrambled with plenty of spinach, salt and pepper.


1 whole avocado
Cup of salad leaves
Tbsp Mayo
10 cashews to increase my fat intake


Home made chicken curry made with plenty of raw, salted butter (I had about the equivalent of 1 chicken breast, maybe more)
Served with cauliflower rice


1 medjool date
1 banana

I put this into my fitness pal and I reached the macro goals but not my calories, I was way under what am I doing wrong? I’ve got a headache now and I really don’t want to lose my milk supply. What do you suggest? What low carb high fat snacks could I eat?


(Susan) #10

Calling @David_Stilley to have some helpful advice please =).

He always has good ideas for this stuff =-). I personally would try to get rid of the date and banana as they are high in sugars, not really Keto fruits.

I think you would do better with some Fat Bombs like the recipe above for a desert/snack then the fruit. It would help with your chocolate cravings and up your fat intake =).


I will definitely try the fat bombs once I’ve been shopping. I only added the date and banana as I was trying to reach all my macro goals. I don’t feel like I have enough high fat foods to choose from since I don’t eat beef, pork and now cheese as my nursing baby seems sensitive to it :woman_facepalming:t2:. I did read somewhere that Dates were okay ??

(Wendy) #12

My niece went on Keto with her husband. She is breastfeeding her 7mo old daughter. And she said her milk production went way down. So she is going to wait till she is done breastfeeding. And just watch her current eating habits,by making better choices.

(Full Metal KETO) #13

Cut out all fruit except tomato, avocado, some berries and a little lemon. Eat the berries with whipped cream, stop using milk and use heavy cream instead. Focus more on protein and fat and less on vegetables. Include some liver in small amounts if you can. When you cook lamb use the fat for cooking eggs or vegetables. Don’t eat cashews, too many carbs. Eat macadamia, pecan or walnuts if you want some. Not too much, all nuts contain carbs so when you try to use them to up fats you also add carbs. The macadamia and pecans are lowest. I recommend 20-25 carbs, you may never get into ketosis eating 50 or it might take a long time with slow resulting loss. Carbs are an unnecessary nutrient source. Try consuming the carbs you do eat with meals and not as snacks. When you snack on carbs your insulin stays up much of the day and keeping insulin low is key to weight loss. That’s why I am saying 50 is too much. The lower you go the more solid ketosis will be and the quicker the pounds will drop. Cut out all foods with vegetable (seed) oils. Either make or buy avocado or coconut oil mayonnaise. The seed oils are inflammatory and very unhealthy for you and your baby. They compromise cell structures and functionality of the cells and take years to completely purge from your body. They are not food anymore than white flour or corn and I will take a grain/carb/sugar hit before I will eat something with vegetable oil. You get over a carb hit quickly but seed oils hang with you up to four years, seven by some people’s opinion. The concept of native Americans that things we do affect the next seven generations is not as crazy as it sounds, things trickle down from previous generations in our environment and we pass on the cost to our babies. I have read that we have mercury levels in our bodies that go back through five generations of women in your lineage. So mercury your great great great grandmother ate are still part of your body because mercury is passed from mother to foetus. It’s more than just the tuna fish you might have eaten while pregnant. You sound like a very health conscious woman, know that sugars are poison to your body and it is a drug that we get hooked on, even if it’s coming from fruit or starches. I do not eat any fruit anymore other than a few berries occasionally. I do not eat nuts except occasionally either. I have cut way back on vegetables and lost weight as a result. If you eat some liver you get more nutrients than you do from vegetables with much higher bioavailability. Plants, nuts and seeds all vegetables contain anti nutrients by nature. Phytic acid, lectins, oxalates, protease inhibitors, plant estrogen, and many other things that interfere with healthy biological functions. They should be consumed in moderation. Fruits do not contain these anti nutrients but are basically sugar and a few vitamins so they are anti ketogenic in general. Anytime you eat something with sugar insulin is spiked and any fat you have eaten gets stored while the sugar is metabolized. I hope this was helpful.



Thank you @David_Stilley for such a comprehensive reply.

Can I ask, are you recommending that I go lower than 50g carbs a day? I was under the impression that I needed to stay at 50g carbs so I wouldn’t lose my milk supply.

I’ll switch which nuts I have and have them as part of my meal. I’m crazy about nuts so I don’t think I could let go of those! The heavy cream in my coffee I can definitely do and avocado oil in salads and cooking.

When you say concentrate more on proteins and fats than on vegetables what do you mean? Maybe just eat more meat?

I’m sorry for all the questions but I really need a lot of hand holding with this especially as I’m nursing.


(Full Metal KETO) #15

Make sure you don’t fill up on salads and vegetables before getting your protein is what I meant. I am really no kind of expert on the breastfeeding and keto. But I do know the Inuit in the arctic have always breastfed their babies and they don’t eat any significant carbs outside a couple months in the summer maybe, at least historically. The same with many tribal groups of very robust people in East Africa like the Maasai who eat mostly meat, blood and milk. Many hunter gather societies were basically ketogenic and living on meat only was common much of the time. I don’t think carbs are necessary for milk production but I remember when my son was born and milk was slow the midwife told Robin to drink a large bottle of stout everyday. I think part of that was the relaxing effect of the alcohol combined with the iron and B vitamins from molasses I think. But she was vegetarian and so were the midwifes so I can see why a carb version of the iron and B vitamins was recommended. Now days they probably advise strongly against any alcoholic beverage. As far as my carb recommendations that was more about getting in ketosis and loosing the weight from pregnancy.

There’s a bunch of stuff on threads on breastfeeding here on the site. You can look through some of them and probably find relevant stuff, there are lots.


(Ken) #16

Don’t be afraid to add more fat, it looks like you’re just in the initial adaptation period. Carb levels are subjective especially at first, keep them low as possible, no need to intentionally eat any, but the initial guidance of around 20g is good. Try to eat whole avocado, not just the oil. Some olives are fine too. I also suggest giving up the cashews and peanuts, both are beans not nuts, eat real nuts instead. You can also eat sour cream as well as heavy cream, it makes a good sauce. Butter based sauces like Hollandaise are excellent as well… If you get to the point you"re hungry often, eat more. You may not lose tons of weight quickly doing this, but you"ll become completely adapted for later.

(The remembrance of bacon past.) #17

You certainly can, but the baby needs protein, so it’s not as though you need to restrict yourself. Eat what feels right. We have gotten out of the habit of listening to our bodies, but two million years of evolution has had an effect on refining all the necessary mechanisms to take care of you and your baby. Fat will also help your baby’s growth, since the walls of all our cells are made of fat. The brain, too, is mostly fat, so don’t skimp, because a lot of what you eat will go directly to the baby.

(Ellenor Malik (spare me thy resistant starch spiel)) #18

Why don’t you eat beef nor pork?

It might make eating more meat more sustainable, if you aren’t allergic (I know someone who is allergic to beef)

I must admit I like duck way much more than beef.

In any case, I would say vegetables go after the meats (so that you aren’t filling up on fibre and then not having enough room for nutrient dense animal foods) and that to provide the nutrients necessary, meat and organ meats, or other animal products, should be eaten every time you eat. An avocado won’t give you as much vitamin A as will a smear of leberwurst.

(kicking cancer's butt with keto) #19

I have trouble getting my fat in, while keeping my protein reasonable. I’ve resorted to drinking heavy cream. Yes, it has some carbs, but it’s very fatty, and can help supplement in the fat/calorie category.

(Ellenor Malik (spare me thy resistant starch spiel)) #20

Some people just need the higher protein content and that’s why they’re feeling hungry.

I assume that is not you, though.