When Jenny Craig approached me about trying out one of their award-winning weight loss programs, I was immediately excited but also a bit apprehensive.
I had just given birth to my second child seven weeks prior and was ready to focus on my health goals, but I was also exclusively breastfeeding and planned on continuing to do so. With that in mind, I knew that I needed to strike a fine balance that would allow me to safely lose the pounds I wanted, while also helping my body continue to produce an abundance of breast milk to nourish my growing, always-hungry baby boy.
For me, breastfeeding my baby is, was, and always will be my number one priority in the equation — I thought that any sort of diet could wait, as the last thing I wanted was to lose my milk supply. But that was before I learned about Jenny Craig. Losing weight while breastfeeding is something to look at carefully, and I was excited to have Jenny Craig along for the ride. As paradoxical as it sounds, it can be done. And while I didn’t have an exorbitant amount of weight to lose in the first place, it is possible to lose and produce simultaneously.
During my initial consultation, I made sure to share my concerns with my Jenny Craig consultant. Since breastfeeding mothers need to consume at least 1800 calories per day to keep up the milk supply, she recommended that I try the Classic Program.
The Classic Menu, she said, would allow me to easily monitor my weight loss to make sure I stayed on track with my goals while still getting the nutrition needed to continue my supply.
Remember to always consult your physician before starting a weight loss program.
Balanced meals and smart snacking
The caloric output you’re feeding on a daily basis makes hunger a constant battle. When you’re exclusively breastfeeding every one to three hours throughout the entire day and night, the hunger is just as present within your own body as it is within your newborn’s. Before starting the program, I would find myself eating three huge meals to try to keep pace with my baby’s own voracious appetite.
That’s precisely why the Jenny Craig program is so perfect for a breastfeeding mother. Not only are you saving valuable time by taking advantage of their healthy, convenient ready-made meals — no prep required — but you are also eating six times each day, so you’re never left feeling famished.
This constant flow of food satisfied me. Not only because of quantity, but also quality. These are chef-crafted, nutritionist-designed, menus. I mean, have you tried their Chicken Street Tacos?
Needing sweets while breastfeeding
We’re talking pastries, cookies, donuts, or chocolate chips straight out of the bag. I told my consultant about this, because I wondered how I would possibly be able to get around my current sweet tooth while trying to navigate the Jenny Craig program.
I was skeptical until she pointed out the decadent desserts on the menu, like Chocolate Lava Cake, Triple Chocolate Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Cookies. The desserts provided were enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and became something I looked forward to having every night. This is what makes the Jenny Craig program so great; no food is off limits as long as it’s eaten in moderation. I’m glad I didn’t have to give up my sweets in order to feel my best.
Last but certainly not least, I must mention Jenny Craig’s ready-to-drink chocolate shakes. These, appropriately named, “Chocolate Dream Shakes” are magnificent little cartons from Heaven that taste as if you’re drinking chilled, melted chocolate bars. They were, needless to say, one of my favorite menu items for picking me up and satisfying my chocolate sweet tooth between my daily baby feedings.
Losing weight while breastfeeding
When I started on my journey to shed the rest of my baby weight, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed, all things considered. Before I was introduced to the Jenny Craig program, it seemed like a lot to tackle when I had little spare time.
However, my motivational, kind consultant gave me all the tips I needed in order to take the guesswork out of losing weight while breastfeeding. With her support, I felt extremely comfortable with not only my weight loss goals but also about how to approach the menu in general. She was an expert at breaking it all down, answering all my questions, giving me tips, and the support and encouragement I needed along the way.
For me, all I wanted was to be able to start something and stick with it — something that would benefit me as a mom and as a woman. Through weekly “accountability calls,” as I like to call them, with my Jenny Craig consultant, I was better able to understand and stick to the plan with her guidance and support. Last but not least, I was able to achieve the healthy weight I wanted while living the healthy lifestyle I needed to continue nourishing my life’s newest, greatest gift — my newborn son.
Abby Wilson is a Denver-based freelance copywriter who partners with advertising agencies and global brands. When she's not working, she's in the mountains: skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and exploring with her husband, daughter, and son.
Favorite healthy snack: Trail mix packed with roasted almonds, juicy raisins, nutty sunflower seeds, salty pepitas, and a few bittersweet dark chocolate chips.
Reviewed by Briana Rodriquez, RDN
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and reviewed by certified professionals.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.